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Posted: 8/7/2011 9:09:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/8/2011 10:38:37 AM EDT by jmt1271]
Just curious. Have any of you owned both of these bikes?

The weight is not much different but the BMA about twice the power. How do they compare 0-60 amd 1/4 mile?

Other big differences? The specs (and price, from what I can tell, cant find a lot of used GS 650 pricing) seem to indicate a lot of differece, but the GS doesnt seem to geta lot of hype.

Just curious if the GS is vastly superior and why there is not much hype on the web about it.

Wouldnt mind adding one to the stable with my KLR or possibly trading the KLR.. Sounds like a fun bike.

After my first long trip I really dig the KLR but am intrigued by the ABS and almost double the power. Plus, I rode my aunts R1200GS today and needless to say, the GS impressed with its refinement. The maintenance costs and complexity are a turn off though. But I am thinking the GS650 single would be a lot simpler, and more inline with my KLR, complexity wise.

Any one have/had both? I almost wish I had at least checked them out because the price really isnt a ton different, especially used. This is a disease.

Edit- I have now added the GS800 to the list.

I may try and wait until fall and see if I can get a deal on an 800. Damn, those are badass. My only concern is maintenance, I like to do my own and they may be difficult on a high tech bike. Sheesh.
Link Posted: 8/7/2011 9:56:45 PM EDT
Haven't owned the BMW but rode one recently. Not a bad bike but I prefer my KLR over it. Plus, it's not nearly as common as the KLR and if you need parts, the KLR wins on parts availability hands down.
Link Posted: 8/8/2011 4:32:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/8/2011 4:37:29 AM EDT by robertl]
IM me some time, you're welcome to ride mine.

For what you're doing with your bike, I would say the BMW would have been the better choice. To me comparing the two is very similar to comparing a Jeep Wrangler and a Toyota FJ Cruiser. The Jeep/KLR is more capable off road and has much better aftermarket support, while the FJ Cruiser/BMW is much more capable on road and much more refined. I went to Gateway BMW to buy a used KLR and came home with the F650GS instead, after riding both side by side I thought the BMW just suited me better.

It really all comes down to taste and which one suites you. Like I said, IM me some time and we can take a ride.

ETA, My Dad just bought an '08 FJ that's a twin to the one in your avatar. We've owned a CJ, a YJ, two TJ's and three JK's and the FJ is a really sweet ride!
Link Posted: 8/8/2011 5:00:54 AM EDT
1: what are you wanting to do with it?
2: have you looked at the Husky 630 (TE or SMS)? They are on sale, $3k off MSRP

I like my SMS

Link Posted: 8/8/2011 7:21:50 AM EDT
Originally Posted By robertl:
IM me some time, you're welcome to ride mine.

For what you're doing with your bike, I would say the BMW would have been the better choice. To me comparing the two is very similar to comparing a Jeep Wrangler and a Toyota FJ Cruiser. The Jeep/KLR is more capable off road and has much better aftermarket support, while the FJ Cruiser/BMW is much more capable on road and much more refined. I went to Gateway BMW to buy a used KLR and came home with the F650GS instead, after riding both side by side I thought the BMW just suited me better.

It really all comes down to taste and which one suites you. Like I said, IM me some time and we can take a ride.

ETA, My Dad just bought an '08 FJ that's a twin to the one in your avatar. We've owned a CJ, a YJ, two TJ's and three JK's and the FJ is a really sweet ride!


That would be awesome. Been looking for someone to ride with anyway.

PM me some numbers on what I would be looking at out the door. If I could get BMW to give me a fair enough trade (I got into the KLR pretty cheap, might be able to get close to getting it back) I may try and trade.

Plus I could do better on financing because I could use my credit union on the BMW most likely. They dont make motorcycle loans under 8K and obviously the KLR was so I had to use Kawi financing, which I plan to pay off within the 12 months anyway.

