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BMW F 650 GS endurance test

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With injection, regulated catalytic converter and optional ABS, the F 650 GS caused a sensation in the middle class right from the start. She went on tour with MOTORRAD for a year and a half.

And it was tough: a total of 58 pilots of all stripes whizzed 50,000 kilometers across Europe with the little Bavarian? from the evening drive home to the big trip with luggage and pillion.


It all started in April 2000. First entry in the logbook of the still virgin GS: »Crisp chassis, first-class brakes, agile engine. What more could you want? ”So much for the producer Traut at 800 kilometers. For example, better workmanship, not only editor Monika Schulz thinks: “What a cheap motorcycle! Everything flies away, collapses, "says Moni literally. In concrete terms: the cover on the luggage rack (cost 42.00 marks) evaporates twice. Until fleet coach Gerry Wagner takes on the matter personally and finally seals the bond for life with retrofit reinforcement plates and cable ties. And on the F 650, the mirrors sometimes unintentionally raise their ears while driving.
The single cylinder often proves to be a problem-free tour companion. MOTORRAD onliner Thorsten Dentges hits the Furkapass and is completely satisfied. According to Dentges, only the Touratech boxes (Zega boxes) mounted at a mileage of 3,100 set up in tight bends. No wonder, the aluminum boxes are so spacious that onliner Andy Schulz speculates that care packages should be sent to the northern German homeland of some of our editorial colleagues. Yes, he even calls for the introduction of a species protection law for endangered motorcycles. No need, Andy, after all, the boxes can be dismantled without much fuss. And the original system with Vario cases ordered by MOTORRAD ex works is significantly less bulky. ACTION-TEAM tour guide Dani Lengwenus names the little GS and its suitcases the "ideal Alpine Challenge bike for 100 passes in six days". Test boss Gerhard Lindner agrees: engine, brakes, chassis ?? very first cream.
Even the seating position, which for tall pilots rather provokes a chopper feeling than an enduro feeling, doesn’t change anything. Even with the so-called high bench (overload ex works 92 Marks, unit price 232 Marks), the seat height is quite low and, together with the handlebars positioned high and close to the body, creates an easy-rider feeling that is unusual for Enduro. MOTORRAD travel department head Annette Johann also finds little quotable words for the inadequate protective effect of the front fender. Printable quintessence: "The road is almost dry and you are wet." Retrofittable fenders from various manufacturers promise a remedy. And: problem recognized, problem banned? BMW will soon offer its own solution.
Immediately after the 30,000 inspection, colleague Sascha Zdrahal notices that the clutch is slipping and the automatic cold start of the electronic injection does not start. The F 650 is given new steel plates, friction disks and springs, the cold start thing sort of settles itself. Almost 1000 kilometers later, Gert Thöle spots puddles of oil near the oil pressure sensor, whereupon it is replaced. Enduro tourist Rolf Henniges would love to swap even more to give the »comfortable touring bike« a boost: stronger springs for the shock absorber, more rear damping, digital speedometer with memory function and a luggage rack that deserves its name.
In terms of non-adjustable hand levers that protrude quite a bit for small hands, BMW has now responded and modified the lever shape. This will not only please the readers who, in their numerous correspondence, point out not only positive things but also this penalty. Speaking of letters: At around a third, the proportion of women is unusually high, which is pretty much in line with the sales figures for the six-fifties. At least a third of the approximately 8,500 GS models sold since March 2000 are in female hands.
The little GS apparently feels right at home in them. Graphic designer Katrin Sdun-Heinlein judges: "Ideal curve robber, city companion, country road partner." On the other hand, some others criticize the occasional moody starting behavior, a dying engine and uneven engine running in the partial load range. A colleague who uses the F 650 for a record fuel consumption drive Stuttgart-Herford-Stuttgart has no problems with it. Sensational 7.3 liters of super he lets rush through the injection. Mind you, every hundred kilometers.
Otherwise, the fuel consumption levels off? in accordance with the reader experience ?? to extremely favorable values ​​between 3.8 and 5.3 liters. Passenger and luggage cost around half a liter of freight surcharge. Over the entire test distance, the average is 4.9 liters. The GS consumed exactly the same during the big long-term test drive (issue 16/2000), from Stuttgart over the Alps to Grado in Italy and back. While the equally powerful Kawasaki W 650 draws 90 liters over 1500 kilometers, the cruiser Yamaha Wild Star even draws a blasphemous 104 liters, the GS only sucks 75 liters of high-octane from its unconventionally positioned tank in the rear.
On the subject of high octane: The youngest GS from October 2001 tolerate regular gasoline as standard, copies produced between February and September require a software update from the dealer, costs for models up to August 100 marks, for September versions free of charge. 650s built before February 2001 can be retrofitted with another injection nozzle for around 400 marks.
But back to the long-term fleet test trip. Concise comment from those involved: »Easy to drive, very easy to turn for a single, even usable on the autobahn. No swinging, even at top speed and with the pannier mounted, the GS remains directionally stable. "Only the low suspension and damping reservations of the shock absorber, especially when driving briskly with a pillion passenger, as well as the limited ground clearance when loaded, have met with criticism. On the other hand, ABS and heated grips are worthwhile investments. These extras, which are subject to a surcharge, are ordered by a good 95 percent of the German buyers? and are consistently rated positively in the reader response.
Less positive: the unscheduled stops in the long-distance test marathon. The starter relay hangs at kilometer reading 24050 and is replaced as part of a recall. Otherwise, the 650 series wears two sets of brake pads at the front and two sets of chains, each of which survives 20,000 kilometers. The Metzeler Tourance and Pirelli MT 80 tires, which have to be changed every 12,000 kilometers and both get good grades in terms of grip, don’t last quite as long. Oil consumption? Practically not measurable, only the oil control is problematic. Overly cautious people tip the GS half a liter too much into the easily accessible filler neck.
There were few surprises at the end of the kilometer marathon: Measured values ​​at the starting level, both engine and driving performance, already suggested something good and are even topped after dissection. A consistently good to excellent condition of the engine internals make the F 650 GS look brilliant. Almost all of the components still have their installation dimensions – not a matter of race for large-volume single cylinders in view of the mileage and a sign of the high degree of maturity of the unit.
L.Only one gear wheel of the fourth gear forces a replacement due to the beginning of pitting and the exhaust valve seats, which are marked by scorch marks, should be reground. Otherwise, the single cylinder manufactured by Rotax can be reassembled without further ado. This means that the F 650 has the very best prerequisites for tackling large and small tours under a new owner in the future. Conclusion: With the small GS, BMW has put a cleverly made, stable all-round enduro on the wheels, which with its agile nature promises pure driving fun from city slalom to alpine pass.

