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Thread: G650GS on the freeway?

  1. #1

    G650GS on the freeway?

    My wife wants a smaller lighter bike with a low seat hight and upright ergonomics. She loved sitting on a lowered G650GS in the showroom but I have my doubts about power for freeway or stability at 70mph on a windy day. I ride an RT but she finds that way too heavy and tall. I am wondering if anyone who rides a G650GS can tell me if this bike can be ridden long distances on the freeway?

  2. #2
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    H has one she uses for commuting and a few freeway runs. It will go 70 mph all day long ,just not a lot of throttle response past that . Passing past 65 seems slow in the response department. Some folks change the front sprocket one tooth to get a bit higher ratio.

    It moves a bit more in the wind than her heavier bikes as it has Happy Trail cases...but not a deal breaker from her reports.

    She tried a low seat R12R or a 1150 R?
    Steve Henson-Mod Team and SABMWRA Prez

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  3. #3
    Thanks. Yeah I used to have a R1150R and she didn't like the forward lean. Those bikes seem heavy or have a high center of gravity also.

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    neanderssance man sedanman's Avatar
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    I know I'm going to get blasted for saying this but, have a look at the Ducati Scrambler. I've ridden this bike and l want one. It's compact, light, and has 75 hp. It will easily meet all of the criteria.
    Paul
    Stop wrestling with your motorcycle, dance with it.
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  5. #5
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    G650 will run all day on the slab ( Not sure why one would want to though), My wife loves hers, and to be honest up to about 70 it is as smooth as the R11, and R1150 boxers.

    If you do a lot of highway, easy to add a tooth to the front to lower the RPM's. They get fantastic mileage too!
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
    '01 F650GS Wife's bike
    Maritime Alps and Vosges 2012
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  6. #6
    Voni and I rode F650s to and from Alaska a few years ago, including some stints on the interstates. They were fine. Later, I got another F650 - in Texas. Two-lane speed limit past the house = 70. Most two-lanes = 75. Interstate = 80. I rode it on our summer rideabouts throughout the western US and Canada two years running, living on the bikes loaded with camping gear for a few months. It was fine. The need for a bigger bike, especially for one-up riding, is an ingenious marketing myth.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  7. #7
    Registered User Rod Sheridan's Avatar
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    Diann purchased an F650GS in 2011 to replace her 77 R60/7.

    People cautioned her about buying the "lower" powered GS, it wouldn't have enough pep for highways etc.

    I just laughed, it had almost twice the power of her R60/7 that she's ridden for 300,000 miles all over North America with more camping equipment than any sane person could require.

    Diann's complaint about the F650? Throttle is too sensitive, it goes like stink.

    The G650 will also have more than enough power, brakes etc to handle highway riding.

    We've been sold a bill of goods in the "bigger is better" marketing approach..........Regards, Rod.
    Work is the curse of the riding class

  8. #8
    Registered User Mossy_Crk's Avatar
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    I friend just pointed me to this thread. I don't usually look for bike specific threads in this section since the bike doesn't care who is riding it.

    I ride a 650 as my daily vehicle. In any given week I will use it for dirt, FS, local roads, highways, and interstate. I have done 12 hour interstate days. With stock gearing it will run safely at interstate speeds with enough left to pass at about 85-90. I strongly disagree with the "no-reason to ever have a bigger bike" crowd. I think that's just the cool mantra these days. The Ninja 250 is interstate worthy, too. Several folks have completed the Iron Butt Rally on them. Just as I would much rather be riding my 650 on the interstate, there are others who would prefer an 800+. There are lots of reasons for a larger bike on the interstate. Buy the bike that's right for your whole set of needs/wants. It's ok if comfort is on that list.

    As long as you don't make the bike more dirt oriented than it comes from the showroom it will be fine on the interstate all day. I have done very long days on the interstate with a 15tooth counter sprocket and while it performs fine...you'll pay for it in vibration above 75mph. Even with the stock gearing, as you wring out the RPMs, you'll pay for it in regards to fuel efficiency, too. It's a nasty hit above 5500 rpm.

    In the stock gearing you should be cruising at peak torque around 74mph at about 5000rpm.

