2006 BMW F Review


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.

New For 2006

  • New computerized engine-control unit to reduce emissions and improve performance
  • New clutch lever
  • New clear-lens headlight
  • New windscreen
  • New bodywork

2006 BMW F Specs

  • Model: 650GS; 650GS Dakar
  • Engine Type: 652cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, four-stroke
  • Bore and Stroke: 3.94 inches x 3.27 inches
  • Compression ratio: 11:5:1
  • Valve Train: DOHC
  • Induction: Fuel injected
  • Ignition: Electric
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual
  • Final Drive: Chain
  • Fuel Capacity: 4 gallons
  • Estimated Fuel Economy: N/A
  • Brakes (Front): 11.8-inch disc
  • Brakes (Rear): 9.5-inch disc
  • Suspension (Front): Telescopic fork
  • Suspension (Rear): Twin-sided swing arm with adjustable spring preload shock
  • Wheelbase: 58.2 inches (GS); 58. 6 inches (Dakar)
  • Rake: 29.2 degrees (Dakar)
  • Trail: 4.9 inches (Dakar)
  • Seat Height: 30.7 inches (GS); 34.3 inches (Dakar)
  • Curb Weight: 423 pounds (GS); 425 pounds (Dakar)
  • Tires (Front): 100/90 R19 (GS); 90/90 R21 (GS Dakar)
  • Tires (Rear): 130/80 R17


  • 31-Liter Top Case
  • Engine Guard Tubes
  • Handlebar Impact Protector
  • Heated Handgrip Kit
  • Low Riders Seat
  • On-Board Computer Single Seat With Storage Compartment
  • Switchable ABS
  • Tall Clear Windshield
  • Top Case Inner Weather Proof Bag

Key Competitors For The 2006 BMW F

  • KTM 640 Adventure
  • Suzuki DR 650 SE
  • Honda XL 650 Transalp
  • Yamaha XT 660X