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BMW F 650 GS endurance test
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BMW comments…

…Due to our inquiry from the repairing dealer, the clutch was not worn, but rather slipped shortly after the 30,000-kilometer inspection. This is likely due to the use of a semi-synthetic oil (synthetic oils contain friction reducers); we recommend using mineral oil of specification SH and earlier, 15W-40. Wear at this mileage is not known … to the leaky water coolerLeaking cooler due to hairline cracks could occasionally occur. Exchange within the scope of the warranty …. for the defective starter relay From September 2000 the diode relays were exchanged free of charge because of this error …. for engine failures, too high idling speed, problematic starting behavior Various influences can come together here. Our dealers have been informed about the various measures in circulars. It is important that when the engine is restarted there are at least seven seconds between the ignition off / on in order to enable the idle actuator to be adjusted via the control electronics … to the leaking oil pressure switch The oil pressure switch has been improved from calendar week 24/2001 … . to the folding exterior mirror The material of the ball socket of the mirror has been changed and stiffened …. to the inadequate fastening of the storage compartment lid The lid has been changed so that the key can only be removed when it is locked in order to rule out operating errors. In addition, sheet metal angles were attached to stiffen the rear section … for pitting on the gearwheel of the fourth gear The pitting found is harmless. We are not aware of any failures (also from long-term tests). Nevertheless, the machining of the gears has been optimized.

