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single cylinder thumper motorcycles

By the look of things, the dinosaurs may be about to become extinct, and I’m not talking sich selber kennenlernen englisch about the triceratops or velociraptor. I’m talking about 650 cc dual sports.

For almost three decades now, the 650 class has been the pinnacle of the on/off-road segment, for good reason. Bikes like Kawasaki’s KLR650, Suzuki’s DR650, Honda’s XR650L, and other similar models have long offered a unique blend of capability and affordability. But huk coburg single tarif that might not be available for much longer.

The writing is on the wall, it seems: none of these bikes have received significant upgrades in years. Suzuki just marked the 20th year of Bold New Graphics for the DR650 line. have updated springs and seat, but otherwise the model is unchanged since 2008 (and people are single arm alternating hammer curls still fixing the infamous “” woes, too). The real senior citizen of the class, the Honda XR650L, is basically the same as single de wirklich kostenlos the bike that debuted in 1992.

Yamaha hasn’t even bothered to sell a big thumper in North America for many years, and it recently announced the XT660Z will be discontinued in overseas markets. A quick look around the UK’s manufacturer websites indicates none of the other Japanese 650s are available for sale there, and neither is BMW’s G650GS. It’s a similar story in other Euro countries.

Face it, 650 thumper fans – your favourite motorcycles appear to be on the chopping block.

The Yamaha XT660Z -- supposedly the best single-cylinder adventure bike ever made, but we can't tell you that for sure, because it never made it to North America and CMG therefore never tested it. And now it's canceled.The Yamaha XT660Z — supposedly the best single-cylinder adventure bike ever made, but we can’t tell you that for sure, because it never made it to North America and CMG therefore never tested it. And now it’s canceled.

The reason

Why is the 650 single-cylinder platform in decline? Two words: Emissions standards.

First off, the 650s, with their comparatively large bore, are going to pollute more, since the cylinders tend to deform when heated up. This results in oil burning, which in turn increases emissions. Smaller cylinders mean less pollutants.

As an example, check the California Air Resource Board’s comparison of the Kawasaki and, both 650s. It appears the single-cylinder KLR produces twice the hydrocarbons per km that its parallel twin cousin does, and six times as much carbon monoxide.

versys-650-pollutantsWhen they canceled the XT660Z, Yamaha laid the blame on the upcoming Euro4 emissions standards, as its big thumper wouldn’t meet the new guidelines.

It’s not that single-cylinders can’t be made to meet emissions guidelines – with some work, they can, and KTM/Husqvarna wouldn’t be developing their 690/701 if that wasn’t the case. But as Scott Colosimo, the mastermind behind Cleveland Cyclewerks (and veteran of years of dealing with the EPA on single-cylinder emissions standards) says, “The only way forward for big singles passing current and pending emissions is with EFI, catalyst (which is common on all bikes) and air injection in most cases, which raises the price significantly, and adds complexity.”

Modern big-bore enduros like the Husqvarna 701 platform require a lot of work to meet emissions standards.Modern big-bore enduros like the Husqvarna 701 platform require a lot of work to meet emissions standards.

Case sie sucht ihn jerichower land in point: When the was unveiled last fall, it had a fair bit of electronic trickery on-board, which in turn drives up the cost.

But it appears that, at least for now, BMW and the Japanese aren’t interested in making more complicated and expensive 650 duallies, so they’re not developing the current platforms any further. And that’s understandable, as the current 650s were mainly selling on price point, and versatility/reliability.

What next?

So, if the big single-cylinder street-and-trail models are headed for the chopping block, what will replace them?

It looks as if most manufacturers want to keep a small-displacement dual-sport in the lineup. Kawasaki doesn’t have anything here in the 250 class, but all the other Japanese OEMs do (Yamaha has three!). While they don’t offer the speed and power of a 650, the current crop of 250s all have an excellent reputation for reliability. Many are being pressed into not just around-home usage, but even around-the-world riding (see, for example).

