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2008 BMW G 650 Xchallenge Enduro

2008 BMW G 650 XChallenge Enduro

Introducing this range of single-cylinder models, BMW Motorrad is broadening its line-up with a clear focus on attracting new riders to the brand. The company has created three new motorcycles absolutely different in their features and characteristics: the G 650 Xchallenge Enduro, G 650 Xmoto Supermoto, and the G 650 Xcountry Adventure Sports machine.

With their outstanding product substance, their purist looks, and their exceptionally sporting riding characteristics, these single-cylinder models are filling attractive niches in the market. And through their dry weight of 144-148 kg, they offer dynamic performance for sports-minded riders.

These new machines, with the smallest engines in the BMW model range, offer young (or young-at-heart) motorcycle riders exactly the right entry into the world of BMW motorcycles, but they are not entry-level bikes in the conventional sense of the word. On the contrary, the G 650 Xchallenge will thrill the customer who wishes to really benefit from the enormous off-road potential of his machine. The G 650 Xmoto, with its very impressive active riding qualities, offers the genuine enthusiast a new dimension in riding pleasure.

The G 650 Xcountry is able to meet all kinds of requirements and offers many possibilities, ranging from city use via country roads and small, winding lanes, all the way to challenging off-road tracks.

All three of these new models are powered by the single-cylinder carried over from the former F 650 models but now upgraded for even better performance and minimum weight. In the G 650 X-models, the engine now develops 53 hp at 7,000 rpm, reaching maximum torque of 60 Nm (44 lb-ft) at 5,250 rpm.
The extra power produced by the four-valve engine is made possible by a lighter crankdrive and a number of other modifications. The rear wheel, finally, is driven on all three G 650 X model variants by an O-ring chain.

Various set-ups and versions of the upside-down telescopic fork as well as the rear suspension elements give each model its own special character and riding features. The Xchallenge, for example, comes with a particularly elaborate air damping system, while the Xcountry features a spring strut adjustable for length. The Xmoto features 17-inch cast light-alloy rims, the Xcountry running on 19 and 17-inch spoke wheels, while the Xchallenge features 21and 18-inch spoke wheels, highlighting the specific character of each machine.

The brake systems also differ from one model to another. The single-disc front-wheel brakes on the Xcountry and the Xchallenge each measure 300 millimetres in diameter and come with a double-piston brake calliper, while the Xmoto features a four-piston brake calliper and 320 millimetres disc. 

The new, light and compact two-channel ABS is available on these new bikes and can be deactivated on demand for those off-road or on special circuits reserved for racing.

The most important features of the new G 650 X model series
at a glance:

•  Fast-revving single-cylinder power unit developing maximum output
of 39 kW (53 hp) at 7,000 rpm and peak torque of 60 Nm (44 lb-ft) at 5,250 rpm.
•  Crankshaft running in anti-friction bearings and an even lighter alternator reducing free mass forces.
•  DOHC valve drive with cup tappets and four valves.
•  Liquid cooling with an aluminium radiator.
•  Electronic BMS-C II engine management with intake manifold injection and dual ignition.  
•  Stainless-steel exhaust system with three-way catalytic converter and oxygen sensor.
•  Dry sump lubrication with the oil tank positioned appropriately for an ideal centre of gravity. 
•  Close-increment five-speed gearbox with secondary chain drive.
•  High-quality running gear components, eloxy-plated aluminium attachments.
•  Torsionally-rigid tubular bridge frame with bolted-on aluminium rear frame.   
•  Stable upside-down telescopic fork, fixed-position tube measuring
45 millimetres in diameter.  
•  Light and highly stable two-unit cast-aluminium swing arm. 
•  Top-quality spring struts at the rear.  

•  Low unladen weight between 156 and 160 kg (344 and 353 lb).
•  Conified aluminium tubular handlebar.
•  Foot brake and gearshift levers made of forged aluminium. 
•  Fuel tank positioned beneath the seat for an ideal centre of gravity,
with good access to the filler pipe. 
•  High-performance brake system with on-demand ABS as an option.
•  Model-specific range of accessories and optional features.

Technical Basis.
The new single-cylinder models were developed under the leadership of BMW in cooperation with Aprilia S.p.A., Noale, Italy (Piaggio Group). Production is by Aprilia in their north Italian Scorzè Plant, naturally fulfilling all of BMW’s strict quality standards. And as on the F 650 models, the power unit comes from Austrian specialist Rotax, again following the specifications and requirements made by BMW Motorrad.