Reading experiences

On March 17th I took delivery of a new F 650 GS, and on the same day I had to file a complaint. The entire fairing was put on at an angle, the left indicator is about. an inch lower than the right one. In addition, the frame on the fork legs was rusty. During the first inspection, the rust was removed with dabbing paint, according to BMW nothing could be done about the gap dimensions and the crooked stem. In May I then complained about six rust spots on the main frame. I would like to point out that the machine is in a heated workshop and is usually only driven when the weather is good. I have never seen such a badly finished machine that rusts from day one. In addition, when loaded, the GS has a tendency to pendulum on gravel and ruts on the motorway that I don’t know from other motorcycles. I am 39 years old and have been riding a motorcycle for 21 years, and my conclusion is: never again BMW! Dieter Grunert, Dortmund After two BMW boxers and a Moto Guzzi Le Mans III, after ten years of abstinence from mopeds, I bought the little one in April 2001 GS for re-entry. The low seat height, a relaxed seating position, playful handling and the smooth-running engine inspire again and again. Consumption never exceeded five liters per 100 kilometers. Even with two people and luggage on a brisk country road trip, 4.9 l / 100km was the end of it. Later I mounted a carbon fiber fender from Wunderlich over the front wheel in order to master the rising water masses when driving in the rain. There is a very nice, but also critical fan base on the Internet at www.f650-forum.de. Peter Kilian, Frechen In February of this year I got a ten-month-old F 650 GS Dakar with a mileage of 1400 at at dealer I bought kilometers and have driven a good 8,000 km since then. I only find the wind noise from around 100 km / h annoying. The Dakar’s chassis is optimally designed for all kinds of country roads and is not overwhelmed even on holiday trips with luggage. At 6400 km, the radiator on the upper left mounting bracket leaked. Since the one-year guarantee had already expired, I had to submit a goodwill application. BMW took over the new radiator and half the wages, so I got away with repair costs of 150 marks. My conclusion: The Dakar is the best motorcycle I have ever owned. Michael Mergner, Beckum Up until now I have been 6,030 kilometers on the GS on road. Never a problem. Handy without end. As reliable as anything. The case system is impeccable. Lots of space and not at all sensitive to wind. The 50 hp are fully sufficient, from 2500 revs the post goes off. On the autobahn, the lack of wind protection is a bit annoying, which could be due to my height of 1.87 meters. Thomas Brandies, Tübingen I have covered 15,000 kilometers in all weathers and, as the "sunny side" of the little BMW, I can appreciate the excellent road holding, the great draft and They list low consumption as well as their ABS and the perfect luggage system , but everything takes a back seat when my motorcycle is often in the workshop and I have to accept registration deadlines of three weeks (BMW branch in Munich) in the summer months. In addition, the "downsides" are numerous: Defective heated handle – guarantee. During the 10,000-kilometer inspection, only the rear brake pads were exchanged, but the cost was 500 marks! The cooler leaked – guarantee. After 16,000 kilometers the chain was worn and the engine often died. As a result, the electronics were readjusted and a new chain was installed: 480 marks. At the moment, two months after the warranty expired, my motorcycle is in the workshop with a defective rear wheel bearing and oil loss on the engine. I have the dull feeling that the F 650 GS is not made for 17,000 kilometers a year. Philipp Yu, Pfaffenhofen I think the handling of the GS is great. It is versatile and, above all, totally comfortable. Unfortunately, the processing leaves a lot to be desired in some places, that is not Bavarian at all and a shame. I can recommend her to everyone. The case system in particular receives high praise.Britta Kaiser, TammI have been riding my little GS for over a year now and I am very satisfied. However, I often have to shift gears, it doesn’t want to be driven at low revs. It then happened on a tour of Slovenia: My GS could no longer be parked. The key was removed, the fuse was out, but it kept trying to start again. Later I heard about the callback at home about the relay for the starter. The consumption is great, I can travel 320 kilometers in any case. Jacking up on the main stand is, however, a major effort for me. Ilona Lobinger, Passau At the end of 2000 my F 650 GS, one of the first lowered ones in Switzerland, was delivered. Until mid-August 2001 I had driven 17,000 kilometers. With my height of 1.60 meters, the F 650 GS is ideal, but the machine also needs a front wheel cover, otherwise you quickly look like a motocross driver on a wet road. I also installed hand protectors and the high Dakar screen. Unfortunately my GS suffered two damage. When the mileage was 14,000, the water pump seal was defective, but was exchanged as a goodwill gesture. 1000 kilometers later the radiator broke and was also repaired free of charge. Andrea Höch, Greppen CH My ambiguous experience with the BMW began in June 2000. Even when it was new, the engine did not run properly and kept going off. As a result, the engine software was swapped a total of four times until the single ran reasonably well. At 2800 km the diode relays for the starter were on. This was followed by the recall campaign because of the rear swing arm. 400 kilometers later there was so much gasoline in the oil that the oil tank overflowed while driving. The engine was examined at BMW. No result found. Then in June the first big tour. Everything went smoothly for two days until three front wheel spokes broke in Italy. An eight in the front wheel and the failure of the ABS, the speedometer and the odometer were the result. The front wheel was swapped at 5487 km. 500 kilometers later, four spokes said goodbye again. The front rim was then replaced. The instrument panel, cockpit and add-on parts cannot be attached even when re-assembled. In ten months, the GS had to go to the workshop around ten unscheduled times: Jürgen Wieser, Bietigheim

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