BMW F650 (1993 - 2007) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£250|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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 & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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 vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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.
|Engine type||4v single cylinder, 5 gears|
|Frame type||Box-section steel trellis|
|Fuel capacity||17 litres|
|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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||62 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£250|
9 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||50 bhp|
|Max torque||44 ft-lb|
|Top speed||106 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||13.8 secs|
|Tank range||230 miles|
Model history & versions
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.
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.
Owners' reviews for the BMW F650 (1993 - 2007)
25 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£250|
Annual servicing cost: £100
Punchy single, economical 75 mpg,will 100 mph two up quite quickly, accelerate out of corners with gusto. Paint to engine cases peels as wheels if not kept clean
Need to add preload two up or will bottom out
Suprisingly punchy if keep it on the boil Returns impressive mpg into the 80's if drive like a Nun Will keep 4 cylinder bikes at bay on twisty country roads
Needs decent battery to start in winter Engine paint peels Instrument cluster goes art with age
Home servicing, need BMW diagnostics to trouble shoot problems (eventhough it's a early model
Good optional tank box and rear expandable bag
Buying experience: Privaye buy £1400 Paid 1250
Version: Standard model
Best: Machine does almost everything. Worst: Parts are terribly expensive. Yes I would recommend this bike to a friend.
For my old self I can only do about 450 mile days. The bike can keep up with speeds on the highway, the computer cuts the spark at 105 mph. It can go up into high altitude, run down dirt, gravel, and crappy roads. And it can carry a sizable amount of camping gear. I've made 4 trips out to the West coast from central Ohio with no issues.
Gobs of low end torque. This engine really is awesome. It has never broken down. My model year has 50 hp which is 14 more than my first car. Servicing the engine your self is a big pain, but it can be done.
Machine currently has 76,000 miles with no major mechanical issues. I had to replace a broken frame bolt.
A full service in the U.S. runs about $600.00 or more.The 6,000 mile between service helps.
Loads of factory and aftermarket options for luggage, lighting, GPS, and other gear.
Buying experience: Purchased new from the dealer in Spring of 2006. Base price was $7,500.00. I added the following factory accessories: taller windshield, hand guards, both side cases plus the mounting hardware, the top case, liners for each, tank bag with cover and mounting hardware. The options were already installed: four way flash/hazard, heated hand grips, ABS brakes, and the center stand. Ended up being $10,000.00 out the door.
Version: F650 Enduro
Annual servicing cost: £50
The F650 is solid, very reliable and good around town and on A roads. It's not great on motorways but it is what it is.
It's a good work bike, the seat gets to you after a couple of hours and the brakes are not so good.
Reliable but not too much go. Be in the right gear or it will let you know.
Getting old and a bit leaky, but keeps going just like its owner. Only major expense is a new rear mono shock and a second hand linkage.
Easy to service at home. BMW parts are expensive but you don't need them very often.
The heated grips are good.
Buying experience: Bought privately for £600.
Annual servicing cost: £100
A good bike for everyday use, pop out for bread or go to the forest.
Annual servicing cost: £400
A drudge machine. OK at everything, but good at nothing and so boring, I'd rather take a bus.
Competent but dull
remarkably lacking in torque below 3000 rpm and whilst it likes to rev, it doesn't achieve much when so doing
temperamental with bizarre electrics
Luggage is great, as are wire wheels, heated grips, bash plates
Annual servicing cost: £600
Overall great bike. Would buy another if this one ever breaks. Only wish it had an extra gear
I have over 100,000km most of it two up unbelievable reliability. Have been from Mexico to Alaska and has never let me down. Not even flats.
Only repairs have been from overloading the bike. Water pumps seem to go at 70,000 km.
Change up the shocks when worn out. Standard Tourance tires very good choice. Love the ABS, heated grips, and bark busters. All came standard that year. For back roads and lower speeds change the sprocket.
Buying experience: Bought privately. 2 months later the original owner wanted to buy it back.
This bike is so easy to ride and fantastic fuel economy. Although the fuel light comes on after about 160 miles with 4 litres of fuel remaining it's easy to do another 50 miles & I even managed a range of 230 miles once. Heated grips are great and once I changed my seat to a high seat I was really comfy on my 50 mile a day commute. Really easy to service at home and cheap to run. Had an ignition & stalling problem when I first got it but I found this was quite common and even as a novice mechanic I fixed this with a soldering iron & some heat shrink. The headlight isn't great on the dark unlit roads but I've upgraded the bulb which helps a bit and now I'm thinking of putting some spot lights and crash bars on it. I've got a Suzuki GSX for the summer but I love riding my GS. The only problem with it is you have to keep the revs above 2,000rpm otherwise it gets jerky.
