Originally Posted by zimmerman
joined Advrider beacuse im looking at a 83 xl600 soon that a friend of the family has and would like to get more into adv. riding. So how is the xl on long rides loaded up. What bags do you use hard or soft? any pics of your bikes loaded up? thanks
I used to ride mine across the state (about 4 hours near wide open throttle) fully loaded. I didn't have saddlebags, so I strapped duffel bags to the rear rack. The rack isn't rated for that much weight, so I also ran straps from the rack to the frame under the seat to keep it from bending. To keep the duffel bags from sagging into the exhaust, I layed a piece of plywood along the inside bottom of the bag. Once stuffed full, they became pretty rigid. You can sdjust the preload for the added weight.
At the time, I had a 44 tooth (or was it 45?) rear sprocket for a little better highway gearing. The bike seemed to like rpms about 80% of redine, but would sustain 90% OK. Top speed on mine was about 85-90 mph. In the heat of summer (115 F) the oil temperature would continue to climb, and I would pull off to let it cool after riding at 75 mph for 2 hours or so. It is ready to go after a pee break, so no big deal. XR's Only sells an oil temperature dipstick that lets you monitor that, and is worth every penny.
In summary, the XL does just fine riding solo on long trips, but lacks the capacity to travel long distance with a passenger. As long as total load is less than the weight of the bike, you'll be fine.