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BMW F 650 GS Dakar test short

Winner type

Logical: After the impressive win at the Dakar-Cairo, BMW is also marketing its new 650 single-cylinder in a rally look. How much desert flair does the special model have?

Dakar ?? that means sweat, sand, adventure. Thousands upon thousands of kilometers through the hell of the desert. Faces that will age 15 years in three weeks. True heroes. And motorcycles that have to endure more in these three weeks than most machines in their entire career. Because the three-week material battle at the Dakar is incomparable. The ultimate endurance test for gears, wheels, frames, engines. From which BMW emerged as the winner this year and last year. What could be more obvious than to sell these successes for sale, to offer the spirit of adventure for sale to Otto normal enduro riders as well?
Curtain up for the BMW F 650 GS Dakar. Limited to 1000 copies. In contrast to the "normal" F 650 GS exactly 1000 marks more expensive. In return, the customer receives, for example, a nice special paint: aura white with an indicated checkered flag plus Dakar emblem and lettering. BMW goes Hollywood. And technically?
The Dakar is prepared for extremes. With 210 millimeters of spring travel at the front and rear, a high windshield against sand or other storms and hand guards against thorns and bent levers. Well, if you just fall. And in contrast to the more street-oriented GS sister with its nice 19-inch fun bike front tire, the Dakar rolls on a 21-inch wheel with a narrower rim and a tire size that is more suitable for off-road use. The beak ?? sorry ?? the front mudguard was widened and pulled further down ?? because of the longer spring travel.
The rest is identical to the basic model. For all newcomers to the F 650, Model 2000, this means: a single-cylinder four-stroke engine with injection, engine management and a regulated catalytic converter, further developed on the basis of the old F 650 four-valve engine and still manufactured by Bombardier-Rotax. And with a silky smooth run and a maximum torque of over 60 Nm at 5000 rpm. The whole thing without the typical single hacking when accelerating from low speeds. A real advance in single-cylinder construction.
Enough praise. And enough theory. 193 kilograms of desert spirit roll out of the belly of the van on an aluminum rail. Merciless blue sky spans the action, full of sun like in Dakar. Unfortunately not that warm. Two degrees above zero. Luckily ?? it is no joke ?? the Bavarian desert offshoot has heated grips. A short balancing act? With a seat height of 90 centimeters, artistry is required instead of arthritis. The pressure on the starter button is rewarded with a sonorous bubbling from the two silencers. A few more kilometers over a tarred road and then the BMW has mud under its wheels. Rain and snow in the past few days have soaked the slope. The standard mounted Michelin Sirac are mercilessly overwhelmed with this deep mud.
Not the Dakar. Your fat body remains relatively easy to control even on the muddy ground. For the most part a credit to the tank, which is – mainly cheap ?? placed in the frame triangle under the bench. Regardless of whether it is deep grooves or puddles, the homogeneous mix of straight-line stability and handiness is convincing. The load always stays in the targeted direction without appearing stubborn or nervous. Only in comparison with real hardcore enduros does it become clear that the nickname Dakar is more of a decor than a program: the F 650 does not have to be aggressive, its power output is softer, but by no means without pressure. Just like the chassis, this ensures serenity for the driver. Serenity that suits winners.
All is well. As long as the Dakar is on its way relatively quickly. But if the load ends up in deep grooves or soft sand, the fat deposits can be clearly felt. If the BMW gets stuck, you have to push and tear almost 200 kilograms. Just what? The plastic-coated grab handles on the luggage rack are only inadequate. And anyway: Not only long-distance travelers would like its console to be a bit more generous and solid.
Finally tar again under the tires. And a normal F 650 GS as a reference. Crime scene: worst category country road. A string of chilblains, 180-degree turns and changing surfaces. The Dakar rider hovers majestically over the rag rug. The 21-inch front wheel steers nimbly and precisely when cornering. The fork is pleasantly soft and reacts sensitively, guides the bike perfectly on poor ground, while the sister model often loses contact with the ground when accelerating strongly.
The hindquarters are also very comfortable. Clearly: The Dakar has the character of a sedan chair. The driver sits enthroned in a very comfortable seating position? that’s how you want to travel. Relaxed and safe. You can also fully rely on the brakes: easy to adjust and not too snappy. An anti-lock braking system is also not provided as an extra on the Dakar, although the two kilograms would hardly matter.
B.The top speed test remains. The speedometer quickly jumps over the 150 hurdle, and anyone who thinks that the long-legged Dakar model is at a disadvantage compared to its street-oriented sister in terms of top speed is wrong. At 167 km / h, the rally version is even ahead by 1 km / h. Also no commuting and ?? surprisingly ?? not even annoying air turbulence. Well, what works in the desert sand should also be able to handle German highways. Or with the rest of the world. Because: This BMW has what it takes to be a winner. Or to the buddy with whom you drive through thick and thin. With a few liters more tank capacity and a proper luggage rack, the world is at your feet. No matter whether Dakar or Dinkelsbuhl.

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