BMW F650GS - A Quickie
By Rob Harris

One of our staffers came across some information on the new BMW F650GS from the UK. Although the official launch is not until February, some information and official pictures have leaked out and into the sordid world of CMG.

The F650GS (shown left) will be a replacement to the F650ST and most excellent Funduro (introduced in '93), although the ST version will be phased out once all remaining stocks have been sold. It will be available in two versions: The F650GS and the F650GS GD (shown above) or "Dakar", in celebration of BMW's win at the '99 Granada-Dakar rally with their heavily adapted F650RR.

The new bike will be built in Berlin with a new motor (developed by BMW in conjunction with Rotax), which is also a DOHC 4 valved single, displacing 652cc. The motor now comes with fuel injection however, along with a three stage catalytic converter, both of which BMW are just positively chuffed about. Claimed maximum horsepower is a very respectable 50hp (@ 6,500rpm) with a peak torque of 60Nm coming in at 5000 rpm. All this translates to a top speed of around 165Km/h.

The new generation F650 motor. Direct downward intake port allows for smooth air flow and uses traditional tank location as air box.

In order to provide a low centre of gravity and a straight as possible inlet tract to the new motor, the airbox is located under a dummy tank, with the actual gas tank (17.3 litre capacity) now being located under the seat. The dummy tank also incorporates the oil reservoir for the dry sump motor, the coolant reservoir, all the electrical gubbins and ... why the hell not ... yes, the battery.

Brakes front and rear are of the disc style and the front suspension stays telescopic.

Some options are available. The standard seat height is 780 mm with an optional lowering kit available to make a shorty arsed 750 mm seat height, or indeed an optional highering (?) kit to raise the seat to a lanky arsed 820 mm. And it's also available in yellow or black.

There's also an option of BMW's very handy ABS system. This is not the usual BMW system however, utilising a digital process and valve management system as opposed to the the plunger system used on other models. I don't know what I'm talking about so the chances are you don't either, but it sounds very 'interesting' anyway (raise one eyebrow and rub forefinger repeatedly across your lower lip). Oh yeah, and apparently this system can be turned off if so desired, for off road use or lavish stoppies and luxurious rear wheel slides.

New F650GS follows styling cues of big brother R1150GS with R1100S under seat exhaust system.

The exhaust system borrows some design cues off the R1100S by locating dual mufflers directly under the seat. This has the benefit of a slender rear end (no lardy arse here) and the optional rear bags can now both have the same capacity - none of that cut out to make way for the pipe as found on some (less thought out) models. While we're on the subject of bags, there's two sizes available - 20 litre and 30 litre capacity, just in case you were wondering.

Other available options include a 31 litre top case, hand protectors, heated grips, handlebar safety guard (whatever that is), tall windshield and engine guards.

Oh, oh, but what about the Dakar version???? BMW's tribute to the F650RR that won the Granadar-Dakkar race, this variant comes with a white & chequered paint job and the word "Dakar" painted on the side panels. It's been adapted for greater off road usability with a large 21" front wheel, longer suspension travel, tall 870mm seat height, hand protectors, tall windshield and knobbier tires.

Prices and Canadian colour options for Canada have not yet been set. Specs below are for the non Dakar version.

Information and pictures shown have been confirmed to be from the official press CD by BMW staff.






652 cc

Engine type

Liquid-cooled DOHC four-stroke single


Digital Fuel Injection

Final drive

Five-speed, chain final drive

Tires, front

100/90 - 19 57 S

Tires, rear

130/80 - 17 65 S

Brakes, front

Single 300 mm discs with two-piston calipers

Brakes, rear

Single 240 mm disc with single piston caliper

Seat height

780 mm (optional taller and shorter seats)


1479 mm

Wet weight

193 kg

Available colours

Titanium Blue Metallic, Red, Mandarin Yellow



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