[This 2011 BMW G650GS Road Test was originally published in the November 2011 issue of Rider magazine]
When I started working at Rider a few years ago, a friend of mine asked, “Now that riding is work, what will you do for fun?” I scoffed at the suggestion that motorcycling would ever feel like work, but my friend’s comment proved to have merit. Since I ride and write about motorcycles 9-to-5, my weekends, which used to be spent escaping into the hills with my riding buddies, are now often spent pursuing other pursuits. That changed recently when a high school friend I hadn’t seen in 20 years showed up in California desperately needing some two-wheeled therapy. My brother agreed to let my friend borrow his Suzuki V-Strom, and I prescribed a high-potency, three-day regimen of the most mind-altering roads I could think of. Just two guys and two bikes, burning miles by day and jawboning around the campfire by night. Grabbing the keys to the 2011 G 650 GS meant my long weekend still involved work, but riding BMW’s entry-level thumper was so much fun it felt like anything but.