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-   -   Bmw F650 (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/bmw-tech/bmw-f650-45142)

mustaphapint 6 Sep 2009 20:14

Bmw F650
Hi. Could anyone please give me a quick run down on the differences between the various F650 variants.
We are looking for a second bike for my wife and an F650 would seem to be a good buy. Looking on ebay it seems reasonable to pick a something like 2002 to 2004 for around 2k.
But there seem to be so many models, We're looking for a bike which will be used mainly on the road but can cope with some gentle trail riding and rough roads. The seat height must be low, which rules out the Dakar version (which would be too expensive anyway)
There seems to be a Funduro, GS and a CS.
It looks like they switched fom chain drive to belt about 5 years ago and I guess one of these would be preferred.
Any information and/or opinions would be appreciated.

tmotten 7 Sep 2009 05:05

From what I understand the old Funduro was replaced by the GS and CS with the CS being belt driven for it's entire factory run and therefor would be not preferred on any non paved roads.

The GS is chain driven and differs from the Dakar by having a 19" front wheel and less suspention travel and I think height as well.

They are quite sporty and comfortable both on road as well as off road. Like everything they have their shortcomings which if you know how to use a spanner and lube some bearings you're fine with.

I find the normal GS turn into the corners a bit to quick, but I've only ever riden bikes with 20" wheels.

Threewheelbonnie 7 Sep 2009 07:54

1993-2000 F650 Funduro Carbed engine, chain drive, 19-inch front wheel
1996-2000 F650 ST carbed engine, chain drive, 18-inch front wheel.
2000-2008 F650 GS FI engine with underseat tank, chain drive, 19-inch front wheel.
2000-2008 F650 Dakar, as above with 21-inch front wheel.
2002-2006 F650 CS, FI engine and underseat tank, belt drive, 18-inch front wheel.

All F650's have Aprillia build quality and BMW service quality with the additional bonus that half of BMW's techs don't understand anything that can't be plugged in. Price is going to be based on how they've been used and hence how grotty they are. A good one will do anything asked of it. A bad one will be a mess.

Things to look for:

Get a multimeter on the battery, low voltage or heat probably means the VR is on it's way out.
Dip the oil. Chocolate brown means the water pump seal has gone.

I had two Funduro's. The 93 did what BMW's reputation said it would, the 99 did what modern BMW's seem to do, it dropped to bits. IMHO, shop on condition and don't be fooled by the badge. Personally I'd look for a Yamaha or Kawasaki.

Google Chain Gang, they are the internet F650 group and have a very good FAQ.


mustaphapint 11 Sep 2009 13:23

Thanks for the replies. I'm certainly a lot clearer now on the various models but I'm still not sure it's the right bike to go for. Trouble is all the bikes which have anything resembling off-road capabilities seem too tall.

*Touring Ted* 11 Sep 2009 16:02

Is it for a trip mate ???

The 650's are ok for pottering about the UK on but a pile of unreliable poorly made crap to travel on...

Do a search for low travel bikes. There are HUNDREDS of threads.

Linzi 11 Sep 2009 18:43

Little Beemer
Hi, I have only a little experience of the F650 GS single but I'd say it is very heavy when stationary. It is a lovely bike to ride on all road surfaces but too low and heavy for anything other than a rough, rocky track. At a steady 65mph it has vicious bar vibrations--my left hand was numb for 3 weeks after leaving it! It does 73mpg quite easily. It is known that many of them have bad peeling of engine paint.

DLbiten 11 Sep 2009 22:47

I had a 1999 F650 fun it was a good bike rotex mill ran grate. I miss it.

Then the VR or RR or what ever went out on it as they get hot and are air cooled and under the seat.
Got the thing to a BMW dealer and spent 6 moths in the shop told me it ran but had a oil problem 3k to 4k to fix. The oil pump went bad and need to split the case. The oil pump is not in the case you can get to with 3 bolts, and it was fine. the big oil problem was with there poking around for 6 moths someone drained the oil and did not fill it back up just add a quart of oil.

The way they found out about it was joy riding my bike around and need to split the case to rebuild the guts. And need to cover them self for the 3k to fix it all. What realy pissed me off is when I asked them why split the case showing them where the oil pump is and why there was low oil problem. I was told I was wrong and at BMW there is never a problem like this and there is no way it was there fault. And I need to fix the bike or get a new BMW (as the price to fix it will run more than the bike is worth) All this for a $300 RR. and 1 hr. of work (they did not fix it with a new part just a used one that made the bike run)

I traded the bike in on brand new DL650 vstrom. 25,000 miles and no problems. Just oil rubber and filters. look real close at the options before dropping the $.

The early FI in the F650 had some problems this is when BMW started to make the F , the carb pre 2000 are not BMWs there Aprillia. The only thing BMW has on them is the tag on the bike. BMW did not make motor did not make the design did not put the thing together.

Still there is nothing wrong the bike. Gust the company that makes them.

tmotten 12 Sep 2009 01:26


Originally Posted by tedmagnum (Post 256588)
Is it for a trip mate ???

