First Ride: 2002 BMW F650CS

I wasn't sure about the styling of BMW's new baby the F650CS when I first saw it, but the style loving Italians loved it. Wherever I parked the BMW in and around the launch city of Florence it drew admiring glances and comments.

Posted: 29 March 2008
by Ian Cobby

I wasn't sure about the styling of BMW's new baby the F650CS when I first saw it, but the style loving Italians loved it.  Wherever I parked the BMW in and around the launch city of Florence it drew admiring glances and comments, well I guess they were positive comments as my Italian only goes as far as Tiramasu! If the looks didn't attract attention the induction roar did, this is probably the only bike I've ridden where the  intake howls is louder than the exhaust!

I think BMW are trying to create a new niche for this model.  I reckon it will appeal to riders trading up from a scooter who need something practical around town. Light, nimble and able to carry much more luggage than a convential bike and more importantly, to fashion conscious youngsters, bags of funky chic. To compliment the wacky styling the normally constrained Germans have come up with some weird colour combinations - metallic gold with a hint of blue and metallic blue with a hint of gold, the third colourway is baby blue. Other details that are worthy of a mention are the translucent rubber grab handles/luggage rack and the handles on the dummy tank for use by the pillion should the need arise for some heavy braking - no more head butting the rider.

The other group of riders the F650CS could be aimed at are new to biking commuters who don't like the idea of a scooter, but need the freedom and convenience of a two wheeler.
BMW reckon 40% of sales will be from people who aren't even bikers.  I might be totally wrong, I think it should appeal to existing bikers. 

The CS is certainly happy in town with its low seat height (30.7" or even lower as an option of 29.5") and high handlebars, it has a real 'sit in' feel about it. The positioning of the footrests create a very relaxed riding position which means prolonged periods in the saddle pass without aches or numbness.  The BMW has a fair turn of speed for a 650 single,- 200kph on the speedo which equates to around 120-125mph, so it's not just a town/city bike you could go scratching around your favourite twisties or  touring and you could easily convert your bike to suit your needs. In fact the steering is so quick that I found myself turning in too quickly and having to pick the bike up and tip in again! There is very little physical effort required to change direction - just think about the corner that's approaching and you're round it in an instant.



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