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Can someone explain the BMW f ## GS

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by ibast, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. first of all why call it the f650gs? I can't see how that is going to do them any favours. It is just going to promote ignorance and confusion.

    Secondly what is the difference between the f650GS and the f800GS? I assumed the 800 but I can't see anything that really supports that.

    Has BMW marketing lost the plot?
  2. The current F650GS is actually a 798cc twin producing about 71ps, the current F800GS is actually a 798cc twin producing about 85ps. The F800GS has a 21" front wheel versus a 19" front wheel on the current F650GS. The F800GS has spoke wheels versus cast wheels on the current F650GS. The F800GS has a seat heights of 880mm standard/850mm low and the current F650GS has seat heights of 820mm standard/790mm low/765mm low suspension & low seat.

    The earlier F650GS was a 650cc single producing 50ps with an engine produced under licence from Rotax in Austria. The current G650GS is almost the same bike as the earlier F650GS (some former options are now standard) except that the engine is produced under a different licensing agreement from Rotax at the Loncin factory in China. The standard seat height is 790mm and there is a low seat option.

    The F800GS is much more off road focused than the current F650GS (twin 800).

    The G650GS is more capable off road standard than the current F650GS (twin) as well but the different is not as great.

    Oh and yeah... BMW's marketing department have lost it ](*,)

    The only thing I've seen is BMW's statement that all bikes are now classed by letters relating to their engine type.

    4 cylinder - K bikes.
    2 cylinder horizontally opposed - R bikes.
    2 cylinder vertical twin - F bikes.
    1 cylinder - G bikes.

    However that only relates to the engine type and doesn't justify calling the current F650GS a 650.

    IMO the current F650GS should be the F800GS and the current F800GS should be the F800GS Adventure (and I'm far from the only one to say that) or possibly the F800GS Dakar (because it lacks the big tank of the adventure versions).

    Actually thinking about it F800GS Dakar probably makes more sense :)
  3. BMW have commented that there are two reasons why they do this.
    The first is that the original F650 range has been successful for them amongst new riders and they don't want to scare off that market with fears of greater weight and power. There is also a perception that off-road crowd are not impressed by either weight or power.
    Secondly, they need to create a significant differential between the lower spec 650 and the more expensive 800. They want buyers to believe that they they are getting a lot more bike in the 800 (so the 650 doesn't steal potential sales from it).
    It's confusing, but the confusion is intended to work in BMWs favour.
  4. You now get an extra cylinder and 150cc at no extra charge.


    The mechanic up the road also tells me the G650 with the Chinee motor he worked on was an utter piece of shite.
  5. I'm aware of that but I'm also of the view that it does NOT justify doing it.

    My strongly held opinion is that BMW have allowed the marketing dweebs too much influence.

    Further more there are many comments around various bike forums that what BMW have actually made a mistake by marketing the F650GS in the way that they have. This learner perception (and it seems to be wipe spread) has actually ended up hurting sales.

    The question is do the sales being lost to experienced riders outweigh the sales being gained from new riders?

    I'd also add that BMW are probably aware of this since they've reintroduced the G650GS as the new learner option and seem to be actively distancing the F650GS from the learner market.

    I think they've already made their bed though and now they'll have to sleep in it, the F650GS is now the girly bike option...

    Which is a shame as it's actually a very good all rounder.
  6. A very capable bike, and for a BMW priced pretty well, just to get new buyers to the fold

    The 800's the premium model, and those coming down from, or thinking about a 1200GS, look at the 800 as a viable alternative. Be interesting to compare sales of the 1200 - which are not unlike the Range Rover of bikes, where many enjoy riding them just on road

    And BMW cars have been stuffing around with the last two numbers on the model for last few years as well
  7. So they've effectively pushed you towards the pricier F800GS, then (which is the plan).
    Not saying it's a good one...

    What competition is there in this segment? KLR, Transalp, Tenere... upcoming Tiger Cub. Lots of options.
  8. With the important difference that the GS (like most big trailies) can put up a good showing against nominally far more road oriented tackle. The Range Rover (like most tarted up offroaders) cannot. Or, at least, not to the same extent.
  9. Yep know all that, but I can't see that much difference. The biggest difference appears to be the styling, which doesn't account for the price difference.

    there mustn't be much in it. Maybe the F650 needs to have a slightly more road focus.

