BMW F650 (1993-2007) Review

Published: 22 November 2006

"Off-road pretentions but, in the real world, a sturdy and sensible road motorcycle"

BMW F650 motorcycle review - Riding

"Off-road pretentions but, in the real world, a sturdy and sensible road motorcycle"

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

Born as the baby to the BMW R1150GS (now 1200cc), the BMW F650GS has a long and credible pedigree, including a string of varients. The BMW F650 has off-road pretentions but, in the real world, is a sturdy and sensible road motorcycle (the BMW F650 Dakar’s the one for the green lanes), it deals with most situations with predictable power and confidence.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

Competent and confidence-inspiring but the F650 GS lacks passion. The suspension’s slightly wallowy and you can feel the weight when you’re tipping it into corners but it’s nothing dreadful and the motorcycle holds the road well. The gears clunk and there’s a bit of play on the throttle but otherwise it’s a very stable ride. Excellent in town.

Engine 4 out of 5

The BMW F650 is a work horse and power house in one, neat package. With loads of torque, there’s power right through the rev range, taking you from town, to country to motorways with relative ease. The BMW F650's smooth delivery makes for easy riding and it’s tried and tested, providing effortless welly. A very reliable if perhaps a little uninspiring motorcycle

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

Top notch, basically. With a sturdy body, great finish and excellent aftersales service, there’s not a lot to complain about on this motorcycle. Consistent and reliable, the BMW F650 probably has more mileage in it than the average rider. These motorcycles are built to last… and they do.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

It’s not a budget motorcycle, especially if you want to add any extras, but you’re paying for quality and, to some extent, peace of mind. Furthermore, the BMW F650 GS motorcycle provides a lot of miles to the gallon and sits in insurance group 9, which won’t break the bank. A safe, robust choice, they hold their price well. Find a BMW F650 for sale.

Insurance group: 9 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Typically with BMW, there’s no shortage of bits and pieces available for the BMW F650 to tart your motorcycle up but most of them are extras. Standard equipment on the BMW F650 includes clear clocks, an adjustable clutch lever and a centre stand. But the BMW F650's screen is not effective, there’s precious little storage and the motorcycle has no fuel gauge. Pay more for ABS, heated grips etc on this motorcycle. Compare and buy parts for the BMW F650 in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

18 owners have reviewed their BMW F650 (1993-2007) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your BMW F650 (1993-2007)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 3.7 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.6 out of 5
Engine 3.3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.8 out of 5
Equipment 3.7 out of 5
4 out of 5

The best single cylinder there is.

31 July 2015 by MadMikeSVK

I am riding my 1995 Funduro for 2.5+ years and I am only changing what needs to be changed on every motorcycle (chain, break pads, oil, spark plugs and spark caps). It is a real powerhorse! Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
You can cruise at 90 km/h all day long and you do not get buttsoars. There are some vibrations, but for a single cylinder it is not much and I got used to it in seconds after I first tried it. I changed front sprocket from the default 16 to 15 and the change was noticable. Rev/min went up for about 250-300 revs/min thus making a ride in city more comfortable (on 4th gear form 5), acceleration is now excelent and you can feel the whole power while shifting. This change is best if you ride a lot in cities (around 50 km/h) and also between cities (around 90 km/h). My top speed with this set-up was 155 km/h (measured by GPS) with my GF and 3 suitcases on a highway. I must stress that this motorcycle is not built for races... It is a tourist which you can drag into dirt -> a typical tourist enduro :)
Engine
4 out of 5
Great performance since 3500 revs/min which last to 6500 revs/min. You have to make sure that you do not go under 2000-2500 revs/min and then accelerates too much or it stutters -> please note that it is a SINGLE cylinder.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
My only died of old spark plugs and spark caps.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
Higher windscreen is 100% necessary or you will have the wind on your neck -> I got some insects in my helmet with the stock one.
5 out of 5

11 June 2015 by Fernando

Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Honest good fun bike

22 September 2012 by richard68

I bought this bike just because it was there and i wanted something slow to go back on the road after years of racing; it fitted the bill perfectly. As an avid 'fiddler', it was superb - I have never owned a bike that was so easy to work... Read more on. The handling is awful for road use though, so I fitted stiffer springs up front and some heavier fork oil; i should really have done something with the rear shock but I didn't want to spend any more on it and I found it pretty good after the forks were done. The engine is not quick, but I could fly through the twisties with aplomb once I did the forks. There are lots of negative comments about the brakes, but I think that's just down to the soft forks. I rode an 18 year old one for over 2000 miles through France in a week and was perfectly happy with it although my mates left me for dead on the national routes - I didn't care, I was more comfortable than them anyway. The only reason I sold it was because I got a Caponord for £1300 and the garage was too full. I think more people should ride this kind of bike and enjoy themselves rather than scaring the poop out of themselves on an R1! In a nutshell, a great bike with a slightly weak motor once you get past 70mph

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
2 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
2 out of 5
-
2 out of 5

last BMW

28 March 2009 by AZrider

I have riden this bike (06 650gs) for two years and +30k miles, have had good times but definitly not worth the pains. Have had almost everything brake from mud guards to tail light assambly to an engine noise that wont go away(started when i hit... Read more 30K), to other eninge and trim problems. My bike was in the dealership for half of Dec. and has been back 4 times this year with less then 3k miles put on. I have also had to fight with BMW every time to get anything done.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
1 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
1 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
2 out of 5
-
Equipment
1 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

F650GS 2004

18 July 2008 by philtreefrog

I have just traded in my CBF and could have cried when i rode this home. Totally different riding style, jerky set offs and clunky gear box. Obviously I had never ridden a single before and was used to twins but I thought I had made a massive... Read more mistake. Fast forward 3 days of constant use and I am smitten. How much fun can one bike be? Getting used to the bike was simply a matter of time and holy cow its worth a bit of patience. The single sounds great and even with knobblies on I appear to have doubled my cornering confidence over night. Motorways are a bit of a pain but at 70mph I can cruise all day with the comfy seat and riding position. Show it some twisty country lanes and even a bit of dirt and you will be having a ball and grinning like a cheshire cat. If like me you are so short you shop in mothercare for your troosers do not fear. You can pick up a lowered seat on ebay but to be honest the bike is so light and slim that the original saddle is perfect as it is. The leg room for longer distances is also kept comfortable with the original seat. I have just managed to get 60+ mpg riding at town and motorway speeds combined and this gives me almost 200 miles before the light comes on and another 50 miles in reserve. All in all I am hooked and I would recommend the F650 to anyone-although have a test ride if possible before you buy and ask to be out for a few hours. I'm off to Morocco for the weekend.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Brilliant all-rounder

27 July 2007 by Nobby248

Have an original Funduro 98 Model with heated grips and higher screen... Great in traffic, very comfortable for touring, 60mpg most of the time, holds it's price, good supply of cheap parts new and used available'Motorworks' ..Built to last forever,... Read more easy to work on...Brilliant for green lane and gravel track use, not for serious off roading.. Funduro daft name but sums up the bike.. fun!

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Licence Keeper & Fun to Ride

16 July 2007 by jon.d.pullinger

I went for the CS as it was on sticky rubber instead of knobblies, it handles brilliantly around town and the high riding postion helps with visability. Also the ABS adds peace of mind. Cheap to run, handles well, in short a joy. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Excellent road-holder, licence-keeper! Does it like unsurfaced roads! Price: Norway!

06 November 2006 by dyrlege

I drive roughly 1000 kms every week (98 kms from home to work). No problems in the wet or dry, handles well,excellent mileage (3 litres to 100 km, around 73 mpg) in spite of high speeds (cruise at 120 km/h). Needs the Dakar windscreen though, that... Read more was a great improvement. Nimble in traffic, slalom in queue saves me at least half an hour each way, and the upright seating means you see over most cars. ABS and heated handles are a must in Norway! Likes gravel, too! Strengths: Reliability, driveability, comfort, dealer service, second-hand value and looks. Weaknesses:
Vibration in mirrors at speeds over 60 mph, checking oil level is complicated.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
1 out of 5

One of the worst bikes I have ever ridden.

09 October 2006 by vfarrar

Got it for the girlfriend to learn on, but only kept it one month, then lost £1000 getting rid of it. The only good thing about it was it did a 3 point turn, handy for the test. Otherwise horrible. The engine needed constant attention as letting the... Read more reves drop too low resutled in juddering. Once the girlfriend had a go on my R1, I lost it. She has no idea what an R1 was, but it was so easy for her to drive after the BMW, even as a beginner. Still got a new Blade as a replacement. Strengths: Does 3 point turns, which are impossible on most sports bikes. Dealers like trying to sell them to girls who don't know any better. Weaknesses: Engine, handling, balance.

Ride Quality & Brakes
1 out of 5
-
Engine
1 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
1 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
3 out of 5

It's a tractor on two wheels.

16 May 2006 by moonjarb

If you plan on a machine that is just about bullet proof, then you couldn't go wrong with one of these. Bought one and rode it 20,000 miles around Mexico without much of a hitch. I even rode it on extremely poor dirt tracks and the suspension just... Read more about held up. I'd suggest replacing the rear shock for a tougher one. Maintenance on the road is pretty easy and the engine is simple to service. Strengths: Reliabile. MPG Build. Surprisingly good round tight and twisty stuff. Cruises between 70 and 80. Weaknesses: Pogo stick front suspension. Goes like a tractor. Sounds like a tractor.

Ride Quality & Brakes
1 out of 5
-
Engine
1 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
2 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
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Read all 18 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1993
Year discontinued 2007
Original price -
Used price £2,300 to £3,500
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 9 of 17
Annual road tax £81
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 50 bhp
Max torque 44 ft-lb
Top speed 106 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 13.8 secs
Average fuel consumption 62 mpg
Tank range 230 miles
Specification
Engine size 652cc
Engine type 4v single cylinder, 5 gears
Frame type Box-section steel trellis
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 780mm
Bike weight 175kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload and rebound
Front brake 300mm disc
Rear brake 240mm disc
Front tyre size 100/90 x 19
Rear tyre size 130/80 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

1993: BMW F650 Funduro dual purpose motorcycle launched, originally manufactured by Aprilia for BMW.
1995: BMW F650 Funduro gets centre stand as standard, otherwise colour changes only.
1997: BMW F650 Strada launched as a more road-biased motorcycle.
1999: BMW F650 Funduro discontinued / BMW F650 Strada SE version launched (virtually same as standard Strada but with heated grips, taller screen etc).
2000: BMW F650GS launched: styled as a mini BMW R1150GS.
2001: BMW F650CS launched.
2003: Both BMW F650 Strada and BMW F650 Strada SE versions discontinued. BMW F650 GS Dakar version launched with taller suspension and higher screen.
2005: BMW F650CS discontinued.
2006: BMW F650GS and BMW F650GS Dakar versions remain.

Other versions

BMW F650: The original, entry-level, dual purpose Funduro: a key machine for BMW.
BMW F650 Strada: More dedicated street motorcycle than the basic, earlier BMW F650s. Shorter wheelbase, lower seat etc…
BMW F650CS: Street motorcycle with funkier styling and belt drive: competent but ultimately a bit gutless in the power department.
BMW F650GS Dakar: Off-road biased motorcycle with nifty, racy paint job, higher screen, taller seat, different wheels and longer travel.

 

Photo Gallery

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  • BMW F650  (1993-2007)
  • BMW F650 motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F650  (1993-2007)
  • BMW F650 motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW F650 motorcycle review - Top view
  • BMW F650 motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F650  (1993-2007)
  • BMW F650 motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F650 motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F650 motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F650 motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F650 motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F650 motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F650 motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F650 motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F650 motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW F650 motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F650 motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW F650 motorcycle review - Top view
  • BMW F650 motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F650 motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F650 motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F650 motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F650 motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F650 motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F650 motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F650 motorcycle review - Riding
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