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Old 07-12-2011, 12:37 PM   #16
Foot dragger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxacceleration View Post
All great points!
Yes, how much weight can be dropped, the taller 5th gear ratio... Good Honda pluses.
I feel both these bikes need a 6th gear - oh well.
I do not need to commute. This could be a bike for ADV/weekenders only.
Maybe 50/50 use? Hard to estimate.

The KLR wind protection & big tank plus water cooling are big pluses no doubt. Weight is a minus.
The air cooled bikes don't burn up really, but the oil cooler is a good add on the DR.
Looking simple!

I lean towards the DR at this time. Gotta check ergos.
I thought my DR had a great wide set of gears with stock gearing,it runs smooth at 80 mph no problem all day if needed,the XRL is taller geared then a DR? News to me.Mine gets 50 mpg pretty much all the time.
The XRL tends to run hot,valves and valve seats can go kaphlooei on em from this. Luggage on an XRL is kinda dicey as the subframe doesnt take well to it,DR's seem to thrive on overloading.
Every XR/XRL Ive ridden vibrates a fair amount more then my DR,I guess you get used to it.
XRL has more travel,better suspension for dirt,is taller. Its a stretch to get my leg over my DR when its loaded,I wouldnt want it any taller.


A good seat,lower pegs and the DR has great ergos.
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:46 PM   #17
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I have read about the Honda's running hot and using oil, and there may not be a lot of oil in there.
The Suzuki has the oil cooler AND a jet that sprays oil under the piston and they don't seem to use any oil or over heat no matter how bad it gets or what you do with them.

I think, in some respects, the DR might even deal with heat better then the water cooled KLR which is known to use oil and not like running at high speeds for long.

I tried to sit on an XR at the dealers once, at 6 foot tall I don't think I could flat foot it at all.
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:47 PM   #18
Foot dragger
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Originally Posted by Kawidad View Post
Actually, the Honda will burn up, sort of. The Honda does not like to be ridden at high RPMs for long periods of time or in other conditions where the engine heat will build up. If you do, you will drop a valve seat with all of the resultant damage associated. They really need an oil cooler if you even think you might ride in these types of conditions.

Also, the Honda CDI module will fail, it's just a question of when. There's tons of postings in the XRL thread about it, so unless you do the Techforlife mod yourself, carry a spare module.

Also, regarding the seat height. I measured my stock XRL and it came in at a hair over 38", not 37" as claimed. That's just plain silly to have designed the bike to be that tall with all that weight. I've only got a 31" inseam and I couldn't manage the bike until I lowered it (more than 40 years of dirt experience). Riding was fine, but stopping was another story. Stop lights were an ordeal. Parking lots, yeah, another thrill. It handled well in the dirt, but all that weight combined with that height, made it a real handful. I rode Death Valley with it, with loaded saddle bags, and it performed well. However, the sub-frame did show signs of stress and really needs re-enforcing if your doing things like that.

I could on, but............

I've owned both and honestly the DR is the better bike of the two listed.
Ditto,a friend of mine had some valve seats drop out of his XRL head,he was using it to commute in the Bay Area like it was a street bike,it lasted a while doing that but was expensive to fix when it shat the bed.
Ive ran my DR at 80 and above for 600 miles at a crack,doesnt seem to have any effect on it I can see,it actually seems smoother at 80mph then 70,odd but true. Ive never tried a 16 tooth countershaft sprocket as it does so well stock.
XR'S/XRL'S have always overheated stators and eventually can lose 3rd gear.

DR's can have problems also,but most do pretty good. If I scatter my DR someday,I'll get another.
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:58 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by farrington300 View Post
The xr has more ground clearance as well. Also, I think the XR can drop a pretty good chunk of weight really easy vs the DR. Between the tank, shrouds, smog, sub frame, tail light, etc. I have taken about 20 to 25lbs off the xr. Also, and this was the selling point for me, the xr has a wider ratio transmission than the DR. The fact that there is a taller 5th gear available was icing on the cake.
Its odd that a buddy's stock XRL is spun out and vibrating at 75mph while my DR is smooth and happy at 80+.
You say the XRL has a wider set of gears and a taller 5th?
Amazing.
Ive actually cruised my DR at an indicated 95 so probably 86 mph in reality. Riding along a smooth hiway in Nevada,it seemed perfectly happy to do this with stock gearing.
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:16 PM   #20
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Your buddy's bike is geared down, clutch slipping or something, they are geared really tall stock - roughly the same as the DR650SE overall for gearing, both wide, gappy gearboxes.

I've ridden them both. I think the DR650SE probably suits folks who have a road bias (including dirt roads) while the XR650L has a significant advantage off road, especially if you pick up the pace a bit.

