Advice Required please

7 replies [Last post]
Joined: 2007/06/20

Points: 0

I have an awesome K1600GTL and a F650GS single. The GTL is used only for long trips and I commute on the 650.

My problem is that I am developing hip, knee and back problems and the 1600 has become far too heavy for me.

I am thinking of selling both and replacing with a 650 twin or a lowered 800GS.

I still want to do my long trips. Sometimes 1000km in a day.

Are these bikes practical options?

I had RT's in the past and would be manageable now but in a few years time I would be sitting wih the same problem.

Constructive advice/opinion will be most appreciated.

Many Thanks



Eric Pretorius's picture
Joined: 2012/04/11

The  F700GS can be considered.  Tommie Smit recently converted from a 1200GS to the F700GS.  I can provide contact details if you would like to confer with him.

This would provide you with the best of both worlds between commuting and touring.


Craig SexyChef Milne's picture
Joined: 2016/03/22

Hi Keith

You can contact a mate of mine, Rob. He is looking to sell his Dakar as he needs to buy a car for work purposes.

Rob Henst 076 696 3816

Tell him the SexyChef gave you his number

Craig A Milne

US Embassy, Basrah, Iraq

You only live once, but if you do it right

That's all you need

zebra's picture
Joined: 2008/03/28

the 650 twin is a very underrated bike, and often sells at a 'greater' discount than the differential in the new price: seems most 'blokes' want the 21" wheeled 800GS, rather than the 'ladies 650 twin!

Since it is now an 'orphan' bike (no longer made, due to the newer 700GS), it also sells at a discount...!

With tubeless wheels - a BIG plus unless doing serious/really serious offroad - commuting is made easier, what with tubeless tyres...

Forks are RWU, rather than USD, but still a very capable bike.

We have lowered the seat for a fair number of riders (we cah 'shave' 3cm=, comfortably), and of course you find find 'factory lowered' versions, as well as people who have lowered them after-market style.

So I really feel strongly positive towards this particular bike: under-stressed motor, which is a de-tuned 800, and you can re-tune P-A-R-T of the performance electronically, IF needed....

I have personally recommended the bike to 3 riders, all male, this bike NOT on their radar, they bought it, and are very happy with their choice.

Interestingly, it OUT PERFORMS the 800 GS in 1st and 2nd gar, and is a better commuter withtheat 19" front wheel...


Joined: 2007/06/25

Jean, my wife, rides the 700 GS with the factory lowered seat, came standard, which I use for the odd occasion. We bought it new. It will cruise comfortably at 140 to 150,0 kph with a top box, fuel consumption is 4,2 to 4,4lt./100,0km, Handles well enough for the type of machine it is. Jean (70,0) has traveled form Oudtshoorn to C T on the R62 and N 1. in a day, no sweat. Should you wish to stay with the brand, it is a great choice.


Think before you ink.

Trust is the most valuable asset.

I have the rest of my life to get old.

Craig Cauvin's picture
Joined: 2012/01/11

Hi Keith,

My first GS was a 650 twin, which I upgraded to an older model (pre 2013) 800, and then to the new model 800 (2013- ff) . My comments on each below:

650 twin - cast alloy wheels, so not ideal for off-road (they don't flex like a spoke wheel).  Decent enough performance and consumption for it's size. A good commuter one up, but if you're riding in a group you're going to need to work it to keep up with the 1200's.

Pre 2013 800 - spoke wheels, so better off road than the 650. Noticeable performance increase for the extra 150cc's. Somewhat twitchy throttle response and soft front suspension (which can feel a bit un-nerving for new riders on gravel)

Post 2013 800 - also spoke wheels, upgraded front suspension and they've reworked the throttle response mapping so it's smoother. Very similar engine so no real difference there - Big upside between the 650 and 800's are the 800's have a 21 inch front wheel - which makes it a fantastic off-roader. Both the 800's are great cruisers and easily ride with the 1200's on the black stuff.

The only downside for me on the 800's are the tubed tyres - the 650 (with cast alloy wheels is tubeless).

What you do need to take in to consideration on all of the above bikes is they're all "tall" - I'm 1.80m tall and when I sit on my (un-lowered) 800, only 2/3 of my feet are on the ground - If that's a problem, you have the lowering/shaving the seat option or the lowering the suspension option (which the purists will argue, changes the suspension geometry and so should be avoided). 

Hope this helps to come to a well informed decision.

Craig C

Joined: 2007/06/20

Thanks for all the advice. Well received. After due consideration I think a 650 twin is the way to go. Good Bike and cheaper at the moment. Now to sell my 650 single and GTL. Any offers? Thanks again to all.

zebra's picture
Joined: 2008/03/28

Millroy - great to hear you have 'decided' on a 650-twin;

apart from Gumtree and others, you can also try:

GS Traders (Northern Suburbs)

Biketique (Southern Suburbs)

Bloomsbury (Paarden Eiland - yes, they do BMW bikes a-n-d carriages!)

Good luck!


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