I definitely am interested in at least looking at the GS650 and maybe even the 800. The twin would be nice too, but maybe a bit too much for any off road.

Link Posted: 8/8/2011 10:39:26 AM EDT
Bump. Now I am considering the GS 800 becuase it looks like a bad SOB.
Link Posted: 8/8/2011 11:24:58 AM EDT
Originally Posted By jmt1271:
Bump. Now I am considering the GS 800 becuase it looks like a bad SOB.


Check out the "parallel universe" sub forum of the "G-Spot" forum at ADVrider.com.
Lots of info on the 650/800 twins in that forum. It seems the twins have been a bit problematic in the past, not sure if that's an ongoing issue or something that BMW has gotten sorted out.

I haven't checked their website lately, but Gateway BMW had a used GS or two last time I looked.



Link Posted: 8/8/2011 12:53:45 PM EDT
Can we add the KTM Adventure 990 to this debate?
Link Posted: 8/8/2011 12:55:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Buliwyf:
Can we add the KTM Adventure 990 to this debate?


LOL, I am getting stupid sidetracked already.

All because I enjoyed my 300 miles each way trip to TN this weekend.

And made the stupid mistake of riding my aunts r1200 gs when I was down there.


Link Posted: 8/8/2011 12:56:27 PM EDT
Originally Posted By robertl:
Originally Posted By jmt1271:
Bump. Now I am considering the GS 800 becuase it looks like a bad SOB.


Check out the "parallel universe" sub forum of the "G-Spot" forum at ADVrider.com.
Lots of info on the 650/800 twins in that forum. It seems the twins have been a bit problematic in the past, not sure if that's an ongoing issue or something that BMW has gotten sorted out.

I haven't checked their website lately, but Gateway BMW had a used GS or two last time I looked.






Gateway does have a used one, yes.

I will check into it more thoroughly, as far as issues with the twin.
Link Posted: 8/8/2011 9:52:20 PM EDT
Had a first year F800GS. Was a great bike, when it ran.

Of course, with any motorcycle, expect to spend money on aftermarket parts to dial it in to fit you and your riding style. The F800GS needed about $1500 on suspension, seat and windscreen mods to be comfortable to ride. And that didn't count the crash bars and engine guards. But, as I said, it was a great bike on the road, rough country roads, and double track. It was too big for me for serious off road. I've got a little WR250R for that stuff. I ended up trading the bike back in due to warranty/engine issues. I think BMW has since changed out the early EFI parts that were having problems with American ethanol fuel. The F650GS is almost the same engine (different tune) and lower grade suspension/brakes, etc.

The G650GS is closer to the KLR. Anything BMW is going to cost you money to maintain, even if you do some of the stuff yourself. Should be some F800GS's on the used market with all the new competition out (Tiger 800XC, Yamaha Super Tenere). If you find a good clean one, I'd recommend it. Even with the warranty issues, BMW should fix anything during the first 3 years.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 2:33:17 AM EDT
Triumph Tiger 800 XC
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:35:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2011 5:36:49 AM EDT by frozenny]
I have ridden (but not owned) a 2009 KLR. Nice bike butt my impressions are that its quite tapped out at highway speeds. It will do more than 65-70 mph but it sure is not fun. The RPM's are high, the vibration is extreme and the bike feels like its going to grenade under you. I may be exagerating some but you get the point. This bike is a good friend's, and he categorically does not like riding in excess of 65 mph on this bike. It's fine at 55.

I own a 2009 BMW F650GS (the twin, usually known as the F658). While it is in the same class as the KLR, it is a whole different bike. I regularly cruise comfortably at 75-80 mph. The power is such that quick passes are possible, and hitting an even 100mph is not difficult. The LKR has something like mid 30's HP. The F650GS has low 70's. It is a BIG and noticeable difference. The ride is different too. At 70-75 mph I kick mine up into 6th gear, the engine settles at about 4000 rpm, and just seems to lope along effortlessly. The ride position is very comfortable for me, and with the aftermarket corbin seat this is the "perfect" bike for me.Its the first bike I can realistically ride tank to tank. the heat grips rule (much warmer than most aftermarket grips).

