If you ask us, the BMW G650 Xcountry was ahead of its time. First released in 2007, it encapsulated the tracker vibe that’s so hot right now—but the market wasn’t ready, and it wasn’t a big seller. So BMW soon dropped it from their lineup, along with the other two G650X models.
Which is a real pity, because it’s a cracking bike; a compact 652 cc thumper that makes 53 hp and 60 Nm, and weighs 344 lbs wet. And with its pseudo-retro styling, it would sit nicely in the mix between bikes like the Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 and the Ducati Scrambler today.
Georg Godde and Holger Maninger at Cafemoto in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, are BMW spezialisten… and they love the G650 series. So they decided to see what the Xcountry would look like if it was reimagined as a street tracker. “We built this tracker conversion,” Georg tells us, “because nobody else does it—and we wondered why.”
“The technical package is really perfect—a light motorcycle with a strong and modern one cylinder engine. The radical frame layout with its extremely long swing arm that enhances traction, a big USD fork and good brakes are perfect for cornering winding roads.”
Georg and Holger don’t quite share our love for the Xcountry’s looks though: “The proportions of this model are really ugly, and the designers must have had a really bad day. The air box cover is much too short, and the seating compared to this much too long, underlined by a monstrous exhaust system.”
“We changed it all.”
The air box cover Georg refers to is the bit that appears to be the fuel tank, because the BMW G650 actually carries its fuel under the seat. Georg and Holger started with renderings, designing a longer cover and a more compact flat track tail section, to balance out the proportions.
The guys then shaped up new parts with fiber-reinforced plastic—and they made up a set of negative molds too, in case they ever want to replicate the body kit. The new cover and tail unit mount to some of the BMW’s original mounting points, with a few modifications to the bike’s subframe.
The radiator covers you see up front are the original parts, re-mounted—an inspired move to keep some of the Xcountry’s original DNA. Cafemoto also shaped up a pair of side number boards, and finished the tail off with a leather seat pad and an embedded LED taillight.
The front fender is custom, but uses the original mounting bracket. It’s flanked by a new set of fork protectors, and there’s an LED-equipped number board higher up, sitting on a set of one-off brackets. Just behind that you’ll find a set of LSL handlebars with a new mirror and controls, and the OEM speedo and switchgear.
One of the biggest changes was rerouting the G650’s exhaust to the other side, and ditching its clunky muffler. Cafemoto built a complete stainless steel header, and then mounted a Leo Vince silencer behind the wraparound right side number board. It’s a neat setup, and it weighs significantly less than the original, too.
The Xcountry comes with a 19F/17R wheel combo, but Georg and Holger swapped the rear out for another 19” for a flat track-appropriate setup, then added dirt track tires. And the wedged a new rear shock in too, for good measure.
Cafemoto’s work here is extremely clean, backed up by a Bristol grey paint job with tasteful graphics, and just a hint of BMW’s motorsport colors. The whole package is so tight, that it could easily be mistaken for a factory special (provided you swap that front plate for a more OEM-like headlight).
Which begs the question: if BMW released something like this right now, would it sell?
Cafemoto | Facebook | Images by Christina Güldenring
This content was originally published here.