The XRL doesn't have an oil cooler, but it is a dry sump motor so the oil gets pumped through the frame and its essentially impossible for the sump to suck air if its bouncing around a whole bunch, on its side or whatever. The DR uses a wet-sump with is the norm for street bikes (and unusual for off road machines), it works out fine either way. If you'll be pushing the XRL hard an oil cooler is wise, plenty of options with the one from an XR400R being the best imo.

I'm 5'10" tall and don't find the XRL too tall at all. If anything its a touch cramped. I'd be inclined to try a tall seat. Folks on this site whine about height a lot, but most anywhere off road focused you don't find that - most dirt bikes are in the 37-39" seat height range, works just fine. Any shorter and you won't have enough ground clearance or won't have enough leg room.

Some folks (i.e., footdragger) get a bit cultish about their favorite flavor of thumper. You'd be wise to take some big grains of salt with advice given in this vein (for example, the alleged XRL 3rd gear issue is actually a DR issue and as far as I'm aware - and I've been around both machines forever - there are not persistent stator issues with either model). Its really a wash in terms of build quality and troulbes between the two imo - with the XRL you've gotta watch the temps and/or add an oil cooler, with the DR you have to watch out for 3rd gear, base gaskets and starter sprag clutches. All fixable, none a major issue.

You can punch the DR's motor out to 780cc, the XR's motor is pretty much maxed out as standard, though making it breath better will get you more performance.

Between the two I'm not sure which I'd chose, really would depend on what I'd be doing. If its all street, no brainer I'd get the DR (but realistically I'd get a street bike), all dirt I'd get the XR (but realistically I'd get a dirt bike), for a mix it just depends on the focus and balance.

You should also contemplate a dual sported XR650R and a TE610 while you are at it
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:32 PM   #21
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Interesting. This is the only site where the Suzi gets more votes than the Honda. I did a lot of research and rode a bunch of bikes before I bought an XR a few months back, after a long hiatus without a bike period. If I could have found a DR deal like I did on the XR I probably would have gotten one of those. I was actually looking for a 400 - didn't think i needed a 650 - since riding a friend's Suzi, but stumbled across a deal on Big Red. To me they are both good bikes and they both have pluses and minuses. The biggest difference to me - totally subjective - is that a Suzi feels more like I am riding in it than on it as opposed to the Honda. I felt the same way 35 years ago. Not a big negative, just different.
it doesn't get much hotter anywhere than it does here on the bayou, but my Honda doesn't have a problem since I rejetted and removed the smog stuff, UNI filter, desnorkelled the airbox, etc.. Oil gets up around 250 max, but with full synthetic I'm not worried. The Honda was taller but after you sit on it, riding doesn't actually feel too much different height wise, to me. I commute daily and often buzz the interstate at 80 to the next town about 20 miles. I'm real happy with my bike so far.
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:32 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikePilot View Post
You should also contemplate a dual sported XR650R and a TE610 while you are at it

Either of the the latter!!! just do it.. you wont be sorry about the TE or the XRR..

The XRR and The DR have many many after market parts the xrl not so much! DR's are the same as the RM dirt bike series for most of the front parts.
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:41 PM   #23
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Here are the specs per the respective websites.

Seat Height/Ground Clearance
Honda 650L 37/13
Suzuki DR650SE 34.8/10.4

Fuel capacity
Honda 650L 2.8G
Suzuki DR650SE 3.4G

Weight
Honda 650L 346 (wet)
Suzuki DR650SE 366 (wet)

Looks like the DR would have a lower center of gravity and starts out 20lbs heavier than the XR650L. The difference in seat height is pretty much relative to ground clearance between the two. Also, you’ve got better than .5 gallon of additional fuel on the DR (which equates to 4 lbs of that 20 lbs difference, since both weights include fuel, and probably greater range with the DR). The DR, stock should get 50+ mpg (mine does).
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:33 PM   #24
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Where in NM??

Quote:
Originally Posted by basketcase View Post
Regarding the 5th gear/6th gear business, with the stock 15t counter-sprocket installed I cruised at 80 mph indicated (74 gps) all day on the DR on the slab with no problem.

After we got on the trail I did the 20 minute switch to a 14t counter-sprocket. I ran the 14t sprocket from Datil, NM until I got off the trail at the northeast side of Yellowstone. The fact is, the 14t makes the low speed 1st and 2nd gear personality of the bike much more trail friendly and will easily allow you to run 70 mph on the hard roads. I never felt like I needed a 6th gear.

Ground clearance wise I never had an issue and I was hauling around 70 lbs of junk in my trail kit. Nor did my buddy who was riding a lowered DR have a clearance problem -- and his bike was set up on the stock suspension. Unless one is going to be weaving through rocky, jagged single track the value of an additional inch of ground clearance debate is well, debatable.

