Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bike review: BMW F650GS

Alright, so I had the chance to ride a 2007 BMW F659GS today. A friend of mine left it in town to sell and told me to look after it. Then he said there is a nice loop near the storage unit.... Put two and two together...

Here it is:

Here are the basics: 652 cc single, 50 hp, chain drive, 5 speed, and all is 386 pounds.

This is a taller bike than I have ridden before, so a slight worry about getting my feet down. But, I could get my toes down once I put weight on the bike, so a little more comfortable. The seating position is pure standard. Feet almost half way between being under my knees and under my hips; arms slightly extended out to the wide bars. I know the mirrors look pretty small in the picture, but keep in mind that those hand guards are plenty over-sized and the mirrors are almost as large.

On to the ride: the power delivery is smooth and predictable, coming with a light clutch pull and wide friction zone. Goose the throttle and you get a strong pull from the big thumper, but not so much as to be intimidating.

The rake felt more relax than the bikes I'm used to, so less twitchy than a sportbike. Accordingly, the steering was heavier than I expected, but once it leaned over, it stayed planted.

Lastly, the brakes: I didn't try to do any full braking (borrowed bike, remember?) but they were also predictable and gave pretty good feedback. I don't know if the bike had ABS, but I wasn't about to find out.

Overall, it is a fantastic ride, and a relatively new rider should be able to handle it pretty well. Assuming they are tall enough to feel comfortable with the height. Also, it reminded me I need a bike of my own.