If it means anything the KLR owner wants to sell his bike and buy a gs.

To be fair some of the klr vibes may be due to tires. He's running 50/50 Mefos. I'm running 90 street /10 dirt michelin anakees. His are semi knobbies.

if you want a primarily street bike, its very very hard to go wrong with the F650gs. I'm coming off a Kawa C14 supersport touring bike with 155 hp. I am in no way bored with the F650gs. It handles like a sport bike (it's light and nimble). If you do want dirt riding capabilities, look at the f800. A bit more power (not rally needed) but its more dirt oriented wwith spoke wheels and a few other differences.

I'd buy mine F650 again in a NY minute. Maintenance costs ar higher, but check intervals. Oil changes, for example, are every 6000 miles instead of 3000-4000 like many other bikes. I'm not finding mine to be extreme. For what its worth, I ride 4 hours to and 4 hours from the local BMW shop and I dont mind the ride

I have no experience on the single cylinder BMW's. Info from others (second hand) is that they do not compare.

Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:40:59 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Dance:
Triumph Tiger 800 XC


Saw one last week at the local dealer. is all I could say. Damn sexy!
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:12:35 PM EDT
As an owner of a BMW F800s (same engine) , I would not buy another Beemer that did not come with the full AND extended warranty AND a good dealer close by.
I would look at the Triumph 800 Tiger, though ... and it has nothing to do with being a former Bonneville owner.

Stay safe
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 6:17:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By frozenny:
I have ridden (but not owned) a 2009 KLR. Nice bike butt my impressions are that its quite tapped out at highway speeds. It will do more than 65-70 mph but it sure is not fun. The RPM's are high, the vibration is extreme and the bike feels like its going to grenade under you. I may be exagerating some but you get the point. This bike is a good friend's, and he categorically does not like riding in excess of 65 mph on this bike. It's fine at 55.Must be pretty subjective then. One of my concerns about buying the KLR650 was would it be OK at 65 mph and over, for passing and such. Well, I only have about 1100 miles in mine, but after my trip to TN and back this weekend, almost all interstate, this is no longer a concern. I mean, no matter what, I want more power on anything. But, the power of the KLR was not a problem at all. It has plenty of power to pass at even 80. I was really surprised and impressed by the power actually. Vibration was not extreme, or even bothersome actually. Bike didnt remotely feel like it was going to grenade. Felt as if it would gladly do 75 all week long.

I do think that its "sweet spot" is more like 55 mph, instead of 70, but that is more about fuel economy in my estimation. The only issue I had at higher speed was the wind. The bike was more than happy to do it.


I own a 2009 BMW F650GS (the twin, usually known as the F658). While it is in the same class as the KLR, it is a whole different bike. I regularly cruise comfortably at 75-80 mph. The power is such that quick passes are possible, and hitting an even 100mph is not difficult. The LKR has something like mid 30's HP. The F650GS has low 70's. It is a BIG and noticeable difference. The ride is different too. At 70-75 mph I kick mine up into 6th gear, the engine settles at about 4000 rpm, and just seems to lope along effortlessly. The ride position is very comfortable for me, and with the aftermarket corbin seat this is the "perfect" bike for me.Its the first bike I can realistically ride tank to tank. the heat grips rule (much warmer than most aftermarket grips). I am definitely considering stepping up to a more high tech, higher powered, bike, and the BMW twin 800 is a consideration. Although the more I research the BMW twins, I am leaning toward other options due to some of the stuff that seems to crop up with the GS 800's. I cant afford it but I think if I decided to get an 800cc GS, I would just go ahead and go to the 1200.

