- 650 cm3 of supermot
- In the saddle
- In the city
650 cm3 of supermot
BMW Xmoto 650 !! What is that thing ? Simple! A few years ago, the Bavarian firm thought it was going to go hunting on KTM lands, and released a range of 3 motorcycles with the same chassis: the Xcountry (Scrambler), the Xchallenge (Enduro) and the Xmoto (Supermot). The X is not there for the prohibition on minors, but in English, it is pronounced "Cross" … which is understandable for the Xcountry, but more difficult for the 2 others. In short, the Xcountry and the Xchallenge were relatively identical in terms of the chassis, and the Xmoto differed, in addition to the trim by the adoption of alloy rims.
But it is the Xmoto that interests us today.
The first thought that comes to mind when you see it is “I know this bike, I’ve seen it somewhere before”, followed immediately by “does anyone have a stepladder?”. The ubiquitous plastic, the billhook-cut design, the (beautiful) Oz-style baton rims, the high pot, the large inverted fork, if there was no BMW mark on the fake tank, it could be confused with a first generation Austrian duck.
The anthracite / red color is very classy and contrasts nicely with the sought-after racing aspect (the luggage carrier and the passenger footrests are options). Moreover, speaking of the racing aspect, there is a small plate to avoid getting your toes caught in the crown in the event of a fall; me who thought that it only fit on track bikes.
We approach the bike, and we wonder how we’re going to get on it. The saddle rises to 90 cm high, and when, like me, we are less than 1m75, it is better to aim for a sidewalk to stop.
In the saddle
First look at the dashboard, it’s clear, there is room to read, and plenty of indicator lights. Big development for me, who have always ridden on "old" motorcycles, this one gives the time! There is a reserve indicator, 2 partial trips and an LCD screen for displaying the instantaneous speed (the speedometer). On the other hand, it lacks a rev counter. Minimalist counter. On a motorcycle at this price (8,500 euros anyway at the time), and on a supermotard, we were entitled to expect a tachometer. Ok, purists will say that on a mono, it is not necessary, when it hits, we are too low, when it vibrates, we are too high, but still, it helps when we have been riding for 10 years on 4-cylinder coffee grinders. Even on my old 350 DR from 90 there was one.
Okay, let’s move on, we’ll get used to it. The commodos are at Japanese standard, the retro design seems a bit small, and the saddle goes almost to the handlebars. A real supermotard !
We go around the bike, and there, slightly lacking in taste, the nice cap of the F650 has been replaced by a kind of prominent plastic cap which is not very happy. It fits into the side cover, but looks a bit cheap anyway. For the rest RAS, the bike is very beautiful, very sober. The optional package carrier fits well, and the (approved) Leovince silencer gives the little racing touch that goes well.
We sit, or rather, we get on the motorcycle. The saddle is high, very high, and if you are less than 1m75, only the 2 toes touch the ground. The bike barely sinks, the suspensions are firm for a trail. The controls are easy to find, Japanese-style blinkers, horn, headlight call, everything is there, except the warning. You quickly understand that you have to sit as far forward as possible in the saddle. This saves the second of an inch to put a little more than a foot on the ground. The handlebars seem huge (obviously, after 10 years of sport), the mirrors allow you to see your elbows well, you feel very straight, well up. It’s gonna be time to get in touch.
The mono poumpoum fills the basement of the parking lot. The sound is not too loud, regular. 1st and on the way. It’s cool, around 5 degrees, and you quickly see the difference between a sports car and a supermot. On the sports car, you can curl up in a ball, snuggle up behind the bubble, tuck your knees in, in short, escape the cold a little. On a supermot, barely exaggerating, you roll your arms outstretched, facing the storm, and you immediately realize that it’s cold (I said cool? In fact, it’s cold).
In the city
After a few hundred meters, an attempt to adjust the mirrors allows, by raising your elbow, to see what is happening a little behind, but it’s not very convincing, you will have to (re) get used to it. to look behind. 1st traffic light, the fork sinks, but nothing dramatic. It should allow good comfort, and not play too much lambada on braking; braking which by the way is pretty good. A 4 piston caliper, a 320mm disc, an aviation hose, when you grab the lever, it brakes. Obviously not as much as a sports car which has (at least) twice as many pistons and twice as many discs, but it brakes very well anyway. 2nd kisscool effect of the supermot, always compared to sports, the handlebars pass laaaaargement above the car mirrors, it is an interesting peace of mind in the city. With the large handlebars, and the super short turning radius, it’s a treat in traffic. We slalom, we sneak, we twirl, it almost feels like a big ATV with an engine and road tires. The feeling of dominating the traffic is quite impressive. We are far above the cars, see above the motorcycles. Ok, we just have a foot on the ground in the fire, but that adds to the charm (remember Stephane Chambon and his Husky), and anyway, as soon as it is green, they will be far behind.
The engine is quite flexible, the first is short, we quickly switch to second, and there, we rediscover the pleasure of the gromono towing. We can clearly feel the tire trying to plow the asphalt, the motorcycle going forward in a deaf brooooaaap, and quickly, we pass the 3rd and 4th to stall at the legal pace, waiting for one thing, the next traffic lights or the next acceleration to start again. Speaking of fires, the reactions of the other bikers are quite funny. This motorcycle having been not widely distributed, we clearly feel that they look by reflex, see the BMW logo on the side, and suddenly, start to detail the motorcycle to see what this funny toy is..
