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2009 BMW G650GS First Ride Photo Gallery

BMW re-enters the affordable, 650 Single dual-sport market with the 2009 G650GS. This low-slung commuter brings some features to the table that other manufacturers can't match.

The instrument panel is straightforward and clean.
The G650 BMW uses gearing to give the motor some life off the bottom. A low first gear makes launching easy, but runs out quickly.
The best power is definitely mid- to top-end, but typical use, especially in the city, will likely be less high-strung.
Keeping the motor in the right rpm and pulling strong is fun as well, but takes only slightly more effort.
Slicing through the curves is easy on the nimble G650.
BMW has brought back one of its most popular dual-sport machines, the 2009 BMW G650GS, an improved take on the original F650GS and Dakar models.
The paved strip of heaven across Palomar Mountain had us tapping through the gears, mostly second and third.
We first laid eyes on the 2009 BMW G650GS at the amazing Grand del Mar resort. We were equally intrigued by both.
They specifically designed it so that the accessories for those original machines will fit directly onto the new G650; a huge advantage for previous owners and for an established support network around the globe.
The stature, price and performance make the bike a potential fit for all of BMW’s target consumers: First time buyers, those returning to motorcycling and riders jumping ship from other brands.
If there’s one way to describe the new machine, it’s 'easy.'
Our day didn’t include any dirt, but after only a couple dozen miles introductory miles, it became clear that wouldn’t be a disappointment.
The suspension is well-mannered, chassis stable-yet-responsive and the motor is willing with a usable spread of power.
The front end retains some of the GS look, but the headlight is a deviation from the larger models.
This new brake system returns to older technology by switching from digital to analog actuation on the inlet valves. It isn’t a step backwards in performance, however, since digital provides a very 'on/off' feel, the analog system is less detectable when operating.
I was anxious to see if the five-speed had enough legroom on top but am pleased to report that I was comfortable riding at 80 mph without subconsciously lifting my left toe like some nervous tic.
Women riders looked much more comfortable on the G650GS. Taller riders were a bit folded up.
The bike isn’t uncomfortable, even with the small stature. Zipping around town or doing a few hours of canyon riding is completely realistic
Everyone initially balks at the MSRP, but the G650GS brings fuel injection, ABS, heated grips and ultra-low seat height – all things that are unheard of in the 650 dual-sport market.
The 30.7-inch seat height is extremely easy to mount with its stepped design, and the optional 29.5-inch setup ($175) even more so.
BMW has re-entered the large-bore DS market, or small-bore adventure, however you prefer, with a new-but-familiar model.