In the realm of dual-sport motorcycles, the VOGE 650DSX emerges as a formidable contender, boasting a perfect fusion of rugged off-road prowess and refined on-road performance. This machine is purpose-built for those who crave the thrill of exploration, whether it be conquering untamed trails or cruising through city streets.
With its distinctive design, powerful engine, and advanced features, the VOGE 650DSX promises to redefine the adventure riding experience. In this comprehensive review, we’ll delve into the intricacies of this remarkable motorcycle, exploring its key features, performance capabilities, and how it stacks up against the competition. Join us as we embark on a journey to uncover the true essence of the VOGE 650DSX.
• Adventure machine with dual capabilities from the ‘premier’ Chinese label.
• Rife with contemporary features, yet maintains an appealing price point.
• Established powerplant has seen extensive duty in numerous BMW models.
Owners’ Reliability Rating: 3 out of 5 (3/5)
Yearly Maintenance Expenditure: £100
Potential Output: 47 brake horsepower
Saddle Height: Medium (31.7 inches / 805 millimeters)
Mass: Medium (423 pounds / 192 kilograms)
Brand New: £6,399
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In the bygone era of adventure motorcycles, the Voge 650DSX would be dubbed a ‘substantial trail bike’. However, in a current landscape filled with rugged machines boasting 160 brake horsepower, this 652cc dual-purpose contraption now falls into the middleweight category. Considering its A2-compatibility, one might even categorize it as a learning tool. The world, indeed, is a peculiar place.
For those in doubt, Voge represents the ‘premium’ offshoot of Loncin, the colossal Chinese entity responsible for the production of millions of two-wheelers annually and the assembly of engines for various BMW models, including their parallel twins. Operations in the UK are overseen by Lexmoto.
The 650DSX stands as Voge’s largest offering, harnessing the power of a liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine ensconced within a framework featuring KYB suspension, Nissin braking systems, Pirelli tires, switchable ABS, and a TFT display equipped with connectivity and tire pressure monitoring. Not to overlook those peculiar sequential indicators. It presents an enticing proposition, particularly as the DSX’s introductory price in 2022 stands at an alluring £6399. Moreover, for the initial few units sold, a three-piece luggage set is included—a substantial £1751 less than a Suzuki V-Strom 650 and a staggering £3301 under the cost of a Yamaha Ténéré.
There is much to commend about the Voge. Its ride and finish exude conviction, and in terms of size and specifications, it offers an unparalleled proposition for such a modest investment. It embodies a sense of substantial value for the money. Personally, I would find it even more appealing if certain peripheral features (connectivity, peculiar indicators) were foregone in favor of stainless fasteners and a more robust coat of paint.
However, the Achilles’ heel of the DSX lies in its engine. While I hold a penchant for single-cylinder engines, this unit evokes a slightly antiquated and unpolished impression. It serves well if one ambles along at a steady 50 miles per hour. Yet, in such a scenario, one might as well opt for the Royal Enfield Himalayan and save nearly £2000. Alternatively, one could acquire Honda’s apocalypse-ready CB500X for a similar price—offering a smoother, more refined experience that depreciates at a more measured pace.
Furthermore, the 650 contends with a formidable rival in its stablemate, the CB-inspired Voge 500DSX. The latter provides a superior riding experience, matching equipment levels, and is priced nearly a grand lower.
Ride Comfort & Braking – Voge 650DSX
A claimed dry weight of 192 kilograms places it within reasonable bounds. Paired with relatively narrow tires, a concise wheelbase, expansive handlebars, and a trim physique, the Voge nimbly maneuvers. On occasion, one can discern the gyroscopic inclinations of the 19-inch front wheel, yet for the most part, the 650 skips along with the agility of a 250cc.
Ride comfort befits a machine in the six-grand bracket. While the trail-ready suspension affords ample wheel travel, pronounced dive is noticeable under robust braking. Nevertheless, the DSX maintains composure. Regrettably, the Nissin brakes and twin front discs offer only adequate bite and power, without veering into the realm of robust.
Much like Royal Enfield’s Himalayan, the seat height belies the bike’s outward appearance—modestly set at 805mm. This imparts a sensation of sitting within, rather than atop, the machine. Akin to the Himalayan, the saddle boasts firm yet surprisingly agreeable cushioning. The adjustable screen proves effective, and the Honda-esque switchgear imparts a satisfactory feel, while the mirrors dutifully reflect their surroundings.
A significant factor contributing to the Voge’s affordability lies in its enduring engine, with a lineage stretching back nearly three decades. Conceived by Rotax, the 652cc powerplant made its inaugural appearance in the BMW F650 Funduro and Strada models in 1994—both assembled by Aprilia, which concurrently utilized the same unit in their Pegaso model. Loncin assumed production responsibilities for BMW between 2009 and 2011, eventually producing the engine for their own models.
During its initial deployment, the engine featured an 8.8:1 compression ratio and twin Mikuni carburetors, generating 42 pound-feet of torque and 46.9 brake horsepower at 6500 revolutions per minute. Over time, it underwent progressive refinement, culminating in an 11.5:1 compression ratio and fuel injection. In this state, it powered the final iteration of BMW’s G650GS (2011-2015), offering 44 pound-feet of torque. Claimed peak power remains consistent at an A2-compliant 46.9 brake horsepower, albeit at a marginally higher 6750 RPM.
