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Comparison test: BMW F 650/700 GS

Botox in Bavarian – BMW F 650 GS and F 700 GS

They pulled the lines from her face. With a tightened skin and a few additional gimmicks, the revised mid-range GS is now vying for buyers. But what can it really do better than its predecessor??

Please do not be misled. The Bavarians are not so specific about the cubic capacity in the model name. BMW’s new scooter, called the C 600, is accelerated by a 649 cubic engine. In the course of this cubical deception, the former is called F. 650 GS now F 700 GS, even though it had an 800 cubic engine from the start. OK, everything fine? Marketing strategy? In any case, 700 is immediately recognizable for everyone as a synonym for a facelift of the 650, a common measure that is given to tried and tested models in order to make them more attractive to buyers. And – as in this case – to appear in the press. And here we are now. MOTORCYCLE underground parking, dim light, a modest 18 degrees. To get a better feel for the 700, a 650 will accompany the test. The two nestle against each other like an oil sardine. The first and biggest conspicuous feature is the double disc brake on the 700, the front paneling of which is also more pleasing because it looks more delicate. Their design language is softer, the beak has turned into a beacon. The asymmetrical headlights, however, have remained. But let’s take a look at the portfolio of the BMW two-wheeler division: almost all bikes have this sleepy look, even when they are wide awake. It has to be company philosophy.

Comparison test: BMW F 650/700 GS

Botox in Bavarian – BMW F 650 GS and F 700 GS

Markus Jahn

Softer lines, delicate beak – the new one looks more pleasing.

Out of town, up on the house track. Both motorcycles behave almost identically in fast alternating curves. They can be tilted with little effort, even in extreme areas steering corrections are always possible. Although: One would almost think that the 700 series rolling on Bridgestone BW 501 and 502 is a "Muggasaggele" (Swabian: mosquito sack, the smallest possible unit of measurement of the southern Germans) gives in better than its older sister, which is covered with Metzeler Tourance EXP. This effect is less due to the tires and could also have something to do with the reduction in fork travel. Bayern cut it from 180 to 170 millimeters. AT changed lag is the result. But even here in the thicket of curves on the house route, the 700 has no advantage in terms of performance. What wonder: The MOTORRAD test bench attests to both models exactly 71 HP at almost identical speed. True, the new one "at Muggasaggele" more pressure in the middle speed range – strictly speaking, we’re talking about plus two Newton meters here – but this has hardly any effect on maximum acceleration. The small plus in torque over the entire speed range, in conjunction with the slightly reduced secondary ratio, has a positive effect on the pulling power: if you fully open the shower at 100 km / h in sixth gear, the 700 series only needs 5.3 seconds, up to 140 km / h on the speedometer. Your predecessor takes 1.1 seconds longer to do this. That may not be decisive for the war, but it shows how the technicians have fine-tuned the details. Much more important is the overall harmony of the vehicle concept. And that’s just right. This also applies to slowing down.

Markus Jahn

The double disc brake system of the F 700 GS offers significantly more reserves under high loads.

Braking from 100 km / h: The 700 now has a double disc brake at the front, delays are supported by the current ABS II, which can no longer be selected as an option, but is now part of the basic equipment. Tea pressure point is a little clearer on the 700, the braking effect is better: after 39 meters the new one stops, the 650 can be rolled 1.65 meters further under identical conditions. A value that, in extreme cases, decides whether to junkyard or continue driving. But not only have the ability to dose and the effect been optimized with the second disc, the stability is also improved. Fading occurred on the 650 brake system after eight consecutive forced braking; this effect was completely alien to the discs and saddles of the 700. Speaking of safety: the safety package available for the 700 (690 euros surcharge) includes tire pressure monitoring and a slimmed-down version of the electronically adjustable ESA chassis as well as traction control. It is questionable whether that makes sense with a motorcycle like the F 700 GS and its relatively modest performance. And in the ESA version used in the F models, only the rebound stage of the shock absorber is changed. Three settings can be selected: Comfort, Normal and Sport. The rebound speed of the shock absorber is varied.

Markus Jahn

Softer, more comfortable and with a seat recess for the driver. The pillion now sits better on the BMW F 700 GS.

In practice, drivers who like to switch from strolling mode to sporty gallop are particularly happy about this: In the sport setting, the rear does not rock as much as in normal or even the relatively soft comfort mode. For pillion use or when traveling with a lot of luggage, the spring base still has to be changed using a handwheel. Get off and crank it up.

