CTX700 vs G650GS

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Thread: CTX700 vs G650GS

  1. #1
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    Default CTX700 vs G650GS

    I'm currently planning on getting my first bike, and I'm torn right now between a BMW G650GS and a Honda CTX700. I am leaning towards CTX700, but I may later change my mind; part of it is the cost difference; if you go to Canada you can get a CTX700T (Manual/ABS) for 6750 USD at current exchange rates, while the cheapest new 2014 G650GS I can find costs $8500 (California) after taxes and fees.

    Why I'm here, though, on a G650GS forum, is because I'd like to ask about the other two aspects. First, I read on the Canadian site that the G650GS gets 65 mpg (US, US gallon is 5/6 of imperial) fuel economy at 120 km/h or 70 mph and 74 mpg at 55 mph / 100 km/h. In practice, on Fuelly, the numbers I tend to see are usually around 92% of BMW's high speed number (58 mpg average). The Honda, on the other hand, is rated at 64 mpg / 61 mpg on DCT with Fuelly numbers being within 2% of the manufacturer number.

    What is actual real world fuel economy with the G650GS? Are the Fuelly BMW riders just more aggressive than their Honda counterparts? Or can I potentially get a better gas mileage off the G650GS than with the CTX700 (someone got 100 mpg US doing a Vetter challenge, while aggressively tucking, while the best number I've seen for G650GS on Vetter is about 92 mpg)?

    Second, one of the big reasons I seem resigned to the CTX700T is that the CTX700T has a large fairing, improving visibility. The color isn't what I want, of course (the G650GS comes in white, to have it painted white I might end up spending $1500), but the G650GS doesn't have a fairing, making me both feel more unsafe as well as reducing my visibility to other people on the road. Does BMW ever plan to release a sort of G650GT / ST model? If not, are there aftermarket fairings available?

    Help me through this; I'd prefer BMW if possible, simply because of the brand marquee and because Honda, on their website, gives you a nasty feeling because so many options that should be standard (ABS, white color, 9V accessory) are only available as accessories, while for BMW most of these are standard options. But given the three reasons above (purchasing price, operating costs, fairing for safety and comfort), I am much inclined to a CTX700T. Is there any way you could talk me out of it?

  2. #2
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    Greetings Inst and welcome to the forum.

    Simple answer is to arrange a test ride on each bike, and buy a Beemer, as it makes for the bigger smile.





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  4. #3
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    I'm actually planning to go touring, so the C650 GT might be better, but it's both more expensive, significantly heavier, and is a scooter with CVT. I prefer manual.

    The problem with the G650 GS is that it's the bottom of the BMW market; so BMW might not be interested in servicing this segment with good gear and/or engineering. Honda, unlike BMW, is the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, and it is that way by servicing the bottom segment (Thailand, Vietnam, Latin America). Once you get to the F800 GT vs the CTX1300 segment, BMW pulls away with significantly superior fuel economy alongside performance and luxury, for about the same price, but below that Honda is king.
    Last edited by Inst; 23-04-2015 at 07:56 PM.

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  6. #4
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    "so BMW might not be interested in servicing this segment with good gear and/or engineering." I kinda get where your coming from. But the 650s are often people first intro into BMW and they want to keep you loving BMWs so they aren't gonna mess that up. On a different approach, in terms of cars would you prefer a base level BMW or a honda? Brands get a reputation for a reason and they don't tend to risk the reputation on the lower models. I certainly can vouch that in my obviously biased opinion when I park my bike at uni I park next to a right mix of things and mine is normally the oldest (except that one a reg BMW that looks amazing) and it looks great thats partly cause I care for my bike but also partly in my opinion due to BMW building something to last

  7. #5
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    In terms of cars, I'd prefer a Leaf, and if I could afford it I would get a Tesla, although tbh I think PHEV models are more flexible, so I would seriously consider a BMW i3 REX over a Leaf, even though there's at least a $15000 price difference. So you can see where I'm coming from.

    In the motorcycle world, Honda is very well-respected and provides dependable motorcycles for people who usually can't afford proper caged transportation. It's different from say, cars, where Honda attacks the mass-market segment (if you want a Japanese hybrid, get a Toyota, if you want a Japanese electric, get a Leaf) and Acura is lower tier than both Lexus and Infinity.

