2011 BMW G650GS: the return of the F650GS

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BMW is adding the G650GS to its range for 2011 – an entry level single-cylinder adventure bike filling the hole left by the old F650GS.

The new G650GS is powered by the BMW-built liquid-cooled 650 single rather than the old F-series Rotax engine.

Technically the G650GS’ chassis is very similar to the original F650GS – a simple steel double cradle frame and swingarm, with right-way up forks and a single brake disc with a two-piston caliper. The ABS system can be switched off for off-road use.

The G-series sourced engine puts out a claimed 48bhp, and is pushing 192kg (fully-fuelled). Not impressive numbers, but neither was the old F650GS – a bike still prized by true world-travelling adventure riders for it’s robust nature and ability to cross terrain the cumbersome R1200GS struggles.

The styling is changed for a variation on the BMW asymmetrical look, and the wheels are are now 19” front/17” rear cast rims instead of spoked rims – something that may count against it in the off-roading stakes.

Three seat heights are available: 780mm as standard, a 750mm low option and an 820mm high option for taller riders. Tank capacity is 14 litres.

Chris Newbigging

By Chris Newbigging