First Ride on the BMW


I bought a used (2007) BMW F650 GS on Saturday! Before I bought it, I met the previous owner at his house to check out the bike, and I was really impressed both with the motorcycle and the seller. He was really knowledgeable about motorcycles and knew a lot about the BMW. He showed me how to take off the center covers, inspect the battery, explained all the controls and suspension tweaks etc. Plus he was really helpful by riding the motorcycle to my house, which saved me a lot of money. I am so fortunate to find a really great bike and seller. But the bike sat in my garage on Saturday because I was so busy.

Sunday morning I woke up and was ready to ride the BMW for the first time. (Actually second time if you count the test ride down the street and back) The bike is so smooth and leaving the driveway and going up the cul-de-sac hill was super easy. The clutch is very forgiving and it is easy to find the friction zone. I got used to taking off from a stop pretty quickly. Basically, you need to accelerate sort of quickly so that you get some inertia and the bike becomes stable. If you are timid about it, you will kind of wobble and lean. I did that a couple times until I got used to the clutch lever and where the clutch engages. What’s cool about my bike is that the clutch lever has three positions so I was able to have the lever sort of close to the grip. The “little” BMW fits me perfectly. The seat height is relatively low, and the handlebars are at a relaxed position. My knees are bent at a comfortable angle, and rest lightly against the sides of the faux tank. Even though it’s considered a smallish bike, it still looked huge in my garage. Everyone who sees it remarks that it is bigger than they thought it would be.

The first place I went to was the middle school nearby. There was a light drizzle as I practiced some hard braking and emergency stops in the parking lot for a few minutes. After that I decided to head down Brushy Creek which is a really nice little road. Some dude in his SUV was tailgating me for a minute, but I refused to go over the speed limit, and eventually he backed off. The road was a little slick and I didn’t want to push it. I eventually crossed under I-35 and headed farther east towards the Dell Diamond. Even at 8am I could smell BBQ as I passed by the Salt Lick. On this stretch of road I realized that it seemed like I was going faster than I really was. Felt like I was doing 60mph, when I was only at about 45mph. The cars in the fast lane were whizzing past me. But the cool thing about the 650 was that it takes just a second or two to get up to speed. Then I found myself doing the speed limit, and cars were still passing me. I just kept to 60mph though and enjoyed the ride. This was actually the fastest I have ridden on a bike before so the experience was both exhilarating and frightening at the same time. It was also a ton of fun. In a few minutes I found myself in Hutto and decided to turn around. When I did that, the low fuel light came on (which meant I had about a gallon or 65 miles left) so I stopped at a gas station to fuel up. The BMW has its gas tank actually under the seat and the gas cap is on the side like a car. The faux tank actually houses the battery and other internals. It’s kind of a neat set up and lowers the center of gravity.

After the gas station, I headed home. I passed by another rider on his Suzuki sportbike and he gave me a wave. That was pretty cool. Later on, I passed a Harley, and the lady riding 2up in the back gave me a wave. I wonder if this will get old after a while? Anyways, on the ride I realized that it is so nice to not be limited to where I can go, unlike when riding the Honda C70 which has a top speed of 40mph. I still enjoyed riding slowly down the curvy Brushy Creek but it was great knowing I could open up the throttle a bit and speed off when I got to the 55mph zone.

I thoroughly enjoyed my first run on my new bike. I totally love it. Cannot wait to go out again!

7 thoughts on “First Ride on the BMW”

  1. Congrats on the bike! Followed your link on Flickr. The F650 is a fantastic bike and has a huge following. Check out (the Chain Gang). That site has EVERYTHING you will ever need to know about your bike. The forums are very helpful and the people are great.

    Also, if your bike has ABS… they are awesome! No need to fear locking up the brakes. Just squeeze them firmly and you will come to a quick stop. And even though some people say the BMW system cases are not very durable, I really liked them. They fit the bike perfectly and expand to give you more storage. I also found the BMW tank bag a perfect fit where others were kinda sloppy.

    Here’s my old baby.

    Sometimes I miss her when I see some dirt roads. I sold it on to a guy who lives half way across the United States. He never even saw the bike in person. Sent me a certified check and set up a transportation company to pick up the bike at my local BMW dealer.

    You chose a great bike to move up with. It’s very easy to ride. Adding a taller wind screen (I installed a Puig windscreen) will make highway riding a lot easier. Ride safe!

  2. Thanks for the comment! I’ve been hanging around for a while now. So much great information. That is one of the reasons I was drawn to the F650 GS: huge community. I’m thinking about some kind of luggage, but probably a tank bag or something to strap to the rear rack. I think part of the fun is all the gear! Oh, my bike does have ABS, the heated grips and an accessory socket. I love it.

  3. This is a really interesting post esp. about how you got used to the bike. Are you going to ride it to work or will it just be recreational?

  4. Mostly recreational, but I might ride it to work sometimes. The thing is that it would have to be on days that I don’t have to pick up the kiddos.

  5. Thanks Chris! Actually they started making them again under a different model name, the G650 GS. At least for the US market. The only difference is the motor is assembled in China and is black instead of silver.

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