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2007 BMW G650Xcountry

*** Snooker's BMW G650 XCountry Links: ***

*** An index of my personal notes for myself from forum threads, parts, accessories, vendors, reviews, mods by other inmates! ***


NOTE: A better summary page of my Mods can be found by clicking on the Back arrow at the top left of this page! Items below marked with @ are my favorites or things I've tried or want to try.

Threads at - The best rider forum around!!!

BMW informational sites: Reviews / pics: Mods / Accessories by specific inmates at Adventure Rides or Trip Reports:

*** 07 BMW G650Xcountry: Parts, Accessories and Mods - Specifics! ***

Exhaust: Exhaust extras: Air Filter: Tires *** :

  1. Tires: Facts:
    • It is the 19" front that is hard to find in a DOT approved type. Sizes: 100/90-19 and 130/80-17.
    • The rear is plenty roomy to fit a slightly different size (like a Dunlop D606).
    • Stock is 90/10 street/dirt Metzeler Tourance.
    • For more off-road: For 40/60, Dunlop D606 wears best. Then 50/50 Continental TKC80.

  2. Tires: Current thinking is to use:
    First choice: Dunlop D606 on rear, and Conti TKC80 on front...
    • Mainly because Geoffrey says the TKC80 is a great matched pair front and read, well behaved on the street, not noisy really until you get over 50-60 mph, and very good off road. They are so good on road that he thinks they must be a radial and not a bias ply, but can't find info to back this up.
    • The problem is the rear TKC80 has shallow tread depth and doesn't have enough traction off road. Plus it wears more quickly because of the short knobs. You can expect 8k mi on front and 4k on rear.
    • For a better rear off road with good bite, he likes the D606, it also has a hard compound and is well behaved on road too, not squirrely and wears well. Wears well, maybe 5k. Noisy over 50-55mph.
    • This combo sheds mud much better than the Mefo / Heidenau choice, if that matters. On the other hand, Drone's concern is braking at high speed (look at the surface area of the front tire that is contacting the road).
    • Air pressure:
      Geoffrey likes to leave it at one pressure, no less than 25 psi for on road and just leave it there for off road. It may make sense to go lower for some off-road, especially sand, but remember there is no rim-lock on the rear wheel. Drone always lowers the pressure off-road and carries an air pump to inflate back up to 30-35 on highway or more if you have a heavy load (bags).
      Colebatch says 18-21 in this post.
      At first I thought you cannot get rimlocks for our 3" wide rear 17" rim according to Woody's who also recommends 25+, in my post, but now they seem to say they are available, as I have reposted HERE.

    Second choice is Heidenau K60 (seems to be getting more popular than Mefo Explorer)

  3. Tires: Overview - list of tires:
  4. Tires: For more off-road biased than 50/50, these sets might be the only matched Front and Rear DOT tires in our sizes - the 19" Front is hard to find:
    Continental TKC80: Mitas E-09 or less aggressive E-07 (like Mefo): (hard to find, Canada mainly) Heidenau K60 (Front 57H, Rear 65H), also check out new K60 Scout - new tread for larger sizes: Mefo MFE99 Explorer: Metzeler MCE Karoo 2 - actually 110/80 front - not exact size: Kenda K784 Big Block (new for 2011): Kenda K761: (Ok more of an on-road tire)
  5. Tires: These are some more Rear DOT tires in our sizes:
    Dunlop D606 rear 130/90-17 not exact size: Michelin T63 rear: medium knobby: Metzeler Enduro 3 Sahara rear: Mefo MFC12 Stone Master rear: (most aggressive Mefo knobby) Kenda K270 rear: actually is 5.10 x 17, may or may not fit Kenda K760 Trakmaster II - full knobby. Front. Rear 130/90-17 not exact size:
  6. Tires - some other non DOT tires:
    Bridgestone Trailwings - cheap and mediocre: Also: For maybe 70/30 can try IRC GP-1. or GP-110 but not great. cheap, but no 19".
Balancing Wheels: Tubes, Pumps and Tire Repair: Front Fender: Horn: Visibility / Safety with Lights:
Realize that "blue" or "extra white" could output less usable light. See next 2 links: Headlight:
Stock headlight uses H4 socket type. Lifetime measured in a few hundred hours - carry a spare! But better brand is Narva, Osram, Philips, or Hella from Germany (PIAA is suspect). Wattage is fixed (60/55W) but some have higher output (+30, +50, or even more +80) at reduced life. I would stay away from higher wattage due to heat in wiring, lens, etc, not to mention lack of power from stator. Better is to add 2 LED aux lights for good output at low power (amps), an effective solution both for visibility at night and conspicuity in daytime.
Read more about bulb life vs. output in the chart from Daniel Stern.

