I'm thinking of buying a BMW F650GS motorcycle

So I decided that I’d like to get my first motorcycle.

I thought about what I want to do with it, and I decided that I want it to go everywhere, and I want it to do highway speeds without too much effort.

So I decided on a dual-sport (or is it an enduro?)

I settled on a BMW because it seems they are highly regarded. I decided on the F650GS as it seems the right size, and the R1200GS seems like a whole lotta bike (how do you off-road with a 1200?).

Is an F650GS too much bike for a new rider? I’ve bombed around on dirt bikes a few times without trouble and my regular driving skills are just fine. I’m 36 (not inclined to ride like a moron), 6’1", 210 lbs.

I’m committed to going “all-in” in terms of lessons, theory, practice, gear, etc… would the F650GS be too much bike for me, do you think?

Thanks all!

Its not an out and out dirt bike, but it can handle it to a reasonable degree.

Its too pretty to be used a lot on dirt, you are going to fall over at some point and this will not do the bodywork any good at all.

The Dakar version would be a better choice.

BMW do promote this bike as a good commuter/beginner machine so you will not have any problems on the road.

I have a F650GS I bought last year and I’m really enjoying it. It gives me the ability to go on to dirt roads as well which is opens up a lot more avenues for exploration.
I am considering a 1150GS at the end of the year mainly because I would like to take my wife with me and the 650 is a bit uncomfortable for a pillion over longer distances.
Check out this forum for a LOT of information on the BMW650s.
ADV rider is another good forum to check out.

Those Beemers are used a lot at bicycle races triathlons and marathons. The race course marshals and volunteers use them.

I think it’s because of their general versatility. IMHO, they look like they would be very easy to ride.

If I where to get a bike to ride to work (gravel roads for me) I would definitely look into it.

Thanks a lot for the info and advice. I look forward to riding. I read that next year BMW will introduce an F800GS. That would be worth checking out.

I don’t think that you’ll find a 650 too much bike for you. You may however find it a bit tall for you. Then again most people might find it a bit too tall.

Any bike can be taken down dirt or gravel roads, I take my Concours down roads like that when I need to.

I’d buy used if you can find one. You will drop the bike at some point, even if it’s just parking it. They will also be much cheaper. Take the MSF course first if you can, then go have fun.

And buy gear! Helmet, gloves and jacket at a minimum.

If you want to be a pedant about it, the F650GS is a dual sport, but not an enduro. “Enduros” are dirt bikes with turn signals and a plate, more dirt oriented than street. “Adventure bikes” are street bikes with long travel suspension and semi-knobby tires, more street than dirt (the 650GS falls into this category). “Dual sport” is a broad term that covers both subtypes.

Not very easily, but it can be done if you’re stubborn enough. A buddy of mine has an 1150GS that he takes off road. A 600 lb. bike is a handful in sand, I can tell you that.

The F650GS is an excellent bike. You should do alright. Like most dual sports, it is a tall bike, but at 6’1" that shouldn’t be a problem for you. The fuel is under the seat (what looks like the fuel tank is really the airbox) so it’s not as top-heavy as a lot of DS bikes tend to be. If you really want to take it off road, I second the recommendation of the ADVRider forum. They’re a good source for that sort of information, guys there take their bikes to far more extreme places than I’ll ever go.