650 single engine

There is a **650cc four stroke single unit ** that seems to have been around for ever.

It (or they) turned up/turn up in the early BWW F650, MZ Baghira, Kawasaki 650 trail, Aprilia Pegaso and, I think, a Bombadier. (Yup, even a snowmobile.) Someone told me that it is /was in a KTM. Mmm?

Depending what manufacturers ad-speak you believe it develops anything from 48 to 55 b.h.p. The only thing they seem to agree on is that it’s a five valve, five speed unit.

My last bike was a well prep’d Baghira SM with twin carbs. The seller told me it was a Rotax unit. A Woolwich scumbag stole that.

It was replaced, in a bit of desperation, by a new Aprilia Pegaso Trail. Much more civilized but not as much fun (pronounced “Oh my God!”, on a good day, or "Sh*****t, on a very good day.) as the MZ.

An Aprilia agent told me that the unit was made by Minarelli under licence from Bombadier. Yeah. Might be right, but might be bull ****.

Any of you guys out there know the true history of this motor?


Additional information, for anyone interested.

In standard kit, the injected Peg. has a big hole in the power band at 3.2k to 3.9k r.p.m. and a yawning chasm between 2nd and 3rd gears. Nice bells and whistles, but no real quality. But with the higher/comfort seat, an all day bike.)

The MZ, on twin compound carbs, had no hole but the same gearbox ****. It’s the far better quality bike but needs the raw edges smoothed out. Crap lights/instruments, uncomfortable seat, comical exhaust.

Starting all over, I’d buy the MZ and recon on spending money to smooth out the rough bits using the salvage and aftermarket suppliers. And a seat man. *


“Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, is what other people put into it.” Tom Lehrer.

Someone will probably correct me on this but what the hell!

As far as I know there are three major 6x0cc singles in use at the moment:

  1. Rotax (mainly used by BMW F650 X650 Series except the new F650GS which is Rotax parallel twin 800cc!?!)

  2. KTM 6x0cc Single

  3. Yamaha 6x0cc which is used by Yamaha, Aprillia and others.

As for the history not to sure. But it is a start.

I guess you are talking about the Rotax 654 engine that has been used in all sorts of bikes.

Rotax have been making engines in germany since before WW2 and in the past have had quite a bit of racing success. Remember Armstrong racing bikes? They had Rotax engines.

They do See-Doo engines, Snowmobiles, Small Plane engines, all sorts.:slight_smile:

go kart engines and high performance two stroke engines too…

The old Rotax lumps were in CCMs beofre they went to Suzuki - it’s been around a bit.

Remember CCM’s when they used BSA B50 engines?

They turned to Rotax when they ran out of Beeza lumps:D

Same engine in the Army Bombadier bikes too innit?:slight_smile:

yep they were in bombadiers, jeez going back some years now lol, passed my test on a B40 BSA :smiley:

You don’t look a day over 60 Steve:D

Honda have/had one in the XR650R and XL650R/L

Maybe this might answer your question… The Pegaso has a Rotax lump :slight_smile:


Those bikes didn’t all use the same engine.

The KLR650 engine was a Kwak home grown unit.

The MZ Baghera used the Yamaha XTZ660 motor, as too did their Scorpion range.

MZ did use a Rotax single in a 500 they made for a while after the iron curtain came down & before they launched the Scorpion, called the Saxon IIRC.

The early BMW singles & Aprilias used/use Rotax engines

As mentioned Bombardier use Rotax engines, but then they would seeing as they own the company… :wink:

Oh & I’m suprised Chunks didn’t mention the Matchless G80 as that also used the Rotax single !

I’d forgotten about that pile o cr@p lovely machine;):smiley:

With Priller and Cagiva having a history of using Suzook engines I’d have expected them to have used the DR lump in their singles:cool:

5 valve per cylinder technology is Yamaha, for most of the new 660 that they make it is now 4 valves. In fact I think that Yamaha is dropping the 5 valve heads altogether.

Thanks guys. I’m better educated but even more confused.

I’d forgotten CCM, Armstrong and Cagiva. Curious as I read a factory visit article (I think in the days when Cagiva where owned by Ducati or the same Holding Company) where it was reported that they, Cagiva, were building lumps for the then new BMW Funduro using “parts supplied by Rotax”. Yeah, maybe…

O.K. Pat , your pretty adamantabout all this, so what unit did my 2005 Baghira have in it and what lump has the 2007 Aprilia Pegaso got?


“I’ve got a huge amount of knowledge. I’ve just forgotten what I did with it.”

Both have the Yamaha XTZ660 lump, dunno if they’re both using std lumps or if one or both of them have tuned them to their own specifications.

AFAIK MZ always used the XTZ660 engine in the Baghira (do they still make it ? whilst it never really sold due to the badge snobbery, I always quite fancied one, but motards don’t currently fit in with my bike requirements.) Aprilia used the Rotax engine originally in the Pegaso but changed to the Yam unit, BMW still use the Rotax engine.

Thanks folks, particularly Pat. I think this thread has run it’s course unless anybody has anything new to add.

Pat, you can still get a Baghira, or something very similar, just the name changes, and you should try a well sorted one. Like I said at the start, you will need to change things, but the result is a fixed grin that last all day providing the journey is under 100 miles, say. They are the ideal suburban commute.

Pity about the old MZ badge connections. Proves what a bunch of snobs we are?


“Don’t judge a book by looking at it’s cover.” Seems appropriate.