Small 250-class duallies will remain in the lineups for customers who want a true street-and-trail bike, at least for now.Small 250-class duallies will remain in the lineups for customers who want a true street-and-trail bike, at least for now.

But of course, the 250 class doesn’t have enough power to keep many people happy, so the manufacturers will have to come up with a Plan B to replace the 650 thumpers.

For now, it seems the solution is to raid the parts bin and create adventurized versions of their mid-range parallel twins. We know Yamaha is planning a Tenere version of the FZ-07 (spy shot ). Honda’s had the CB500X on the market for a few years now, and this year, it’s been very keen to publicize that turn it into a proper off-road-capable bike. Suzuki now has a with wire wheels. Even KTM, the last company to show a keen interest in big singles, is reportedly working on 500 cc and 800 cc parallel twins, to be slotted into a new line of adventure bikes.

These changes will likely create mixed feelings with dual sport and adventure riders. The new engines run more smoothly than a big single, and may make more power and even offer better fuel economy, but there are trade-offs with weight, complexity, and cost.

Parallel twins like the CB500X seem to be the manufacturers' answer to emissions standards. Bye bye, big thumpers!Parallel twins like the CB500X seem to be the manufacturers’ answer to emissions standards. Bye bye, big thumpers!

Curious of his opinion, I reached out to Chris Scott, author of the and on adventure travel and general motorcycling. Scott is often credited with actually coming up with the term “adventure motorcycling,” and has spent decades traveling the world’s wastelands by bike – he’s traveling quite a bit on 250s right now, but he’s owned many big single-cylinder bikes in the past, so he’s familiar with what they have to offer. And he doesn’t think their extinction would be a tragedy – he finds his current small-displacement rides are lighter and easier to manage off-road.

“I am definitely over 650 singles as they are now,” Scott says. “On the dirt, the big single power pulses make nadgery sections awkward where the CB-X twin rolled through smoothly. A single of 450 or less or a twin up to 650 will do me nicely. I can see myself flitting between the two in the coming years.”

If Chris Scott can be happy and work with parallel twins and small single-cylinder bikes, anyone can make it work.

But still, the end of the big thumper will be a bummer for many riders, myself included. For years, the 650 dual-sports were the preferred bike for Canadian riders who wanted a machine that could handle commuting, off-roading, and even long-distance adventure riding with ease. But get ready for it: Unless BMW or one of the Big Four creates a new 650 duallie or significantly upgrades an existing model, the current crop is the last we’re going to see.

Husqvarna's Preview Drawing: Husky's new 900cc Twin promises big power in a light, relatively inexpensive package.

Sometimes the most pleasurable things are the simplest — think of a perfect hot-fudge sundae, or a summer afternoon spent in a hammock. Motorcycles have their simple pleasures as well — engine configurations that are fun, inexpensive and light. Two of the best — and most enduring — are the four-stroke Single (also known as the thumper), which was the sort of mill Gottleib Daimler had in his 1885 Reitwagen and the parallel Twin, made famous by Edward Turner’s Triumph Twins and the workhorse of the Japanese motorcycle industry in the ’60s and ’70s. The Single’s advantages are low weight (of course) and a user-friendly power delivery that is hard to describe but familiar to anybody who’s ridden a thumper. Parallel Twins are great because you get two cylinders in one head/block, which means it’s narrow, light and much cheaper to build than a V-Twin.

The problem with both these designs is vibration. Neither design offers the near-perfect primary balance of a 90-degree V-Twin, and an unbalanced Twin or Single will blur your vision, put your hands and feet to sleep and make everything not safety-wired fall off in your wake. Luckily, engineers have had over a century to come up with work-arounds, including counterbalancers and other tricks like vestigial connecting rods. Efforts like these have smoothed out bikes like Ducati’s and BMW’s Rotax-based Twins. And that’s why, despite the fantastic power numbers being produced by middleweight and open-class Fours, these scrappy little setups are not only still alive, but actually flourishing. Here’s what’s on the horizon:


When BMW in 2007, I had to scratch my head, especially when I was at the Cologne show that year, looking at BMW’s display of new off-road models that seemed to directly compete with the Huskys. My guess is BMW was offered the brand at a fire-sale price (from the MV Agusta/Cagiva group) and couldn’t say no, but four years later, with Germanic efficiency, the Bavarians may have found a use for Husqvarna.