Given the height of the suspension, sidewalks and other obstacles are not, there is no risk of scraping the housing when parking. Once parked, we discover that on this BMW, the storage space option has been forgotten. There is plenty of stuff under the saddle, but certainly not the place to put a U. So the package carrier option is very useful for transporting a U elsewhere than in the doc bag. The design of the wheels allows easy passage of a U in the rear wheel and crown, the steering locks on the left, but a chain will be required to attach the motorcycle to a fixed point.
It’s time to get out of town, heading for the highway. Having understood quickly enough that we can really feel the cold with this type of motorcycle, it would be better to wait for a little warmer temperatures before testing the highway. Besides, it wasn’t even a real highway, but an urban highway, limited to 90. Well that’s perfect. Faster would not have been reasonable. We clearly feel that it is not the engine’s cup of tea, it vibrates, we feel that it is not at ease. And the ridiculous protection doesn’t really encourage you to cruise for long anyway..
This engine is clearly more suited to exiting turns and changing pace. Head north of the Carole circuit, the Paris region is poor in virolos, so if we can find more than 3 in a row, it is (almost) happiness. So direction Montge en Goële, Dammartin en Goële and the surrounding small towns. A bit of forest, shady roads, a few bends (it doesn’t exaggerate, it’s not the Vosges) with a bit of elevation, very little traffic, the almost ideal terrain to discover the true potential of this Bavarian motorcycle.
Already, from the first spaces, we feel that she is more comfortable. No more having the engine banging a little, no more low revs problem, there, we can put gas. The sound of the exhaust that we found discreet in town becomes much more present, for a bit, it feels like the JBT volume 3, page 15, except that I did not run out of gas or in a pit. Speaking of gasoline, the bike had passed into reserve after 142 km of town, and there, still no light on after 154 km. Either the bulb is burnt out or there is gasoline left. I put in 5.47 liters of 95, which makes a consumption of 3.55L / 100 in ride mode, more than honorable. In short, we come out of the curve, we put gas, and we start again. Obviously, the sound of the exhaust has changed. In town, it was rather soft, on expressways and motorways, constant speed, but there, in the countryside, apart from a few hens seen on the low side (and outside the village crossing), it is only when there is a change of constant revs, acceleration, downshifting, in short, what the bike is made for. We quickly find ourselves taking out the foot by reflex. The bike remains healthy in the curves, stable under acceleration as long as the rider is well seated in the front of the saddle. If we try to step back a bit (like to try to make the feeling of sitting on a breadboard disappear), the bike immediately becomes "blurry", and that does not encourage us to continue.
So we replace ourselves, we concentrate on the trajectory, and we realize that the rear brake is unusable! The position of the pedal is perfect…. when you are standing on the footrests. As soon as you sit down, you have to lift your foot excessively to apply the brake, and suddenly, it is neither comfortable nor adjustable. This is the only really negative point, because apart from that, it is a real pleasure to ride this supermoto on the country road. It switches easily from one turn to another, it is not too destabilized on the road with cows, the front brake is going very well, the engine is pleasant, it only remains to adjust this rear brake.
The return by fast tracks at stabilized speed will confirm the impression felt on the motorway: the saddle is as uncomfortable as possible. When we are on a small road, when we move on the motorcycle, when we are mobile, no worries, but after 20 kilometers of stabilized journey, the rear end of the pilot begins to make it clear that he is holding, if we stopped at this station, it would be really good.
The saddle is very high, very narrow, firm, requires sitting very forward, limited to the dummy tank, and has fairly large seams. All this makes you feel the saddle well, and quickly the feeling of discomfort turns into an overwhelming urge to take a break. Riding in leather delays the deadline a little, but on a connecting stage between 2 collars, we will often find ourselves riding upright on the footrests.
A 4-piston caliper, a 320mm disc, an aviation hose, when you grab the lever, it brakes … at the front.
In town, the reserve lights up around 140 km, after consuming around 7 liters, so that’s 5l per hundred, not bad for 100% urban. On the other hand, the consumption is rather 3.55l / 100 in ride mode, more than honorable.
In conclusion, a nice toy, beautiful, which catches the eye because quite rare, with a good finish, zero practicality, in short, a J toy. I bought it on a whim, after having sold the previous one on a whim, I thought I would keep it a few months, to have fun, and sell it, but it is well on its way to stay.
If you are looking for a motorcycle to go on vacation with weapons and luggage, then this motorcycle is not for you. On the other hand, if you want a weapon for virolos, with proven reliability (Rotax engine), a fairly low price now and you have enough experience not to set foot where a block is missing, then it is for you. If you’re also a fan of manga or atypical motorcycles, how come it’s not already in your garage? At more than 8,500 euros when it was released, it was (very) expensive, but today, between 3,500 and 4,500 euros used, it may be the missing link between the trail supermotard (XTt-X) and the supermot extreme (KTM, Husky). The hardest part is finding one. Due to the original price, little was sold, and therefore the opportunity is rare.
- front brake
- new price
- rear brake
- saddle comfort
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