Originally Posted by O'B
Get an Xcountry. If you put a set of marzocchi forks and get the shock reworked or replace it with an aftermarket shock you will have a bike that will run with any ktm on the street and offroad probably be close. Plus on the street it will probably be a more comfortable ride if doing long tarmac trips. The little Beemer really does pretty well and they are getting harder to find now after being so thourghly trashed in the market for limited range, limited watts for electrical gear, funky batteries, but the BMW engineers provided a starting canvas with what the corporate bean counters would allow to finance the project and the buying public would accept as a price for a 650 thumper. I will go out on a limb here and I am not trying to ruffle anybodys feathers but I IMHO think that the X bikes would run circles around any F650 in any kind of off tarnac situation.
Are the stock X Country and X Challenge forks the same skinny Showa ones used on previous Dakar 650's? If upgrading to Marzocchi .. well, that's a big hit, no? Like $500 to $1000?
And what about that funky Air Bladder rear damper? I believe both X bikes come stock with that.
What's the cost to convert to conventional shock? Once again ... I'm GUESSING
... $500 to $1000 ... depending.
I've ridden a couple X Challenges ... as I nearly bought one. Rode a stone stock one with 750 miles Back To Back with my modified DR650. No contest. The DR650 Blew it away. Only advantage the X had was BETTER, MPG, Better front brake ... and a bit smoother on the highway at 80 mph.
But both X's are good starting points if someone really wants to build a very good bike. But won't be cheap. (few are) The X's are VERY NICE looking bikes with clocks, gauges, levers, controls far superior to the pedestrian items offered on the out dated and seemingly primitive Japanese bikes. But when it comes down to doing BIG miles and Hard use ... I honestly don't believe the BMW's can hang with the Japanese dual sports for long. Something will fail.