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The Best Modifications for the BMW G650GS

These are the 3 best BMW G650GS modifications you can do to really enjoy one of the most versatile motorcycles ever made. Of course, everyone’s riding style is a little different, so I’ll also include some honorable mentions, some suggestions specific to touring, off-road riding, and even something 2011 owners in particular should know.

One of the best things about the BMW G650GS is just how versatile it is, and these easy modifications will help you take full advantage of it:

  • Cell phone / GPS mount
  • Seat replacement options
  • Cargo capacity
  • Off-road specific mods
  • Honorable mentions
  • Something for the 2011 model year owners

What are the three best modifications to do to a BMW G650GS, aka Funduro, aka BMW F650GS? Well, that’s going to depend largely on how you want to use this motorcycle. The low maintenance, single cylinder 650GS can be adapted to do just about anything, making it easy to fall in love with. The ‘best’ choices for you will depend on how you want to use your GS, but I have plenty of options to help you pick what’s right for you, and with one or two exceptions, all of these modifications are easy to do yourself. Let’s start with my top three.

watch this video

Watch this video!

Best G650GS Modification #3: Cell phone / GPS mount

The third best modification on this G650GS is the handlebar cell phone mount. Whether you’re adventuring to places you haven’t been before or trying to keep track of police or speed trap cameras in the area, having a cell phone with Waze or Google Maps running directly in your line of sight can be a big help.

The mount in the video isn’t my final fix for this bike. I have a new mount that supports wireless cell phone charging that I’ll be installing soon and sharing here on YouMotorcycle.com and on YouTube. For now, just know that wireless charging cell phone mounts are a great idea because your phone will need to be on maximum brightness to stay on while you’re motorcycle riding in daylight, and that will burn your battery out quickly if you don’t keep charging it.

Best G650GS Modification #2: New seat

The second best modification to this BMW G650GS has been replacing the stock seat. A recurring complaint about the G650GS is that the stock seat isn’t comfortable for long rides. That’s because BMW wanted to make the motorcycle more beginner-friendly and shorty-friendly than ever before, by shaving about an inch and a half of padding off the side, and also making it narrower, this would allow riders to flat foot the ground from atop the motorcycle more easily.

The problem is, in making the seat more short-rider friendly, BMW has also made the G650GS’ seat far less comfortable. Luckily, the rest of the motorcycle’s ergonomics are excellent, but the stock seat isn’t.

The least expensive solution is to get a used F650GS seat from a single cylinder (650cc) F650GS, as that will still be fully and have more padding. I did this for about $55 USD from a local seller. Another option is to spend about $220 to get a Seat Concepts seat, if you’d like you can spend over $500 USD for a seat from France which can even include extra features like heated pads for rider and passenger.

Note: The BMW F650GS single cylinder (650cc) is not the same motorcycle as the BMW F650GS twin from 2008-2013. If you want to swap in a seat from the original F650GS, you can do that with a G650GS, but you won’t be able to use the seat from a 2008+ F650GS twin.

bmw g650gs seat upgrade

Personally, I didn’t want to spend $500 on a custom motorcycle seat, without at least trying the $55 option first. I can tell you that while the single cylinder F650GS seat is much more comfortable over the stock G650GS seat, it’s still not perfect, so if you do go for this option, don’t spend too much on it, otherwise you’ll be better off getting the Seat Concepts option.

Best G650GS Modification #1: Hard luggage

Finally, the best modification done to this BMW G650GS was the addition of GIVI hard cases. The two cases have a 41 liter capacity each, which is plenty for two people to go on a weekend getaway. You can get GIVI brackets for the G650GS from Carpi Moto, which despite being based in Italy still delivers to North America within a few days. You should also be able to find some second hand used GIVI monokey cases. The monokey cases will be compatible with your G650GS hard case mounts.

bmw g650gs touring

You can check out my full article plus video on how to install GIVI brackets and cases on a G650GS for additional information.

My ‘main squeeze’ motorcycle is a Harley-Davidson V-Rod, but between the two motorcycles, I prefer the G650GS for touring. The V-Rod is rough, and a beast, whereas the BMW seems to be able to take everything I can throw at it. Paired with bags you can do a lot of traveling on this motorcycle!

Off-road-specific mods

If you’re looking at riding on unpaved roads, you might want to check out the G650GS Sertao Edition. It’s the continuation of the F650GS Dakar Edition, which is more off-road oriented. It features taller suspension, and a bigger and skinnier front wheel which make it more off-road oriented.

Race Tech Fork Gold Valve Catridge Emulator

Many G650GS and Sertao owners also swear by Race Tech Gold Valve Cartridge Fork Emulators. They’re about $220 Canadian, or about $180 American, and can help a lot with facing challenging terrain from bumpy rocks to sandy dunes. Here’s a quote from one of the most popular 650GS websites of all, The Chain Gang:

“Now the bike stays planted as if it weighed 100 more pounds, but it is every bit as flickable as before. When turned into a corner, in maintains its line much better. When passing or being passed by large trucks, the turbulence barely affects the bike. In crosswinds the bike goes when you point it, rather than wandering all over the place. The overall effect of the mods is that the suspension is stiffer, but at the same time, it reacts faster and better to input. And best of all, it’s adjustable.”

