$9,695 2005 TRIUMPH Thruxton 900
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JUST Bikes 21/02/2011
Sachs have broadened their range of learner-legal and commuter-focused models with the release of the new ‘X-Road 250’, a blend of supermotard styling and LAMS-legal roadbike handling and performance.
Sachs is a brand that can trace its origins back to the earliest days of motorcycling, but for most Australian riders, it’s a name associated with the distinctive ‘MadAss’ scooter. The MadAss’s ethic of funky, distinctive design, which has been well received in this country, is also behind the ‘X-Road 250’, which made its local debut at the 2010 Australian Motorcycle Expo. The MadAss enjoys a cult following, built largely around those unmistakable looks, and Sachs’s local distributors are no doubt hoping for similar success with the X-Road 250. Sachs already have a larger-capacity commuter, the Express 150, in their local lineup, but the X-Road is a more powerful, more exciting and visually dynamic offering that’s sure to attract the same sort of “look at me” crowd as the MadAss.
While the X-Road 250 marks a new addition to the Sachs lineup, a smaller, 125cc version has been available overseas since 2004. While generally agreed to be a great ride, thanks to its impressive acceleration, braking and handling, some forums have pointed out deficiencies in the 125’s build design and quality. Although they’re designed in Germany, X-Roads are actually built in China, which may explain some of the issues OS buyers have experienced with the 125 models.
On first viewing, the design of the X-Road 250 screams ‘Monster!’ With the exposed trellis frame and three spoke wheels, the influence of Ducati’s naked roadster is pretty obvious, but design cues from Ducati’s Hypermotard, as well as supermotards from other manufacturers, can also be seen in the general design, colours and packaging of the X-Road. Aside from the red trellis frame, another visual point of note is the matte finish black tank, headlight surround and front mudguard. A matte black finish has been applied to the rearmost section of the frame, too. While it carries a number of supermotard styling cues, the X-Road is really a tarmac-only commuter, so any pretensions towards off-road and racing ability suggested by the styling are unlikely to ever be put to the test. With the exhaust running UNDER the engine, prospective off-roaders would be unwise to do so anyway! A plus with the motard-inspired styling is the upright riding position and wide handlebars, which means better bike control – a feature that’s sure to be appreciated by first time riders. Of further benefit to entry-level motorcyclists is the X-Road’s light weight – only 149kg dry.
Thanks to its 230cc air-cooled 4-stroke engine, the X-Road is more of a bonafide distance commuter than an inner urban runabout, and is capable of highway running. Reportedly, the 230cc engine was carburetted while in development, but for the Australian-release models, fuel injection has been applied. Transmission is a 5-speed manual. Wheels are cast alloy units, and the rear tyre is a reasonably beefy 150-70/17 item. The front brake is an impressive-looking ventilated single disc with a two piston caliper. Rear brake is a smaller disc with a single piston caliper.
Like the MadAss 125, the manual transmission puts the X-Road 250 into a different category from scooters, although it may attract some of the same buyers. The 860mm seat height will be a challenge for smaller riders, and at the risk of sounding sexist, makes the X-Road 250 more of a ‘blokes’ bike than something for the ladies. That’s backed up by the male rider used through most of the promo shots. Having said that, we’re sure the X-road will appeal to some female riders, but with its size and styling, the scales are certainly tilted more towards the guys with this machine. It’s fully LAMS approved, so it should appeal to a number of newbies to motorcycling. The pricing, at $3,790 (+ ORCs), presents as pretty good value for a machine of this capacity and spec, so that’s another ‘tick’ for the X-Road 250. For first time riders looking for something different from the usual scooter/commuter offerings, and cheaper than some of the Japanese LAMS-approved models, the Sachs X-Road 250 is definitely worth a closer look.
Specifications – 2010/11 SACHS X-ROAD 250
Engine: 230cc 4 stroke OHC single
Bore/Stroke: 76 x 75mm
Power/Torque: 13kW@7500rpm / 16.5Nm@6500rpm
Fuel system: CDi
Cooling system: Air
Transmission/Drive: 5-speed manual/chain drive
Front Suspension: 35mm Marzocchi telescopic forks
Rear Suspension: Swingarm/single shock
Front Brake: Twin piston ventilated 320mm disc
Rear Brake: Single piston ventilated 215mm disc
Front Tyre: 100 x 70/17
Rear Tyre: 150 x 70/17
Dry Weight: 149kg
Seat Height: 860mm
Ground Clearance: 160mm
Fuel Capacity: 11 lt
Sachs have also produced a combination of the MadAss and X-Road, called the ‘KikAss’, for some overseas markets. Using the X-Road’s trellis frame, with the MadAss’s engine, distinctive stacked headlights and other components, the KikAss had supermotard looks with its high mudguards and road-spec tyres on curiously small 12 inch wheels.
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