f650gs vs r1100gs opinions please

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    I have no knowledge of the F650GS. I do have a good friend who has a earlier 650GS Dakar and he loves it for riding here in the mountians, other than chains and sprockets he has had no problems with it.

    About the R1100GS, in my not so humble opinion (maybe because I have a 98:hurray), the R1100GS, especially the later model ones (97-99) are, some of the most reliable and best engines BMW ever built.

    My suggestion would be to decide what you are going to do with this machine. For riding locally the 650 (I know there are riders who ride the 650’s all over the world). For both offroading and long trips, the R1100GS. For me (older citizen and over 6′) the big R1100GS is just more comfortable for the longer days. A GS with 55-60,000 miles if it has been well cared for wouldn’t worry me at all.

    Just an opinion :-).


    I sure wouldn’t worry about the service life of the 650. For all practical purposes, both bikes have an infinite service life. There are plenty of R1100 bikes running around with 200, 300k miles. I don’t personally know of such cases with the F650 but I never hear of them wearing out, and there are definitely high-mile examples of those also.

    I would choose based on what you want to do with the bike, not the expected life. For more than an hour or two on the interstate, the F650 isn’t my cup of tea. But that’s just me; I like boxers.


    I originally was going to purchase an r gs. it was only after I rode the f650 that I considered it. What if really need is the f650gs for running around, and a r–rt for long road trips. Where i live, i am 5 minutes to the canyons along the Wasatch front. I can literally go from 4000′ elevation to 9,000 in 25 minutes or less. the little 650 is great for these canyons. As you both pointed out, much more than an hour or two and I would probably want the bigger bike. I appreciate all the comments.


    I am looking very seriously at either a older model f650gs or one of 2, r1100gs.

    I have rode all the bikes. The f650gs is 2000, about 19K miles. it has a Ron Wood racing kit installed and has some good zip. I know the second owner of the bike and know it has been well maintained by him. Not sure of the first owner. Great bike and very fun to ride. The two r bikes I am looking at have about 45k-50K miles on them. I believe them to be well cared for.

    While i believe the r bikes are capable of lasting 100K miles plus, I’m not sure what to expect out of the f series. I have been told, by a knowledgeable source the f series bikes just don’t have the legs that the r series of bikes do. i don’t plan on any long extended trips–so the f650 has most of what I need for 90% of my riding.

    So what can I expect? can i get 50K-60K miles out of a “f” bike before the engine starts to need some extensive work? can I expect 80K out of it?

    I would appreciate any feed back

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