650 or 1150


I'm looking to buy a BM for the first time and am tempted by the F650 GS as an all round machine but am worried about the fact that its a single. Is it lumpy for example?
I've owned 900's in the past and sold my Triumph Tiger 900 2 years ago because the beast was too top heavy. I'm not short 5' 10 and have sat on both bikes and have found the height and weight ok and hope to test ride both in the next couple of weeks. So how do they handle at low speed and how practicle is it to bash up a dust track or green lane with a 1150. If you have any links to web sites or books on the subjects i would be grateful.
Will be looking for a bike in August / September only getting married and future wife would kill me if i spend all my hard earned before the wedding in June.
Lighthawker said:
Will be looking for a bike in August / September only getting married and future wife would kill me if i spend all my hard earned before the wedding in June.

Good idea, she can divorce you when you spend all your hard earned after your married. :p
From what you describe of your circumstances and desires, I think that this might be a hard call because, in their different ways, both are excellent bikes (and better than any Triumph that I have owned or ridden!).

The 650 is a better off-road or traffic bike. But that's largely due to its size and weight. Personally, at 6' 3", I found the ergonomics of the 650 a little tight and it becomes uncomfortable after a few hours in the saddle.

If longer distance tours are more your bag, then the 1100GS or the 1150GS win hands down. They are supreme mile-munchers. The low CoG well disguises their true mass and handling embarasses many a sports bike. the 11xxGS can hack it off road, and would take most green lanes in its stride (the instructors on the BMW Off-Road course all ride 1150's where most pupils struggle with a 650!!). But, when the chips are down, its size counts against it.

If you want your average speed to be high and your daily mileage much the same, go for the 11xxGS. If you prefer a slower, but perhaps more difficult path, go for the 650GS. Either way, leave your pipe and slippers at home!!!

I have an F650 Dakar at the moment and am well pleased with it. I tried the normal 650, but at 6' I just found it uncomfortable as the tank indents seemed to catch both knees in the most aukward place. I settled for the Dakar, which is considerably taller and despite a few hiccups at the start, now that it has bedded down I do not find it a problem. My mate at 5'6'' finds the normal 650 fine, but finds the Dakar far too tall.

I bought the 650 last May with the long term view of getting a 1150 GS, in a few years but after just 10 months I find myself keen to buy a 1150. Tried one last night & was very impressed with it. In 6th gear, you were struggling to hear the engine at all -it pulled so effortlessly and even though the one I rode has 57,000 miles on the clock it still felt rock solid. I am sure that the Off Road instructors use 1150s but for us mere mortals, I would not like to have to lift it alone if things did go tits up.
Welcome Lighthawker....You've found the right place...but don't tell the fiance!!:D

I've had an F650 and I've now got an 1150 ADV......Both are great bikes but I'd second what Greg said..depends on what you want out of the bike.......although as long as you're not doing JUST town work, I'd veer towards the 1150...the negatives of the F650 on the motorways are greater than those that the 1150 suffers in town if you see what i mean....

Plus there are the 1100's.......you'll find many an 1100 owner here who will swear that their varient is better than the 1150......they certainly seem to be a tad faster but personally i prefer the looks of the 1150's...

Your'e also in the maket at probably the perfect time......buy soon and you'll probably pick up a nice 1150 (or 1150adv, in silver, the best of them all :D ) as the guys who are trading in their 1150's for 12's will probably push the prices down a little.....but don't wait too long 'cos they'll all be running back to get their old 1150's back moaning about reliability and plastic :p

Go for the test rides....but make sure you give each one a proper try out......

Good luck and welcome to the asylum ;)
If wifey is planing to ride pillion then the 1150,

BTW i'm in the moordown area if you wanna be bored to death :p

Gates :)
Thanks for the replies, as yet its difficult to say what I'll be doing with the bike. The intention is to ultimatley tour so I suppose I've answered my own question although I do like the 650 Dakar. Still I will be test riding a 1100 at the weekend so will keep you posted
Dear Mr Lighthawker,

I've owned both an F650GS and now an 1150GS. If your aim is to tour then it's a no-brainer. Big is beautiful. The only advantage the 650 has is for offroad. For everything else (including town) the 1150 is better and by a long way. Get involved

Mr C
I too have had a F650, and now have the 1150 and would have to say I’d wished I got the 1150 from the word go. It’s a lovely bike to ride, very comfortable and is the only bike to have if you want to do touring. And the best thing of all is I don’t have to f##k around with chains or sprockets now. Have a good long think about what you want out of your machine and then get the 1150, lol
im have a similar story - had 650 dakar and switched to 1150 GS.... after only 6m. 1150 gs actually ok in town - i commute daily through london and dont find it any worse than the dakar - in fact the size makes it a bit better when filtering past on the right (cars notice you more). also you hardly notice when you run over scooters.

suggest you go right for the 1150 gs for town/touring/scratching and get a cheap dirt bike for green lanes.
My advise: Go for a 650 Dakar. Weight is king. Less is better. The 650 is strong as a bull. Takes you round the world -- if you coose to do so.
I have a GSA but would also like to have a 650. As I can't be greedy I opted for the GSA on the grounds that it 'should' be better at covering long distances although the 650 can certainly hold it's own when it comes to touring.

I have used both bikes abroad and must admit the GS was a better bike on motorway type roads but the 650 was much more fun on the twisty parts. The 650 brought back memories of riding small/light bikes I was used to in the late 70's. The group I was riding with certainly enjoyed the 650 and it had no trouble keeping up with the 'bigger' bikes.

Difficult choice.
I have a F650 and also a R80GS. Both are not comparable to 11XXGS but taking into account my 80GS, F650 is a better commuter and off-road machine. In terms of fuel consumption, spares and maintenance F650 is much economical and it is a satisfactory tourer for two if you don't carry too much.

But if you wanna ride a true BM bike go for the boxer engined and shaft driven ones, riding a bm boxer surely will give you more pleasure than what you get on F650.

Top Bottom