In their overall concept, the three new models, using largely the same parts and components on the engine and frame as well as the same main features, seek to offer a very different and distinctive character in each case. The technical distinctions and unique features characteristic of each model are described in greater detail in Section 2.2.

Optimised in weight, power and performance – the single-cylinder power unit
The truly convincing single-cylinder power unit already featured in the existing BMW F 650 model series – to this day the benchmark in its class in terms of refinement, smoothness, fuel economy, and emission control – sets the foundation for the engines in all new G 650 X models.

Reflecting the different sporting requirements and demands made of each model, a number of components have been modified to reduce the weight of the new motorcycles by approximately 2 kg, enhancing the engine’s fast-revving response and performance, and boosting engine output by 2 kW. As a result, the power unit not only offers maximum output increased to 39 kW (53 hp) at 7,000 rpm and peak torque of 60 Nm (44 lb-ft) at 5,250 rpm, but also even more dynamic performance and a greater athletic character in every respect.

Even lighter than before, the alternator minimises the free mass weight of the entire crankdrive system running in anti-friction bearings, giving the single-cylinder even more spontaneous and athletic performance. The balance shaft serving to optimise smoothness and running refinement has been retained, with the new starter and alternator cover made of magnesium, making a significant contribution to the lower weight of the engine. The redesigned four-valve cylinder head, finally, serves mainly to connect the power unit ideally to the frame and suspension as a load-bearing element.

Engine management is provided by BMW BMS-C II electronic engine
control responsible not only for the concept of manifold injection, but also for the dual ignition system. Indeed, BMS-C II engine management even features model-specific control maps tailored to the various motorcycle concepts.
And thanks to the all-new stainless-steel exhaust complete with its oxygen sensor and three-way catalytic converter now moved higher up than before, as well as the precise engine set-up, the short-stroke power unit significantly outperforms the EU 3 emission standard.  

The proven valve drive system with its timing chain, two overhead camshafts and cup tappets, as well as the aluminium radiator cooling system, all remain unchanged. The gearbox also remains the same as before, while the final drive ratio on the chain sprocket has been modified, with a 15-tooth pinion and a 47-tooth sprocket on the G 650 Xchallenge providing a shorter ratio than on the other two G 650 X models with their longer 16:47 ratio. The different roll circumference on the rear tyres, finally, also affects each model’s riding dynamics.  

Yet another new feature is the dry sump oil tank to the left behind the cylinder, contributing to the perfect concentration of masses around the motorcycle’s centre of gravity and thus promoting the unique handling of each model to an even higher standard.

Ease of maintenance with service intervals of 10,000 kilometres (6,000 miles) are unusually long in this segment and remain at the same high level as before.
Highly stable lightweight frame made of steel and aluminium
The particularly light frame is the same on all three models in the
G 650 X series and is made up of four highly stable modules: the welded main frame made of steel profile sections and aluminium castings bolted on to the main frame around the swing arm mounting point; the aluminium lower section holding the engine in position; the forged aluminium auxiliary frame serving to take up spring strut forces, and the aluminium frame bolted on at the rear.

With its appropriate use of materials specifically chosen at each point and tailored precisely to load requirements, this concept makes a significant contribution to the minimisation of overall weight – which is precisely why the various models weigh a mere 156 kg (Xchallenge) to 160 kg (Xcountry) with a full tank of fuel, according to the DIN standard.

The intelligent mix of materials on the frame offers a number of other benefits: the aluminium castings around the swing arm mounting point (where the rider is bound to touch with his boots) are eloxy-plated to prevent any such contact from leaving behind unwanted marks. At the same time the swing arm mounting point has been modified in its configuration – the swing arm now pivots on the main frame and not on the engine block, and is positioned relatively close to the pinion. This not only serves to provide even faster drivetrain response, but also reduces the tolerance (less slackness) of the drive chain.

Light rear frame and lower section made of aluminium
The rear frame is bolted on to the main frame, allowing easy and low-cost replacement in the event of damage. To make the rear frame resistant to even the highest loads, high-strength aluminium forgings are welded into the ends of the eloxy-plated aluminium frame tubes bolted on to the main frame. The lower frame section holding the power unit at the front boasts the same special lightweight technology.

