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650 Cross Country


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Any opinions on the 650 Cross Country yet. I'm considering it for mountain roads and forest dirt roads. 90% street and 10% dirt riding. What other bikes should I consider. I need some comfort for the street so dirt bike type seats are out. I don't want to race the dirt roads, I have my KTM 450 exc for that.

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Here are some excerpts from Chain Gang fora...


1. F650 to G650 comparo..."If you travel long distances the f is the best. If you ride strictly for fun the g is the one. I ride for fun and to me 175 miles is a long ride. I am having much more fun on the g than I did on the f. I ride dirt roads and jeep trails, no single track (after having 2 head-ons with mountain bikers). My rides start at 6000+ in elevation and I usually go up to 9000+ ft. The g is much better in the rougher sections. I frequently bottomed out the f. It inspires confidence. Somehow the seat height seems to have increased since it was on the showroom floor but it only is a bother at a stop light. I get an average of 75MPG on dirt. Perhaps the bike uses less fuel with the diminished oxygen available at high alittude? My low fuel light comes on around 120 miles but when I fill it I fill it to the top. I am glad I made the change."


2. Early adopter perspective... "My perspective -


1) saddle is far more comfortable (to me) than that on the F650.

2) gas tank is small, but 140-mile range is enough. the small and low tank contributes to the fine handling.

3) I've ridden the bike on Cal interstates at 70 ... 80 ... and 90. At 70, no problem with wind. At 80, wind is an issue but less than I expected. The bike had no problem holding 80 or 90, but high speed freeway work is not the reason to buy this work.

4) heated handgrips ... will come; not needed this time of year.

5) disagree as to the riding position- I feel perfectly secure on the slab


I understand a "scrambler" to be a bike you can ride on the road to the place you go off the road. Works fine for that. But, it has Metzeler Tourance tires. These work well on the pavement, and OK in the dirt. Knobbies are better in the dirt, of course, but you lose the road handling. all dual-purpose bikes are a compromise, as we all know. This is a finely executed compromise."


3. Another view... "Good points:

Handles well. Not as nimble as my Suz*k* DRZ400SM but very close.

Good brakes

Good suspension

The bike is fine at freeway speeds.


Bad things:

The seat would have to improve to suck. Sergeant will hopefully solve that issue.

A bit more fuel on board would be lovely. Bikes should have a 200 mile range.

And heated grips.

The front brake lever will not allow for two finger braking, at least with my bear paws.

The controls ‘feel’ like they came off a cheap H*nda from the 70’s. For that kind of money I expected more refined control switches.

The view of the instrument panel is obstructed by the brake line.

For that price I expected more sophistication on the instrument panel. It’s hard to adjust compared to my R1200GS. But in its defense it is small and gives almost no useful information.

Did I mention the seat is almost good enough to suck?"


4. My views: "I bought a G650xCountry after several years on F650GS, R1150R, R1150GS, K1200R (all still owned/used/ridden) as well as older Airheads and some Kawasakis.


The G650xCountry has put a noticeable amount of fun back into riding!


Lightweight, but slightly tall at the saddle. Very nice engineering touches - investment cast swing arm and lower main frame, very elegant triple tree, 45mm USD forks, balanced, well made, nice performance.


Lacks fuel capacity (140 mile range), not a true road bike nor a true off road bike (as dual sport indicates). Limited add-ons available as yet.


I did use F650GS hand guards with no mods - works well. I also added a Pelican 1500 as a top box (using the very rugged and strong grab rails as a mount). I am used to naked upright riding, so the absence of wind deflection does not bother me, but I would like a little fly screen/speedster style screen option.


Pricey, but most of that premium can be found in the design, feature, quality of the product. "

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Thanks for the review. Where was that from? Do you think a bike like that needs the ABS option?

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I went back and forth trying to decide between the X-Moto and X-Country. If I could have a Country with the better suspension and brakes, I would have gone that way. I bought the Moto after demo riding the X-Challenge. If I had realized just how good the Moto was, I might have been happy with the Country. The limits are so high that the less sophisticated suspension and brakes of the Country might have been plenty.

As far as stability on the slab - Yesterday I did a run to San Bernardino in heavy gusty wind - dead stable at 80mph on the crappy/torn up 10 fwy. It is 15mph faster going up Mt. Baldy road than the 640LC4 - 85mph up a steep hill at 4000 elevation.

If you are close and want to try it out, contact me.

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Yes, it has ABS. All of the ones I saw at all the local dealers had ABS. I did see some X-Challenge that did not.

I thought I wanted ABS with the ability to turn it off. I have not managed to get "in" to the front ABS yet and I have already outbraked a number of sportbikes (at 40-70mph). Perhaps it is the Pirelli Diablo tires and light weight.

I am anti-ABS in general for track stuff. I do think it is an advantage in emergency situations that you find on the street. So having ABS that you can turn off sounds great.

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Thanks for the review. Where was that from? Do you think a bike like that needs the ABS option?


www.F650.Com is the Chain Gang (F650GS aficionados)


Have not seen any xCountry without ABS. I go both ways. No regrets.

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