-- Good sources for quality bulbs: -- More bulbs: Driving Lights / DRL's (Daytime) or Off-Road (not DOT approved):
First, mounting options: Lights: (Lumens are not universally measured the same:)
Accent Lights: Tail/Brake/Turn Lights / Tail Tidy: Electrical: Wiring, switches, ECU, gauges, misc Battery:
- Note: Original OEM battery was Exide but it was crappy and a campaign from BMW replaced it with the Yuasa YTZ10S. My Yuasa died in less than 2 years. Another key thing I've been told is that the electronic Fuel Injection system gets very flaky under around 12v, so that is key to a happy G650X (need more info on this!).
- Sizing: My measurements of the battery box shows it to be about 101 mm (4.0") tall in the front but the rear of the case is shorter by maybe 3mm (1/8") or so. This becomes a critical number for several of these batteries to be able to fit. Plus if the posts are on top it might make it even tighter. The width is about 3.5" at bottom and more a bit higher up, and the depth is 5.5" but it can extend deeper than that as it sticks out the side.
- Cranking Amps: Personally I as far as specs go, I am not as much interested in the AH rating of the battery as I am interesting in the Cranking Amps. Now there are several specs here, hot vs. cold temperatures, what minimum voltage it can't drop below, and the time duration. However the standard in the historic lead acid battery world seems to be CCA (Cold Cranking Amps). This standard is how many amps at 0 degrees F can be delivered without the voltage dropping below 7.2v (or 1.2v per cell).
- FAQ: In some of the data below, you might want to learn more about these different specs, so read the Odyssey manufacturer FAQ and also the Odyssey seller (Westcoast) FAQ. Here is where it gets fuzzy. First of all, the LiFePO4 vendors may not be standardized in their CCA spec, for instance Shorai says their CCA spec is for 9v (at unspecified temperature?). I don't see a description of CCA from Ballistic. Since 7.2v is really not enough to start a motor, Odyssey stresses other specs like 5 second pulse amps which is a hot cranking spec.
- AdvRider '_cy_' has a long thread about batteries and has done a lot of testing. He likes AGM best but for LiFePO4 he likes Antigravity and (so far) EarthX. Another good read is by JoelWisman HERE.

