BMW F 650 GS Reviews

1999 BMW F 650 GS from Canada

Model year1999
Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2007
Acceleration marks 7 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 8 / 10
Handling marks 8 / 10
Braking marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.4 / 10
Distance when acquired295 kilometres
Most recent distance26899 kilometres
Previous motorcycleYamaha XV1100 Virago

Summary:

When I look at other bikes, I can't find a reason to change machines

Faults:

I replaced the chain at 25,000 km.

The battery has been replaced twice (once because fluid leaked out when the bike tipped over and I didn't re-fill it).

I have installed a brighter headlight and extra driving lights for night driving (country highways).

The exhaust is hot, and I have melted the bottom of the air-box as a result of poor choke use (my fault). To prevent that happening in the future, I have used insulating wrap on the exhaust, and I have used insulating 'tape' on the bottom of the air-box.

General Comments:

This motorcycle has been used by me for day-to-day commutes to work, as well as a number of multi-day trips in the mountains of BC, Montana, Idaho and the Pacific Northwest. It handles the highways with me and my gear just fine. On mountain passes (like Lolo Pass) it is a blast to ride.

As an added bonus, when it falls over, it is light enough to pick up easily.

Of all of the motorcycles I have owned, this one is my favourite - by far.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th September, 2007

2005 BMW F 650 GS from Republic of Ireland

Model year2005
Year of manufacture2004
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2005
Acceleration marks 3 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 4 / 10
Handling marks 6 / 10
Braking marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.5 / 10
Distance when acquired700 miles
Most recent distance4500 miles
Previous motorcycleHonda CB600F Hornet

Summary:

Slow, but maneuverable in the city

Faults:

The starter switch sometimes fails unless pressed hard.

The orange seat cover is particularly difficult to keep clean.

General Comments:

This is a very good bike for commuting. I ride about 30 miles a day through city and country over Irish roads, which involves dodging potholes, mud, over-banding, diesel, gravel, taxis, overloaded trucks etc. Quite similar to off-roading actually, but less stable.

However, I would stress that the bike is not up to motorway or highway travel. It is quite under-powered and does not offer any significant wind protection.

My bike is fitted with hand-guards, heated grips, ABS and hazard lights. I recommend all except the ABS. It is not really very effective on a bike with so little power and it is quite expensive. Better to get BMW clothing or panniers for the same price.

On the issue of brakes, this bike really needs a double disk up front, especially as commuting requires good braking. The brakes are linked, but the back is very soft, not enough to actually stop the bike.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th May, 2005

16th Aug 2005, 22:50

I bought a 2005 650 GS Dakar. It is completely loaded with most every option. Although it does have half the power of many other BMWs, it moves quite well. I can keep up with my buddys on their 1200cc Harleys, and cruise at any legal highway speed and then some, as I commute and cruise the streets of Southwest Florida.

I play off road a bit as well, and the Dakar is just a blast at that. If I had purchased the 1200 GS, I would feel bad about thrashing the thing as I do.

I think my favorite thing is the attention I get on this radical looking machine. The steel cage around the motor gives it the two wheel Hummer look.

The Kawasaki 650 is less than half the price and probably very high quality. But lets face it, BMWs are the king.

Average review marks: 7.5 / 10, based on 2 reviews