BMW, the German automobile and motorcycle manufacturer, introduced the dual-sport F 650 bike in 1995, selling more than 110,000 machines in the following 15 years to riders who took the bikes both off-road and to work. In 2006, the company tweaked the design while retaining its lightweight, multipurpose appeal, producing the F 650 GS and GS Dakar.
Both models are powered by 652cc, liqiuid-cooled, single-cylinder, four-stroke engines, with dual overhead cams. The five-speed manual transmission for both models works with an oil-bathed multiple-plate clutch and a roller-type chain final drive. A telescopic fork with 6.7 inches of travel provides the front suspension for the GS; the Dakar’s telescopic fork has 8.3 inches of travel. Both machines have twin-sided swing arms with adjustable spring preload shocks in the rear. Disc brakes in front and rear furnish effective stopping power; an optional ABS system can be added—a system that may be switched on or off, depending on whether the rider is traveling on city streets or a rough trail.
BMW makes a wide variety of other accessories for the F 650 GS and GS Dakar, including a tall seat to give tall riders more legroom (the standard seat height is 30.7 inches for the GS and 34.3 inches for the Dakar). As you might expect from a German company, lots of technological niceties are available, including an onboard computer.
Riders comment on how much fun the BMW F 650 bikes are to ride on the highway, in the city, and off-road.