Battery Technology Choices:
  1. AGM type of lead battery (Absorbed Glass Matt):
    - These lead batteries have acid for electrolyte, but the acid is absorbed in the mat and there is no excess so they are sealed and can't spill (sometimes also called "dry").
  2. Lithium Ion family, specifically the LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate):
    - The LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) is a specific chemistry that is part of a broader Lithium Ion family, and is known for high starting current but less low current long term AH ratings perhaps (that depends). Here is a GREAT primer about the various
    Lithium Ion chemistries. Look at the snapshots also - fig 6 shows LiFePO4 and how it excels in the desired qualities of Safety and Specific Power (for starting) and low cost. Unlike other lithium ion chemistry (like in most laptop batteries), the LiFePO4 is very stable and the battery itself will not catch on fire, yet could get very hot in an extreme failure like an internal short.
    - They are about 1/5th the weight, much smaller, with more CCA than lead batts because they have lower internal resistance (though it is difficult to compare CCA specs). They are similar to the Odyssey in price.
    - Unlike lead batteries (including AGM), the more times you need to crank your motor, the more amps they flow without dropping voltage. They actually crank more amps once they "warm up" to a starting flow and can sustain multiple rounds of cranking. Very different from lead batteries and better in that regard.
    - They are newer (2010-ish for mass production at decent prices), so not as proven although some use the A123 branded 3.3v cell that is proven, and simply package it into a 4 or 8 cell package, for example.
    - One of the drawbacks is that at colder temperatures, say 32degrees F or below, they must be "triggered" by turning on a headlight or similar, to get current flowing. Some people have reported this as a few seconds but others as a 10 minute drill! Unclear. The cold does not "hurt" them, although extreme heat does degrade them, it's just that the chemistry performs this way when cold.
    - Here is a weird, somewhat general comparison by between Shorai and Ballistic. Their one test is interesting.
    - Another advantage is longevity (5-10 years with typical use) and shelf life, they drain at about 1/10th the rate as lead batteries (assuming no parasitic connections to drain them, like a digital clock or whatever). This means for many bikes you never need to charge them over a few months of non-use (and it is not good for them to leave them on a trickle charger). If they do get drained, it is important not to let them go below 9v without recharging them. Also you should not use a charger with a desulfate mode (the Battery Tender is safe).
    - Heat is its enemy so try not to mount it in a hot spot (no choice on the G650X if you use the battery box).
    • Shorai LiFePO4 batteries:
      The Shorai FAQ says they use a proprietary prismatic cell (and apparently not A123 brand cylindrical cells). LFX18A1-BS12 is 270 CCA in bigger case 1, but I believe it is just barely too tall for our battery box. Instead the LFX14A2-BS12 is 210 CCA in smaller case 2. Again their CCA spec is 9v (not the standard 7.2v), and at an unspecified temperature. They rate their AH in a "Pb eq" or lead equivalent, to try to compare to the older lead based chemistry performance (confusing).
      Being newer, some Shorai had internal shorts in early 2011 and was sorted out in newer production runs (in Japan apparently) around April-May 2011, after the tsunami effects were mitigated. Hopefully this is fixed. They also added overvoltage protection internally, and beefed up the terminal posts that were too weak in earlier units.
    • Testsycl LiFePO4 batteries: (DISCONTINUED)
      The Sycl battery FAQ gives a great summary of their cells and the LiFePO4 technology tradeoffs overall. They are all based on A123 brand 26650 cells. They sell a 240 CCA for 8 cell (they call it 4.6AH), 120 CCA for 4 cell (the 2.3AH). 1 year warranty. One unique and cool thing about these is the ultra small sizes and the high current quick disconnect connector kit they sell (based on Anderson PowerPole connectors). Great for racers or if you just want to take the battery in when it is cold overnight.
      The smaller 4 cell can be used as an emergency backup you could carry in your pack if desired, if your main 8 cell battery was accidentally drained, you could unplug it (or it would be too big a drain) and plug in the little 4 cell and it will start the G650X (may also have to unplug the headlight and any other lights). This has been done on our bike by others and by myself!
      (Note: Jim at as of November 2011 says these shrink wrap batteries (the tiniest packaging of all) with the Sycl brand will be discontinued when all are sold, now that he carries Ballistic. Update: now he carries EarthX.)
    • Ballistic LiFePO4 batteries:
      The Ballistic FAQ says they use a custom designed LiFePO4 cell (though some think they are the proven A123 brand 26550 cells) in a very tough case. All their battery packs are 103mm tall with terminals on the top, so according to my measurements it is probably too tall. If not then the best match is the 8 cell, it should fit, the spec says "Pulse Cranking Amps = 275 CCA" not sure what that means. $160 list price. 3 year warranty!
      UPDATE: AdvRider DiscoDino reports he was able to fit a 12 cell in his XChallenge, but he did have to break off the plastic pieces that partition the + and - so we could get the cables right. A 12 cell is really beefy! (Spec says "Pulse Cranking Amps: 410 CCA")
    • @ EarthX LiFePO4 batteries:
      Advrider Butters shows his install of the EarthX ETX18B for $209. This is a much beefier model than ETX12B which is the recommended fit. But they are the same case size. The 12 means 12Ah and the 18 means 18Ah. The 18 spec says 340 PCA and 230 CCA (see below). These are the ones now sold by (aka herrhelmet or as of 1/2013.
  3. Battery Cranking Amps comparison:
    -This is my attempt to compare apples and oranges to the most important spec - how many amps can it crank to start the motor??? Here I attempt to compare a CCA spec for the Odyssey AGM Lead battery to the Shorai LiFePO4 as they list CCA specs but they are not the same parameters. My idea below is to try to compare hot cranking amps instead, and at 9v since that is the only spec Shorai quotes, as follows:
    -First, Odyssey publishes hot cranking amps for the PC310, which is 310 Amps for 5 seconds not dropping below 7.2v min, at 80 degrees F.
    -Shorai publishes CCA for the LFX14 which is 210 Amps for 5 seconds and 9v min, and let's assume this is at 80 degrees F (they don't say).
    -Now I will attempt to convert the PC310 number to estimate its value at 9volts: (310 A * 7.2 v) / 9 v = 248 A. I'm proposing the PC310 has 248 A compared to the LFX14 having 210 A, for a pulse amps comparison, for what that's worth.
    -In fact the LiFePO4 cells would put out more amps as time goes by and it warms up more. Also you have to consider that our BMW has issues below 12v, and in actuality it will not draw near this much current and the voltage may not drop that low, and the LiFePO4 can handle more repeat cranking better without dropping its voltage because it has lower internal resistance, and in fact the lead AGM battery increases its internal resistance on repeat cranking attempts.
    -UPDATE: Now EarthX says CCA tests follow the industry standard at 0 degrees F for 30 seconds (which is not applicable except for snowmobiles), while PCA (Pulse) tests have no standard but their test is at 70 degrees F for <10 seconds.
  4. Care and maintenance of a LiFePO4 batteries:
    From The Sycl battery FAQ:
    - Even if left on the shelf for 6 months your new battery system will be within 95% of full capacity. You do not need to charge your new battery system prior to installation.
    - Should you manage to discharge your battery somehow, you have a few choices to get it recharged.
    - Damage can occur if the battery is discharged to under 4 volts or over 14.8 volts. (check your bikes charging system regularly). (Note: they also say don't let it stay under 9v without recharging it or it can be damaged!).
    - Automotive type battery charger providing 5 amps for 15 minutes (but do not use desulphate mode!)
Skid plate: Engine guard, radiator guards, crash bars: Windshield / screen: Mirrors: Handguards / Grips / Controls: Seats: Aux fuel tank: Rear Top Rack: Bags: Tank / Top Rack / Side Luggage (and racks): Tools: Shocks: (see my Wilbers mod page for summary) Forks: Suspension setup and theory: Brake pads, rotors: Sprockets, chain, chain guide: Clutch, OEM and Rekluse Auto clutch: Gear shift lever: Clutch / brake lever: Motorcycle Covers: Helmets / Tint / Goggles:
Dual Sport Helmet: I was surprised to find this new helmet type that has both a shield and an aerodynamic visor, and normally fits goggles also. Very nice. Rider gear and accessories: Tie Downs / Transporting: Vendor Sites: Misc Accessories: Issues/Tips with bike: