Small motorcycles don’t tend to get much respect these days. With all the big-bore motorcycles available, many bikes with less than 750cc displacement are relegated to learner-bike status. This is largely attributed to the manufacturers making motorcycles as easy to ride as possible, along the lines of lightened materials, better components, and the proliferation of safe riding classes. BMW motorcycles, however, have not been seduced by the lure of large-bore cruisers and street bikes, and remain true to the essence of motorcycling- making a bike fun to ride.
For 2009, the American edition of the BMW G650 Xmoto, known as the BMW G650 GS stateside, takes the best attributes of the BMW motorcycle brand and distills it into a lightweight urban street bike that practically begs to be tried out on some off-road terrain. While not strictly and Enduro motorcycle, the BMW G650 GS seems built specifically for satisfying the occasional detour. A strong bridge type frame (as is available on many BMW motorcycles,) utilizes the engine itself as a stressed member, ensuring that the BMW G650GS engine will be rock-solid reliable. The 2009 BMW G650GS has plenty of ground clearance, too, and with 270mm of front suspension travel, and 215mm of rear travel, the Xmoto soaks up bumps effortlessly regardless of whether they are the speed bumps at your apartment complex, or an expanse of rock spread out before you. Stopping power comes from a single disc brake on the front wheel with a two-piston floating caliper, and a single disc out back, again with a single piston. You’ll get wire-spoke wheels in the American BMW G650GS, while the European BMW G650 Xmoto receives cast aluminum, as well as a 4-piston brake caliper in front on a float. Both motorcycles receive optional ABS routed to the front wheel.
The BMW G650GS engine is of BMW’s water-cooled, single-cylinder variety, featuring dual overhead camshafts, four valves, and dry sump lubrication, and which displaces 652 cubic centimeters. The BMW G650GS’ power is acceptable, but not overpowering, having been rated at 50 horsepower, while the European version, the BMW Xmoto is rated at 53, both at 7000 RPMs. This allows the BMW G650GS to carry sufficient power as well as provide ample fuel economy.
There is practically a world of add-on parts available through the BMW catalog for the BMW G650GS, and with an MSRP of just $7,670, they’ll be worth a look while you’re at the dealership for your purchase. You can immediately choose a lowered suspension for $175, and a center stand for $150, both of which can conspire to make your life easier. There are also various bits of luggage, GPS systems, and just two colors available, deep black or red.