BMW F 650 GS Dakar
- City runabout, or tough enough to kick up dust in the competitions
bike, for beginners & intermediate, Street or Dirt.
As your confidence grows, the bike will keep impressing you."
ABS - on/off !!
Its advisable to disengage the ABS on
gravel roads, but it can be annoying to have to switch the ABS
on and off, on and off each time you restart the bike. But its
a heck of a lot better than taking a spill in a loose 90 degree
hairpin at 60km/h cause you cant lock up the back wheel in a controlled
The BMW F650 GS
Dakar is one of the most versatile and comfortable road
bikes, and it was a pleasure to take out for the day. "It
is a fantastic city bike as you would imagine, although the off
road test was on fairly tame gravel roads in Paal Nature Reserve,
it still gave me a sense of a true adventure bike"
Craig Marshall - Rider
The riding location is only 50km outside
Cape Town, and 4km off the N1. The Paarl Mountain nature Reserve
offers riders a 15 km dirt road along the from of the mountain
overlooking the entire Paarl Valley
Winelands , inside
Reserve is a round route of 17.5km. But speed
is limited to 30km/h.
Map of Reserve
The point of the route is to observe the nature, not blast around
and destroy it. So please if you heading up there, respect the
Reserve and ride around at 30km/h if you can.
I must admit, the plan was not for me to ride that day, The
demo bike I wanted was not available, so I borrowed the photographers
(Tania Coetzee's) Dakar and went along for
If ever there was a more perfect bike for Newbies, Oldies and
Ladies, this is it.
If a couple want to enjoy biking together, its advisable to
each have a Dakar 650, than to both saddle up on a huge 1200
F650 Dakar has been the bike of choice
for many a new comer to the dual sport market. Its light, Powerful
and cruises on tar and gravel with equal comfort.
Despite the bikes 177kg dry weight, it handles exceptionally
well, and can be muscled around like a bike of half its weight.
652cc, 4v single cylinder four-stroke.
ccm (39.79 cubic inches)
x 83.0 mm (3.9 x 3.3 inches)
kW @ 6500 rpm
Nm @ 4800 rpm
Electronic intake pipe injection / BMW engine management.
clutch in oil-bath, mechanically operated
steel section frame with bolted-on rear section
fork, stanchion diameter 41 mm, fork stabiliser
pre-load hydraulically adjustable
41 mm - Rear 135 mm
disc with ABS
disc with ABS
90/90-S21 Rear 130/80-S17
km/h (105.6 mph)
mm At lowest setting.
28km/l at 100km/h
"Riding conservatively at around
100-120km/h the 17.30 litre tank will give you about 450km
With out a doubt, this city cruiser will be able to keep
the blood circulating for many Hundreds of kilometers. The
seat is also narrow enough not to be a problem when standing
the bikes 177kg dry weight, it handles exceptionally well,
and can be muscled around like a bike of half its weight.
The standard fearing is good enough, depending
on rider height, if helmet buffeting is a problem, extend
the fearing a little.
Like all bikes in its class, there is a noticeable vibration
from about 130km/h, but it can be expected from any single
The bike is best cruising at around 110km/h and it does
wonders for fuel economy.
Power to Weight:
did find the bike to be a little underpowered in the higher
gears, but from pull off up through the gears, if you keep
the bike in the powerband, its good enough to keep the stones
roostering and the back end fish tailing.
Off Road Handling:
be fair, your ability and confidence as a rider off road
will dictate a large part of how she handles. If you want
to muscle her around, do small jumps, and climb the odd
fire break - the bike will be adequate. It does struggle
a bit in soft sand, but that's purely a tyres and weight
issue. keep the throttle open and she will fly across the
Is the BMW
F650 GS Dakar just
a city runabout, or is it tough enough to kick up dust in
the competitions face ?
Answer: It is a very versatile
machine - if you are just a city biker and only
venture off road when its hard pack gravel, then its the
bike for you. If you have years of experience off road,
and ride more aggressively perhaps you would want something
more suited to enduro, but this bike will adapt to what
ever you put her through. If you want to ride across africa,
it will cope no problem, for reliability, comfort, availability
of parts, market price, resale value...there is no equal
in the dual sport market. Period.
If you are a new comer, lady, conservative rider and want
to get the most for your money and don't have the experience
to handle more than 36kw in the dirt -
buy A BMW F650 GS. As your experience and
confidence grows, so this bike will adapt and you will be
able to enjoy some of the more hard core routes around Southern