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BMW GS parallel-twin

BMW GS parallel-twin

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The BMW F800GS and F650GS are members of the GS family of dual-sport motorcycle
Motorcycle
A motorcycle is a single-track, two-wheeled motor vehicle. Motorcycles vary considerably depending on the task for which they are designed, such as long distance travel, navigating congested urban traffic, cruising, sport and racing, or off-road conditions.Motorcycles are one of the most...

s manufactured in Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

, Germany by BMW Motorrad
BMW Motorrad
BMW Motorrad is the motorcycle brand of the German company BMW, part of its Corporate and Brand Development division. The current General Director of the unit is Hendrik von Kuenheim....

. Both bikes were launched in 2008, and use the same 798 cc parallel-twin engine with chain drive
Chain drive
Chain drive is a way of transmitting mechanical power from one place to another. It is often used to convey power to the wheels of a vehicle, particularly bicycles and motorcycles...

, but with different power outputs and equipment levels. The F650GS name can cause confusion as it was also used for a 652 cc BMW bike fitted with a single-cylinder Rotax
Rotax
BRP-Powertrain GmbH & Co KG , commonly known simply as Rotax, is an Austrian engine manufacturer. It develops and produces four-stroke and advanced two-stroke engines for Bombardier Recreational Products products as well as for motorcycles, karts,...

 engine, produced from 2000 to 2007; a bike which has now been relaunched as the G650GS
BMW F650 single
The BMW F650 is a family of single-cylinder motorcycles that was produced by BMW Motorrad beginning in 1993. Models include the F650ST Strada, F650 Funduro, F650GS, F650GS Dakar and latterly the G650GS...

 fitted with a Chinese-manufactured engine of the same 652 cc capacity. The parallel-twin engine was first used in the F800S
BMW F800S
The F800S was a sport bike made by BMW Motorrad from 2006 to 2010. Along with the F800S, other bikes in the F-bike range are the dual-sport F800GS, the sport touring F800ST, and the naked F800R....

,
and is also used in the F800ST
BMW F800ST
The BMW F800ST is a sport touring motorcycle, made by BMW Motorrad from 2006. Along with the closely related BMW F800S, other bikes in the F-bike range are the dual-sport F800GS, and the naked F800R...

 and F800R
BMW F800R
The BMW F800R is a naked motorcycle introduced by BMW Motorrad in 2009. It is the newest addition to the F-series, which includes the F800S, the dual-sport F800GS & F650GS, and the sport touring F800ST....

, although these bikes are tuned to deliver peak power at a different RPM from the GS models. On the GS models the engine is angled further backwards to provide longer suspension travel, needed for offroad use.


Model differences


Although both bikes use the same basic engine, there are a number of differences.
The F800 produces 85 hp, which is 14 hp more power than the F650. The F650 engine can be modified to deliver a reduced power output of 25 kW for European riders on restricted Category A licences.
The F800 is fitted with twin brake discs
Disc brake
The disc brake or disk brake is a device for slowing or stopping the rotation of a wheel while it is in motion.A brake disc is usually made of cast iron, but may in some cases be made of composites such as reinforced carbon–carbon or ceramic matrix composites. This is connected to the wheel and/or...

 on the front while the F650 is fitted with just one disc.
Both bikes feature optional anti-lock brakes
Anti-lock braking system
An anti-lock braking system is a safety system that allows the wheels on a motor vehicle to continue interacting tractively with the road surface as directed by driver steering inputs while braking, preventing the wheels from locking up and therefore avoiding skidding.An ABS generally offers...

 (ABS). The F800 features spoked wheels
Wire wheels
The rims of wire wheels are connected to their hubs by wire spokes. Although these wires are generally stiffer than a typical wire rope, they function mechanically the same as tensioned flexible wires, keeping the rim true while supporting applied loads.Wire wheels are used on most bicycles and...

 with a 21 inch front and 17 rear, while the F650 has cast aluminium alloy wheels
Alloy wheel
Alloy wheels are automobile wheels which are made from an alloy of aluminium or magnesium. They are typically lighter for the same strength...

 with a 19 inch front and 17 rear. The standard seat height on the F800 is 880 mm (34.6 in), compared with 820 mm (32.3 in) for the F650, which can be further reduced with a low seat and lowered suspension to 765 mm (30.1 in) making it suitable for much shorter riders.

External links

  • Official BMW site for F800GS
  • Official BMW site for F650GS
  • F800GS review by Motorcycle News
    Motorcycle News
    MCN or Motor Cycle News is a weekly motorcycling newspaper published by Bauer Consumer Media, and based in Peterborough, United Kingdom. The title was founded by Cyril Quantrill in 1955 and bought by EMAP, before Bauer bought Emap's consumer media division in 2008...

  • F650GS review by Motorcycle News
    Motorcycle News
    MCN or Motor Cycle News is a weekly motorcycling newspaper published by Bauer Consumer Media, and based in Peterborough, United Kingdom. The title was founded by Cyril Quantrill in 1955 and bought by EMAP, before Bauer bought Emap's consumer media division in 2008...