Dirt Bike Diaries: Our Day on the G450X

On Sunday, February 8, ten intrepid Red River Riders trekked into the Bossier back woods hoping to make some noise, scare some wildlife and taste some mud. They were successful at all three.
Local BMW bike rep Mark Jamroz and friend David Hall invited the group to a 4-mile single track loop near Cypress Lake in an area so remote it is both off the GPS grid AND believed by Mapquest to be in the middle of the lake. Jamroz had thoughtfully marked the trail to his dirtbike compound with extra plastic panels from the new BMW G450X, for that ‘just scraped off on that tree I didn’t see’ look.

Adventure addicts David and Jean Hanson, James West, Liz Swaine and Steve Culp, Beau and Michelle Andrews, Charles Jolley, David Moak, Larry Barber and Bob Critcher found their way to the camp and were treated to a first-of-its-kind opportunity...the chance to take BMW’s new G450X out on some great technical trails.

Liz and Steve brought out their KTM 250 and 450 respectively.

Mark and David also had their racing KTMs, so along with the BMW there was plenty of opportunity for fossil-fuel burning, yelling, mud-slinging and vine clinging. James West was the first to jump on the G450X and it put him through its paces, giving James the opportunity to taste the quality of north Bossier mud. In fact, James won the unofficial “Tide: Laundry Soap of Choice” award as most willing to sacrifice all clean clothing to the mud gods.

There are many things we don’t know about our fellow club riders and one thing you may not realize about James is that he has spent more riding time in the saddle on dirt bikes than road machines. In addition to James, Steve Culp, Beau Andrews and David Hanson also spent some time on the 450X, so feel free to ask any of them what they thought.
I asked James and David to give me a short review of the bike. Here are their impressions. First, James.
I had so much fun Sunday it was like being a kid again. I gotta tell you growing up I had one bike, the Honda SL-125. My dad would not allow motocross; money mostly and because it was dangerous, etc. So I became the 4-stroke guy when all my buddies has KX this and YZ that. Ever since then I have always liked the old, reliable, and slow 4-stroke dirt bike. Well my day has come since most all the 2 strokes have gone away for all the various reasons and the 4-stroke dirt bike is what is sold today.It has been a while since I rode dirt bikes. I had a fast 1994 Honda XR250R back in 1998 when Dusty Wheels was open.

Here is my impression of the G450X. As expected this 4-stroke is easy to ride. Starting out, Mark told us first gear was pretty wide, so going real slow took a little clutch control. Once under way power was predictable. A little gas and it would accelerate smoothly, give it lots of gas and the power was there. Our loop was tight, so I only got up to 2nd gear. I don't know how much travel is there but it smoothed out some pretty large mud holes and whoops in the trail without much effort. Overall my impression is it does most everything you would ask an off road bike to do and it street legal so you can ride it to the woods if necessary, as long as it is a short trip.

Now, David.
I started dirt bike riding with an 185cc Suzuki enduro, then went to the TM250MX Suzuki for motocross in around 1972 or ’73. I blew my piston after about a year of racing, so I bought a TM400MX to race while I was waiting for the parts to rebuild the 250cc. The 400 was a handful plus that class at the track was a bunch of crazies! So when I got the 250 fixed I sold the 400 before I got it stuck in tree or something.

I have done a little messing around in the woods, but nothing so tight as the track that Jammer has out there at Cypress. I enjoyed the BMW G450X, very good throttle response, excellent handling and suspension, lightweight and very flick-able. I never got out of 2nd gear, in fact stayed in 1st gear most of the time, just no time to shift or get any speed as the trees and terrain had my complete attention. I did take the bike down the little dirt road we came in on for a bit and it was really fast…but again I only had room to use 1st and 2nd gear then time to hit the brakes, which were very responsive also. I enjoyed the feeling of throwing the bike into the smallish berms and gassing it around when I could hit a berm, I was pretty rusty and my reflexes were a little slow even skipping shifting and braking (the 4 stroke has compression braking, just let off too slow). I was still behind the curve of the bike and track conditions. I was able to go from YEEEHAAAAAAA get it acceleration, to OH MY GOD got to stop and turn, tree, or stump, or deep hole or big slippery root. Great fun and very addictive, but I still like the open motocross track sans big jumps. I think the BMW was a little out of its element on that tight technical one track, it would do much better with some more openness to romp in, get to taste some of that big torque and horsepower.

Thanks for the review, guys.
For more information on the new G450X, go to:
For LOADS MORE PHOTOS taken on our day with the G450X, Go to:

No comments:

Post a Comment