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Gregster 07-06-2007 10:49 AM

The XL600 thread
The mighty and worthy XL600R.

These bikes are between 20 and 25 years old now, but will give an XR650L, DR650, KLR650, and so on, a run for their money.
As near as I can tell here's how they compare:

Seat height 33.9 in
Dry weight 295 lb
Horsepower 43 bhp

Seat height 37.0 in
Dry weight 324 lb
Horsepower 43 bhp

Seat height 33.0 – 34.8 in
Dry weight 324 lb
Horsepower 43 bhp

It seems that the old XL's have a 29 lb weight advantage over the newer XR's.
If you aren't much of a thrasher in the woods or taking huge air the older Showa suspension on the XL's will do just fine, but that seems to be their biggest disadvantage.
But if you're like me and not racing anyone, they're just fine.

Let's see some more XL's

KellyC 07-06-2007 11:25 AM

I'd love to find an 80s XL600 in some old lady's shed. Problem in Ca. is everybody with a street legal dirt bike thinks it was dipped in gold.

The new stret legal offerings from KTM and Husky are starting to help deflate prices. But I'm also noticing that the 80s XRs and XLs are starting to reach "collectable" status.

skeptic 07-06-2007 11:39 AM

craig's list is good source. That is where I got mine:

Ironically, the seller also was member of this forum.

I like that it does not sit too high. I ride mostly street and it is very competent around town.

bearcat1 07-06-2007 11:58 AM

Yea they are pretty cool bikes. I had a '84 XR500 back in the eighties, if memory serves me correct it had twin carbs. I think the term "dual purpose" was the name the older XLs used to be called. It is neat to see them on the road, although not very often anymore. Most of them are probably in the scrap heap or in various states of decay leaning against a pile of stuff.

Nice bike Gregster, cool thread and lets see some more pics all you XL owners!

Edit: I just realized that I was looking at a brochure pic, but I have seen a few pics of your bike on other threads! Very cool nonetheless.

MotoMind 07-06-2007 12:01 PM

FYI, the best comparison would be to the XT600, where they'd be about even. Most of the weight advantage in these bikes is in the lack of electric start, which can be good or bad depending on how healthy your knees are.

JohnBG 07-06-2007 12:12 PM

I still got a few parts for them left (like a lower end of the motor) if anybody needs them.

honcho 07-06-2007 12:19 PM

XLs are great machines... i ride an xr650, but was inspired to go honda by a buddy of mine who rides an old xl500s. it's an extremely capable bike... he's never had trouble keeping up with the KLRs, DRs or XRs we've ridden with. I'd love to see more pics of the old hondas

CBAT 07-06-2007 04:17 PM

1983 Xl600R
Here's mine. Not a beauty queen but she keeps up with the 650 just fine. The only thing I would like to have outside of this platform is electric starter. Most of the time it only takes a couple of kicks when cold but there are times when you need to start and the spot is not very freindly. A quick hit on a button would come in handy.

Tankboy 07-06-2007 04:31 PM


Originally Posted by bearcat1
Yea they are pretty cool bikes. I had a '84 XR500 back in the eighties, if memory serves me correct it had twin carbs.

Indeed they did. I had an 84 XR500 also, one of the finest motorcycles I've ever owned. I still kick myself for selling it.

gswanna 07-06-2007 04:45 PM

i just picked up twins ---2 xl 600's 1 has the lights still intact and clean title (shes going on the road) the other stripped of the street gear ,no title 1 top ends' guides and seals are bad, the other the case are leaking --so i'm doing some surgery --get 1 on the road and have plenty of spare parts next year --but in the mean time -i've been riding the smoker in some trails ,and "seasonal" roads --i'm used to riding my 1995 cr250 so i have been tossing it around --but sure notice the extra weight after fun bike plenty of torque, and plenty capable for any trail rider -

Gregster 07-06-2007 04:55 PM

BikerDave 07-06-2007 08:28 PM

My mighty 1982 XL500R......still can handle adventure touring duties quite well!!

WestRider 07-06-2007 08:41 PM's an XL500s...

sorry...I'm in Alaska right now in the middle of no where and can't get a better pic...but the 500s is a fun bike too!!! Yeah...I know it didn't come black but it's different. This was the first night back on the road after 14 years in storage...very abused when I got it....

dman 07-07-2007 06:29 PM

My Xl brand new in 1984
1 Attachment(s)
Here's my '83 XL at New Idria in California, just after I bought it in 1984

dman 07-07-2007 06:32 PM

My XL 3 years older
1 Attachment(s)
And here it is 3 years later in the Hollywood Hills ...

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