Having piloted a Funduro as a winter commuter a few years prior, the resonance of the 650DSX is uncannily reminiscent. It lacks the punch characteristic of conventional large singles like Honda’s rugged XR, instead finding its stride within the mid-range, where its seamless fueling yields adequate thrust.
The engine bears no inherent faults, yet we’ve been spoiled by contemporary singles, such as KTM’s potent, velvety, and frugal 690. Consequently, the Voge assumes an air of antiquity. It capably maintains 30 miles per hour in top gear (fifth), though it voices its reluctance with a crankshaft-straining resonance. Venturing toward the 7000 RPM redline, the DSX transmits vibrations through the saddle and controls.
It handles motorway travel comfortably at 75 miles per hour, provided one is unfazed by a touch of double vision and a fuel economy figure of 35 miles per gallon. Its true comfort zone lies in leisurely travel along minor roads, where economy inches into the 40s.
Dependability & Craftsmanship
For a Chinese-manufactured motorcycle, the Voge exhibits commendable build quality and finish, especially for a machine priced just above six grand. It proudly wears components bearing established names (KYB, Nissin, Pirelli, Bosch). Were it adorned with the emblems of Kawasaki or Suzuki, one might scarcely discern a difference.
Only upon meticulous scrutiny do the discerning eye catch fasteners exhibiting meager plating and a disconcerting orange hue in select nooks and crannies. This, however, is emblematic of the conundrum confronting Chinese marques. While they incorporate renowned components and elevate overall finish, they are still compelled to economize and economize further to preserve their budget-friendly allure. Were a bike crafted to the same standard of excellence as an established Japanese or European marque, it would bear an equivalent price tag.
Faced with two bikes identical in quality, specification, performance, and price—one from Voge, the other from Honda—which would you choose? Precisely…
Voge extends a two-year warranty. While the engine design boasts a proven track record, maintenance is a frequent affair: the 652cc thumper demands fresh oil, an oil filter replacement, and a valve check every 5000 kilometers—equivalent to a mere 3125 miles, and twice the frequency of Rotax/BMW’s tenure as the engine supplier.
Value Proposition & Competitors
Disregard any condescension directed towards the Voge’s Chinese origin, for it represents a truly global endeavor. It employs an Austrian engine, Italian rubber, German electronics, and Japanese suspension and braking systems. This aligns fittingly with history: when BMW introduced the F650 Funduro with this engine, the bike was conceived by a Brit, employed an Austrian powerplant and Japanese suspension, and was assembled in Italy.
There exists no direct counterpart to the 650DSX. The sole other middleweight single-cylinder adventure offerings with genuine dual-purpose potential hail from KTM and Husqvarna, yet they are veritable enduro machines commanding a price tag nearly fifty percent higher.
The Voge positions itself midway in terms of both price and performance between smaller A2 machines such as the Royal Enfield Himalayan and lengthier twin-cylinder adventure-tourers like the Suzuki V-Strom 650. It surpasses more affordable rivals in terms of equipment, though not necessarily in performance. Its primary advantage over pricier alternatives lies in the cost factor.
When factoring in the potential depreciation associated with Voge’s less established status, it faces a daunting challenge from rivals both higher and lower in price. For those restricted to road-bound exploits, it must contend with another Chinese contender in CFMOTO’s more economical and potent 650MT.
Would you believe it costs just shy of six and a half grand? One could scarcely tell from the standard array of features. The 650DSX boasts a TFT display, tire pressure monitoring, Bluetooth connectivity, USB charging, and graceful indicators.
For proponents of traditional practicality, a center stand, luggage rack, crash bars, stainless steel exhaust, alloy handlebars, and a sturdy skid plate come standard. Moreover, the initial batches include £800 worth of accessory luggage at no additional cost.
Voge’s (or rather, Loncin’s) connections to BMW become evident upon ignition. During startup, the TFT display executes a graphical ballet strikingly reminiscent of the latest offerings from Bavaria. While it proves easily legible while in motion and incorporates a plethora of features, it’s regrettable that only a solitary trip and limited fuel data are provided.
Specifications of VOGE 650DSX
Technical Specifications of VOGE 650DSX Review
Engine Displacement: 652cc
Engine Type: Four-valve liquid-cooled single
Frame Composition: Steel tubing Fuel
Tank Capacity: 18 liters Saddle
Bike Mass: 192kg
Front Suspension: 41mm USD fork, lacking adjustment
Rear Suspension: Monoshock, adjustable preload
Front Brakes: Dual 280mm discs with dual-piston calipers. Equipped with ABS Rear Brakes: 250mm disc, single-piston caliper
Front Tire Dimensions: 110/80-19
Rear Tire Dimensions: 150/70-17
Fuel Efficiency, Expenses & Insurance of VOGE 650DSX Review
Average Fuel Consumption: 38 miles per gallon
Annual Road Tax: £111
Yearly Service Cost: £100
Pricing of VOGE 650DSX Review
Duration: Two years
Maximum Velocity & Performance
Peak Power Output: 47 brake horsepower
Maximum Torque: 44 foot-pounds
Top Speed: 100 miles per hour
1/4 Mile Acceleration: Not specified
Tank Range: 150 miles
In conclusion, the VOGE 650DSX is a true embodiment of the spirit of adventure, offering a ride that transcends boundaries and opens up a world of endless exploration. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a newcomer to the world of dual-sport bikes, the VOGE 650DSX has something to offer for everyone. Embrace the thrill, embrace the adventure, and let the VOGE 650DSX be your ticket to an exhilarating ride like no other.