Finally, the financial: The base price of the 700 is 8750 euros. Although the 650 was available from 8100 euros, it had no double disc brakes and no standard ABS (surcharge: 717 euros). Seen in this way, the additional price is a gain. A little tip for the next update: The designation F 750 GS is still available.

ABS as standard plus double disc brakes are steps in the right direction. The price increase compared to the 650 is relatively modest, because the F 700 GS is better than its predecessor in all areas and also shines with a few technical improvements. Due to the available special equipment such as lowering and low seat (seat height then 765 millimeters), it is also interesting for smaller pilots. The optional electronic chassis ESA is not very useful, but only costs a small extra charge.

Technical specifications


Performance of the BMW F 700/650 GS.

Tea shortened secondary gear ratio is hardly noticeable in terms of speed, as can be seen in the diagram on the left.

Although the manufacturer specifies 75 hp for the new one, MOTORRAD could not prove an increase in performance. But the new one has more torque in the medium speed range. (Power on the crankshaft. Measurements on the Dynojet roller test stand 250, corrected according to 95/1 / EC, maximum possible deviation ± 5%)

type design Two-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine Two-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine
injection Ø 46 mm Ø 46 mm
coupling Multi-disc oil bath clutch Multi-disc oil bath clutch
Boron x stroke 82.0 x 75.6 mm 82.0 x 75.6 mm
Displacement 798 cm3 798 cm3
compression 12.0: 1 12.0: 1
power 52.0 kW (71 hp)
at 7000 rpm
55.0 kW (75 PS)
at 7300 rpm
Torque 75 Nm at 4500 rpm 77 Nm at 5300 rpm

landing gear frame Steel tubular frame, engine is load-bearing Steel tubular frame, engine is load-bearing fork Telescopic fork, Ø 41 mm Telescopic fork, Ø 41 mm Brakes front / rear Single disc brake Ø 300 mm / single disc brake, Ø 265 mm Double disc brake, Ø 300 mm / single disc brake, Ø 265 mm Systems assistance SECTION SECTION bikes 2.50 x 19; 3.50 x 17 2.50 x 19; 3.50 x 17 tires 110/80 R 19; 140/80 R 17 110/80 19; 140/80 17 Tires Metzeler Tourance EXP, front "B" Bridgestone, front BW 501 "G", rear BW 502 "G"

Dimensions + weights wheelbase 1575 mm  1562 mm  Steering head angle 64 degrees 64 degrees trailing 97 mm 95 mm Front / rear suspension travel 180/170 mm 170/170 mm Seat height ** 830 mm 830 mm Weight with full tank ** 215 kg 218 kg Payload ** 221 kg 218 kg Tank capacity 16.0 / 4.0 liters 16.0 / 4.0 liters Service intervals 10,000 km 10,000 km price 8,100 euros 8750 euros Price test motorcycle 9.584 euros 10,086 euros Additional costs 390 euros 390 euros

MOTORCYCLE readings Top speed * 189 km / h 192 km / h acceleration 0-100 km / h 4.4 sec 4.3 sec 0-140 km / h 8.2 sec 8.2 sec Draft 60-100 km / h 5.0 sec 4.6 sec 100-140 km / h 6.4 sec 5.3 sec 140-180 km / h 10.0 sec 9.7 sec Consumption highway 3.9 liters 3.9 liters Reach country road 410 km 410 km

* Manufacturer information; ** MOTORCYCLE measurements

ESA: electronic shock absorber


The Comfort, Normal and Sport settings can be selected using a rocker switch on the handlebar. An electronically controlled stepper motor (blue) adjusts the rebound of the shock absorber.

For the F 700 GS and F 800 GS, BMW offers an inexpensive ESA variant as special equipment. Is that recommended?

Tea electronically adjustable chassis, ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) for short, is a great thing. BMW was a pioneer in this area. An ESA system is used in the manufacturer’s premium models, in which the chassis can be adjusted to almost all load and driving conditions with just a few push of a button. Regardless of whether it is a solo or pillion ride, with or without luggage, sporty ambitious or a tourist roll – a push of the button is enough and the shock absorbers are adapted to the driver’s wishes. At lightning speed, the rebound damping and spring stiffness are changed at the front and rear. This technology costs 687 euros extra for the R 1200 GS with its two spring struts. With the ESA of the F 700 GS, only the rebound stage of the shock absorber is adjusted using a stepper motor (surcharge individually: 290 euros). However, this system also makes perfect sense for drivers who are occasionally sporty, because the quick change from the comfort or normal to the sport setting causes the rear to swing much less and the machine is more stable. A combined adjustment with the fork would be desirable here, but this is technically extremely complex.

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