img_8297First off it has to be said that this new model is a really big improvement on the F650GS (single). More performance and better, more responsive handing are the two most evident areas that BMW have worked on. Cornering is just so much easier and more controlled/controllable, unless you happen to meet a stone under the front tyre in the middle of the bend of course, when, not surprisingly it becomes just scary again.

It's not particularly obvious what the extra gears (5 and 6) are for. I guess it must be as a sort of overdrive but since you get to the speed limit in second without any real sweat there is then a period of frantic and pointless gear changes to get into top. It must be for the autobahns.

Minor items like the mirrors work much better than might have been expected from their look and BMW has given the old, impossible to expand luggage a much needed work-over. The brakes are yet to be really tested as the bike is still running in and we are both finding our way, each with the other.img_8303

Even better is that the gears shift smoothly, something that the old model could not manage, clunk and crash every time. I think the designers must have opted not to include the 'bucket of bolts' in the new models gearbox.

This makes it all the harder to understand what they were thinking about when they designed (if that's the right word) the seat. A piece of 6x2 would have been more comfortable, honestly there is just no give in it. Appalling only begins to describe the level of discomfort.

A little more thought on the trip computer interface would not have gone far amiss either, it's certainly workable but I imagine Steve Jobs would have a few well chosen words to say

The adventure-spec crash bars and bash plate I've selected were more than promptly delivered and, except for not divulging the instructions not divulging the torque setting required to fit the main bolt, were simple to fit. I think they look good too. The only minor snag is that the fixing bolt next to the foot brake pedal tends to catch on your boot as you press the pedal, only scary until you know what the problem is.

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The Wunderlich tank bag was less straight forward to attach, the manufacturers having decided to show the fitting process entirely in pictures, small and poorly reproduced pictures at that. It's better than ok now it's on but there must have been a better way to attach the map pocket to the top of the bag surely? The fitting seems very clumsy and it's very hard to get into the bag itself.