Double swing arm made of cast light alloy
The extremely stable, double aluminium swing arm also comes with top-quality eloxy-plated surface finish. Made of cast aluminium, the double swing arm is heat-treated in the production process in the interest of even greater strength and stability provided by the more consistent grain structure of the material.

Wheel guidance on all models in the BMW G 650 X range is provided by
a spring strut pivoting at the top on a forged aluminium mount. This ensures smooth and consistent distribution and flow of forces, since the forged aluminium support rests itself on the side sections of the frame and on the cylinder head itself. 

Upside-down telescopic fork with different spring travel on each model
The upside-down telescopic fork (USD fork) is one of the suspension components identical on all three models in the new BMW G 650 X model range. The different character of each model is borne out by different spring travel, a different set-up, and differences in design and configuration around the wheel mounting point. A further feature on the Xmoto and Xchallenge is adjustment of the telescopic fork both inbound and outbound.

With tube diameter of 45 millimetres (1.77´´), forged aluminium fork bridges, and wheel axle diameter of 20 millimetres (0.79´´), the telescopic fork is extremely strong and torsionally resistant, ensuring supreme directional stability at all times.

Tank fitted in the frame triangle
The position of the fuel tank in the frame triangle beneath the seat has been carried over to all three single-cylinder models on account of its obvious benefits, with concentration of masses near the motorcycle’s low centre of gravity.
Made of a special plastic material, the fuel tank has a capacity of 9.5 litres or (2.1 gallons). Even though this fuel capacity may appear to be relatively small, it is sufficient for a cruising range of up to 250 kilometres (155 miles) since the single-cylinder power unit is very fuel-efficient.

Light and modern two-channel ABS – unique in this segment  
As an option, the G 650 X models are available straight from the plant with the latest generation two-channel ABS from Bosch, already featured on the F 800 S/ST and the R 1200 S. The particular advantages of this anti-lock brake system are not only compact dimensions and low weight of just 1.5 kg, but also a high standard of precision and quality in controlling the brakes. The pressure modulator masterminds brake pressure in the ABS mode via intake valves, keeping the control intervals very fast and precise. And a further advantage of the modern valves with their infinitely variable cross-sections is that the rider feels only a very weak pulse effect in the brake levers.

Enhanced diagnostic functions round off the benefits offered by this modern and sophisticated ABS control system. The wheel speed sensors, for example, automatically monitor their distance from the sensor wheel and thus contribute to the supreme standard of safety offered by the system. To ensure a consistent pressure point at all times, the brake system comes with steel-reinforced brake lines – even on models not fitted with ABS.

A further point is that the rider is able to deactivate the ABS system when riding off-road or when enjoying his machine on a closed circuit. And last but not least, all models fitted with ABS come complete with a 12-V power socket.

Features and equipment
The lightweight concept is also maintained consistently with all the motorcycle’s attachments and auxiliary units revealing great attention to detail. The footbrake and gearshift levers are made of light, forged and therefore highly stable aluminium. The gearshift lever comes complete with a spring-loaded, folding boom at the side, and the footbrake lever, through its rolled mounting, allows particularly sensitive operation of the rear wheel brake (of particular significance on the Xmoto).

The side-stands on the Xchallenge and Xmoto are made of forged aluminium, and the numberplate supports and direction indicators can be easily removed for sports riding on a closed circuit. Wide, ‘zig-zagged’ footrests ensure safe support and stability.

The high-strength light-alloy tubular handlebar comes in conical design for maximum surface contact at all fastening points despite minimum weight.  The handlebar supports (varying in height on all three models) are mounted on rubber holders in the forged fork bridges as a solution efficiently absorbing any unpleasant vibration without reducing the direct feel of the handlebar so important to the demanding rider.

The cockpit is intentionally purist in design and configuration, with clear and easy-to-read instruments informing the rider at all times of his speed, the time of day, and the distance he has covered. Two trip counters may be activated at the touch of a button, and the cockpit also presents a battery charge reading. In the interest of enhanced flexibility, the instruments may be converted by an authorised workshop to either miles or kilometres, whatever the rider requires.

The rear lights come in cutting-edge LED technology ensuring a rapid response, above-average service life, a high degree of light intensity,
and power consumption kept to a minimum. The direction indicators come as standard with white lenses.

