Test BMW F 650 GS

Test BMW F 650 GS

Meister Proper

With injection and a catalytic converter, the remodeled bestseller F 650 GS not only drives clean, but also clean. Into the hearts of environmentally conscious fundurists.

The plan was good. And it worked: shortly before its market launch, the F 650 GS was made a member of the BMW GS clan with a Dakar victory for the sports version.


Now the series Funduro is preparing to set standards in the entry-level and advanced-level class with innovative technology. The essential key data compared to the predecessor built since 1993 remained largely the same: one cylinder, 652 cubic meters, 19-inch tires at the front, 17 inches at the rear, moderate spring travel, low seat height ?? the GS, which weighs 201 kilograms, is more of a street sweeper than an aardvark.
The bodywork seems more wiry than before? underneath, it really gets down to business: the offspring from the BMW plant in Berlin is the first series single ever to be supplied with electronic injection as standard and releases its exhaust gases through a regulated catalytic converter.
To check the conclusiveness of the unique concept, the little GS is allowed to escape frosty Germany and sniff the spring air around the sunny Lake Garda.
Departure. Where’s the choke? Doesn’t exist anymore – electronic management takes over. Lo and behold, the single, which has been further developed on the basis of the previous F 650 engine from Rotax and BMW, runs smoothly. The downdraft throttle valve, together with the compression of 11.5: 1, which is extremely high for a single cylinder, should enable an increase in power and torque across the entire speed range.
This is not only confirmed by the performance curve, but also in practice: if the unit of the previous model allowed itself a noticeable art break under 3000 revs, the music on the new one starts playing from 2000 revolutions. Gone are the chain whipping or the hard metal »chack« of the dying engine, which sometimes punished shift lazy people in tricky situations. Instead, the well-behaved single pushes out of tight bends with a bubbling resting heart rate, even if the pilot slept through the downshift beforehand.
It gets furious from 4000 tours when the redesigned cylinder head seems to remember its borrowings from the sports heart of the BMW M3 and lets the gas column swing happily. Hold the cables tight, and whoosh, the four-valve, real 52 hp power plant quickly works its way towards the limiter. In between, it shovels 65 Newton meters onto the crankshaft.
Heavy vibrations, ambush-like performance? Nothing. Meister Propers drive impresses with its gentle, but certain power, as the brilliant acceleration and pulling power prove. In pairs, the GS does the sprint between 120 and 140 over five seconds faster than the previous model. Only the long shift travel of the gearbox causes dark spots on the sparkling white vest of the six-fifties.
The dipped beam also has a spotty effect: although it is bright in the near field, does it run out of breath in the distance? the brilliant high beam goes better with the friendly nature of the F 650 GS.
The acoustics are also polite: distinguished potters from the two stainless steel pots mixed with shy sips from the airbox under the dummy tank, which also houses the oil and cooling water reservoir.
But where is the tank? A legitimate question, because the 17-liter plastic bladder dodged – unconventionally, but favorably in the center – into the triangle of the new tubular bridge frame. At a brisk country road pace, a load of Super must be bunkered again at the earliest after about 300 kilometers.
The chassis plays along when looking for curves. Like an honest word among friends, the tightly muffled Showa 41 fork provides information about the topography of the road surface. No trace of soft, soft, softie attitude ?? here, as well as on the rear shock absorber, the Bavarian style is hearty.
Those who need higher and harder can lose themselves over a spectrum of 40 clicks with the hand wheel for the hydraulic spring preload and the continuously adjustable rebound stage. Practical in pillion operation, for which the Berliner with a Bavarian passport is optimally equipped in terms of space and suspension. But even on its own, a lifted rear does not harm, agility and lean angle benefit noticeably – now the junior GS rushes around the corner even more greedily, only giving out a little slap on short heels.
The F was already able to prove on the highway-heavy journey that it can run straight ahead up to the top speed of 166 km / h and only provides moderate wind protection. Now you need to tilt. And it is offered: only later do the footrests perpetuate themselves in the Italian asphalt. You don’t even need a tar blanket from Babypo – even the weather-beaten pass roads around Lake Garda are greedily devoured by the 19-inch front wheel.
If necessary, the ABS-controlled braking system converts the momentum into heat. It operates with digital instead of analog control, as with the big sisters: cost 980 marks. Pressure point exactly. When fully gripping the front wheel, which is delayed by the solo disc, squeaks briefly before the control ?? recognizable by the slightly pulsing brake lever ?? intervenes. A fork stabilizer counteracts twisting. At the rear, the intervals are longer because of the low wheel load, but the deceleration is still easy to control.
Spring-like temperatures and a quick espresso in the street café make you high-spirited and lure you onto a gravel pass. Switch off ABS at the push of a button, and off you go: standing in the notches attached a little too close to the frame, the driver strives towards the top. The standard Pirelli MT 80 play along, only when a rocky stream crossing is pending, the road-oriented compromise tires literally stand across. In addition, the aluminum engine guard wins the duel with a rebellious Wackerstein, but announces the completely used up ground clearance with unsightly noises.
So back on the street and off to the hotel, the hot shower calls. The tester’s back hurts a little after a long day, as a result of the not one hundred percent orthopedically correct sitting position on the flat, thinly padded standard bench. For people over 1.70 meters, the so-called “high” bench is emphatically placed under the very best: the back and its extension will thank you.
Incidentally, BMW has a lowering chassis, seat height 73 centimeters, ready for very little people. In addition, a case system with variable volume (20 to 30 liters), hand protectors, a high windshield and an on-board computer can be ordered.
A.Even in the almost complete basic configuration, the F 650 GS can look forward to sparkling clean heights.

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