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Thread: Older BMW F650GS as a starter bike?

  1. #11
    Flirting With The Redline 4000 Posts! taylorcraft07's Avatar
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    When you are shopping keep in mind that there were two versions of the 650cc F650GS. There was a carb version up to about 2000 and then the injected version came out in 2001 (I think). There injected version also came in single and two spark plug versions over the years. I think mine was a 2001. It was single plug and injected. Great bike but sensitive to the type of gas used. Mine hated high octane. Ms PotatoPotato had one that hated regular gas. There were various injection mappings used during the production run.

    I bought it after owning a Ninja 250 for a year. Both worked will for a 35 mile commute and either is fine as a first bike. The BMW is a lot heavier and is taller so that may be a consideration in your choice.

    Dave

    Dave

  2. #12
    Contributor We've stopped counting... MsPotatoPotatoHead's Avatar
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    Mine was a 2001 - the FI one-spark-plug version. I think they went to two plugs in 2005 or 2006. Considering it sipped gas (once got 80 mpg off a tank, average was 60-65 mpg) and ran perfectly on premium gas, I didn't mind paying the extra $1.50 or so for a fill-up. Absolutely fantastic bike - if I'd had the lowered version, it's quite likely I'd still have it (instead of the Spyder). In fact, the lowered version of that bike is the only bike I'd rather own than an '83 Shadow, but since even the older ones are still commanding premium prices ($3500+), I probably will end up with an 80-something Shadow or Virago, since I'm not *quite* ready to sell my Spyder yet.

  3. #13
    Thanks everyone for your input. I'll let y'all know what she gets.

  4. #14
    Miles of smiles We've stopped counting... asp125's Avatar
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    If I were to buy another, it would be the Sertao .. or a Triumph Tiger 800. But that's another thread.
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  5. #15
    Flirting With The Redline 4000 Posts! taylorcraft07's Avatar
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    I forgot to add it earlier. F650.com and ninja250.org.

    Dave

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    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! terraunbound's Avatar
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    Has she sat on either of the bikes yet? That would seem like a place to start. I really enjoy my 2001 F650GS and if it were my choice, I would get one of the 2-sparkplug varieties made after 2005/6.
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  7. #17
    Flirting With The Redline 6000 Posts! atomicalex's Avatar
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    2-spark started in 2004, not sure of in the US. Definitely runs a bit smoother than the single sparks. One of the fewer beginner bikes that had ABS as an option. Includes an ABS switch, too!

    I don't think I've ever heard a complaint about these from owners, aside from usual BMW stuff.

    One of the really great things about the FI bikes is that the tank is below the seat, so the weight distribution is low. Makes for a really wonderful all-around bike. If you want a compromise, they are hard to beat.
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  8. #18
    Not sure if anyone cares at this point ....but we first decided to buy a 2006 BMW F650GS. Things went well at first but my wife dropped it once and then was a little spooked and then a few more times at very slow speeds in some turns so was VERY spooked. She took the MSF range (riding) portion again and then we purchased a 2003 Suzuki GZ 250. She has been doing GREAT on this and has probably put over 1000 miles on it. I think she did better on this b/c it has a much shorter seat (~27 inch) and is about 100 lbs lighter (figures all estimates and are all from memory) than the F650 GS. She doesn't love the looks of the bike but says she is happy she got it b/c she is able to ride it well. Our plan is to get the GS lowered or get a lower seat this summer and I think she will be fine. My last word on this would be to get a used smaller, lower bike if you are at all unsure how you will be on your first bike and build some confidence then get a bigger bike. Small bikes seem to retain their value where I am (California) and I don't think we will have a problem selling it for around what we bought it for. I think if we stayed with the GS, she wouldn't be riding right now. THE GS is a GREAT bike but it may be too much (tall and heavy) for some beginner riders. We went with the GZ rather than the 250 Ninja b/c we figured it would be even easier to ride (b/c lower and similar to the bikes in her MSF classes) and if she did drop it (she never has) we wouldn't break a bunch of plastic . Most of the Ninjas we were looking at were either pretty beat up or almost brand new (= expensive). I also don't think beginner riders beat on standard bikes as much. I was very happy to see that most of the Japenese manufactures have A LOT more bikes in the 250 -500 cc range for 2013 - especially better looking "naked" ones. Home this info helps a new rider.
    Last edited by Rhinoclemmys; 01-10-2013 at 07:05 PM. Reason: TYPOS b/c I didn't use spell check :-(

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