BMW G650GS (2011-on) Review

Published: 07 April 2011

"BMW's entry-level adventure bike and successor to the old G650 and F650GS single"

BMW G650GS  (2011-on)

"BMW's entry-level adventure bike and successor to the old G650 and F650GS single"

  • At a glance
  • 652cc  -  47 bhp
  • 59 mpg  -  184 miles range
  • Medium seat height (780mm)
  • Suitable for A2 licence
  • £6,195

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The GS650GS is BMW’s entry-level adventure bike and successor to the old G650 and F650GS single. Because it’s essentially a tweaked version of those, development costs have been low, making it not just the cheapest BMW you can buy but one of the cheapest big bikes. It’s competent on trails, but with a low seat height and exactly 47bhp on tap, it’s also ideal as a first big bike for novices. From 2013, 47bhp is set to replace 33bhp as the power limit for newly qualified riders, so the G650GS should prove tempting to many. New bodywork similar to its bigger brother, the R1200GS, should add appeal. 

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

Despite the tall suspension and ample ground clearance, the G650GS has a remarkably low seat-height, further positioning it as novice-friendly. There are three options: 750mm, 780mm or 820mm. To put that in perspective, a Kawasaki Ninja 250R’s seat height is 790mm. But don’t let the G650GS’ novice credentials put you off – it’s also a more than capable middle-weight adventure bike. Off-road the new Sachs suspension and 19-inch front wheel soak up rocks. On road it feels deceptively light and balanced, and almost as comfortable as its bigger brother, the R1200GS.   

Engine 4 out of 5

The G650GS’s single-cylinder lump pulls from virtually no rpm. Off-road, in a low gear, it can be barely turning faster than tick-over and a snap of the throttle will still pull you up hills. On road it offers a good, linear power curve with the slightest of fade in mid-range. It’s a tweaked version of the engine that powered the old G650 and the F650GS before that, and as such is a well-proven. At 47bhp, it makes 3bhp less than its predecessor. BMW says this is down to a bigger alternator needed for optional ABS and heated grips but it’s almost certainly no coincidence that 47bhp is to replace 33bhp as the limit for newly qualified riders from 2013.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

Despite a few well-publicised quality control concerns, BMW has retained its reputation for reliability and there’s nothing to indicate the G650GS won’t live up to it. It’s worth noting that six-time Paris Dakar legend Simon Pavey used a single F650 engine – the predecessor to the G650GS’ - in two of the gruelling rallies. Production has switched from Austria’s Rotax to a factory in China to save cost, but BMW is adamant that quality and tolerances have not been compromised.

Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5

This is where the G650GS really comes into its own. At £4920, it’s not just the cheapest BMW you can buy – it’s one of the cheapest big bikes you can buy, undercutting even Suzuki’s budget SV650 at £4975. For less you can have a Honda CBR250R, Kawasaki Ninja 250R or KLX250, a Yamaha YBR250 and, unless you want a 125, not much else. None of those makes close to the GS650GS’s power – and try doing the Paris Dakar on one.

Insurance group: 8 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 3 out of 5

You don’t get much as standard – there’s no fuel gauge, for example – but there’s plenty on offer if you don’t mind paying for it. Optional extras include heated grips, ABS, a power socket, centre stand and top box and panniers.

Owners' Reviews

8 owners have reviewed their BMW G650GS (2011-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.1 out of 5
Engine 3.9 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.4 out of 5
Equipment 4.1 out of 5
2 out of 5

Warning

15 March 2012 by tenekes

This is a great bike, with a serious flaw - you are more likely than you think to face starting issues, even with a 2012 model. Just have a look at the relevant fora, the cases with the hot start problem are increasing every day. It seems... Read more that BMW keep selling a model, knowing it is flawed, hoping they will figure out the solution at some point and maybe issue a recall.

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

Nickmclean please contact

10 November 2011 by bumpy48

Hi Nick Hopefully you are reading this. If so can you contact me chris.valder 'at' tiscali.co.uk. I also have a problem with my camshaft and would like help. Thanks Read more

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

Perfect for my needs

22 July 2011 by Dr Mengle

All day comfort, good to work on, reliable and best of all is 76 mpg Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
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
5 out of 5

Camshafted

20 June 2011 by nickmclean

Seat is a bit hard but then I have come from a blackbird. mmmm comfy. Lots of equipment available - don't want any of it - find the abs lethal if there is a bump in the road while braking. I'd like falling off to be my own fault, please. Actually,... Read more I'd rather not fall off... Quality and reliability, I really want to say excellent but I can only say X. Had it six weeks, three weeks in the garage waiting for a new camshaft. Long story which I wrote in the comments section. Really good value, cheap bike, getting 68mpg for motorway riding. Got a loaner for the duration of repairs and I can now compare the G650GS with the old f650GS. G650 has lighter clutch but gearbox is clunkier and has no stop at top or bottom of gear change. Indicators - don't get me started - give me my g650 normal indicator switch back please! Same engines? G650 sounds much harsher and has more vibration. I definately prefer the old F650 to the G650 in engine terms. And the F650 has a camshaft that works. But, the engine is good in general, nice and frugal. Pulls nicely when you want it, not quite in the teritory of my old blackbird though :) All in all, a damn fine everyday bike for normal people who just want to get here and there without a lot of cost or hassle. Please MR BMW, bring me a camshaft before Christmas...

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

cheapest shopping online

14 April 2011 by woaidegege

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Overall Rating 5 out of 5
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
1 out of 5

test

14 April 2011 by Spire

test Read more

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

cheapest shopping online

12 April 2011 by gegedeai

http://www.doestrade.com/ Air Jordan (1-24) shoes $31 UGG BOOT $50 Nike shox (R4, NZ, OZ, TL1, TL2, TL3) $31 T-shirts (polo, ed hardy, lacoste) $15 Handbag(LV,Chanel,Coach,DG,ED Hardy.etc.)44$ Jean (True... Read more Religion, ed hardy, coogi)$30 Sunglasses ( Oakey, coach, Gucci, Armaini)$16 jersey $ 29 new era cap $16 Bikini (Ed hardy, Polo,Gucci,LV,Christan Audigier,Affliction) $15 Belt(ED hardy /LV) $15 Accept Paypal Payment.Electronic bank transfer, credit card payment. Free Shipping Welcome to: http://www.doestrade.com/

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 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
5 out of 5

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12 April 2011 by fvhdchgffvhdchg

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Overall Rating 5 out of 5
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
Read all 8 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2011
Year discontinued -
New price £6,195
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 8 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 47 bhp
Max torque 44 ft-lb
Top speed 105 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 59 mpg
Tank range 184 miles
Specification
Engine size 652cc
Engine type 4 valve, single-cylinder, liquid cooled, 5 gears
Frame type Steel cradle
Fuel capacity 14 litres
Seat height 780mm
Bike weight 192kg
Front suspension 41mm telescopic forks/none
Rear suspension Monoshock/none
Front brake 300mm disc, 2-piston caliper
Rear brake 240mm disc, 1-piston caliper
Front tyre size 190/90m R19
Rear tyre size 140/80 R17

History & Versions

Model history

2011: Model introduced

Other versions

G650GS Sertao

Photo Gallery

  • BMW G650GS  (2011-on)
  • BMW G650GS  (2011-on)
  • BMW G650GS  (2011-on)
  • BMW G650GS  (2011-on)
  • BMW G650GS  (2011-on)
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