The F 650 CS comes with a 3.9 gallon fuel tank cleverly located in the
frame triangle beneath the seat, in the interest of a low centre of gravity
and optimum handling. The tank filler manifold, in turn, is positioned
conveniently on the right-hand side of the seat, which is available at two
different height s: 30.7” (standard) or 29.5” (available as an option). The
lower seat height options also incorporates the use of 150/60 ZR 17 rear
wheel and 150/ 60 ZR 17 front wheel.
The F 650 CS comes with a single-disc brake at the front with a
two-piston floating calliper. The rear brake consists of a single-disc brake
with a single-piston floating calliper.
It almost goes without saying that ABS anti-lock brake technology is also
available as an option on the F 650 CS, in this case specially developed for
BMW’s single-cylinder model series.
The fully controlled three-way catalytic converter and the oxygen sensor
are integrated in the silencer made of polished steel. This not only saves
space but also reduces emissions and is therefore friendlier on the
Just one look at the right-hand side of the rear wheel reveals the two
outstanding innovations on the F 650 CS never to be seen before in this
combination on a BMW motorcycle: the single swinging arm and toothed belt
Introducing toothed belt drive, BMW is opening up a new chapter in
rear-wheel-drive technology in the company's 80-year history of motorcycles:
For no less than 70 years - from 1923-1993 - all BMW motorcycles were built
exclusively with the drive shaft so typical of the BMW marque.
The process of fitting and removing the rear wheel on the F 650 CS is even
easier and just as clean as on BMW's motorcycles with shaft drive: After
removing the silencer, all the rider has to do is open up a central bolt to
remove the wheel with ease. Both the sprocket and the drive belt remain on
the swinging arm and do not have to be taken off.
The single swinging arm on the F 650 CS convincingly continues BMW's
tradition of innovative wheel guidance systems. This heritage dates back to
1980, when BMW introduced the rear-wheel swinging arm for the first time on
the R 80 G/S (the BMW Monolever). The efficient and beautiful single
swinging arm on the F 650 CS is made of aluminium.
This helps to significantly enhance the stability of the suspension and
running gear. Also made of aluminium, the wheel mount rests eccentrically on
the swinging arm bearing point, making it much easier to fit and remove the
rear wheel and ensuring simple, precise adjustment of belt tension.
BMW’s 2 spark ignition system and improved catalytic converter improve fuel
efficiency and reduce emissions and keep the new F 650 CS easily compliant
with current exhaust emission standards.
At first glance the BMW 650CS somewhat reminded me
of the odd looking and not so popular Aprilia Moto 6.5 styled by Phillipe
Starke, but as I looked more closely it soon became clear that this was not just
a fashion exercise but a definite re-think of the commuter motorcycle. BMW have
taken the concept of the F650 Funduro and redesigned both the frame and
swing-arm to come up with a bike that not only stands out but performs as well.
This bike attracts people wherever you go, not for its stunning looks or
desirability, but because it's just so obviously different. Park it next to any
superbike and I'll guarantee you that this slightly wacky 650 will get all the
attention. People have commented so far on the big hole where the tank used to
be, the huge exhaust, the projectile looking front end, the colour scheme, the
belt drive, and the list is growing as more and more people see it!
BMW have succeeded in creating a bike that not only appeals to the seasoned
rider but also to the new or nearly new rider. This bike is expected to be
bought by a different kind of rider, so BMW say, they predict that 40% of sales
will be to customers who don't already own a bike. This suggests the 650CS is
not designed for us 'old hands', but with everyone’s past groans and gripes
about bikes in mind, here's what the boffins at BMW decided to do about it...The
'hole where the tank was’ has been designed to accommodate all sorts of
different gizmos and gadgets, and to provide a solution to that ever popular
gripe about where do I put my helmet when I go shopping or to work. BMW have
thoughtfully moved the fuel tank under the seat and therefore made space to fit
your helmet and a range of interchangeable equipment including a bag, a hard
storage box and even a waterproof audio system with speed sensitive sound! Not
forgetting the pillion, BMW have also given some thought to them as well with
two tank (or not as the case may be!) mounted grab handles as well as a great
rear rack and the option of (wait for it!) heated rear grab rail, how cool is
that! Include the optional heated grips, ABS and hazard lights and you get a
complete package for just about anything you want to throw at it. It also comes
is some really funky colours in both metallic and non-metallic so you can design
away the tank/side panels/seat combos until you drop!
