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  #1  
Old 3 Nov 2008
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G650X Challenge

Does anybody have any experiance of these bikes, I have been using the wifes F650GS and really don't like it so was thinking about the G650X now that I know I can get a 20 litre tank for it but was wondering how tuned/reliable the motor is and if it shares any parts like levers etc with the GS ?
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  #2  
Old 3 Nov 2008
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It's a fairly bullet-proof engine. Si Pavey is riding a G650 XChallenge-based bike in the 2009 Dakar with no engine modifications.

The G650 is nothing like the F650 single. Much more fun, though it needs work to make it suitable as a dual touring/trail bike. Some comments I wrote earlier.

There's some threads with pics on AdvRider showing how people have used it for touring bike. Also the 450/650 forum on UKGSer.

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Old 4 Nov 2008
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I think that with a few mods the XChallenge would make a great overland bike for trips with a large amount of off-tarmac going - relatively lightweight and smooth (for a single) and strong motor. Weak points? All resolvable with enough £££: fuel range springs to mind. Talking of springs, is the air shock OK? Wheel rims: seen a few pics of badly dented ones. Gear lever?: see advrider. Last but probably most important for me: reminds me of the early G/S....which I always wanted....
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Old 4 Nov 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Talking of springs, is the air shock OK? Wheel rims: seen a few pics of badly dented ones. Gear lever?: see advrider. Last but probably most important for me: reminds me of the early G/S....which I always wanted....
Anyone who races one has swapped the air shock for a coil...

The dented rims could just be due to it being a heavy bike, hitting stuff hard...

Si Pavey bent/broke his gear lever on the Transoriental, but that was sort of a freak incident...

I'd say it would be a great bike for modifying into an extreme terrain overlander - as you say, you can get a big tank for them now, bash plates etc.

I'd certainly be tempted by one (at the right price) - I understand BMW UK have just knocked £1000 off the rrp, but that's still not enough really when you consider how much you'd have to spend prepping it, especially if you factor in the price of the tank and the shock, and perhaps replacing the huge exhaust with something lighter...

So I bought a new Tenere which has everything fitted already...

xxx
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Old 4 Nov 2008
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Going for a test ride today so I'll keep you guys posted, a good friend of mine works at the BMW dealer and they have a couple of secondhand bikes in stock with less than 2K on the clock on 07 plates and I think he will let me have one with no warranty/sold as seen for a smidge of £3K, 20L tank comes in at £500 rrp so I'll see if he can cut me some discount on that as well.
I think the ali subframe will need beefing up but this is no problem again because an even better friend runs his own specialist welding/fabrication business and will do any mods to my bikes for a or two
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Old 4 Nov 2008
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Sold to the man in the pointy hat 1400 mls, year old, thown in a pair of handguards and the OE tyres which are new ( got knobblies on at the mo) He's going to get me the best deal he can on the tank, so just got to go get it dirty.
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Old 5 Nov 2008
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Touratech do pannier frames for the X Challenge and show it with their Zega boxes mounted to the OE subframe and knowing TT I'm sure they would offer a beefed up subframe if it was need but I'm going to have my bud have a look at doing it anyway ( he'll do it for £0 ) I weight in at 12 st with all my riding gear on and the X Challenge has an optional pillion setup so I would assume me being fairly light it will cope with me and a couple of ali boxes
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Old 5 Nov 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgiggle View Post
I have been using the wifes F650GS and really don't like it so was thinking about the G650X
What exactly didn’t you like? I ask because personally I find the F650GS better then the G650X for touring, but not offroad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
I would like to hear about how the rear sub frame's are holding up and what can be done to "beef" the sub frame up a bit.
The subframe ias in aluminum and sure looks week. It’s bolted to the frame so it possible to make something stronger (in steel), but it will cost.
I haven’t seen alternatives – yet.


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Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
Most of the experienced engineer types (and long time riders) are suspicious of the Air Bladder rear suspension, saying after a 1000 miles of rough going it will fail. It felt GOOD when I rode the bike!
The air bladder works nice if it’s set up correctly. It also has a wider loadrange then a conventional springbased system.