    Adding a tooth to the counter sprocket as other have mentioned isn't without its trade offs. Things to think about:
    - A 17 tooth Counter sprocket will make pulling out in 1st a bit more difficult. It's easily overcome by slipping the clutch a bit more. Not a real issue but can surprise people.
    - You'll get a little more on the top end. Roughly 5800rpm @ 80mph in 4th, and 4800rpm @ 80mph in 5th.
    - 5th gear is very anemic with the 17. You'll have to completely open the throttle and deal with more vibration and get very little acceleration. People report doing a lot of shifting between 4th and 5th and back. The engine has a harder time keeping RPMs up in 5th. If you are lugging the engine in 5th or over revving it in 4th you'll suffer even more mpg loss.
    - Noticeably less vibration on the top end!
    - You'll need to measure the chain as well. Some folks are ok with stock chain length with this mod and some have had to make changes. On paper you shouldn't have to, but best to check.

    Now to my real heartburn with the 650. Maintenance.
    I love my bike, I really do. But dear lord maintaining this bike sucks. Nothing is easy to get to. As the bike ages be prepared to curse BMW, shake your head, and clean up tons of spilled fluids. It's part of the 'charm' of this series, but it should be noted. I don't think it should be a deal breaker, but folks should know up front. I did one valve check myself. After that it was to a mechanic. Oil changes just take time and shop towels. Big thumpers eat chains/sprockets. Just the name of the game.

    I haven't heard of any consistent problems with the Chinese made engines and the bike seems as solid as the older bikes.

    With luggage (and even your own body without luggage) you can turn into a sail and you will get blown around by heavy wind gusts and buffeting off of large SUVs and larger vehicles both when you are passing and being passed. Adjusting leg angle helps some and just being prepared especially in lane positioning. I don't get worried now unless I get moved more than half a lane. I've felt uncomfortable in the wind a lot on this bike. I've never felt in danger. This have been on southern coastal roads, the Appalachian mountains, and the midwest plains.

    I love my 650gs and have no plans to sell it when I do move to a larger displacement bike.

  9. #9
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marv12 View Post
    My wife wants a smaller lighter bike with a low seat hight and upright ergonomics. She loved sitting on a lowered G650GS in the showroom but I have my doubts about power for freeway or stability at 70mph on a windy day.
    Has she looked at a F800R? It only weighs 14 pounds more than a 650GS and the lowest seat option is 30.3" which is the same as the lowest seat on the 650GS.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by marv12 View Post
    . I am wondering if anyone who rides a G650GS can tell me if this bike can be ridden long distances on the freeway?
    Yes. I am a high mileage rider. I ride 65-70 all day with no problems.
    Gail Thorne
    2017 F700GS

  11. #11
    Not a G650GS, but I rode my Dakar as shown below from New York to the Sedalia Rally in Missouri. I rode a saddle sore (1000mi in 24hrs) on the way to Sedalia, then went on to Colorado and New Mexico. I rode a Bun Burner (1500mi in 36hrs) on the way home from New Mexico to New York. I rode Interstate for both the Saddlesore and BunBurner. Cruised, fully loaded, at speeds of up to 80 mph, tank of gas to tank of gas. Personally, I am very comfortable on the 650 on Interstates. Just don't "lug" the motor and it will keep you happy, of course at 80mph there is not much left for passing.



    I also spent a week or so riding the passes of Colorado, and dirt roads of New Mexico.

    ride what you've got; enjoy the ride!

    Turbo Fluffy Motoclub - IBA 50182 - BMW MOA 69187

  12. #12
    172526
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    What's a freeway?
    I am too poor to buy cheap stuff, I need it to last forever (tewster2)

  13. #13
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    Their is a big difference in the G650 and the F650, things get a bit more busy in the single (G)
    Verse the twin (F) at speed, with the F being a lowered powered 800.
    You might look at the C650GT with low seat option, we have one that my wife rides, stable at 75+Even passing large trucks, good wind and weather protection.

  14. #14
    Registered User
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    Just picked up a 2010 f800st. Very happy with it. Will add risers and something other than the stock seat. Researching seats - would love suggestions.

    Sent from my SCH-R970 using Tapatalk

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by t6pilot View Post
    Their is a big difference in the G650 and the F650, things get a bit more busy in the single (G)
    Verse the twin (F) at speed, with the F being a lowered powered 800.
    You might look at the C650GT with low seat option, we have one that my wife rides, stable at 75+Even passing large trucks, good wind and weather protection.
    The original F650 was a single that, with a chinese engine instead of Austrian engine at same specs, became the G650. They made that F650 starting in 1997with carburetors, and with fuel injectors beginning in 2001.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

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