    Maybe it's just that the 800 is styled like Ewan's and Charlies
  10. Mmmm. I've read similar on ADV, frames cracking etc.
  11. The F800GS isn't an option for me as the seat height is too tall. What BMW have done is pushed me towards someone else's bike and lost themselves a sale and from reading on several web sites I'm far from alone thinking this way.

    Now if they'd have badged the current F800GS as an F800GS Dakar and the current F650GS as an F800GS I'd have bought one but I'm not interested in riding a 650 (yeah I know it isn't... but it is).

    What am I going to buy? Not sure yet... maybe a Triumph Scrambler or maybe BMW will start offering a low suspension option for the F800GS (then their evil plan would work) :LOL:
  12. I'm not convinced this is a new phenomenon. I have a reliable report of a broken frame on a relatively new single pot F650. Not that it mattered. The bike was, apparently, chronically unreliable and a bastard to work on. The saga was a significant factor in my ceasing to look at F650s and buying a new DR instead.
  13. Keeping a road bike of some type and buying a DR650 (with the suspension set to low) for dirt road touring is looking better and better to me too...
  14. So knowing this, you'd buy the exact same bike if it had different stickers, but you won't because it says 650 instead of 800?

    That's some mighty astute bike choosing right there.

    A mate who managed a music shop once had a guitar that hadn't sold for ages, so he got some lettering from the newsagent and added "Custom" to the model name on the headstock. In next to no time someone spotted it and bought it.

    The 650 name probably accounts a lot for the lower price, which many seem to think makes it more bike for the money than the 800GS.

    So why not just buy the F"650" and put the 800 stickers on it, if that soothes your anxiety about how many cc people think you're packing?
  15. Reason 1 why I won't buy the 'exact same bike' because it says 650 is because by marketing it as a 650 BMW have compromised the insurance rating (noobs buy it, noobs crash it, insurance companies increase the risk factor putting up the cost).

    Reason 2 why I won't buy the 'exact same bike' because it says 650 is because if I do it encourages companies to think they can get away with unethical product labeling practices like this. The only way I have to discourage them is to vote with my wallet and by something else.

    Reason 3 why I won't buy the 'exact same bike' is the unfavorable emotional response it generates in me and since motorbikes are about 90% emotion and 10% practicality why not put emotion first!

    And If you're such an F650GS fan then why aren't YOU buying one? [-X
  16. Even on high, I can flat-foot both sides with bent knees. Admittedly I'm quite tall, but you'd have to be a lot shorter than me to have trouble. Mind you, I'm heavy too, so the set gets a little closer to the ground than it would otherwise.

    That said, I like the idea of the adjustable suspension height. If nothing else, it'll let me keep the bike reasonably level when I finally motard it. If you get a dealer to do it, don't let them fob you off with a half arsed effort. None of the three dealers I asked about it had a clue as to how the bike is supposed to be lowered and wittered on about various bodgy techniques, at least some of which are likely to damage the bike.
  17. I am 173cm tall with a 76cm inseam (shortarse).

    The stock seat height on the DR650SE is 880mm and the lowered suspension seat height is 840mm at which height I am on my toes if I have both feet down or the ball of one foot only if I only touch with one foot.

    If I do go with the DR650SE then I'll order a low seat from Sargent seats in the US which is 1" (2.5cm) lower than standard and set the suspension to the optional lower setting which will give a seat height of about 815mm.

    That should mean I can get the both feet solidly on the deck.
  18. To hell with the bloody name, what they should have done with the F650GS is added the extra front disc brake and superior camshafts that generate the 85 hp / 83 Nm, just like every other F series bike has (F800GS, F800R, F800S, F800ST). If you're in the market for a dual-purpose bike, you are forced to put up with the lowest level of specification because of BMW's marketing bullshit.
  19. Yeah, OK. I've got another 8cm of leg on you and, unless you're actually spherical, probably a fair few kilos too.

    Surprised it makes that much difference though.
  20. I assume then that you have not driven the Range Rover on or off road..

    granted, they are no Defender or Patrol offroad.. nor are they a WRX or GTS onroad.. but bloody hell, they do a bloody good job of embarrassing the rest of the field :LOL::LOL: