Yes, two people can tour as a couple on a BMW G650GS. Yes, I did it myself on a 2,000km road trip last year. Yes I would do it again. In fact, I’m about to ship my BMW G650GS to Italy so I can drive across the country. And yes, people who felt they had to spend $25,000 on a BMW 1250GS will hate me for it.
I’m Adrian from YouMotorcycle. I write articles and make videos for people who want to learn about motorcycling. So the two of us touring on a BMW G650GS, some of the challenges we face and how we overcome them.
So the first thing to notice is obviously the windshield; It’s a Kappa KD5101ST windshield. I love it because the stock one is only a few inches shorter than this one so this windscreen gives me a lot more protection. It takes the beating off my chest. Super cheap, super good. I love it.
The next upgrade you’ll notice is the G650GS LED headlight upgrade. I have a whole video about it and why I do it and don’t recommend it. It makes things a lot brighter, but there are cheaper options out there.
You will also find that I have BMW G650GS OEM windscreens for your hands. They have no metal parts; they are plastic. To be honest, most of my route will be on the road, so I’m not worried about that. These things were great for relieving a little wind pressure. I absolutely love her.
Speaking of hands, I use an Atlas throttle lock. So how it works: You twist the gas, let’s say you get to a comfortable speed, you can lock it, put your hands out, relax. If you need to adjust your throttle, you can still twist it. It’s not fully locked; it’s locked just enough that it won’t wriggle out on its own. Then click the other button to disable it and it will work as usual again.
I have the front too my phone holder, conveniently in my field of view but not directly in the way. I asked some of the Italian motovloggers if they think I should take a GPS with me for my trip around Italy. They said based on my route don’t even sweat. The phone will be great, that’s great.
Up here you’ll also notice a SAE to USB adapter that allows me to charge any device that I can connect via USB. It’s not possible motorcycle batteries fall below a certain voltage level. It’s really handy, really cheap, and when that’s not plugged in I can just use it like a regular SAE plug for battery tenders or for heated gear or whatever.
One of my favorite things about this whole bike is the seat. It’s a Seat Concepts seat. The reason I love it so much is because it’s made for you. Not just a regular aftermarket seat. They make it to the rider. So they ask about your height, weight, riding style and even your equipment. Depending on the answers you give them, they use different densities of foam, they also use different textured covers for what you need for your gear and how you ride. I really like that.
To make your seat, you first take your original seat, and it’s made up of three layers: there’s the cover, there’s the foam, and there’s the seat shell. You get rid of the cover and rid of the foam. I managed to find someone who could use it because their seat was completely torn, so that was perfect. You keep the original seat shell. They send you their foam. It is suitable for your original BMW G650GS seat pad. But the foam on top looks just like stock, and you pull open the seat cover, staple around the back, and that’s how you make the seat out of the new foam.
Obviously that’s the next thing we need to talk about My touring bag setup. These are GIVIs; These are 41 liter side cases each. These are extra cool because they have a key code on the sides. So if you know the key code you can just type it and then just the page will open. You don’t have to open the whole bag and pour out all your belongings. This is really handy to have the things you need like maybe a camera, gear, water bottle, stuff like that that you want up close.
I also have the original BMW factory top case, which is good and bad. It’s good because I can very easily complete it, just like the GIVIs, and walk away, all my gear is locked. I can also take it off and go away and take it with me like the GIVIs and it’s super, super, super easy. It’s also easy and quick to re-lock.
Well, there’s a reason I don’t recommend the OEM top case for people who plan to do a lot of two-up touring. This top case got over the first maybe a half to an inch of the seat. That’s really pushing these buckles here, especially, they’re really pushing your lady forward, which means they’re pushing her into you, which is pushing you forward. Everything that we have gained in comfort is somehow compensated for by this. So I have another solution instead.
I have found that if you get this SW Motech luggage rack style adapter plate some top cases can be mounted a bit further back giving the passenger more room. Then you can mount any GIVI, Kappa or other brand or SW-Motech case on your BMW G650GS. The few extras you win make a big difference. The top case no longer pushes your passenger forward and everyone sits much more comfortably.
And of course there are a few other things that are nice to have. I have the factory heated grips which are really, really nice. I also have my Leo Vince exhaust pipe in the back, and having the baffle in there means I can get a little, well, a lot more sound without being super irritating, super annoying, or causing premature fatigue, which you’re not into a long motorcycle ride.
The new top case is in and it aligns about an inch further back. It does what we need it for, which is touring with two people and having that extra space. That’s good. The downside is that the access panel for raising your seat is underneath here, and that means you’ll have to take off a thing or two to get there. It is poorly designed by SW-Motech. I highly recommend keeping the OEM top case or finding one. They’re much better than this setup, but that’s the setup we need for our particular application.
Why tour with a BMW G650GS?
Some of you may be wondering if I have the F700GS which is a little roomier and a little more powerful and there are two of us riding why am I going with the G650 which is the 650 single instead? My F700, yes it’s a great bike too. It has a lot of the same great things as the G, but it also has a lot more electronics, a lot more sensors, and a lot more stuff that can let me down.
If something goes wrong here, I have my pickup truck, my garage full of tools, I have friends who own or work at dealerships. I have a really good connection and network here. But when I’m on a completely different continent I don’t know anyone, so I need the simplest, most efficient, most effective, and most foolproof/failsafe bike I can get my hands on through hell and back, and I absolutely trust this bike for this job. That’s why I chose my G650.
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Drive safe, have fun. If you have any questions leave them below. Peace!