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!
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 :)
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.
My only died of old spark plugs and spark caps.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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: <br>Vibration in mirrors at speeds over 60 mph, checking oil level is complicated.
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.
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.
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. <br>Weaknesses: Lack of ooomph for overtakes. It's tall but then I should've bought the standard GS shouldn't I!
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.
Had the bike almost a year and have been very impressed. Has stood up to some long commutes and tank range was superb with a careful wrist. Heated grips are an absolute joy during the winter months however the build quality did not stand up to the weather and salt grit. Has superb handling on A and B roads embarassing quite a few sports bike riders but most of us never find the limits of any bike we ride. The ABS has only kicked in on the rear a couple of times during very wet riding. The luggage capacity is superb but the finish on the panniers is very prone to scratching from road debris and hedgerows. An excellent first bike or licence saver. Strengths: Heated grips, luggage and handling. Weaknesses: Cheap components and finish suffer during the winter.
It is a great bike for running around town and or taking the back roads. Around town the upright riding position helps with viewing the traffic, especially if there are alot of truck, vans and suv's around. The travel of suspension smooths out rough back roads. Strengths: Great gas milage, riding position, ABS brakes and hard luggage. <br>Weaknesses: Poor windscreen design even the after market one are not the greatest.
<p>Great in town, so-so on open roads, feels like a sixth gear would not go amiss, handles suprisingly well for a quasi trailie, although poor ground clearance on left handers due to centre stand.Copes well two up.Brembo brakes are a bit wooden and lack a little initial bite although with a firm squeeze they'll do the job.BMW have done well to limit the vibes, its not too bad at all.Overall i like the bike, cant help feeling it should be 10% cheaper, Suzukis new V-STROM 650 can be had for less & its better built with a more flexible motor, shame its so fu$%&?g ugly! Strengths: Ease of ownership, economy, long service intervals, quite versatile.I'm hoping it'll hold its value better than some other bikes. Weaknesses: Finish is a bit suspect...not what i was expecting. the rear mud guard is shit, it looks shit and does bugger all, your back still gets covered in shite.....enter the hacksaw!!</p>
I've had 13 months of misery with this bike, it has been back to the dealer 4 times to have the ignition re-mapped, the bike just keeps stalling at roundabouts and T-junctions. The dealer keeps on claiming it is my fault. no one at BMW seems to give a hoot when Igot in touch with them about the problems. They just say it is up to the dealer to sort out.It's just come back from having a bigger injector fitted and being re-mapped yet again but it has still cut out twice. The bike itself is comfortable but I do not trust it enough to take my son on the back of it, if you are thinking of buying one of these bikes make sure it has all been sorted out or better still buy something else, (i wish i had). if i get the chance to sell this bike i will asap.<br><br>
The bike is a awesome. It is fast and fun. quick and nimble in traffic, easy 100+ mph on open roads (or any other, I guess) Great on rough dirt roads, too heavy for small, steep trails. Easy to carry a passenger on. The mirrors fold in at 95 mph, and the gas tank leaks if the bike is filled on it's sidestand. I'd like some luggage, but it is too expensive. Skip the ABS, it is way too sensitive.
I had a Honda Dominator for a year before this and the BMW build handling and ride is way ahead. Its loads smoother and doesn't cut out like my Honda used to. I haven't seen may about the midlands and it does turn a few head because it looks like no other. And the BMW badge gets the usual acknowledgements. Accesories are a bit steep, I'm after some panniers, seeing as the slap straight on they're a bit much at nearly 500 quid a set. The big fat seat is ace for loads of miles,no sore bum after hours of riding, My Honda had me numb after about 20 minutes. I did have one weird problem were the speedo read 50 when i was doing about 10, sorted itself out though. I've test rode a few trail/road bikes and for a single pot 650 its ace. The fuel injection is flawless (though it has cut out on me twice), better than fiddling with a choke. The low center of gravity thing with the tank at the back made a big difference. The Honda I really had to wrench to get it over, but the BM'r drops right down with a quick flick of counter steer you can throw it around quite easily I think. After suffering the wind rain ice and snow on my Honda I am most definately a fair weather biker now, and yes my other car is a BMW I'm so impressed that my next bike is going to be a bmw too, I have my eye on a 1150GS when i save enough up. One downer, thise pastics scratch up quite easy with zips and stuff.<br>