    On the other hand, you look at Japanese motorcycles, and well, all of Suzuki's stuff, while better styled (Honda's stuff looks ridiculously dumpy!) tends to either be lower-end (TU250X, GW250) or have terrible fuel economy (V-Strom 600) relative to Honda, and Yamaha has almost no deployment in the United States.

    For European makers, well, Italy's problem is their low-level of education, so Piaggio's stuff is technologically inferior to Honda's, Ducati targets the high-end (I am considering licensing my bike as DNRCYCL, I'm here for the economy and environmental consciousness), and BMW, while I love the brand, does not service my segment. If BMW were selling a G650 GT variant with upgraded engines for better fuel economy at around $8,500 or $9,500, with out-the-door pricing of $10,000 or even $10,500, well, after I save enough money and sell that CTX700, I would definitely replace the Honda.

  8. #6
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    What about an older F800, or F700? They are meant to be economical, and more suited to touring etc. That said, I have come from a Honda VFR to Honda Transalp and now have a G650GS. Why, because although the Honda's were fantastic, the BMW has more character. Less is often more.

  9. #7
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    Well it sounds to me your really worried about fuel economy. In that case why are you thinking of a 650 size bike? A 250 will give you much better fuel economy and depending on what riding your doing be just as up to the job as anything else, and hey with that extra money you saved you could plant a few trees?

    EDIT: Also I'm gonna have to call you out on this "well, Italy's problem is their low-level of education" please I just feel that isn't something that should be mentioned. The people working for these companies will have as much intelligence in any other company just they have different aims. You don't go round saying the reason Chinese motorcycles are rubbish is because they are all stupid do you? The reason they are less reliable is they are built down to a price, nothing to do with anyones intelligence
    Last edited by slaming; 24-04-2015 at 07:12 PM.

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  11. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by slaming View Post
    Well it sounds to me your really worried about fuel economy. In that case why are you thinking of a 650 size bike? A 250 will give you much better fuel economy and depending on what riding your doing be just as up to the job as anything else, and hey with that extra money you saved you could plant a few trees?

    EDIT: Also I'm gonna have to call you out on this "well, Italy's problem is their low-level of education" please I just feel that isn't something that should be mentioned. The people working for these companies will have as much intelligence in any other company just they have different aims. You don't go round saying the reason Chinese motorcycles are rubbish is because they are all stupid do you? The reason they are less reliable is they are built down to a price, nothing to do with anyones intelligence

    On the backward engineering in Italy, which is superb, one just needs to look at Harley Davidsons 1920's technology.
    Peccavi

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  13. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyingram View Post
    On the backward engineering in Italy, which is superb, one just needs to look at Harley Davidsons 1920's technology.
    HD may use 1920's technology, after 112 years they are still building bikes that people want to ride. What it all boils down to is horses for courses.

  14. #10
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    Regards to backwards technology, I believe Italy, and maybe this is just because of the problems of adding in Mafialand / Southern Italy into the mix between Southern and Northern Italy (Northern Italy still can't compare to Switzerland, but it's significantly more prosperous), has one of the lower levels of tertiary education among its adult population.

    Italy, also compared to Germany, has a ~1.5 of R&D spending vis-a-vis GDP. The United States is around 2.75, Germany is 2.9, Sweden is over 3%, but Italy is down to 1.5.

    What I mean is this, a Ferrari is a perfectly well-engineered piece of equipment, but Italy doesn't have the deep wells of engineering talent and culture that say, Germany or Japan would have. It means that if they do reach work like going into econoriders like the MP3, they're much less likely to perform well. The other thing is that Italy's economic strength tends to go more towards design and agricultural production (olive oil, sausages, Alba truffles); Germany, in comparison to Italy, might be picturesque in parts, but the overall level of aesthetic culture in higher in Milan or Rome than in Berlin.

    ===

    Just saying, I like Italy, Italy currently has a respectable level of tertiary enrollment (60-70% among the relevant age bracket), and perhaps it will be a different country in 10-20 years, reducing its weaknesses without losing its strengths.

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