Family duel: BMW G 650 GS versus F 650 GS
BMW G 650 GS or F 650 GS?
BMW offers two alternatives: G 650 GS and F 650 GS, not just for (re) beginners, but for anyone looking for an uncomplicated motorcycle for everyday use. The difference between the two motorcycles is bigger than one letter suggests.
BMW G 650 GS and F 650 GS in comparison
D.As names are smoke and mirrors, you know at BMW from the car division, where, for example, the 520 and 528 have a two-liter four-cylinder under the hood. The two-wheeler division has also mastered the art of fogging tactics. It’s just the other way around. F 650 and G 650 adorn themselves with the same displacement designation, but have completely different engines. The letter makes the difference. F stands for a slightly throttled, water-cooled in-line two-cylinder from the F 800 with, you guessed it, 800 cubic meters. The G-model is powered by a single-cylinder made by Loncin in China. That means one cylinder against two, 650 cubic against 800, 48 HP against 71. Or also: around 7000 euros against 8100 for the basic versions. Formally, the relationship between the two can be seen straight away. But how big are the differences in practice??
At first, when sitting up, it can be considerable. The G embeds its rider four centimeters closer to the asphalt. Its narrow-waisted seat ensures pleasant, intimate contact with the motorcycle. The uncomfortable bathtub-like seat recess of its predecessor – the G 650 was already part of the range as the F 650 until 2007 – which lowered the driver four centimeters, has now been significantly reduced. Although the seating position is still rather passive, the driver feels as though they are sitting in the motorcycle. If even drivers with 1.70 meters once felt too big for the F, now 180 cm pilots can handle it.
Even the single cylinder is of an extremely powerful nature.
The F 650, on the other hand, looks more stately. Not only because of the 40 millimeter higher seat height; The seat bench and dummy tank are also a bit wider. Both follow the starter’s wake-up call without hesitation. The first gears rest cleanly; The G 650 has the smoother clutch. Neither of the two has hand protectors, at least the hand brake lever of the F can be adjusted.
The single cylinder of the G 650 gets going with confidence. Its 48 hp are extremely good in the drilling. The single moves forward smoothly at just over 2000 rpm. It scrubs through the rev range with a lively effect, supported by its short gear ratio. The small LCD tachometer is pretty difficult to read. Which is a shame, because the single is not afraid of high speeds. On the contrary, he willingly turns to the limit and develops a remarkable temperament at the top.
The F 650 GS with two cylinders and 800 cubic meters.
He cannot completely hide his single existence, but the vibrations that are still present are far from disturbing. Only from 5000 rpm does it tingle more in the handlebars and pegs. So everything is fine up to a speed of 120, the engine hangs cleanly on the gas, and you hardly feel really underpowered in everyday life. Even if overtaking maneuvers have to be timed more carefully than on the more powerful F 650. As expected, the increase in displacement and performance ensures the necessary aplomb, which is sometimes needed for trips with two people.
Whereby the performance advantage is not so much apparent at low speeds, but more noticeable from medium speeds. From 4500 rpm the twin clearly pulls ahead of the single. Especially since the single-cylinder G can only throw a very small weight advantage into the field. Whether overtaking maneuvers or a quick uphill sprint, the F 650 does it confidently, the gear changes take place smoothly and safely, whereby the revving pleasure decreases again from 8000 rpm. But as directly as the G 650, which is also ahead in terms of load changes, it does not depend on the gas.
Even when swinging over small country lanes, the little one can collect some more points in the chapter on handiness. Which was astonishing at first. Because in paper form it is only seven kilograms lighter, rolls on the same tires and even has the longer caster and flatter steering head angle. But also ten centimeters less wheelbase. Whatever the case, the G 650 waves lightly through the country. Naturally falls into an inclined position and does not stand up a bit when braking.
The spring preload, which can be adjusted by handwheel, is an exemplary solution (left: G 650 GS; right: F 650 GS).
The softly tuned spring elements respond very sensitively, but the G also seems a little nervous when tilted. The spring strut operated via deflection only has a rather weak rebound stage damping, even with the adjusting screw completely closed, the rear rocks happily on bumps. There is also no feedback from the front wheel. But driving at an angle that is too inclined sets limits at least in left-hand bends by the jib of the side stand that touches down. Ultimately, that doesn’t change the easy-going, problem-free character of the G-Model.
