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RACE TRACKS

The new BMW G 450 X



Nov 07, 2007

Over the last 80 years BMW Motorrad has made off-road history time and time again. The marque is now closely involved in off-road sports as never before and is premiering an uncompromising, pedigree sport enduro in the attractive 450-cc displacement class. The new BMW G 450 X is a motorcycle exclusively developed for enduro sport and the most demanding competitive races in the world. It's a machine that is ready to compete the moment it arrives from the factory.

The background to the development of such a machine is the knowledge that competition-oriented enduro motorcycles represent a parameter with growth potential in the motorcycle market. Markets such as US, Australia, and Spain, already register - nearly traditional - stable sales in the off-road sector and BMW Motorrad wants to help shape and stimulate this and other markets for the long term. Besides, smaller volume off-road motorcycles open the gateway to both popular and professional motor sport as well as offering enough potential to also help the young generation to rediscover the fascination of motorcycles again. With the launch of the G 450 X, BMW is also pointing the way for the upcoming generation and towards sustainably securing the future of the motorcycle in general.

The engine with the latest fuel injection and computer-controlled three-way catalytic converter is Euro III homologated and already meets the vehicle emissions standards which are becoming ever more rigorous today for sports events as well as for road vehicles. With these measures BMW Motorrad is also taking a further step towards public acceptance of enduro sports in the future. The patented, unrivalled technical features of the new BMW G 450 X make it a driving force and contribute to the advancement of technological competition in this segment.

The introduction of the tough enduro BMW G 650 Xchallenge has already pointed the way: with a frame and swing arm layout for improved offroad traction, low weight, compact chassis and dynamic engine. BMW Motorrad goes still further with the BMW G 450 X and is not content with constructional features traditionally seen in the class. High-tech solutions have been realized in both the engine and chassis in keeping with the cross-country sporting tradition of the house and giving the marque a fascinating exclusive off-road profile.

The concept of the BMW G 450 X is based on keeping the mass con-centrated as near as possible to the center of gravity and realizing a vehicle configuration that adapts perfectly to the requirements of off-road sport. The central element of this concept is the amalgamation of the bearing axle of the rear-wheel swing arm with the axis of rotation for the driving pinion so there is no change in length of the chain on compression and rebound, minimizing the effects of the final drive on the vehicle's response. Further consequences of this unequalled technical approach are a noticeably longer swing arm for the same wheelbase as the competition and, with it, maximum traction bringing concrete advantages in enduro sport with its extreme demands on rider and machine.

Fundamental to the overall plan is the saving in length through the alliance of the swinging bearing and pinion rotation axis. Not only does it enable a longer swing arm, but the modern high-performance DOHC single-cylinder engine with an output of 50 bhp could also be positioned further to the rear. The cylinder was more strongly tilted to the front, thus creating space for long, straight intake tracts. In this way an ideal position was reached for the fuel injection nozzle and dual throttle valve fuel injection system. This also contributed to adapting the engine to meet the requirements of the Euro III exhaust gas norm without loss of performance, which is anything but standard in this motorcycle category. Further concept advantages include optimum protection of the airbox and voluminous air flow due to its placement above the engine in front of the seat. One consequence of the resolutely implemented, centralized concentration of masses close to the centre of gravity is the 8.5-liter tank under the seat. The filler manifold is positioned below an opening in the rear part of the seat. The reserve function is signaled by a warning lamp in the cockpit.

The starter is placed in front of the engine; the battery is protected from dirt and easily accessible directly behind the control head in the upper triangular frame. The air filter is a square, flat wet element, fixed by a drawer mechanism that makes it very easy, safe, clean and extremely fast to change. For this, the right cosmetic tank cover (fixed with a quick-release fastener) is removed and the air filter drawer is pulled out.

The intake funnel is positioned at the height of the control head whose high-lying position is advantageous in water splashes or wherever there is heavy dust development. The seat of the BMW G 450 X is made from a piece of special foam plastic. Foregoing a cover and not having a substructure or sump as its base brings weight advantages.

Another distinctive construction feature is the relocation of the clutch directly onto the crankshaft, a position that enabled an ingenious frame construction: The frame tubes were placed straight ahead of the swing arm pivot, bring-ing maximum stiffness at the same time as minimum weight and lowest use of material. Further plus points of this overall arrangement resulted for the radiator. This now had enough space to be designed in one piece. This saved additional coolant hoses and and with a low weight, important for an off-road motorcycle.

The development of the BMW G 450 X focussed on the ergonomic shape and design of the active riding configuration. Starting from the steering head to the rear section of the seat, the machine has an extremely slender waistline exactly where the rider sits, offering maximum freedom of movement. Especially in a standing position, the rider benefits because the absence of the tank at this point provides unrestrained clearance and the motorcycle can be kept appreciably slimmer.

In this configuration the G 450 X is the first BMW enduro to be uncompro-misingly developed for professional competitive racing. Like no other vehicle, the advantages of the unique construction features are revealed to the full in rugged off-road conditions; features such as the effective concentration of the masses around the center of gravity, the engine effects eliminated by the unique swing arm mounting, the resulting low wear of chain and pinion, the extreme handling reminiscent of a 250 series motocross motorcycle with prodigious tracking stability, the low weight, the powerful engine and the high-technology spring elements that offer the ambitious enduro sports rider a number of package and design benefits in hard competition plus limit-less riding pleasure. Measured by the options it incorporates, the G 450 X is the most powerful off-road BMW of all times for hard offroad riding.

A dedicated team of specialist engineers and mechanics, who have also taken part in intensive off-road sport privately for many years, has developed this new model for BMW Motorrad under the motto "from passionate professionals for passionate professionals". The BMW G 450 X continues the off-road expertise in the field of professional enduro sport already consistently realized in the BMW G 650 Xchallenge.

It weighs about 40 kilograms less than the G 650 Xchallenge for roughly the same output and, from the first draft to the last detail, is perfectly tailored to the requirements of the ambitious and success-oriented enduro sports rider. As a completely special and absolutely exceptional motorcycle, the BMW G 450 X is a genuine sports machine and it goes without saying that it has all parts required for MOT approval as standard. This means that - unlike other vehicles in this class - it's no problem to ride the BMW G 450 X to the track on its own two wheels.

The innovative, patented technology of the single-cylinder sports enduro concept was put to the test in all relevant highly-competitive events through-out the 2007 season by experienced and successful racing professionals such as Sascha Eckert, Simo Kirssi and Jo√ęSmets who were able to harmonize and further develop the concept. Today the motorcycle comes ready for offroad racing and competitions at the highest level and with approval for public road traffic without further modification straight from the factory.

Thanks to great traction at low revs, smooth engine output and fast revving, superior riding qualities with extremely light handling, best balance in slow "trial" sections and enormous stability at higher speeds, not only professional or well-versed enduro riders, but even enduro sport novices have no problem in mastering this racing motorcycle.

To corroborate the extremely sporty enduro qualities, BMW Motorrad has a works racing team that already took part in different Enduro sports events with the G 450 X during the test phase and will continue to race it in the Enduro world championship of the E2 class for example, or the German cross country championship (GCC).