For 2009, BMW Motorrad introduces a freshened-up version of the G 650 X Country, the versatile motorcycle that found its place in people’s hearts and garages world wide. The German bike manufacturer considered that the bike doesn’t quite need a heavy revision so it simply made it more comfy, safer and more appealing.
Created for commuting on all kinds of surfaces, the model has benefited of great attention in what concerns the height of the saddle which was reduced to 800 mm in order to make riding easier and feel more in control. Also for that, the fork travel was reduced to 220mm while swingarm travel is now down to 165mm.
Designers were further preoccupied about ergonomics (apart from lowering the seat) and the results of their work didn’t bother to appear soon in the form of five-position adjustable clutch and brake levers.
For 2009, BMW didn’t consider that the single-cylinder engine would need any change as it develops 53 horsepower and 60 Nm of torque. Weight numbers have also remained the same.
Braking system is composed from a 300mm front single disc and a 265mm rear one. What comes special on the bike is the dual-channel ABS system which can be switched on and of with the single touch of a button.
Also innovative on the new G 650 X Country is how the gas tank was positioned under the seat for lowering the center of gravity and inspiring even more confidence to the fairly uninitiated rider that will buy the thing.
First introduced in 2007, the X Country was big part of BMW’s plans of enlarging its horizons and by this time we reckon it completes with the purpose of its initial creation.
But giving its pioneering role, the bike doesn’t have that much history as a BMW police bike, let’s say. In fact, it was just introduced in 2007 as the fuel-injected 652cc single-cylinder go anywhere, do everything kind of bike.
The muscular athlete, as it was presented, entered the Supermoto category with a black and gray paintjob, something that was about to change with the arrival of the 2009 model year.
At a first glance, you won’t even consider the fact that the bike reviewed today has got its fair share of competition as it blends in style with practicability and smoothness with the ability to go off-road. It looks docile as a city bike and yet it still feels like the smallest brother of a Dakar machine. Now which would that be?
So in order to find a suitable competitor for it we took in consideration all of these features and ended up to this:
They do look like being part of two whole different worlds, but when you actually start to survey the things they both know doing there isn’t much difference.
The KTM 690 Supermoto is also a recent introduction and it addresses to the same category of rider. It uses the high performance LC4 engine (654cc single cylinder, four-stroke) and comes with the advantage of a six-speed gearbox compared to the five-speed unit of the X Country.
A true Supermoto bike, the KTM isn’t quite able to go odd-road with those tires so it would have to invite the BMW on a specialized track in order to prove a point against it. Out on the streets and on country roads, the Beamer rules.
Ever since its introduction not more than three year ago, the bike hasn’t suffered any visual upgrades and that is due to the fact that it simply didn’t needed one. It is compact and clean looking. This is something that you would expect from a machine that is built in Germany, but what you will appreciate is the low seat position. It makes a rider feel like a part of the bike, not just riding on top of it.
By simply taking a look at the X Country, you will have troubles positioning it in one single class as it has the looks of a roadster and part supermoto. This offers the ability to blend in the best of both worlds, which is big part of its charm.
But the scrambler gets even better for 2009 as the Sunset Yellow color makes it stand out easier and puts in value its smooth design features. It is amazing how by simply changing the color of only the gas tank and front fender you can make a bike appear like recently reinvented.
What your really must know about this new bike is that, for the moment, it was introduced to the European market. So you will find it priced at 7,480 euros. What a bargain that is considering what it knows doing.
I am often asked what 600cc (or more) bike would be appropriate for someone who hasn’t got much experience, but is willing to learn. To my awful disappoint, I soon discover that people who ask those questions are actually referring to sports bikes. That will never be my recommendation. I would soon ask you what you feel or need to do with that bike and if you stay keen on a cylinder capacity that starts with the number 6, this would definitely be among the bikes I will send you on. I guess that concludes the article.
Type: Water-cooled, single-cylinder 4-stroke, four valves, two overhead camshafts, dry sump lubrication
Bore x Stroke: 100 mm x 83 mm
Capacity: 652 cc
Rated output: 39 KW (53 hp) at 7,000 rpm
Max. torque: 60 Nm at 5,250 rpm
Compression ratio: 11,5:1
Mixture control / engine management: Electronic intake pipe injection / BMW engine management, twin spark ignition
Emission control: Closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter, emission standard EU-3
Performance / fuel consumption
Maximum Speed: approx. 170 km/h
Fuel consumption per 100 km at constant 90 km/h: 3.4 l
Fuel consumption per 100 km at a constant 120 km/h 4.8 l
Fuel type: Unleaded premium, minimum octane rating 95 (RON)
Alternator: three-phase alternator 280 W
Battery: 12 V / 10 Ah, maintenance-free
Clutch: Multiple-disc clutch in oil bath, mechanically operated
Gearbox: Constant mesh 5-speed gearbox integrated into crankcase
Drive: Endless O-ring chain with shock damping in rear wheel hub
Chassis / brakes
Frame: Bridge-type steel section frame with bolted cast aluminum side elements, bolted-on aluminum rear section
Front wheel location / suspension: Upside-down front fork, 45 mm
Rear wheel location / suspension: Cast aluminum dual swing arm, central spring strut, spring-preload and rebound damping manually adjustable
Suspension travel front / rear: 220mm / 165mm
Wheelbase: 1,498 mm
Castor: 116 mm
Steering head angle: 61.5 degrees
Wheels: Wire spoke
Rim, front: 2.50 x 19”
Rim, rear: 3.00 x 17”
Tyres, front: 100/90 S 19
Tyres, rear: 130/80 S 17
Brake, front: Single disc, diameter 300 mm, double-piston floating caliper
Brake, rear: Single disc, diameter 240mm, single-piston floating caliper
ABS: Optional extra – BMW Motorrad ABS (can be switched off)
Dimensions / weights
Length: 2,185 mm
Width (incl. mirrors): 907 mm
Height (excl. mirrors) 1,205 mm
Seat height, unladen weight: 800 mm
Inner leg curve, unladen weight: 1,940 mm
Unladen weight, road ready, fully fueled: 160 kg
Dry weight: 148 kg
Permitted total weight: 335 kg
Payload (with standard equipment): 175 kg
Usable tank volume: 9.5 l
Reserve: approx. 2.0 l