I think it’s more likely that an air bladder fails then a conventional shock. When PG Lundmark and his crew went from Cape North to Cape Aghulas in 44 days with two HP2s the only technical problem they had was a broken air bladder.
If the air bladder brakes you are stranded….
There are alternatives to the air bladder.
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Old 5 Nov 2008
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Alibaba, The seat to foot peg distance doesn't suit my lanky legs, I don't like sitting "in" a bike and it's all a bit soft I like my bikes to be a bit sharper, I can see were you are coming from and I agree with you that the F would make a better tourer but will probably only be doing 150 mls a day until we get to Turkey and then half that from there into Iran,Paki,India so a super comfy tourer I can live without plus I'll enjoy it more over here. Our trip is planned to take 8 months UK-India-UK so were not looking at banging out 500ml days, if we were the XCH would not of been on my list it would have been a F650 Dakar
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Old 5 Nov 2008
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I see your point about the F650GS.

The subframe should have a good chance to make it to India and back!

If you want to know which parts that are shared between the models you can check here: RealOEM.com Online BMW Parts Catalog
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Old 5 Nov 2008
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Thanks for the link, i've been looking for something like that for a couple of weeks
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  #12  
Old 11 Dec 2008
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Might help.....

XChallenge modifications. - ::. UKGS'er.com .::
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Old 11 Dec 2008
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Xchallenge seat

You might be able to fit the seat off the G650Country. I tried that on at the dealer, and it is well shaped for touring. I think the subframes are the same.....
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Old 12 Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
I think that with a few mods the XChallenge would make a great overland bike for trips with a large amount of off-tarmac going - relatively lightweight and smooth (for a single) and strong motor. Weak points? All resolvable with enough £££: fuel range springs to mind. Talking of springs, is the air shock OK? Wheel rims: seen a few pics of badly dented ones. Gear lever?: see advrider. Last but probably most important for me: reminds me of the early G/S....which I always wanted....
Pretty much sums it up. Great engine, fuel injected, great economy, runs on 76 octane fuel, no maintenance required apart from oil and filter every 10k km.

Fuel range ... buy an additional tank.

Gear lever ... change it to a steel F650 single lever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMo (& piglet) View Post
Anyone who races one has swapped the air shock for a coil...

The dented rims could just be due to it being a heavy bike, hitting stuff hard...

I'd say it would be a great bike for modifying into an extreme terrain overlander - as you say, you can get a big tank for them now, bash plates etc.
Coil over shock works very well with the bike. I went for Hyperpro, but understand Wilbers and Ohlins also do them.

Rims were nowhere near as bad as some of the complaining out there would imply. They are good enough for challenging adventure biking. And the wheels are a lot sturdier than G650 Dakar wheels / rims.

And yes you can get all the aftermarket touring bits for them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMo (& piglet) View Post
So I bought a new Tenere which has everything fitted already...
Well yes, its 50 kgs heavier and uses 20% more fuel, but if you are into that ...



I put 50,000 km on mine last year, about half of that was off road. A lot more detail on prepping my X-Challenge is here:
RTW X-Challenge Adventurization

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Old 12 Jan 2010
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Well yes, its 50 kgs heavier and uses 20% more fuel, but if you are into that ...
Yeah yeah - don't get me started Walt' x

Oh, ok then - steel subframe (that is actually the main frame), decent pillion provision, comfy seat, luggage capacity, 23 litre tank, fairing & screen, twin headlights, twin front discs, cush-drive rear hub, and an engine that is every bit as frugal as the G650...

Basically everything that you've fitted to yours, as standard... and it's 30Kg more, not 50Kg... and have you weighed yours will all those extra bits on?

I'm just saying there are other bikes out there that will do the same job...

Jen xx

ps. changing that front sprocket then... how long? x

pps. I love Walt, I love his bike, and I love what he's done with it and on it - he knows this is gentle ribbing x
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