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2009 BMW G 650 X Country Review


by Marc Cantin ,

Simple and effective chassis
The tubular steel frame combines with cast aluminum sub frames and swing arm to provide a solid base for the non adjustable Marzocchi fork, and pre-load and rebound adjustable rear shock, The single disc front brake is squeezed by an effective Brembo two-piston caliper, using braided lines to add to the immediacy of the braking effort, with a single disc at the back to fill in when required. ABS is optional and recommended; especially since you can turn it off for serious dirt work.

Solid components for two-up riding and to put up with off-road bumps.

To complete this picture, the Xcountry provides 240mm of front suspension travel, 210mm at the rear, sexy spoked rims (19in front and 17in rear) with dual purpose tires, and 9.1L fuel tank tucked under the saddle to centralize masses and leave plenty of room for the airbox just above the engine.

The nice wide and low (840mm) saddle is comfortable, with just a touch of kick up at the back. Personally, I would find a way to flatten out the rear of the seat, as I prefer sitting at the rear of the “command position” to give myself enough room for my 1.80m, somewhat bulky build.

Basic instrumentation is simple, with the industry-standard one-button flasher in case you are worried, a simple display panel showing speed and various trip and total odometer readings, and a full complement of warning lights to tell you something is amiss. There was no fuel gauge or tach to clutter up our simple minds or add complexity on our basic test machine. If you throw in for the on-board computer option, more information can be added to the display. As an added touch of class, the tapered Magura handlebar did adsorb some of the worse bumps, much to the relief of my old bones.

On the road and trail

The first impressions aboard the Xcountry are of passivity and low-key performance, especially after two weeks aboard a 690cc single cylinder animal with 11 more horses, from another Germanic manufacturer. But that impression changed after only 30 of 40 minutes aboard on the street, when the understated potential of the bike came to the fore, and how! In the city, the bike lets you go where you want, just point and shoot, with no vibrations and gobs of torque just off idle.

The stated playground of this model is just about anywhere on paved or loose stuff those two wheels will take you.
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