Source: http://faq.f650.com/FAQs/ForksAftermarketFAQ.htm#Race%20Tech%20Gold%20Valve

If you plan on keeping your G650GS for a long time, these emulators are a worthwhile investment.

Honorable mentions

Another noteworthy best BMW G650GS modification is a Leo Vince exhaust, or any other quality aftermarket exhaust. Sure, you’ll get a little more noise and attention from car drivers, which is cool, but there is another benefit as well.

The stock exhaust system goes from the single cylinder motor into one muffler, and then from one muffler into the other muffler. This is excess weight and it is unnecessary. An aftermarket exhaust will be much later than the stock muffler, plus allow you to remove the unnecessary second muffler. This will let you lighten the weight of the motorcycle, and it will also help lower your center of gravity as well as those mufflers are rather high.

Of course, a center stand is a great option to have, as is a taller wind screen, though it seems many of the G650GS’ on the road today have already had these upgrades done.

Last, but definitely not least, is upgrading the G650GS headlight. You can modernize the look of your G650GS as well as making it much safer in low light by upgrading to LED headlight for the G650GS.

A modification for 2011 model year owners

The last suggested modification applies to certain 2011 model G650GS’ only. In 2011, Antilock Braking Systems were not yet standard, they were an add-on option. The G650GS’ that came with ABS also came with a four-way hazard light flasher button, but those did that not have ABS did not come with this switch or wiring.

hazard lights

Luckily, 2011 G650GS owners who don’t have ABS but would like to have a hazard light button can find a workaround to this for fairly cheap. Custom Dynamics makes a 4-Way Hazard Kit, and you can wire it to the stock switch button that you can get from your local BMW dealer.

Some will welcome the ability to add hazard lights to replace the ugly “blank spacer”. Others will point out that adding a bunch of cuts to your wiring harness may do more harm than good. Both are excellent points and each one is worth considering.


The BMW G650GS is one of the most versatile motorcycles on the road today. Because of this, some people consider it one of the best motorcycles of all time.

Keep in mind, that everyone will have different wants and needs from their GS. My suggested BMW G650GS modifications may not be the best ones for you, depending on what your goals with this bike are. My goal was simply to provide you with enough options for you to decide what modifications are best for you, and to help you get started on customizing and enjoying your G650GS.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment down below and I’d be happy to try to help you. I’d also love to hear from you: Do you have a 650GS? What are some of your favorite mods? Please leave me a comment and let me know!

About Adrian from YouMotorcycle

I started riding motorcycles in 2007, founded YouMotorcycle in 2009, and was working in the motorcycle industry by 2011. I've worked for some of the biggest companies in motorcycling, before going full-time self-employed in the motorcycle business in 2019. I love sharing his knowledge and passion of motorcycling with other riders to help you as best I can.


  1. Hi,
    Does the F650GS seat make the seat height taller than the standard G650GS? If so by how much? I am short in the leg and “just” okay with the standard seat.

    • Hey Lawrence. The stock F Dakar seat is both taller and wider, so it will spread your legs wider and take your further off the ground, both of which will make touching the ground a little harder. I would estimate 1.5″ difference.

    • Hi, we got a 2014 G650gs for my wife when she first started riding. Great bike and would still have it today if not for the poorly designed exhaust fan from this watercooled upgrade from the air-cooled F650`s. The result is the fan discharges super hot air onto the riders right leg. My wife got sever instances of 3rd degree burns. We looked for a solution from forums and BMW and all claimed that is part of the bike’s design and if you can’t take the heat get another bike. Sadly we sold it for an F650gs Twin which my wife loves But I always wished we could have fixed that problem as the bike is very unique and hits a sweet spot in size an CC’s. How have you dealt with the discharged air from the cooling fan on your G650gs?

      • I think you mean 1st degree burns? 3rd degree burns would require skin grafts. Hope so anyway.

        I know the how blowing you’re talking about. We’ve experienced as well. Definitely not bad enough to cause burns if in gear. If not in jeans maybe. Did you ever check the cooling system or have the cooling system checked? New fluid, proper amount of fluid, thermostat tested, etc. I’m wondering if there wasn’t an issue with the cooling system that was causing the cylinder to heat up so much that the bike would produce so much heat for the fan’s air to burn you.

      • Hello
        I am from Taiwan
        The cooling fan is really hot when it starts
        Some people in Taiwan will install cooling fans in front of the cooling fins
        The wind is blowing to the cooling fins
        The rear fan hardly starts
        For your reference

      • No such thing as an air-cooled F650 – they have always been based on the water-cooled Rotax 650 motor. Even the Funduro (the “classic” from ’94-’99) has a cooling fan on the right side of the radiator.

  2. is it too expensive to upgrade my 2010 F650 GS to 800 GS?

    • I wouldn’t bother changing out the front and rear suspension, wheels, tires, from one to the others. By the time you’ve done that you’ve removed and replaced a significant part of the bike. I’m not sure how the speedometer, ABS, etc. would or wouldn’t react to the changes. I would sell the F650 and buy a used 800 if you needed more off road performance..

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