* Prices may differ from that shown
BMW has pegged the price of its updated F650 at under £4000 - making it one of the best-value new bikes around. This is one of the best-value new bikes around The new FL version of the popular single has heated grips, a touring windscreen, luggage rails and touring handlebars as standard. Previous buyers would have had to pay hundreds of pounds for these items as extras, but now they're included in the otr price of £3995 - £700 less than some other F650 models. BMW denies the price cut is a response to sluggish sales for the range, claiming it's the result of a commitment to increasing its market share. The addition of the FL means there are now five F650s in the range, though some of these are likely to be dropped next year. The other models are the basic Strada, the higher-spec Strada SE which has heated grips, the GS which is styled like the bigger R1150GS, and the GS GD - the Granada-Dakar Rally version. The FL is only available in metallic silver with a black seat. No other colours are planned. An optional top-box is also available for £150.
When launched in 1995, the Funduro - as it was annoyingly named by BMW, became an instant success. At last an affordable big single trail bike with a comfy seat, good economy, reasonable power, and most importantly the BMW badge on the tank for all to see. Big trail bikes have always been popular in Europe, offering affordable biking and a way to come to terms with crap road surfaces and interesting tracks. In the UK, the sprts bike still rules, and for the Sunday morning tarmac eaters the sports bike has all they need to flatter their ego. But the BMW offers a way of escape to ordinary mortals, without scaring the crap out of them, trashing the licence or breaking the bank. The Funduro will cruise at 85mph all day, return 60mpg, and not need much in terms of servicing or polishing. It goes quick enough to leave all but the most super of super cars for dead at the lights, and can give the rider the thrills of riding to the limit without going all that quickly. A great and affordable allrounder.
Well, I just can't say enough about this bike and am in danger of becoming a bike bore - something that my father warned me about becoming some time ago.. True, this is my first bike and mine is the original model of the F650 which includes an Aprilia engine (BMW recently brought the engine manufacturing back home for the latest version pictured above) but that aside, the make and style is so distinctively German and truly F650 that it makes me want to go out and grow a mullet and small moustache... well almost. In terms of the riding experience, it is an absolute pleasure, although it's geared more towards being the perfect town bike than a motorway cruiser due to a lack of faring and the high seating position - that said, I'd have this bike over one of those Goldwing Cruisers anyday! (biker gag..) The bike handles the road and corners like a dream, making you feel like you're a professional skier on two wheels and there's enough power to make it a perfect first step into the world of Peter Fonda without getting bored inside 5 months. My biggest problem with the bike was taking it home to meet the family. Like most bikes, due to its size and weight its quite a beast and as they had understood I had bought a 'bike' (read bicycle), there was the usual concerns of two wheel motoring in and around the race track that is London. Curiously enough, 6 months down the line and they're all queuing up to ride pillion. In summary then, a great bike, economical, good looking and nice to ride. Enough said before I really become a bore. I hope my father's not reading...