Greetings from Darkest Aberdeenshire

  • Evenin' all :)

    I have a BMW R80 G/S which has languished in my garage for too long, while life took some unexpected twists and turns (as it does) and I had been looking for a smaller, lighter bike to run whilst I restored it; my thinking was that (a) it would get me my 'motor-biking head' back and, (b) would provide me with the incentive to get off my butt and to start getting the G/S fettled. I had not really considered a F650 until, tired of scanning all the ads and seeing the usual Divvies/ER-5's/CB500's/Bandits, I saw an ad for a F650 in my area. I researched the type of bike it was a bit more and it would appear to be the type of machine that led me to buy the ol' G/S waaay back in the 80's. Given my advancing years, and the fact that I have not swung my leg o'er a bike to ride on the roads for some time now, it seemed like a good choice.

    So...tomorrow sees me off to view the BMW F650 that had caught my eye. It is a 1994 machine, with 20+ K on the clock; the photos on the advert appear to show a clean, well-kept machine, and there is, allegedly, some paperwork/receipts to show provenance....if it feels good, and we can reach a mutually acceptable position, I'll buy it.

    Although it is somewhat short notice, I would appreciate any advice from readers of this forum regarding what to look for with regard to weak points/foibles of the marque. My main worry is that I might like it so much that I would want to sell ol' Gertie the G/S, and just keep the F650 (assuming I buy it)

    Thanks meantime

    Y'all ride safe now


  • Welcome to the forum .... Fellow Aberdonian .

    I am not sure about F650 in and outs . But there are a few here have had this bike .

    I would be looking at the Obvious , chain / sprockets , tyres , brake callipers .. spokes / nipples , steering head bearings . Start from cold looking for smoke etc etc

    When you are back on the road , we do some ride outs , meets etc if you are interested in meeting up (we are a friendly bunch)

    Cheers LWR

  • Hi & welcome DM.

    Is this the red F650 thats on gumtree? Looks like a good machine.

    I've had two Funduro's (F650), both later models than the one your going to look at.

    Check out for loads of useful info. That site will also lead you to the chaingang site, an american site that holds heaps of very good gen about the F650 single.

    Things to look out for on a '94 F650? The engine paint finish will have left the engine by now, despite any owners bestest efforts to preserve it, such was the poor finish on the engine case (some things never change on chain driven BMW's). Hammerite smooth silver does a great job of covering the engine, in place of the original powder coating.

    The wheels finish should be OK as they are high quality items. These bikes are easy on tyres, but look for a decent tread depth to save you having to replace them too soon.

    The chain & sprockets take a battering from thie single cyclinder, so check them out thourghly. Attempt to pull the chain away from the rear of the rear sprocket. If it moves about half the length of one of the sprocket teeth, or anywhere near that, the whole set up will need changing.

    Give the headrace bearings a good rattle with the front wheel of the deck, as the oil in the frame set up on this machine can thin the headrace bearing grease.

    Check the front and rear whell bearings as you would on any motorcycle.

    Get the owner to apply the rear brake, then try and rotate the rear wheel. Any movement of the wheel with the rearbrake applied means the cush drive rubbers need changing.

    The regulator / rectifier on this bike, like many machines of it's era, can fail quite early. Make sure the engine turns over well when cold. Duff batteries can lead to a damaged starter clutch.

    Check front & rear suspension - at this age you can expect the rear unit to be totally knackered and the front to have leaky fork seals..

    Ask the owner if the water pump seal has been changed, as these too go with age / use. Tell tale sign is a coolant drip from the bottom of the water pump housing.

    Looking forward to seeing pictures if you buy it, and then meeting you on the road sometime - I'm based near Elgin.

    Steve T


  • Thanks for the welcome LWR and Steve, and thanks, too, for the hints on foibles of the marque....your comments were exactly the sort of thing I was looking for. Yes, Steve, it is the red machine on Gumtree...looks in not too bad nick in the photos, but we'll see how it is in the flesh, as it were. Chain and sprockets...I swore after buying the G/S that I would never go back to a chain-driven bike...heigh-ho ::) That may well be the thing that tips the balance in deciding which BM to keep (if I buy the F650)

    Thanks for the input, and I'll let y'all know how I get on.

    Ride safe

    DM ;)

  • Chain & sprockets aren't that hard to look after, but you do need to look after them.

    Just last week I had the dubious honour of getting one of this sites members back on the road after his chain snapped! he stopped by my place - dead battery. Jumped it from a spare battery i have - "Right, straight off home for me then." he says. 15 minutes later, calling from nearly the middle of no-where (Thomshill nr Elgin), he calls to tell me the chain has snapped.
    Eventually got him going, after seeing that the case saver that lives inside the front sprocket cover had done it's job very well - it was mangled, the engine case was not! The lack of teeth on the front sprocket didn't help him gain any pity from me either :o >:(

    I've done over 17k miles using the chain & sprocket set I fitted to my Africa Twin not long after I got the bike 4 years ago, and it has barely started to show signs of needing adjustment apart from when the tyre is replaced.

    The moral of this story - look after the chain and it'll see you right. An auto oiler - any auto oiler - is better than none.

    Hope the bike is what you're after DM - and if it is, can I please buy your 80G/S from you if you decide that it has to go ;D ;)

    Steve T


  • Hi
    Steve T

    Thanks for the response. I didn't buy the F650 as it would've needed too much fettling before the MOT was due in October. So, still looking for a machine to ride around until I get the G/S ready for the road; only then will I consider the possibility of selling could PM me if you want to make an offer :P

    Cheers...ride safe!

    DM ;P

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