2011 BMW G650GS
The original ancestor of the 2011 BMW G650GS was introduced in 1993 under the unfortunate moniker of Funduro, which certainly must have made sense to someone in Bavaria, although to no one else anywhere else. The fruit of a joint development project with Aprilia who marketed its version as the Pegaso, these 650 thumpers were the very first single cylinder engines produced since the R27 in the Sixties, and represented the very first chain driven motorcycles ever to issue from the Black Forest. The G650GS has benefited from almost two decades of refinement and the Bavarian engineers definitely dialed it in right. It's a phenomenal all purpose bike.
The 652cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder has a bore and stroke 100.0 mm x 83.0 mm and a compression ratio of 11.5:1. Thanks to a fully updated fuel injection system the rated output by the factory is 50 hp @ 7,000 rpm with maximum torque sitting at 44 foot pounds @ 5,250 rpm, but you can bet that if plunked on your nearest dyno these figures might be a bit higher still as BMW has always been conservative with its power claims.
The considerably revised G650GS has an extremely rigid steel bridge tubular frame featuring a bolt-on lower frame section and rear subframe. This year, the ABS system is all new and features the BMW Motorrad Bosch 8 M ABS control unit which weighs barely three pounds. Should you prefer to switch the ABS on and off, you can easily do so at any time. The Showa telescopic fork with 6.7 inches of wheel travel suspends the 100/90x19 in the front and the 130/80x17 rear runs in a two-arm box-type swingarm including a central spring strut with adjustable preload and with travel 6.5 of wheel travel.
Emission control is state of the art with a closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter which meets the extremely stringent emission standards of Euro 3. The G650GS offers as an extra cost accessory a lowering kit that drops the bike down by 30 mm which is a significant amount, and a center stand which is a desirable option especially if you go through a few rear tires.
The overall wet weight of the G650GS is a relatively restrained 423 lbs. which is definitely respectable for such a fully featured motorcycle but is still on the high side when evaluating its agility in off road situations. The weight is certainly a factor in the dirt, varying between just barely noticeable on a fast fire road all the way to excessive and troublesome in deep sand or mud.
The 2011 BMW G650GS is more than just a bit on the pricy side at nearly eight grand, but you get outstanding capabilities and the renowned bulletproof German engineering. The G650S even has heated grips! It's definitely worth the extra bucks over its competition.
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2011 BMW G650GS At A Glance
Base MSRP: $8,750
Engine Displacement: 652 cc
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled single cylinder-engine, four valves
Bore & Stroke: 100 mm x 83 mm
Compression Ratio: 11.5:1
Transmission Type: Five speed gearbox with dog-type shift
Final Drive Type: O-ring chain 5/8 x 1/4
Front Tire: 110/90 - 19" 57 S
Rear Tire: 130/80 - 17" 65 S
Wheelbase: 1479 mm
Saddle Height: 780 mm
Curb Dry Weight: Wet 380 kg
Fuel Capacity (US): 17.3 L
* Specs/pix apply to 2010 model, updates as released