Riding the F650CS is somewhat different also. It has a re-worked version of the
Funduro's 650 motor in it which has been tuned for more torque at lower revs, a
very low seat height giving that 'sitting in' feeling, and you have the option
to get it even lower if you really want. The wide bars and rainbow switchgear
match the bike perfectly to give you that 'being part of' feeling when you ride
it.The overall riding position is very good, with the high bars and low seat
combination making you sit upright giving you a great view both ahead of you and
around/over cars. You sit in this bike and because of the style of the bars your
wrists don't get stressed therefore making traffic and slow filtering a pleasure
instead of a task. To add to that the combination and effectiveness of the small
front screen and wide and very comfortable seat makes both town and long rides a
pleasure. With the frame being similar to the 650GS it has a tendency to fall a
bit into corners, this is due to the trailie type geometry it is based on, but
it is also stable when it does it, so no worries there. It handles most bends
and roads very well and is a pleasure to chuck around at low speeds in traffic
and to blast around out on the open country roads. With it's 17" wheels and road
tyres it feels a bit of a Supermoto but hasn't got the radical performance of
say a CCM R30, just a lot more gentle but equally as rewarding for most riders.
The suspension has no adjustment, but there’s very little dive from the front on
the brakes and it flies over potholes, speed bumps and so on without any
problems at all, and despite that incredibly large exhaust can (fitted with
catalyser and oxy sensor) there are no grounding problems, except the hero blobs
which you can definitely get down on both sides! The brakes work well as a
single disc set up front and rear. There's plenty of stopping power but it does
lack a bit of feel. Our test bike was fitted with the ABS option at a cost of
£345 and I did manage to give it a good test in the wet when a Volvo estate
decided to stop mid corner on one of Oxford’s finest potholed roads! Not a hint
of a slide and a complete stop on a wet road, very impressive indeed. I'm sure
that this option will be taken up by a lot of safety conscious customers.
Pulling away is from lights and at junctions etc is just plain easy. The motor
is torquey with the exception of 1st, which is a little short, but second seems
to be the best traffic gear although I did have problems with the neutral
selection, which may just be down to the fact that it is a belt drive, and it
was new. Maybe after a few more miles (under its belt!) it will loosen up.
Maximum power comes in at around 6500-6800rpm producing 50bhp and 44ft-lbs of
torque with the rev limiter coming in at 8000rpm. I don't see the need to rev
this motor that high as the torque just makes you short shift up to 5th and stay
there using the throttle and the torque produced for all the corners and
overtakes! If the corners get a little tighter then drop to 4th but gear changes
on this bike are really minimal out on the open road. After trying it out in
traffic I was pleasantly surprised that it has a decent comfortable cruising
speed of between 80 & 90mph. At these speeds the screen is working well
deflecting the oncoming air well out of the way of your helmet and top half
(very surprising for such a small screen). If you really want to you can work it
a bit more and get about 110-120mph indicated, and with a 17.3lt tank getting
about 48mpg you don't have to stop for fuel every 5 minutes.
There are the usual and unusual BMW extras including ABS, heated grips for both
rider and passenger, fitted luggage, tank boxes and bags, audio equipment, CS
clothing and the list goes on. Also with this bike comes a full 2 year unlimited
mileage warranty and super quiet low maintenance belt drive for the people who
don't want to get their hands dirty with chain lube and the like! This bike is
definitely for the urban poser and country lane blitzers amongst you! It handles
well, cruises well, is great in town and looks the part with its ultra modern
styling. It is agile and confidence inspiring for the first timers, yet totally
satisfying for the more experienced riders. This bike is very well sorted and
deserves to sell like hot cakes. If this is the type of bike you are looking for
then you could do a lot worse that the BMW F650CS.Pay a visit to the BMW
website, there you can design your own bike and play around with colour choices
and all the accessories.