Bavarian Desert Racer – 2009 BMW G450X

In Germany, Less than 5k by Tim HuberLeave a Comment

For the past few decades, BMW Motorrad’s sales have been objectively prosperous and they are looking to the future which means attracting a new younger demographic. In the last year BMW has debuted its new entry-level oriented R 310GS and G 310R machines, and the entire heritage lineup of R nineT’s definitely possess the ability to attract new clientele. BMW took on a similar approach about a decade ago when it released its then all-new 450cc race-ready enduro; the G450X. Development of the Bavarian enduro supposedly began about a year prior to the March 2007 unveiling of a prototype of the 450X’s engine. The following year BMW would release the stylish and slightly unorthodox 450.

While BMW could have very easily introduced an enduro that mimicked the offerings of the day from other major manufacturers – especially considering BMW had then recently acquired Husqvarna from the MV Agusta Group in October of 2007 – but the Germans instead opted to design their own unique dirt-going 450 that boasted atypical designs features. At the heart of the G450X was a liquid-cooled DOHC 449.5cc single that reportedly made 50 hp at 9,000rpm and 35.5 ft-lbs of torque at 7,800rpm. The fuel-injected single featured a counter-rotating crankshaft and was married to a five-speed gearbox. The fuel-cell was also located underneath the seat which improved weight-distribution and was one of several features that gave the G450X a particularly low center of gravity.

The enduro’s stainless steel bridge-type frame was pretty interesting. It sported tubing that wrapped around the sides of the engine which was only held at its top. The swing-arm pivot was located noticeably further forward compared to other models. A long aluminum swing-arm was used though the wheel-base still came out to a relatively standard 58.1-inches. The swing-arm’s additional length gave the bike better traction and helped to keep its front-wheel down. The concentric mounting of its pivot with the countershaft sprocket allowed the chain tension to remain consistent throughout the suspensions’s stroke. A wide range of gearing options that all use the stock chain-length were possible thanks to a particularly large axle adjustment. Of course this meant changing the front sprocket required removing the swing-arm.

The bridge-type chassis also allowed for the engine to be placed further back and after being mounted at an angle the result was a center of gravity that was nice and low. The space above the engine-block was used to house the machine’s fuel-injection (and battery). The clutch on the 450X was moved to the end of the crankshaft in order to allow the swing-arm pivot to mount so far into the transmission’s normal area of width. Like on BMW’s K1200S, the 450X’s four-valve cylinder-head utilized finger followers for the intake cam and direct shim-under-bucket actuation for the exhaust valves. On a slightly unrelated note, the G450X came with a tool-set that came mounted underneath the rear fender. BMW reported a claimed dry weight of just 245 lbs which was pretty standard a decade ago.

The G450X would only stay in production for a few years – though BMW did release a myriad of models within the “X-range” – but its engine would go on to power Husqvarna models starting in 2010. This was seemingly planned from early on in development seeing as the G450X’s engine-block had two mounting-points that weren’t utilized on the BMW model. Chances are the German moco ran the numbers and concluded that it would be cheaper or more efficient to produce a single version of the power-plant that would be used on the 450X’s and the Husky models, instead of setting up production for two slightly varying engine-blocks.

This particular 2009 G450X example reportedly only has about 70 hours of use on it (which supposedly translates to around 1,800 miles). While this example isn’t currently plated, it does have a clean title and was registered for the road 3-4 years ago in Arizona when the current owner purchased it from the owner and operator of a race team based on the Southwest. As you can see in the photos, this bike is in pretty clean shape and has been outfitted with a wide array of upgrades. The example was given various aftermarket parts to transform it into a bonafide desert racer, though this BMW enduro ended up never seeing competition. All of its stock street hardware that was removed is included in the sale though. The seller says all wires and connections were “properly terminated by a pro mechanic”.

This example has two power map settings; one of which delivers the engines maximum pull and the other being a slightly diluted, less sensitive map. The suspension hasn’t been upgraded but considering the stock suspenders on the 450X are a combination of Ohlins in back and a WP unit up front, it doesn’t seem necessary, plus this example recently had its suspension tuned for desert racing. The seller says a one-off RTT billet remote hydraulic steering damper/stabilizer has also been added along with brakes and rotors from Brembo and Galfer, as well as an adjustable clutch lever and perch from WC, protected by Castaway Cycra Pro Bend hand guards. A full titanium Leo Vince X3 exhaust system was also added which almost certainly adds a few ponies. Lastly an oversized tank, Acerbis tail light/license plate frame, a new battery, and reusable aluminum oil filters were all added to the ’09 BMW.

The current owner did recently apply a new Speedbrain knockoff graphics livery kit, though the ad says there are unfortunately “quite a few” air-bubbles. In addition to all of the G450X’s stock parts, the sale of this example also includes detailed handwritten notes and sketches from a mechanic regarding this 450X’s “suspension, exhaust valves, etc”. The sale also comes with the original BMW owner’s DVD, as well as the printed owner’s manual. While cash is always king, the seller does say they would be open to trading this German 450 for a KTM 350XCF-W, 200 or 250XC-W, 250 or 350SX-F, 150SX, 350EXC-F, or “any Husqvarna equivalent”.

You can find this upgraded 2009 BMW G450X desert racer for sale here on Craigslist in Phoenix, Arizona with a price of $5,000.