If it means anything the KLR owner wants to sell his bike and buy a gs. It means a little. I guess. After a thousand miles on my KLR I really like it, and I too am looking to either replace it or add something bigger to the stable. Maybe a GS, maybe something else.

To be fair some of the klr vibes may be due to tires. He's running 50/50 Mefos. I'm running 90 street /10 dirt michelin anakees. His are semi knobbies. I am sure knobby tires vs street tires make a huge difference, and I thought for sure I would want some Metzler or Michelin tires, but again, after putting 1K on the factory DOT knobbies, I have changed my mind and plan to wear out the knobbies.

if you want a primarily street bike, its very very hard to go wrong with the F650gs. I'm coming off a Kawa C14 supersport touring bike with 155 hp. I am in no way bored with the F650gs. It handles like a sport bike (it's light and nimble). If you do want dirt riding capabilities, look at the f800. A bit more power (not rally needed) but its more dirt oriented wwith spoke wheels and a few other differences.Come on man, more power is always needed. Overkill is insufficient.

I'd buy mine F650 again in a NY minute. Maintenance costs ar higher, but check intervals. Oil changes, for example, are every 6000 miles instead of 3000-4000 like many other bikes. I'm not finding mine to be extreme. For what its worth, I ride 4 hours to and 4 hours from the local BMW shop and I dont mind the ride That too is subjective I suppose. My uncle and aunt both have 1200cc BMW's. He has a 90 minute each way commute to work, and it didnt take him long to come to the conclusion that once maintenance and tires are factored in, it is cheaper long run to drive his Nissan to work than his bike.

I have no experience on the single cylinder BMW's. Info from others (second hand) is that they do not compare.I plan to ride all of them and maybe add something to the stable possibly on the last business day of the year. After about a month of tying up various salesman's time

I like the bike you own a lot from just reading about it, but I am not taking anything away from the KLR as I am pretty sure that, bang for the buck, it may be the top dog. I hope to know for sure after some riding time on some of the others.




Link Posted: 8/10/2011 2:27:46 PM EDT
I'd opt for a KTM 990 waaaay before either of the mid-sized BMW offerings. It may not be any more of a money sucking whore than the Beamers, but while it's running it's a fucking grin machine that does everything well...and has tons of motor.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 6:38:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By swingset:
I'd opt for a KTM 990 waaaay before either of the mid-sized BMW offerings. It may not be any more of a money sucking whore than the Beamers, but while it's running it's a fucking grin machine that does everything well...and has tons of motor.


I have heard that the KTM's were awesome bikes when it came to straight up having a blast. But, I also value rock solid reliability and something that is fairly reasonable to service,

These areas seem like weak points on the KTM. But I still want to test ride one
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 8:07:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jmt1271:
Originally Posted By swingset:
I'd opt for a KTM 990 waaaay before either of the mid-sized BMW offerings. It may not be any more of a money sucking whore than the Beamers, but while it's running it's a fucking grin machine that does everything well...and has tons of motor.


I have heard that the KTM's were awesome bikes when it came to straight up having a blast. But, I also value rock solid reliability and something that is fairly reasonable to service,

These areas seem like weak points on the KTM. But I still want to test ride one

The 990's a pretty reliable twin, from everything I've heard...but Euro DS bikes are finicky money sucking whores, unless you get lucky. I've never been supremely lucky.

If I were looking for rock-solid reliability, easy parts and service, I'd buy a Vstrom 650 and call it a day...or the KLR that you're already on if I were more dirt than street.

Come to think of it, both those bikes put together are about the price of a 990. Win/win.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:56:18 PM EDT
My new Super Tenere was less OTD than my '09 F800GS. The more I ride the Yamaha, the more I like it.
Link Posted: 8/11/2011 9:44:46 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 220ST:
My new Super Tenere was less OTD than my '09 F800GS. The more I ride the Yamaha, the more I like it.



I need to look at the Tenere. Heard a lot of good stuff on them.
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