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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 7 Jan 2014
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bmw 650 x challenge yes or no??

any advice welcome

Last edited by brian p; 9 Jan 2014 at 16:52.
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  #2  
Old 7 Jan 2014
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Calling BMW X Challenge Ambassador Colebatch! 1-7

Contact Walter Colebatch ... better yet spend time reading his many ride reports and build threads about his X Challenge. No one I know of knows more about the X Challenge than Walter. There are MANY threads on this ... do your research.

You could start here:
RTW X-Challenge Adventurization - ADVrider
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  #3  
Old 9 Jan 2014
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thanks............i was onto him already,he said its his no1 choice,cant argue with that,wanted a bit more info but i just found that forum earlier on adv,a pile of info which is fab.

another bit of good reading here if someone stumbles this way

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...ght=xchallenge


christ walter done a good job on the page

that will do pig........that il will do
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  #4  
Old 13 Feb 2014
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Yes, and no .... depends on what you want...

Walter will say that it's the next best thing after sliced bread I have a slightly more objective view. There are some issues with them like the clutch, rear frame, air shock (some like, some don't), and a few other interesting issues, and btw. the seat suck major.

But if you decide for one, and get the child diseases sorted out, then it's a hoot, well not as much a hoot like a 690R, but still very fun... and you don't have to be a superman to ride it ...

I've collected a few links to forums threads and other stuff ...



Casper
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  #5  
Old 13 Feb 2014
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That depends on the use you are planning. For local fun go with a KTM EXC500. If you plan to do some long distance off roading it is the best. Bullet proof :-) Need some rebuild though for long trips, but that is just part of the fun :-)
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Old 14 Feb 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casperghst42 View Post
Yes, and no .... depends on what you want...

Walter will say that it's the next best thing after sliced bread I have a slightly more objective view. There are some issues with them like the clutch, rear frame, air shock (some like, some don't), and a few other interesting issues, and btw. the seat suck major.

But if you decide for one, and get the child diseases sorted out, then it's a hoot, well not as much a hoot like a 690R, but still very fun... and you don't have to be a superman to ride it ...

I've collected a few links to forums threads and other stuff ...

Casper
Good points Casper ... and if you look at Walter's bike you can see it's nothing like a standard X Challenge at all, more like a "work of art"!

It's essentially custom from tip to tail with a TON of expert (and expensive) mods, all very nicely done. I guess the motor is mostly standard however ... and that is a good thing. But that bike has NOT been without it's problems, (read Walter's reports) but lots of trouble free miles since some early issues.

And speaking of "childhood issues" ... in the USA at least ... the X Challenge never got out of Childhood. BMW only sold the bike here for 2 years. Dealers were giving away new ones very cheap for a short while. (under $6000 usd NEW)

I have ridden the X Challenge on two occasions. One ...I nearly bought.
It was a beautiful bike in perfect condition, for sale at a fair price.

But after my half hour test ride, I hated it. I had a HUGE wad of $100 bills in my pocket and really wanted that bike ... it looked so cool, was nearly new. But it just SUCKED on the test ride ... and I knew I could not fix it with my budget.

I had ridden my DR650 to the sellers house. So off my DR and onto the X Chall. And by comparison the BMW did NOT compare well to my DR650 ...
except in ONE category: The brakes on the X Challenge were better than my DR650. But the front suspension was very soft (bottomed under braking when I hit a pot hole) and the rear Air Bladder shock was very harsh. Many X Chall owners replace that Air Bladder unit with a standard shock. (of course Walter did this) My DR got an Ohlins ... huge improvement!

But also ... I expected the BMW (Loncin) power to be stronger than my 40 HP DR650 ... but this near new (under 2000 miles) X Challenge was no faster than my DR650 and was WEAKER right off the bottom ... could not lift the front wheel off throttle in 1st gear. (my DR pulls it up in 1st and 2nd using throttle only, no clutching)

I rode the X Challenge around for a 1/2 hour, twisty roads, fast two lane, and
a 3 mile stretch of dirt road with corrugations and a few good pot holes.

The DR and X Challenge are about the same weight ... I'd bet the DR is the stronger and tougher bike. Stronger frame and sub frame, stronger Alu swing arm, stronger Takasago wheels, better (Koyo) wheel bearings with fewer failures.

NO water pump or hoses, NO F.I. or ABS and NO Fuel pump to worry about.

Must admit ONE other area the BMW wins: Fuel economy is much better with fuel injection. 50 MPG on the Carb'd DR, around 60 MPG on the X Challenge.

I hung onto my money that day and apologized to the seller.
(He sold it for asking price 5 days later) My DR looked like garbage parked next to the X Challenge ... but I guarantee ... in stock form compared to my lightly modified DR650 ... the DR would ride circles around that X Challenge ON and OFF road. You learn a lot when you ride two bikes back to back.
Very revealing!!

PS: Not to say the X Challenge is a bad bike ... and may be perfect for many. Also, I'm quite sure that the XChallenge will respond well to key modifications. (like any bike will). I'm sure it's got potential to be great ... but not everyone has the
resources and experience to build a bike like Walter's.
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  #7  
Old 14 Feb 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
Good points Casper ... and if you look at Walter's bike you can see it's nothing like a standard X Challenge at all, more like a "work of art"!

It's essentially custom from tip to tail with a TON of expert (and expensive) mods, all very nicely done. I guess the motor is mostly standard however ... and that is a good thing. But that bike has NOT been without it's problems, (read Walter's reports) but lots of trouble free miles since some early issues.

.....

PS: Not to say the X Challenge is a bad bike ... and may be perfect for many. Also, I'm quite sure that the XChallenge will respond well to key modifications. (like any bike will). I'm sure it's got potential to be great ... but not everyone has the
resources and experience to build a bike like Walter's.
I know, I've seen his bike up close... and yes it looks a bit tired (used), but that is what to be expected... also he bike have been used a test case for many of the solutions we now (xCh/xCo owners) know will not work

Mine is starting to get to the same point, but I do my best not to add / change stuff which does not need to be changed (unless there is a very good reason).

The xCh is a great bike, it have some faults, and it's not build to be used as a sledgehammer....

Casper
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