Bmw G650 GS (2011-current): Its not only the face-lift, she is still a seductive bikeEngine: The single cylinder liquid cooled, 652 c.c., engine delivers 48 bhp/6500 rpm and 6.1 Kgm/5000 rpm, claimed values.
Actually a minimum of 2000 rpm will be required to get a surge free acceleration. With the last, fifth speed, selected a minimum of 2500 rpm will be required.
Engine performance is basically linear, no prominent bursts or weak spots throughout the powerband. A tiny power increase step could be observed however at 5500 rpm. The shifter light is turned on at 7000 rpm while the rev limiter intervenes at 8000 rpm.
At the off, power provided is adequate for easy wheelies, no clutch use needed. For a spirited riding, engine revs should be higher than 5000.
Low fuel consumption is considered to be certain with the recent middle-category Bmw engines. The factory claims a 3.2 l/100Km (88 mpg Imperial) fuel consumption. Its only the engine which is manufactured in China, complying with BMW high specification standards. It is derived from the Rotax one which was once powering the F650GS model.
Riding position: The height of the saddle is average for the standards of the category, 780 mm. Average height riders or higher will be satisfied. A user friendly saddle height has just been described which will be adequate for novice and female riders also. An optional low height (750mm) saddle or a high one (820mm) are available.
The dimensions of the bike are average for the standards of the category, the width of the tail is slightly increased. The weight of the bike is also average, 192 Kgs full, rider will get a clear impression that this is a single cylinder on – off bike, not a bigger bike than that or a two cylinder or three cylinder one.
Rider is placed in and over the bike, riding position is neutral and comfortable.
On the road: Suspension feels relatively soft. Factory fitted tyres are Bridgestone Battle Wing with dimensions 110/80-19 at the front and 140/80-17 at the rear. They are considered to be a very good choice for the character of the bike, providing good grip, being also suitable for travelling. On low friction factor roads they will require some riding distance to get warm.
On town rides the G650GS is a neutral and relaxing bike for the rider. The low weight is combined with small bike dimensions, agility is combined with comfort.
Urban street imperfections are absorbed really well. Commuting is enhanced on the Bmw.
At the process of filtering the height of the handlebar is the same with the SUV mirrors, much higher than car mirrors. There will not be any problems for the rider.
Turning radius is really good, manoeuvring through traffic will be easy.
On B-roads the GS provides to the rider a mixture of agility and stability. ItĘs a comfortable and neutral bike. It will absorb road imperfections sufficiently. Rider will be relaxed, enjoying the ride.
At the fast pace, the bike is stable, handling is predictable, high speed will be preserved, mid-corner. In case that rider has selected a soft shock preload adjustment, feedback from the rear will be decreased at such a pace. If the shockĘs spring preload is stiffened, feedback to the rider is obviously increased, the gs will preserve a pace equivalent to that of more expensive bikes, as long as engine performance is not a critical issue.
Consequently riding speed will surpass riderĘs expectations, feedback provided and confidence to the rider are good at such a pace. In case of mid-corner road bumps and potholes, suspension will cope with them adequately.
On high friction ¬ - roads the neutral handling and comfort provide really relaxed rides. On a really fast pace the front end will ask for some weight increase, feedback will be good.
High pace riding will be fun and confident for the novice rider, while an experience rider will get the job done, without much pleasure though. This is mainly due to the fact that the basic design of the bike is old hence handling feels quite neutral, as well as engine is weak for decent playing.
On the highway the GS is a comfortable bike, once more. Limits will be defined due to the single cylinder engine. A travelling speed of 150 Km/h, requires 6000 rpm. Rider will soon fell sorry for the engine. Air protection is relatively good, due to the screen, air flow feels scattered. Rider has to bend slightly to the front to reduce the effect of air resistance above 150 Km/h.
In case that rider shows no mercy for the stressed engine operation, travelling speed will be as high as 170 Km/h. The speed figures described above are speedometer indications, top speed according to the factory data is 170 Km/h. The small screen has improved greatly the travelling potential of the gs, compared with the former 2009 model which was replaced.
On dirt roads, suspension provides decent comfort. The wide handle bar becomes a great lever when changing direction. Of course it will not set any lap times there, it will just provide decent and comfortable rides on any soil road, exhibiting a joyful character. The deactivation of the ABS provides accurate braking on conditions like that.
Brakes are really user friendly, providing relatively powerful braking, average initial bite. At the front, a 300mm disc, two pots calliper and steel brake hose is used. At the rear, a 220 mm disc brake is equipped and a single pot calliper. Whenever the ABS is engaged, feedback to the rider is average.
Model history/reliability/quality build: ItĘs the following model of F650 GS that was introduced in 1993 , being in BMW line up until 2007. Essentially in 2009 it was the first letter that changed from F to G in order to separate the single from the two cylinder models of the line up.
Quality build is good, once upon a time it was superb though.
Comments: Interesting design details continuing from the ex model, are the oil fill up cap just in front of the rider, where the fuel reservoir should be. Also the fuel reservoir cap lies at the rear right side of the bike, as the fuel tank has moved underneath the seat.
At the bike tested there was ABS, alarm, heated grips, tyre side valves. The storage space under the rack is really tiny. There is a rear shock preload adjustment knob at the engine right hand side, which is very practical indeed.
The horn tone is weird, it sounds like a toy. The indicators and mirrors look nice, the rpm meter is digital.
The European design school, which tends to boast a differentiation from normal, dictates the chain at the right hand side of the bike, the rear brake at the left. Two mufflers can be seen at the rear of the GS. The real one is the right, the left serves more as a design element. The asymmetrical headlamp is an iconic Bmw feature nowadays.
The most prominent element of the G650GS character is that rider will be encouraged for trouble free, every day use on various fields. Despite that itĘs the design which is greatly changed compared to the former 2009 model, the Bmw is still a bike which will fulfil the expectations of any rider seeking a single cylinder 650 c.c., frugal bike for general use.
A restricted version is also available which complies to European legislation for novice riders.
The Sertao version features an extended suspension travel, spoked wheels and a 21 inch front wheel, which increases off road potential.
The bike is manufactured in Germany, except from the engine, as mentioned above.
Price, standard : 7090 Euros
+Easy to ride motorcycle
+All around character
- Many years after the initial introduction and minor changes over the years, it just starts feeling bland in terms of riding for experienced riders.
- Horn tone !