I'll upload a photo of the roughest stuff we rode (rocky jeep trail) and then come back via edit and include it.

Via edit --

Here I am with the full load of crap. As the trip progressed the pile got smaller!


This photo is from northern New Mexico. As long as one stayed on the jeep track it was smooth (relatively speaking) but if one wandered off the trail it got rough! Don't worry about how I know this...


I really need to get the rest of the photos online and get my story posted before I die.
Hello. Was wondering where this picture of the trail is from in NM. I live in Santa Fe and am always looking for new places to ride as I am somewhat new to trail riding. Any info on good trails would be well appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:35 PM   #25
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Working in a Honda/Suzuki dealer 14 years ago I did see a few XRL's come in with over heated engine failures due to people running highway after removing the elephant ears with stock jetting.

The other issue was being dropped in the desert hitting the hard ground bending the subframe. Enough so that two bikes were total losses.

I was with my coworker when his almost new bike was totaled when he lost control and dropped it.
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:27 PM   #26
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Eh?

Well I got to test drive My brothers dr650 and have to say it is fun on the streets 60 mph and plenty left pass all day and I jumped it off road and wheelied it!
Good stuff while a bit soft and heavy you have to keep in mind you are not buying this to single track and blitz whoops so it is fine.

Compare it to a WR250r? While on the planet opposite they are the same bike!

Geez

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Old 12-21-2012, 03:40 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virginian View Post
Interesting. This is the only site where the Suzi gets more votes than the Honda. I did a lot of research and rode a bunch of bikes before I bought an XR a few months back, after a long hiatus without a bike period. If I could have found a DR deal like I did on the XR I probably would have gotten one of those. I was actually looking for a 400 - didn't think i needed a 650 - since riding a friend's Suzi, but stumbled across a deal on Big Red. To me they are both good bikes and they both have pluses and minuses. The biggest difference to me - totally subjective - is that a Suzi feels more like I am riding in it than on it as opposed to the Honda. I felt the same way 35 years ago. Not a big negative, just different.
it doesn't get much hotter anywhere than it does here on the bayou, but my Honda doesn't have a problem since I rejetted and removed the smog stuff, UNI filter, desnorkelled the airbox, etc.. Oil gets up around 250 max, but with full synthetic I'm not worried. The Honda was taller but after you sit on it, riding doesn't actually feel too much different height wise, to me. I commute daily and often buzz the interstate at 80 to the next town about 20 miles. I'm real happy with my bike so far.
Dude the reason the DR gets the nod here is the amount of epic rides and trips done on a DR. I don't mean a weekend or week blast through the country. I mean long trips. Go to Ride Reports and check it out. One evample http://shortwayround.co.uk/.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:08 AM   #28
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In Canada the DR is worth about $5500 new I think the Honda is closer to $7500. I havn't checked lately but doesn't matter to someone from USA. I rode my DR650 3000 miles in 4 days in relative comfort. The DR can carry a heavy load as well, lots of aftermarket support out there too. I don't think it is fair to compare a XR650R to the XR650L, much different bikes the RR isn't sold anymore. If I only could have one bike it would be the DR650.
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:24 AM   #29
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I measure a bike by the ease of conversion to my style of riding. With that in mind the Honda can be made to be more reliable for hot conditions by the addition of an oil cooler. The Suzuki which I have can be made to handle like the Honda with the addition of an RMZ450 front end and Cogent extended travel rear shock. Stock for stock the Honda clearly handles better off road, but the higher stance is a hindrance to those under 6'. I have ridden both for some distance on road and personally find the Honda more comfortable for the leg room and the seat is slightly wider and therefore more comfortable to me. If I was going to Baja I would choose the Honda for the suspension if it is going to remain stock. The spring rate on the Honda is sufficient for me even at 220+ with just a little extra pre-load and the dampening is superior to the stock DR. The added suspension height is somewhat offset by the additional sag with a rider on it, so I don't mind the ride height. Fuel is a non-issue for me since neither one has enough for long distance off road. After doing air box and jetting modifications on both a the Honda I worked on was faster accelerating than the DR. The only complaint I have for the Honda is that the gear ratios are too far apart in first and second and maybe third. The Suzuki is geared just right for off road considering the power it has. The gearing can be changed out on the Honda but involves splitting the cases to do it. I understand the Honda sub-frame may need enhancing but again it is a simple matter to design a few more braces into it. The Honda has an 18" rear wheel which again is desirable for true off road riding, but with a larger tire on the Suzuki I don't mind that and the DR can be fitted for an 18" rim. The Honda I set up was for my brother who is 6'4" and he found it most comfortable with the changes I made.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:09 AM   #30
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I owned both.
DR, by a mile.
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