I’ve just spent my first weekend with the BMW G650GS, after taking delivery of it on Friday, and the word I want to say is: quality.
You’d never guess this is one of the cheapest big bikes you can buy. The screen is as blemish-free as glass, so much so that I can attach my sat nav with a suction holder designed for a car windscreen. I wrapped a coil around it just in case and it was still firmly stuck on 80 miles later.
The top box, albeit it an optional extra, is more designer suitcase than plastic tub, not a necessary evil but a thing to cherish. And it opens with the ignition key. The mirrors are small but well positioned and don't vibrate at speed. The seat is plush.
BMWs are a bit like another country to other motorcycles. From oddball three-switch indicators (which the G650GS doesn’t have) to asymmetrical face (which it does), everything is done slightly differently, as if without influence from other bike makers. It's not always better but never without effort.
Happily, the G650GS seems to undercut rival budget bikes without compromising that character.
Owned since: April 2011
Price: £6300 including ABS (£660), heated grips (£230), top box (£140) and centre stand (£120).