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The Mille3 concept, dreamed up by Raffaele Zaccagnini, who we must assume is short and has very long arms.

Behold the 900cc Husqvarna parallel Twin, based on BMW’s very good 800cc F-series powerplant. An extra 100cc should make it even better, with estimates of 90 to 95 horsepower and 70 ft.-lbs. of torque. Pack it into a minimalist supermoto-style trellis-frame chassis, festoon with premium brakes and suspension, and then take advantage of low-cost suppliers (something BMW now does with all its street models, resulting in very reasonable MSRPs) and you could out-KTM KTM. Bonus points for using single de wirklich kostenlos avant-gard designer Raffaele Zaccagnini, who came up with the crazy-looking three-cylinder cruiser-dirtbike-supermoto Mille3 concept. Zaccagnini, who came to Husky via Cagiva, likes minimalist design — nothing wrong with that. Expect to see a roadster as well as an enduro model introduced as 2012 models this fall.


Honda already spent big money developing a purpose-built street thumper for its, and it’s an impressive mill — smooth, torquey, and it makes almost as much power as its twin-cylinder Kawasaki rival. Expect to see more of that powerplant in future models. But Honda’s bread and butter was traditionally parallel Twins, although interestingly, the excellent liquid-cooled CB500 die besten dating seiten österreich Twin was never available here in the States. That lack of Honda p-Twins may change — England’s Motorcycle News has spied a 700cc parallel Twin, equipped with dual-clutch transmission, testing in the European Alps. The bike is a standard, with a very upright seating position and is probably intended for new, re-entry or commuting riders. Will we see it here? Honda seems to be moving towards a global product strategy, so it wouldn’t be a surprise — expect the bike to be introduced at the Milan show in November.


According to, KTM is going to update its Duke 690 with a Duke 700. The new model will have a more aggressive styling, a revised motor and an “R” version with better componentry. KTM is benefitting from its partnership with India’s Bajaj Auto by being able to manufacture bikes at lower cost and also get a foot in the developing (and huge) Indian market, which must be just right for the kind of rugged, lightweight machines KTM is known for.

Royal Enfield

Speaking of India—and thumpers—how can we not mention Royal Enfield? Not the old Royal Enfield factory in Redditch, England that was shuttered in 1970; we’re talking about the plant in Chennai, India. That’s where vintage-y Singles have been license-built for the home market since 1955. These machines are now available in the USA at bargain prices—the fuel-injected Bullet B5 is just $5495 — and seem to be selling like samosas at a cricket match. Look for those sales numbers to keep going up, especially when a cafe racer model is introduced next year.

This cafe racer can be yours for the price of the kit ($2325) and a base-model B5 Bullet ($5495).

But as India grows into a superpower—with the superhighways that go along with that — it won’t be happy putting along on 30-hp singles. The company’s new CEO, Dr. Venki Padmanabhan, said the company would be introducing a parallel Twin in the next couple of years, along with a diesel-powered adventure tourer. After all, how can you be adventure touring if you can’t make your own fuel from rendered Fry-oil?

So, even if the future may see Italian-designed, Swedish-branded, German-engineered and Chinese-built Twins being chased by Indian-made bikes running on peanut oil, we’ll still be using tried-and-true engine configurations.

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Zahra Doejune 2, 2017
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Zahra Doejune 2, 2017
Morbi gravida, sem non egestas ullamcorper, tellus ante laoreet nisl, id iaculis urna eros vel turpis curabitur.

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