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BMW F650 Trail Motorbike Review

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BMW F650 motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

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.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3

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

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3

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.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

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.

BMW F650 (1993-2007)

Detail Value
Used price range View BMW F650 bikes for sale to see current asking prices
Engine size 652 cc
Power 50 bhp
Top speed 106 mph
Insurance group 9 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 3
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 3
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 5 rating is 4
Value rating is 3 rating is 3.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

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.

Value

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

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

Insurance group: 9 of 17

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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.

 

Specifications

Top speed 106 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 13.8 secs
Max power 50 bhp
Max torque 44 ft-lb
Weight 175 kg
Seat height 780 mm
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Average fuel consumption 62 mpg
Tank range 230 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 9 of 17
Engine size 652 cc
Engine specification 4v single cylinder, 5 gears
Frame Box-section steel trellis
Front suspension adjustment None
Rear suspension adjustment Preload and rebound
Front brakes 300mm disc
Rear brake 240mm disc
Front tyre size 100/90 x 19
Rear tyre size 130/80 x 17

See all BMW F650 motorcycles for sale

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F650

40000 miles

£3,995

BMW
F650

30000 miles

£1,600

BMW
F650

22175 miles

£4,650

BMW
F650

44426 miles

£999

BMW
F650

13102 miles

£2,499

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3.5(16 reviews)

  • Honest good fun bike

    richard henderson

    Average rating rating is 3

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    Ride and Handling
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    Quality and Reliabilty
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    Engine

    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 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

    22 September 2012

  • last BMW

    AZrider

    Average rating rating is 1.5

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    Engine

    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 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.

    28 March 2009

  • F650GS 2004

    philtreefrog

    Average rating rating is 5

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    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 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.

    18 July 2008

  • Brilliant all-rounder

    Nobby248

    CARDIFF , UK

    Average rating rating is 4

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    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, 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!

    27 July 2007

  • Licence Keeper & Fun to Ride

    Jon Pullinger

    LONDON , UK

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Engine

    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.

    16 July 2007

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

    dyrlege

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    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 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.

    06 November 2006

  • One of the worst bikes I have ever ridden.

    vfarrar

    Average rating rating is 2

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    Engine

    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 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.

    09 October 2006

  • It's a tractor on two wheels.

    moonjarb

    Average rating rating is 2.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Value
    Engine

    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 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.

    16 May 2006

  • Good bike, easy to live with, great for commute, no rocket & it's tall!

    Pavsta

    Average rating rating is 3

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    Engine

    Bought for 1 hour winter commute to London, it's been an effective and reliable bike. Incredible visibility, like you're standing on the roof of a car! ABS excellent for pyscho pedestrian avoidance, love the heated grips. Soft power delivery makes for a relaxed ride but get frisky with the right hand and it's a good laugh. I probably would have been better off with the standard GS - I'm 5ft10 and it's taken a while to build up the confidence needed to chuck it about at slow speed. I've coated it head to foot in Waxoyl and am letting it get filthy for the winter, we'll see how it cleans up come the spring. I've got a Lubetronic on it which so far (2000mls) has meant no chain adjustment required. Get one! Also got Touratech engine/fairing bars in case I drop it, well they look the part don't they. I had the cutting out at junctions problem that seems quite common but was fixed by fuel map update. One of the plastic lugs that holds the headlight in has split, currently held on by gaffa. Strengths: Riding position/visibility, heated grips, ABS, easy to ride slow; amusing (just) to ride fast.
    Weaknesses: Lack of ooomph for overtakes. It's tall but then I should've bought the standard GS shouldn't I!

    08 January 2006

  • BMW's single is great fun and easy to live with.

    alanaiki

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    I changed to the GS after a few years on sports bikes and have never regretted the move. The F 650GS is extremely economical, handles very well and has been very reliable during the 2 years of ownership to date. The bike is at it's best short-shifting whilst flipping from side to side through bends on country roads. Strengths: excellent fuel economy (70+ mpg), good handling, good build quality. Weaknesses: Servicing costs for a single cylinder via the BMW network. Could do with more power when overtaking on fast dual carriageways.

    19 December 2005

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simpsonj

simpsonjsays

New 08 F650GS

This bike is only for work. It lacks any grin factor for weekend fun. The bike offers fantastic fuel consumption, but that means dull performance. The gear ratio is all wrong for slow town speeds. anything just under 30mph will have you flicking between 2nd and 1st making for a real jerky ride. Try holding in 2nd only, and the engine rattles like hell. I would be keen to hear from anyone who has tried changing the ratio yet. There is also no adjustment on the front suspension. Its way to hard and sends every bump right through to your wrists.

15 May 2008 21:47

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