Reflecting the technology usual in this class, electrical energy supply and the cables in the electrical system retain their conventional technical features. The battery is readily accessible behind the handlebar unit to the right beneath the fairing.

All models in the G 650 X series are registered for riding with a passenger. The passenger kits available as special equipment on the G 650 Xchallenge, G 650 Xcountry and G 650 Xmoto are made up of special handles and high-quality, forged footrest supports. And a final advantage is that converting the machines for riding with a passenger does not require an entry in the motorcycle’s homologation documents.

Specific model components and distinctions.
In conjunction with the light but stable frame and the high-quality suspension components, the powerful and refined engine sets the foundation for superior performance, exceptional handling, and very good tracking directional stability all the way to top speed.

While all three models naturally share these fundamental qualities at the same very high level, they differ from one another in terms of their character and riding features through various design elements and items of equipment, as well as their different suspension geometry and set-up. The handlebar mounts, the seat, headlights and various design features – particularly the wheels and tyres – differ from one another, as well as the brakes and rear spring struts.

Differences in suspension geometry are ensured by the spring travel, the size of the various wheels, as well as modified mounting points for the front wheel. And last but certainly not least in this context, the final drive ratio is specifically tailored to the purpose and character of each individual model.

BMW G 650 Xchallenge – the Enduro for the off-road enthusiast
The BMW G 650 Xchallenge proves at very first sight that it has a lot to offer. This is an uncompromising off-road machine with long spring travel and not one single gram of extra weight. In its design, the BMW G 650 Xchallenge has proportions typical of a genuine enduro. Made of fracture-proof and elastic plastic (mainly polypropylene), the light and robust fairing components are ideal for tough off-road requirements. The front wheel cover is fitted directly to the lower fork bridge, giving the front wheel superior smoothness and running freedom under all conditions. The slender fairing, in turn, gracefully takes up the asymmetrically contoured headlight featuring a reflector in free-form design. Positioned off-centre, the parking light, finally, helps to provide that typical look of BMW Motorrad further enhanced by paintwork in Aura White and the Blue seat.

Benefiting from 270 millimetres of spring travel both front and rear, BMW Motorrad’s new Enduro will easily take on any challenge off the beaten track. Tube diameter of 45 millimetres (1.77´´)  gives the upside-down telefork enormous overall stiffness, allowing a handlebar lock of 40°.

The springs and dampers are all specially tuned for off-road use, meeting the highest demands in every respect. As a function of his own weight and personal preferences, the truly ambitious enduro rider is even able to fine-tune the dampers on their inbound and rebound strokes, the adjustment mechanisms offering predetermined rest points for smooth, consistent adjustment.

Again in the interest of minimum weight, the wheel axle measuring
20 millimetres in diameter is drilled hollow on both the front and rear wheel. The rear wheel suspension also allows various adjustments and set-ups, albeit of a very different character. Like the BMW HP2 Enduro, the BMW G 650 Xchallenge features the BMW Motorrad Air Damping System – a special spring/damper system operating exclusively with air. In its configuration and functions, the Air Damping System is the same as on the HP2 Enduro and has merely been adjusted in terms of weight and its running requirements.

The BMW Motorrad Air Damping System comes with a piston inside, similar to the configuration in conventional spring struts. Instead of hydraulic fluid, however, this system forces out air through plate valves into a second chamber, the damping effect being achieved by throttling the flow of air.

Since gas is compressible, the air within the system can act as a kind of
spring replacing the usual steel spring and thus offering the advantages already lauded on the BMW HP2 Enduro:
•     ‘Natural’ progression of spring rates under high load (with growing pressure within the system).        
•  Reliable and smooth operation minimising the risk of the suspension giving way (physical law of gases: pressure increases as a function of temperature).
•     ‘Natural’ progression of the damping effect under high loads (the viscosity of air increases as a function of temperature).
•  Frequency-dependent, selective damping effect.
•  Resistant to overheating (no temperature-induced weakening of the damping effect under high loads).
•  Simple option to adjust the dampers to the load carried.
•  Low weight of the entire system and its components.
•  Individual adjustment and set-up of the suspension matched to the
rider’s weight and the load carried by means of a water level presenting the normal position and trim of the motorcycle.
The reduction in unsprung masses also improves spring response and traction on the rear wheel. To the outside, the spring strut is sealed hermetically and is therefore protected from contamination, with any losses caused by leakage being set off by filling in air through a valve.