The 650's are ok for pottering about the UK on but a pile of unreliable poorly made crap to travel on...

Do a search for low travel bikes. There are HUNDREDS of threads.

Here we go again. Don't listen to Ted. He's a nice bloke but is incapable of changing his opinion when reasonable arguments are put forward. He's never had one, and never comments on the reasonable arguments. :smartass:

It's an awesome bike to take anywhere. The best thing about it is the availability of the info on it. Haynes manual, Chain Gang FAQ, maintenance DVD which even tell you how to split the motor your self, parts fiches on the software your dealer have, electrical diagrams, diagnostic equipment, user mods, the list goes on. If you still have problems with it that have been discussed at lenght....... well. You know where I'm going with this.

The technical info mentioned here is correct though. The Funduro DLbiten mentioned is indeed an Aprillia. Good bike, but now old fashioned. The early GS BM put together themselves (with Rotax's powerplant) had FI issues. Typical BM. They don't test like Yamaha does. Also, BM is useless with aftermarket service in my experience.
The twin spark is what you want IMHO. The later versions are the best with most issues ironed out.
There are also lemons. But ask me about my DRZ400E so called bullitproof bike which is currently at the dealer under warrenty. :offtopic:

bigj 18 Sep 2009 23:08

Hi Paul

Mines a 2007 gs 650
If Vanessa wants to have a go, then she'd be most welcome to take it for a test ride.
I'm assuming the collarbone has healed ok.

Catch up with you soon



mustaphapint 21 Sep 2009 21:23

Hi John
Thanks very much John. That is very kind of you but I think you are a fair distance from us. The collarbone is nearly healed and she's just about ready to ride again although the Harley will be a bit heavy at first. We're off to the local BMW dealer up the Meon valley when we get a free Saturday. Hope your plans are going well. Perhaps we'll catch up at one of the meets.

Lisa Thomas 22 Sep 2009 04:11

go look at this and then tell me F650gs in not good off road!
Hi -
sorry just saw this thread and had to put in my pennies worth!
I have a heavily adapted (but standard engine) F650gs. I have put on it a 21" front rim ( I am way too short for the Dakar at just 5'2") and have so far ridden through 60 countries in 7 years - 80% off road. through the Sahara, the Amazon and Altiplano in Bolivia and now just 6 weeks on the tough off-roads in Mongolia including The Gobi desert.
the bike has over 150,000 miles on it.

this bike can go anywhere and do almost everything...its the rider who will prevent it from going into and through places.

i have never had an engine problem, never had the 'vibrations' at speed that I hear about. it sits well on the motorways at 80mph + fully laden. I have never had any issues with the frame - not so much as a hair-line split despite the roads we take with the weight I carry. and the only maintenance has just been the usual routine stuff like replacing worn parts after so many miles. I have only had 5 fork seals go on me over the last 7 years on the road, the chains and sprockets last me around 10 to 15 K miles.

If you are suffering from vicious handle-bar vibrations then it might be an idea to look at the steering head bearing, the fork oil making sure that both sides are equal and the same weight. or the bolts are properly torqued on both the triple-clamp and fork bridge.

all-in-all I am so impressed with this bike. and cant believe that after all these years and miles that it can be just down to 'luck'. I'm just not that lucky!

go have a look at 2ridetheworld.com if you want any more proof of just how good this bike is.

mustaphapint 22 Sep 2009 22:41

Thanks Lisa. That's quite an enthusiastic endorsement!

Bjorn 25 Sep 2009 08:32

I can second Lisa's opinion. I've done 50000km over the past 15 months. The bike is great.
Only problem really is the rear shock absorber. But from what I hear from other rtw overlanders (on other bikes): rear shocks are a potential problem on rtw trips. (1 friend with a XR250 & 15kg luggage had a shock problem, as well as another friend on a Tenere).
Personally, I'd get the F650 any time again. But I'd fit a new BASIC rear shock (Wilbers/Oehlins). Basic meaning: No fancy adjustments, just a "one-piece" shock, with the spring wound up to your travel weight.

One thing I agree with though: The engine paint isn't the best oon those F650s... Then again, that's only cosmetic anyway. And after such a long trip, I wouldn't want to sell the bike anyway, just for sentimental reasons...

PaulD 6 Oct 2009 03:08

Cape York
We have just completed a trip to Cape Bedow on 2 F650 gs Twins and I must say they went superb, they were both packed to the rafters, and one was 2up, the road conditions were challenging to say the least with some very steep hills as well as miles of corrogations and mixed with heavy sand. I have had a V-Stom 650 before and it was excellent, but this bike has measured up:thumbup1: I will post some photos if I can work out how to do it.
But if you are looking at a good all round bike I would recommend it.


mustaphapint 31 Oct 2009 19:27

Thanks to all who responded to this. We are now the new owners of a 2001 650 GS which we bought this morning from a dealer in Chichester.

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