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  #1  
Old May 11th, 2007, 11:03 AM
Bruno Bruno is offline
Bruno Tome
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 921
BMW G650 Xchallenge

This past weekend I had a chance to sample the new BMW G650 Xchallenge.






I was very sceptical of this new motorcycle from BMW. It wasn't just the, hefty for a trail bike, 320 LB weight either. I was wondering about the front end with only 10 1/2" of travel (even though the forks are UPSD), i was especially interested in seeing how the air damped (a la HP2) swing arm would work.

I was feeling like this would turn out to be a very mild trail bike, one that wouldn't be suitable for any serious duty - certainly not for riding hard thru whoops, single track, deep sand, etc.

Well, i was wrong. The Xchallenge performed admirably, it took on everything we thru at it, and it was perfectly happy running with my KTM 520 EXC.

The BMW feels so refined, the Rotax fuel injected single delivers power very smoothly and without any flat spots. The weight is well centered and the bike feels great on the tight stuff. This is a very cool bike that can do alot.

I'm impressed.
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  #2  
Old May 11th, 2007, 11:07 AM
traveltoad traveltoad is online now
Aaron Shrier
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: San Fernando Valley
Posts: 2,625
Yeah, I saw it at the local dealer a few weeks ago (I did not get to ride one). I was impressed by the bike and the price.

The tank is too small though.
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  #3  
Old May 18th, 2007, 12:34 PM
Bruno Bruno is offline
Bruno Tome
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Aaron, Greg,

What's up with this ?
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  #4  
Old May 18th, 2007, 01:19 PM
greghirst greghirst is offline
Greg Hirst
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Join Date: Sep 2003
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I haven't heard of it.
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  #5  
Old May 18th, 2007, 01:28 PM
traveltoad traveltoad is online now
Aaron Shrier
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Location: San Fernando Valley
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Hmmm... That outfit has a good rep.
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  #6  
Old June 3rd, 2007, 08:41 AM
sheki sheki is offline
David Shechter
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 571
just got my motorcycle learner's permit in NY, as I was thinking how easy and nice it would be to ride to work and go out around town at night when street parking is legal. It's too hard and unpredictable to find parking in the city for a car so I thought a bike would be a great solution.

Anyway, what do you guys think about this bike for getting around the city? I doubt it would see much dirt; however, NYC streets are pretty bad and I think the forgiving ride of a dual sport bike would work well. I'm also assuming that because of the lighter 650 size it would be very nimble and maneuverable through traffic.

I am a complete rookie and have no experience. I would probably buy a beater first to learn on first, maybe pick this bike up at the end of the year on sale from a dealer. I'm open to other recommendations too, what do you guys suggest?
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  #7  
Old June 3rd, 2007, 09:50 AM
JimC
 
Posts: n/a
I started out on an r1200c. Its a good city bike - I didnt want a Harley or a sport bike, nor did I want to learn on a dual sport bike where my feet barely touched the ground.

The 650 is a great first bike since it is so light and easy to control. I'd seriously consider a 650 if I was starting off again right now.

Just ride several bikes before you decide on one. I'll have the 1200c up in the West Point area in about 3 weeks if you want to drive up and play around with it.
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  #8  
Old June 3rd, 2007, 10:41 AM
sheki sheki is offline
David Shechter
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC
...I'll have the 1200c up in the West Point area in about 3 weeks if you want to drive up and play around with it.

Thank you for the offer, that's real cool of you.

I'll actually be in CA in about two weeks, perhaps I could persuade one of these guys/Aaron on the board to let me ride their/his 1200cc bikes.
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  #9  
Old June 3rd, 2007, 10:54 AM
JimC
 
Posts: n/a
Dont ride a 1200GS unless you are prepared to buy!
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  #10  
Old June 3rd, 2007, 11:09 AM
johnlee johnlee is online now
John Lee
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 16,040
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheki
just got my motorcycle learner's permit in NY


Oh shit!

Nice.
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  #11  
Old June 3rd, 2007, 12:22 PM
Bruno Bruno is offline
Bruno Tome
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David, that's sweet - congrats.

It won't be long now, you'll be all into it, wanting to tour the world on your dual sport.

I think a 1200, any 1200, would be a horrible choice for a starter bike. I think even a 650 is a big bike for a starter.

If you intend to learn to ride both on and off road eventually, i would recommend you buy a smaller, cheap, dual sport to learn on - maybe 250 to 400 cc's - something similar to a KLX 250.

I would avoid high traffic areas until you feel pretty comfortable on the motorcycle. Try to find some secondary/fire roads to practice on, the skills you'll learn will serve you well even on pavement.

Once you get comfortable with your riding skills you'll be ready to dump that small bike in favor of something more serious, at that time you'll have a better idea of what type of riding you are interested in.

Riding gear is very important, buy the best. Jacket, pants, boots, gloves and helmet, go for the gourmet stuff, you'll be glad you did.





You're welcome to come over and visit David, i've got a bike for you to ride and 1000's of miles of trails.
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  #12  
Old June 3rd, 2007, 01:01 PM
sheki sheki is offline
David Shechter
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno
If you intend to learn to ride both on and off road eventually, i would recommend you buy a smaller, cheap, dual sport to learn on - maybe 250 to 400 cc's - something similar to a KLX 250.

I think you're advice is on point, I was thinking the same thing. I just looked on ebay and found this. I know it's some no name POS; however, it's cheap and they have a shop in Brooklyn... I can just go pick it up.

Any thoughts?
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  #13  
Old June 3rd, 2007, 01:31 PM
JimC
 
Posts: n/a
I dont think a 650 is too big for a starter, but my bias might be showing since I already came out and admitted that I took the "all in" approach by jumping on a 1200 right away.

