First ride: BMW F650GS takes to the road

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BMW has launched it’s new F650GS in South Africa and MCN Road test editor Phil West has just ridden it.

Don’t be fooled by the name the motorcycle is actually based very much on the F800GS two cylinder we tested yesterday (February 20, 2008) and is intended as a more novice friendly street orientated motorcycle to succeed the old single cylinder F650GS (hence the name).

To achieve that the twin cylinder engine is much softer and easy going than the F800GS, it’s got more basic suspension, brakes, wheels, a much lower seat height and is about a grand cheaper.

  • Read Phil's first impressions of the F800GS here

From riding it on the roads around Durban BMW seems to have achieved its goal, it’s low and easy to get on with, the power delivery is really soft if not flat but it’s still 20bhp more punchy than the old single cylinder version.

All in all from this first impression it’s a very worthy successor to the old 650 single.

You'll be able to read Phil's full test of the new bike in the February 27 edition of MCN and you'll be able to watch video of the test next week.

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Phil West

By Phil West

MCN Contributor and bike tester.