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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.

Slideshow
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The instrument panel is straightforward and clean.
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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.
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The best power is definitely mid- to top-end, but typical use, especially in the city, will likely be less high-strung.
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Keeping the motor in the right rpm and pulling strong is fun as well, but takes only slightly more effort.
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Slicing through the curves is easy on the nimble G650.
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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.
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The paved strip of heaven across Palomar Mountain had us tapping through the gears, mostly second and third.
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We first laid eyes on the 2009 BMW G650GS at the amazing Grand del Mar resort. We were equally intrigued by both.
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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.
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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.
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If there’s one way to describe the new machine, it’s 'easy.'
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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.
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The suspension is well-mannered, chassis stable-yet-responsive and the motor is willing with a usable spread of power.
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The front end retains some of the GS look, but the headlight is a deviation from the larger models.
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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.
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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.
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Women riders looked much more comfortable on the G650GS. Taller riders were a bit folded up.
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The bike isn’t uncomfortable, even with the small stature. Zipping around town or doing a few hours of canyon riding is completely realistic
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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.
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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.
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BMW has re-entered the large-bore DS market, or small-bore adventure, however you prefer, with a new-but-familiar model.