2009 BMW F650GS - First Look

Confusing name, sensible ride.

2009 BMW F650GS - First Look

2009 BMW F650GS - First Look

Forget what the logo on the side of the F650GS reads, because this bike is not what it seems. First, it's not a 650—it's actually powered by a 798cc, liquid-cooled, parallel-Twin engine just like its sibling, the F800GS. Second, giving it the rough-n-tough moniker of the GS series is like calling yourself a cowboy because as a kid you once rode a horse at the county fair.

According to BMW USA's Pieter de Waal, the reason for the name/displacement discrepancy is that BMW wanted customers to perceive the 650 as a non-intimidating, entry-level machine, same as they did with the old 650cc Single F series. Huh? Do the guys in Munich really think consumers are that clueless?Beyond the ultra-confusing name is the fact that the $8255 F650GS appears to be one of the nicest machines available for motorcycling neophytes, female riders and inseam-challenged individuals who will find the low, 32.3-inch seat height appealing. (An optional Low suspension setup takes things down even farther, to 30.1 inches.)

With estimated fuel economy as high as 54 mpg and a 4.2-gallon tank, the "650" should provide long miles between fill-ups. Optional features like ABS, Tire Pressure Control (TPC), expanded-function on-board computer, centerstand, heated grips and BMW's GPS receiver mean that this bike can be equipped with accouterments not normally associated with entry-level motorcycles.

Despite the family name, this GS will find itself much more comfy on asphalt with its cast aluminum wheels and road-oriented tire package, but it should still offer any rider miles of adventure in comfort and style. Just don't expect to convince any insurance company that your 800 is a 650; like consumers, they won't be fooled very long by BMW's goofy marketing-speak.

2009 BMW F650GS

2009 BMW F650GS

2009 BMW F650GS

2009 BMW F650GS

2009 BMW F650GS

2009 BMW F650GS

2009 BMW F650GS

2009 BMW F650GS

2009 BMW F650GS

2009 BMW F650GS

2009 BMW F650GS

2009 BMW F650GS

2009 BMW F650GS

2009 BMW F650GS