2007 BMW F650GS: Acquired!
Seeing as how the hunt for a BMW F650GS was literally costing me money – I was spending hours per day obsessively scanning through classified ads to find a bike in my price range – I decided to suck it up and consider paying more just to end the search. I went to see a 2007 BMW F650GS in New Hampshire on Tuesday… the bike had less than 2,800 miles. It had been stored in a building and well-maintained by a guy who loves motorcycles. He said he bought the bike fully intending to ride the heck out of it, but it just didn’t work for him – he didn’t enjoy riding it, and he said he had a hip problem that the bike aggravated. (He also had 3 other bikes – definitely a bike guy.)
Just seeing it made me smile. It was so clean and sparkly and shiny and practically showroom new. The only sign of wear at all was the sidestand foot had a bit of rust – otherwise it looks new. I walked around it and checked for all of the obvious things, but I wasn’t expecting to find anything wrong with it and I didn’t find anything wrong with it.
So I rode it.
This test ride was completely different than the one I took on Sunday. From the moment of getting on the bike, it felt awesome. I rode down his street a little ways (he was out in the middle of nowhere New Hampshire, so it was a nice, empty street, a bit curvy and surrounded by trees – looked and smelled beautiful). Rode about a mile or two, pulled into a gravel parking lot, turned around and rode back. Passed the guy’s house (did I mention middle of nowhere?) and recognized a cut-off we’d passed before, so I turned around in the gravel again and came back.
I wanted the bike. There was no question in my mind about wanting it. I feared I’d have buyers remorse with the bike I looked at on Sunday, if I took it, but not so with this one. I paid a good $800 above the high-end of my price range, and didn’t even flinch. It’s bone stock – the only “options” it has are ABS and heated grips (which are AWESOME, btw!) but I don’t even care. It’s new and shiny and low mileage and practically a blank slate.
It turned out to be a little over two hours to ride home. The roads started out as pretty, hilly, curvy country roads. There was still an hour of sunshine for me to take those roads, and it was really awesome. The riding position on the F650 is SO MUCH better than the Ninja. And as an added bonus, the vents on my Joe Rocket Meteor Jacket work much better with the upright riding position of the F650 – I was actually getting airflow!
My smile grew with every mile I rode on that bike. (Funny that Masukomi said the same thing when she bought her F650 – just something about these bikes.) We pulled into a parking lot before we got on the interstate to do the final hour home, so I could get my Camelbak out of the car – and she commented that I was smiling hugely. The bike is friggin awesome!
And I noticed that as a rider, I’m much more confident on this bike than the Ninja. I was taking the turns at things resembling actual speeds! And at no point whatsoever did I catch myself thinking “Turn! Ack! Slow down!”” No, it was “Turn! Lean! Goooood bike.” The suspension is so much better suited for me, and the bike actually *fits* me. I felt ridiculously oversized on the Ninja (and realistically, I am too big for that bike).
Everything about the BMW fits me. The seat is awesome – SO MUCH more comfortable than the Ninja. The riding position and location of the handle bars is awesome. My legs to the pegs are a comfortable distance – not all crunched up. I can almost dangle my toes when riding along to stretch them – I can touch with both feet with the balls of my feet, or easily flat-foot one, and the bike is well-enough balanced that I’m perfectly comfortable with that.
The BMW has power. I could ride along on the interstate on the Ninja, but it pretty much maxed the Ninja out. The BMW has power to spare. I wanted to pass someone at some point so I could continue following Masukomi home, and the BMW was like “Oh, you want me to go faster? No problem.” I rolled on a bit more throttle, and the BMW responded instantly. With the Ninja, I could roll on a lot of throttle and the Ninja would eventually speed up, but it might take a bit longer to get there – and forget accelerating uphill.
Hah. I could write a whole post on the differences between riding the BMW and the Ninja (and I will). But for now, suffice it to say, I’m utterly thrilled with my new BMW. It needs some stuff for comfort and protection – a taller windscreen, fairing guards, etc. but it’s much better out of the gate stock than the Ninja was for me as a rider.
I’ve managed to sell the Ninja – got a guy coming to pick it up today. Waiting for him to swing by to grab it, and then I’m going to the RMV to transfer the plates over to the BMW. Can’t wait. Maybe I’ll do some riding this weekend.
Time for a new chapter in my life as a motorcycle owner. But I think it’s definitely time to lose the “newb” moniker – I’ll be pondering a new tagline for this here blog as I enter into BMW ownership.