Used Bike

Buyer Guide: BMW F650 Series

The ultimate buying guide for BMW’s lightweight adventure bike

Click to view: BMW F650 Series owners reviews, specs and image galleries.

Secret identities. Superman had one and so did Hong Kong Phooey. Yes they were a local reporter and a mild mannered janitor, but they were capable of much more besides and hardly anyone knew. And it’s the same story with BMW’s original single cylinder F650 series of bikes. Maybe it’s more a split personality than a secret identity but, whatever you call it, the bike’s got two distinct facets.

First, it’s a practical, reliable, well-finished, usable everyday machine with some of the lowest running costs of any proper-sized motorbike. But it’s also the tool of choice for the hardcore adventure traveller. Where the bulkier, heavier R1150GS and R1200GS can’t really cope with the toughest off road conditions, the more manageable, compact F650 will keep chugging forward. It’s more reliable too. As Colin Luhrs, who owns a 2005 F650GS, says: “If Ewan and Charlie had used F650s they wouldn’t have needed so many back-up trucks”.

Seventy F650 owners took the time to fill in our online survey this month. Thirteen own the original Funduro model, eight the Strada, sixteen the Dakar, six the CS and 27 the GS version. They’ve ridden almost a million miles on their F650s in total. Broadly speaking the F650 can be divided into two groups: the pre-2000 original models, the Funduro and Strada, which have carbs, and the 2000 onwards bikes with fuel injection and the fuel tank under the seat, which are the GS, the Dakar and the CS.

All are overlooked machines – loads of owners had bigger bikes previously, yet they’d fallen for the F650 and ended up keeping it and getting rid of their other bike instead.

A twin-cylinder version was released in 2008 but it’s not included in this guide.

Continue the BMW F650 Series Buyers Guide

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