The F 650, on the other hand, masters the jungle of corners in a more serene and confident manner. In terms of handiness, it cannot hold a candle to the G 650. But it hits the corners much more precisely. And even if your fork doesn’t respond as neatly as the G’s, it still pulls its path more stoically and lies richer on the asphalt. Whereby the damping of the rebound movement of the directly hinged strut is almost too much of a good thing. Even with the adjusting screw fully open, the tail only rebounds very slowly. Nevertheless, the G conveys closer contact with the road and looks more adult. Which of course also has to do with the more relaxed ergonomics. There is agreement on the subject of brakes. Both rely on a brake disc in the front wheel – in both cases an only moderately satisfactory solution.
Assuming a proper handshake, sufficient delay can be squeezed out of the F system. However, the pressure point is crumple and the controllability is only average. The brake of the G grips a little more spontaneously and more forcefully with little manual force. However, if it is properly challenged, it no longer increases in effectiveness according to the increasing hand strength and leaves a somewhat dull impression.
After all, in both cases the ABS regulates safely to a standstill, that of the G even a bit more confidently. On the other hand, there is joy when you stop for fuel, especially with the G-pilot. With 3.4 liters, the single-cylinder sips even more cautiously than the already economical F. With 4.0 liters, both stages allow around 400 kilometers without refueling, which in the case of the F thanks to better running smoothness, slightly better wind protection and lower speed level also like to be allowed to take the motorway.
The G 650 GS is a problem-free, handy companion for everyday use, commuting to work and weekend trips. Your single cylinder is powerful and economical. However, for those who like to ride longer stages for two and want more power, the 1100 Euro surcharge for the F 650 GS is well invested. Both should brake more resolutely.
Data and measured values
The BMW G 650 GS and F 650 GS are two cultivated representatives of their class.
|BMW G 650 GS||BMW F 650 GS|
|type design||Single cylinder four-stroke engine||Two-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine|
|injection||Ø 43 mm||Ø 46 mm|
|coupling||Multi-disc oil bath clutch||Multi-disc oil bath clutch|
|Boron x stroke||100.0 x 83.0 mm||82.0 x 75.6 mm|
|Displacement||652 cm3||798 cm3|
|compression||11.5: 1||12.0: 1|
|power||35.0 kW (48 hp) at 6500 rpm||52.0 kW (71 hp) at 7000 rpm|
|Torque||60 Nm at 5000 rpm||75 Nm at 4500 rpm|
|BMW G 650 GS||BMW F 650 GS|
|frame||Bridge frame made of steel|
Steel tubular frame,
measurements and weight
|BMW G 650 GS||BMW F 650 GS|
|wheelbase||1477 mm||1575 mm|
|Steering head angle||61.9 degrees||64.5 degrees|
|trailing||113 mm||97 mm|
|Front / rear suspension travel||170/165 mm||180/170 mm|
|Seat height||790-820 mm||830 mm|
|Weight with a full tank||198 kg||215 kg|
|Payload||182 kg||221 kg|
|Tank capacity||14.0 liters||16.0 liters|
|Service intervals||10,000 km||10,000 km|
|price||6990 euros||8,100 euros|
|Price test motorcycle||7.712 euros **||9.567 euros ***|
|Additional costs||269 euros||269 euros|
|BMW G 650 GS||BMW F 650 GS|
|Top speed *||170 km / h||189 km / h|
|Acceleration 0-100 km / h||5.1 sec||4.3 sec|
|0-140 km / h||11.3 sec||8.2 sec|
|Pulling 60-100 km / h||5.7 sec||5.0 sec|
|100-140 km / h||7.5 sec||6.3 sec|
|140-180 km / h||–||10.0 sec|
|Consumption highway||3.4 liters / super||4.0 liters normal|
|Reach country road||412 km||400 km|
Performance BMW G 650 GS and F 650 GS.
The two-cylinder develops real temperament from 4500 rpm, the single-cylinder releases its power nicely and evenly, pleasing with good concentricity at low speeds, the more spontaneous response and great revving. But overall, the twin acts, as expected, more sovereign.
* Manufacturer information; ** ABS with hazard warning lights 404 euros, heated grips 197 euros, main stand 212 euros; *** ABS 717 euros, heated grips 197 euros, on-board computer 146 euros, main stand 121 euros, LED indicators (96 euros), case holder 190 euros.
Price comparison BMW F650GS and BMW G650GS
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Many used BMW travel enduros are already equipped with accessories.
The sisters BMW F 650 GS and G 650 GS represent their reputation as reliable motorcycles for everyone on the used market very well if you consider their stable price. However, the selection is diverse and you will find many copies that are already equipped with accessories. Here is a current overview of used BMW F 650 GS and G 650 GS: used BMW F650GS and G650GS in Germany.
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