Single, Twin, Triple or Four? | 1-2-3-4

Adding up the ultimate 650cc solution

By Alex Hearn, Photography by Kevin Wing

2008 Bmw G 650 Xmoto
Price: $9100

An evolutionary version of the Rotax 654 lump from the '94 F650, infused with smoothness and enthusiasm with a lighter crankshaft, more efficient bottom-end bearings and a lighter 280-watt alternator. A more efficient cylinder-head design adds 3 horses to the peak.

What looks like your basic aluminum-spar skeleton is made up of four sections. Welded steel spars comprise the heart of the structure, bolted to aluminum castings that merge at the swingarm pivot. The front downtube and rear subframe are aluminum as well.

A single Brembo caliper and 320mm front disc slow the lightest of BMW's three X-spec singles nicely, with or without the 240mm rear disc. Our bike arrived sans optional two-channel Bosch ABS, which adds 3.3 lbs and $670 to the poundage and price, respectively.

The brake and gearshift levers are aluminum forgings. So is the sidestand, which unbolts easily. The tapered-aluminum handlebar rides in rubber mounts to cut vibration, and the battery lives just behind the bar clamp. LED taillight is tiny, yet brilliant.

You can do a lot with 47 horses spread over a curve like this. Trounce Kawasaki's KLR650, for instance. But one big piston loses out to a gang of smaller ones as revs build, even when it's pushing a 363-lb. package.

Tall and remarkably svelte, Xmoto accommodations are Spartan, but comfortably neutral. The firm, equally svelte saddle is motorcyling's answer to a Victoria's Secret thong: you need long legs and the right kind of physique to make it work.

Tech Spec
Engine type: l-c single
Valve train: DOHC, 4v
Displacement: 652cc
Bore x stroke: 100.0 x 83.0mm
Compression: 11.5:1
Fuel system: BMS-C II EFI
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Transmission: 5-speed
Frame: Tubular-steel backbone, aluminum-alloy spars
Front suspension: 45mm Marzocchiinverted fork, adjustable for rebound and compression damping
Rear suspension: Single Sachs shock, adjustable for spring preload and rebound damping
Front brake: Brembo two-piston caliper, 300mm disc
Rear brake: Brembo single-piston caliper, 241mm disc
Front tire: 120/70-ZR17 Pirelli Diablo
Rear tire: 160/60-ZR17 Pirelli Diablo
Rake/trail: 28.5/3.9 in.
Seat height: 35.4 in.
Wheelbase: 59.0 in.
Fuel capacity: 2.5 gal.
Weight (tank full/empty): 363/348 lbs.
Measured horsepower: 46.8 bhp @ 7250 rpm
Measured torque: 41.4 lb.-ft. @ 4750 rpm
Fuel mileage (high/low/avg): 49/40/45
Colors: Red/grey
Available: Now
Warranty: 36 months, unlimited mi.
Contact: BMW North America
300 Chestnut Ridge Rd.
Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07675

By Alex Hearn
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