The price is right - kind of a "can't lose" figure - you'll spend more than that on your gear. And the advice about gourmet shit is right on, if you buy cheap crap you'll immediately want better. I wonder if people would go cheap if all the air bags, seat belts, and crumple zones on cars were things you had to buy extra? I bet so.
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  #14  
Old June 3rd, 2007, 02:06 PM
traveltoad traveltoad is online now
Aaron Shrier
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: San Fernando Valley
Posts: 2,625
Starter bikes end up on the ground. That's just a fact.

Not only is there a learning curve to the riding.... there is a learning curve to the parking, leaving of your bike. Especially in a city.

So with that in mind, you need a bike that you can pick up and one that will survive the perils of city life. I would not recommend a bike much samller than a 450 and not much larger than a 650. A dual sport is a great choice.
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  #15  
Old June 3rd, 2007, 02:33 PM
Bruno Bruno is offline
Bruno Tome
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 921
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheki
this. I know it's some no name POS; however, it's cheap and they have a shop in Brooklyn... I can just go pick it up.

Any thoughts?

David, i wouldn't buy that bike. For a little more money you should be able to pick up a decent used Honda XR, Yamaha XT, or something similar. I think you'll have a much easier time selling any one of those when you decide to upgrade.

Also, if you decide to keep that starter bike around, for riding trails or as a 'guest' bike, you'll have something worth keeping.
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  #16  
Old June 3rd, 2007, 02:45 PM
RyanS
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheki
I think you're advice is on point, I was thinking the same thing. I just looked on ebay and found this. I know it's some no name POS; however, it's cheap and they have a shop in Brooklyn... I can just go pick it up.

Any thoughts?

David - I agree that a dual-sport would be a good starter bike, but I think you'd be much better off finding a used Honda XL, Suzuki DR, Kawi KLX, etc than that "Kayak?". The thing you gotta watch on the newer dual-sports, however, is that the seat height can be quite high. That can be disconcerting for a new rider. Hence, an older one may be the ticket. I'm sure you'll outgrow it quickly anyway, and then be ready to move on to something better.

Ryan
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  #17  
Old June 3rd, 2007, 03:09 PM
sheki sheki is offline
David Shechter
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 571
you guys are awesome, thanks! I'll start looking for the above recommended models.

I'll post things that I find to get some yays or nays. Keep the advice coming.
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  #18  
Old June 3rd, 2007, 03:10 PM
dannydisco dannydisco is offline
Daniel Long
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 76
In case you haven't found it yet: ADV Rider. Lot's of good info, sorta the DWeb for dual-sports.

Edit: I thought it was cool when I got it, but it's very funky '80ish looking now, Similar to my first "adult" bike.
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  #19  
Old June 3rd, 2007, 03:31 PM
traveltoad traveltoad is online now
Aaron Shrier
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: San Fernando Valley
Posts: 2,625
Quote:
Originally Posted by dannydisco
In case you haven't found it yet: ADV Rider. Lot's of good info, sorta the DWeb for dual-sports.

Do you post on AdvRider? What is your user name?
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  #20  
Old June 3rd, 2007, 04:19 PM
dannydisco dannydisco is offline
Daniel Long
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 76
Same handle, no I don't really post. I've come to be too poor through college to deal with a bike fetish anymore, but with a move to Rapid City, SD coming up in August I doubt I'll be able to resist. I REALLY want a R1100GS w/high miles so I can get used to off-road in such a heavy bike.

W/student loans and the DII and military pay it'll also be about as much as I can afford too.
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  #21  
Old June 3rd, 2007, 04:37 PM
Bruno Bruno is offline
Bruno Tome
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 921
Quote:
Originally Posted by traveltoad
Starter bikes end up on the ground. That's just a fact.

Yeah, those rookies are tough on their bikes;

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  #22  
Old June 3rd, 2007, 05:13 PM
RyanS
 
Posts: n/a
Forgot to mention, I took the Jimmy Lewis class earlier this year. And Jimmy had just gotten an XChallenge to play around with. He rode it during the first day of the class, and was having a blast. I think he commented that he was surprised at how good it was. It looked to be just as Bruno described it in the original post.
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  #23  
Old June 3rd, 2007, 05:26 PM
johnlee johnlee is online now
John Lee
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
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The ShekiBike:


David's all about the long shocks.
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  #24  
Old June 3rd, 2007, 07:19 PM
traveltoad traveltoad is online now
Aaron Shrier
KI6BCA
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: San Fernando Valley
Posts: 2,625
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno
Yeah, those rookies are tough on their bikes;

Damn rookies...

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  #25  
Old June 3rd, 2007, 07:47 PM
sheki sheki is offline
David Shechter
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnlee
The ShekiBike:


David's all about the long shocks.

I know you just want someone to get that bike, be it Aaron, Bruno... now you gonna try and work on me...

It is a sweet bike; however, probably not a good first bike. Yes I do like those long shocks. You'll be surprised to hear that I changed the suspension on my truck, as you all suspected the shocks were too long. I now am running 12" (10" body) up front and 12" in the rear as opposed to the old 12" up front and 14" in the rear. Anyway, that's a different thread.

I looked on ebay and Craig's list for bikes, not much luck (not in the NY area anyway). I have a friend who has an old Honda XR650, I think he'll sell it to me or let me use it indefinitely. I'll just have to borrow Jen's MKIII and rent a trailer to haul it to the city from Upstate NY. It hasn't been ridden in a couple of years so it'll need some love. Maybe I can get it done this week
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