The system adjusts very easily and conveniently to different load conditions simply by varying the pressure filling. And to pump up the system while travelling, the rider has the option to use a hand-operated high-pressure pump fitted beneath the seat of the G 650 Xchallenge.

A feature unique to this air spring damper system is the choice of frequency-related damping achieved by varying the inner flow system together with the throttle openings. And an important effect achieved in this way is much better traction of the rear wheel on bumpy, undulating surfaces. The damping effect can be appropriately adjusted in the frequency ranges typically encountered on the rear wheel swing arm as a result of bumpy surfaces, the wheel thus following any such bumps in an ideal motion, maintaining optimum ground contact at all times. The result is even better grip and traction when accelerating all-out, as well as extra safety when applying the brakes.

Any risk of the springs sagging and giving way, as is often the case on long, undulating surfaces and under high loads, is largely excluded by ‘natural’ adjustment of the spring rates in the air springs together with the frequency-specific damping effect. An adjustment bolt opening up a bypass in the damper enables the rider to pre-set the damper characteristics to two stages for either more comfortable riding on regular roads or for a firmer set-up on off-road terrain.

It almost goes without saying that the wheels and tyres also meet the typical requirements of off-road riding. Due to their better ‘elasticity’, spoke wheels come as standard on the BMW G 650 Xchallenge, offering all the features of lightweight technology. The aluminium wheel hubs are hollow-cast and are connected to the epoxy-plated aluminium rims by extra-strong wire spokes.

The G 650 Xchallenge comes with a front wheel measuring 21 inches
in diameter and running as standard on a 90/90-21 tyre, while at the rear an 18-inch wheel running as standard on a 140/80-18 tyre allows the use of specialised off-road tyres whenever required.

Measuring a significant 300 millimetres in diameter at the front and 240 millimetres in diameter at the rear, the brake discs – and indeed, the entire brake system – are conceived without compromises for handling high loads. Apart from saving weight, the cross-drilled Wave brake discs on the G 650 Xchallenge have a better self-cleaning effect than conventional discs. And while the front wheel disc runs within a double-piston floating-calliper configuration, the rear disc is held tight when required by a single-piston floating calliper.

With its 15-tooth pinion and a 47-tooth sprocket, the G 650 Xchallenge
has a shorter final drive ratio than the other two models in the new G 650 X model range.






G 650 Xchallenge

Aura White


G 650 Xmoto

Graphitane metallic matt/Red


G 650 Xcountry

Deep Black/White Aluminium metallic










Liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
power unit with dual ignition










Max output








Max torque








Compression ratio/fuel grade


11.5 : 1/unleaded premium (RON 95)


Valve/gas charge management


DOHC (double overhead camshaft)


Valves per cylinder/intake/outlet dia




Fuel supply


Electronic manifold injection, BMS-C II


Throttle butterfly diameter




Exhaust management


Fully controlled three-way catalytic converter





Electrical System









12/10, maintenance-free





Power Transmission/Gearbox





Multiple-plate clutch in oil bath 




Dog-shift five-speed gearbox


Primary transmission ratio




Gear ratios          I




















Rear wheel drive




Final drive








Suspension and Running Gear





Steel bridge tubular frame with bolted cast aluminium components and
aluminium rear frame

Suspension, front


USD telescopic fork, tube dia 45 mm

Suspension, rear


Aluminium two-unit cast swing arm

Spring strut


Air Damping System

Gas-pressure spring strut


Spring travel, front/rear















Steering unit angle





Single-disc brake, front, disc dia


Double-piston calliper, 1 x dia 300

Four-piston calliper, 1 x dia 320

Single-disc brake, rear, disc dia


Single-piston floating calliper, dia 240


Anti-lock brake system


BMW Motorrad ABS available as an option




Spoke wheels

Spoke wheels

Cast  wheels



1.60 x 21

2.50 x 19

3.50 x 17



2.50 x 18

3.00 x 17

4.50 x 17
















Weights and Dimensions





Length, overall





Width, overall, with mirrors





Width, overall, without mirrors





Seat height





Ride height





Dry weight/DIN unladen weight





Max permissible



Tank capacity








Fuel Consumption and Performance





Fuel consumption 90 km/h

ltr/100 km




Fuel consumption 120 km/h

ltr/100 km









0–100 km/h





Standing-start km





Top speed, approx