Our BMW R1200GS had to go into the garage this week to have the rear suspension looked at, its had some very hard use over some very poor quality roads recently.
While it was there I had a loan bike. Our local BMW Bike dealer is pretty good about loan bikes and over the years, while our bikes are being services we have tried out just about every bike BMW make.
Today I got to have a blast round Lincolnshire on the baby GS, the F650GS. The old model from a few years a go was a real blast, but not a bike I could ride for long. It was a single cylinder 650cc bike, and that big single thumper while fun made your bum go numb after about 100 miles.
When the F800ST was released it brought to BMW a whole new engine, the parallel twin 800cc. Parallel twins have a bad reputation, but this was a whole new design with a lot of cutting edge F1 technology incorporated into it; and it is a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde engine. At low rev’s a comfortable bike with amazing fuel consumption, but at high rev’s a real sporty and fun bike when the mood took you.
Versions of this engine have now been used across the range and confusingly now powers the F650GS, yep the 650 is actually an 800cc bike. The GS range now has the F650, F800, and R1200GS.
The F650 is the soft option. A fun bike easy to ride and not too threatening. The F800GS is a different beast, far more aggressive and a real off road tool.
The R1200GS needs no introduction. I have to say my R1200GS is the best motorcycle I have ever owned and is even the best bike I have ever ridden. There are other bikes that I would rate as just as good but different, but the R1200GS is unique.