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Thread: (New) G650GS (thumper) reliability

  1. #1

    (New) G650GS (thumper) reliability

    Growing impatient waiting for a Honda I had decided on, I am starting to think about alternatives.

    I've sat on a BMW G650GS and liked it. It fits into what I had been thinking of paying (MSRP is USD 7850 including ABS). But forums are scary with reliability issues - warm start problems, fork failures, swing arm failures, ... Even atomicalex here seems to be having issues with hers.

    But the 3 year/36k mi warranty is attractive too and it's cheaper to insure than the Honda.

    Any views on this bike in general and it's reliability in particular?

  2. #2
    RiderCoach 2000 Posts! NORTY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bizzakka View Post
    Growing impatient waiting for a Honda I had decided on, I am starting to think about alternatives.

    I've sat on a BMW G650GS and liked it. It fits into what I had been thinking of paying (MSRP is USD 7850 including ABS). But forums are scary with reliability issues - warm start problems, fork failures, swing arm failures, ... Even atomicalex here seems to be having issues with hers.

    But the 3 year/36k mi warranty is attractive too and it's cheaper to insure than the Honda.

    Any views on this bike in general and it's reliability in particular?
    Sounds like you've already done your "due dilligence."

    Look at the Triumph Bonneville models? They're a lot cheaper than the Japanese counterparts (if they had some...)
    If you think you can, or think you can't, you're right. (Henry Ford)

  3. #3
    Ha ha.
    Full circle. The Bonnie was what I wanted to start with. Put a deposit down on one, too. See my earlier posts for my meanderings.
    But now I am limiting my choices to ABS equipped bikes.

  4. #4
    RiderCoach 10,000 Posts! NoCo Gal's Avatar
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    I had the older model F650GS before I bought the twin. I liked it a lot, but wanted a bit more HP for freeway riding. I am not privy to what the issues are of the G650, but you can have issues with every motorcycle. Mine has a weird random problem that causes it to cut out. There are a handful of people with F800 engines that have had the same problem. It's frustrating to diagnose and fix, but not a deal breaker for me until it strands me. Dealers have no idea how to fix it because it doesn't throw error codes, and most claim to never have heard of it.

    Visit any motorcycle specific forum and you will find a (usually) small group of people who have particular issues. You have to figure out if it is a big problem and a deal breaker for you, or if it is only a subset some models are experiencing.
    ~Teri

    Quote Originally Posted by CodeInVB View Post
    I tried this "kissing the mirror" technique as I was turning onto an on-ramp today. I was surprised at how big of a difference just a little bit of movement made, even on a cruiser. Thanks for the advice...maybe it's time for me to go back for the next rider course.
    2013 Triumph Tiger 800


  5. #5
    RiderCoach 2000 Posts! NORTY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bizzakka View Post
    Ha ha.
    Full circle. The Bonnie was what I wanted to start with. Put a deposit down on one, too. See my earlier posts for my meanderings.
    But now I am limiting my choices to ABS equipped bikes.
    Don't "rely" on ABS to save you. Get proficient with braking. Learn to outbrake ABS.
    If you think you can, or think you can't, you're right. (Henry Ford)

  6. #6
    Flirting With The Redline 1000 Posts! Kootenanny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoCo Gal View Post
    Visit any motorcycle specific forum and you will find a (usually) small group of people who have particular issues. You have to figure out if it is a big problem and a deal breaker for you, or if it is only a subset some models are experiencing.
    Yeah, forums are notorious for this. Minor problems can be blown up into seemingly major issues.

    Years ago, when bike shopping, I asked on several forums about the two bikes on my shortlist: Buell Firebolt vs Suzuki SV650S. I was universally recommended to get the Suzuki and give the Buell a wide berth; "word on the street" was that Buells were rife with reliability issues.

    I ignored the advice and bought the Firebolt, and I'm extremely glad I did so. I got a bike that I truly love, and which has been stone reliable for the 8 years I've owned it. Not one of the problems people on various Buell forums continuously complain about has occurred on my bike (possibly because I've kept it mostly stock, maintain it regularly, and don't abuse it).

    My comment is that most modern bikes are pretty damn reliable. Personally, I'd not hesitate to look at a G650GS (although I kinda like the G650 X-Country that was available a few years ago...). Also, the Triumphs...I really like the Bonnies, and personally, ABS braking is not something I'd worry about at all on a motorcycle. I've been riding for decades, I've never had a bike with ABS, and I've never encountered a situation where I feel it would have benefitted me. I do know a guy who returned his F800ST with ABS for one without ABS, after the ABS programming nearly caused him to have a collision (due to ripply pavement bumping the rear wheel off the ground, the computer released the front brakes thinking the bike was doing a stoppie...after long discussions with BMW to determe the ABS was functioning as designed, he decided to get rid of it).

  7. #7
    RiderCoach 10,000 Posts! NoCo Gal's Avatar
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    On that vein, regarding ABS...I remember when I was looking for motorcycles and wanted it as a safety measure. Now I have one motorcycle with it and one without it. I would say if you live in an area that has a fair amount of rainfall and you think you will be riding in it, then yes, ABS is probably a good idea.

    When on bumpy surfaces and you need to apply your brakes, if you have ABS it will release the brakes and you will not be able to stop as quickly. This is why they say to turn off ABS on dual sports when going offroad. When lane splitting here and traveling over Botts dots or the raised reflectors, the ABS kicks in if I am slowing while riding over them. This is not good!

    Proficient braking will always stop you quicker than ABS. While it was important to me earlier in my riding career, I realize that it is no longer a requirement for me...sometimes it's a nuisance!
    ~Teri

    Quote Originally Posted by CodeInVB View Post
    I tried this "kissing the mirror" technique as I was turning onto an on-ramp today. I was surprised at how big of a difference just a little bit of movement made, even on a cruiser. Thanks for the advice...maybe it's time for me to go back for the next rider course.
    2013 Triumph Tiger 800


  8. #8
    NoCoGal - what is F658GS? Is that a typo or are you referring to the same motorcycle (with a different names thanks to BMW's beautiful naming strategy) that my post is about?

  9. #9
    I am referring to your signature in case that was not clear...!

  10. #10
    Flirting With The Redline madjak30's Avatar
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    I have a similar issue with ABS in my truck...it caused me to have an off road adventure a few years ago...crested a hill that was sheer ice, only going 60kph (38mph) saw the otherside was a steep sloap with a corner at the bottom...hit the brakes and the ABS kicked in immediately giving me no stopping...I slowly accellerated to a point where I was going too fast for the corner and off I went, luckily it was a field of powder and not a drop off like the last corner...4ft of powder and I was stuck in an 8000lbs truck...took a water tanker to pull me back out.

    ABS isn't always best, so give it some thought. Plus you are missing out on a lot of bikes that are great, but don't offer ABS.

    Later.
    **Remember...if you're not having fun, you're doing it WRONG!! **

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