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Thread: Pre-purchase questions

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Yakima, WA

    Pre-purchase questions

    Hi all,

    We are just about to pull the trigger on the purchase of a 2014 C650GT for my wife (the new Quarts Blue Metallic color). I know actual owners are best source of information for what the ownership experience is really like for any new machine so I'm checking in here with the experts.

    I've been riding my entire life, an MOA member for twenty something years, and currently ride a '13 R1200RT. My wife on the other hand has not been a rider heretofore, rather has ridden with me for years on the back of my bikes. She's an active lady and learns and concentrates well, and we just finished a couple years of ATVing where she rode her own rig. She did very well and impressed all the guys in the club we rode with. We want to start her on her own two-wheeled machine now and are thinking the C650GT looks just about perfect. We'll do mostly day rides but do want the ability to take some several day tours and want her machine to be up to the task. Again, the C650GT looks fully capable.

    This leads to my questions:
    • Anyone think this isn't the right machine for the mission?
    • Are there any chronic service difficulties for this machine?
    • Is it easy to self service? (we live 150 miles from the nearest dealer, and I like doing my own maintenance)
    • Anything else we should know or look out for?

    CURRENT: R1200RS, R75/7
    PAST BMWs: 2013 R1200RT, 2002 R1150RT, 1982 R100RS, 1993 K1100RS, 1993 K1100LT, 1989 R100RT, 1978 R80/7

  2. #2
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Marion VA-In the middle of some of the best riding in the country.
    I think any new rider should buy a used one first because it will be dropped as they learn to ride. When I was looking at used scooters, nearly every one I looked at had been dropped by the original owner shortly after they bought it. The closest thing to a C650GT would be a 05 or newer Burgman 650. You can get a good one for $3,000-$3,500 and they are readily available. She could learn on one and sell it for about as much as she paid.

    Also, the C650GT has a tall seat. That makes it a challenge for average sized women and short men (like me). The BMW has a seat height of 31.3" with a slightly lower seat available while the Burgman 650 has a 29.5" and the Burgman 400 has a 28" seat height. With a 29" inseam, I was not comfortable on the BMW and the Burgman 650 is a little tall. The Burgman 400 fits me fine.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  3. #3
    I'd start with having her take the MSF BRC and then seriously consider a smaller bike. Something like a used Vespa 250-300, BV250, or Kymco would be ideal. Though I've never totally dropped a bike, I definitely wouldn't want to start out on the C600/C650.

  4. #4
    What, me worry? GILLY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Evansville, WI
    I think for the needs you describe, it would fit the bill for a couple day trip or longer, I'd get the trunk though.
    One possible drawback is that it isn't really a step-through like a smaller scooter, just mount one and you'll see what I mean, hard to get used to the mounting procedure. But it is a comfortable enough ride. Curious if you think the CVT is the primary reason to get one? The thing does absolutely swallow gear under the seat. I use mine mainly for commuting but am anxious to get a few day trip in, it always seems ready to hit the road, it is not short-legged at all, happily purrs along at 60-70 mph and give good fuel mileage, I can get pretty close to 200 miles out of a tank.
    It is a bit tall. For a BMW owner this is nothing new, for those coming from lower rides or smaller scooter, a new BMW owner, might be taken aback by the height, but for me example coming from a K75 and K1200GT, no big deal, just learn to count on being able to put down just one foot and she'll be fine. I've always been able to flat-FOOT my BMWs (note singular FOOT, LOL).
    Maintenance: Well you'll want to bring it in for the first service, after that it does go a long time for a service, I think they are telling me once a year or 7500 mi, so I am just planning on having the dealer do it, but there is info out there for oil changes, I'm sure you can handle tire changes locally, I have been in the habit of taking off the wheel on my bikes and taking them to a reputable area dealer (non-BMW) where I can assume they can do a good job changing a tire(in my case an area Triumph dealer).
    It sounds like you are pretty set on the sale, I think the ideas expressed before are valid, not the worst idea to start on a used machine but I assume you have gone through that thought process already and decided she is competent to handle this. I also agree on her taking a training class, never a bad idea, and this would be the ideal time to get something like that scheduled before everyone comes out of the woodwork trying to get in a class.

    I can't think of any real chronic problems with this machine, there have been some with problems not unlike any other bike but nothing that should scare you away from a C650.
    There is a BMW Scooter group on Google you can check out as well, I think this will be a link to it:
    87 K75S, bought new, now sold
    07 K1200GT Bought new, now traded in
    13 C650GT
    MOA 44606

  5. #5
    Jeff Wilson life member Justscootin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Richmond Hill Ontario Canada
    You can also check this forum out, it is much more active than this one
    A bad day on the C650 GT scooter is better than the best day at work

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by 43362 View Post
    You can also check this forum out, it is much more active than this one
    Have had my 650GT for over a year, I live in the Dallas area, and for me, the scooter is transportation. The automatic transmission is great in traffic, the storage under the seat is good for carrying my briefcase to go to work (with laptop and files that I often take home), and with the top case, I even do most of the grocery shopping. Plenty of power to move around the relatively slow city traffic. And the ABS/synchronized brakes has saved me some trouble more than once when I had to brake hard, I just grab the right brake lever, squeeze as hard as I can and let the wizardry keep me out of trouble while the scooter stops "on a dime".

    The scooter can easily tip, especially at low speed (small wheel and small rake angle/short trail), and it is heavy; when it starts to tip, you won't hold it back unless you are a weight lifter. So it needs extra attention at low speed....

    For day rides in the country, I use a R1200R. I can make tighter turns at low speed with the R; it is more stable and a manual transmission comes in handy....

    Don't get me wrong, I like my scooter. It is a urban machine for someone who is at least 5'6" and has some strength for low speed maneuvers or just to move the scooter around. Good mileage (about 47 mpg since I have had it) and it turns heads. I get lots of appreciative comments.

    Main problem has been leaky drive case, see my other post in this forum.

    Good luck....

    It can go on the road, but it is not made for that. Suggest your wife takes a long test ride on it before you buy it.... and she might want to try a F-series bike.

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