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Old 01-09-2011, 11:05 AM   #1
MojoRooster OP
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Thinking about a big red pig

I'm thinking about getting a dual sport and have always been interested in the Honda xr650r.

I'm getting burned out on riding only singletrack and want some variety. I currently own a 2006 KTM300xcw.

I've owned and ridden a lot of different bikes but have never swung a leg over a 650r, I don't even remember riding with someone who even has one.

What are their strengths and weaknesses ? Gas milage ? I don't want to run a huge tank. Any advice/ insight is appreciated.

Sean
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:06 PM   #2
larryboy
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Strong as a tank. Light compared to the rest of the class. Ridden hard when jetted right will have mpg's down into the low 30's..mid 40's at best ridden like an old lady.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:25 PM   #3
Onederer
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XR650R is not a dual sport. Even legalised, it is a street legal, open class, dirt bike.

State your intentions. Mostly dirt, which really means dirt, or dual sport which means street and dirt, with single track a SOB on such a bike.

Dual sports are a compromise. No compromise meens a dirt bike with blinkers, which sucks for long distances.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:25 PM   #4
jamboa
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Don't forget no magic button. You will barely ever see a XR650R for sale with a after market electric start. This and not factory street legal is what is making me look more at the XR650L since I have had the DR650, DRZ400S, DRZ400SM, 03 KLR650, KTM 625SXC, KTM 690SM(should have bought the E), BMW G650 X-Country(POS).
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:31 PM   #5
ShaneRC51
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BRP's like fast, open terrain. Needs lots of airflow to keep from overheating. Single track sometimes makes for slow going, and gets the bike pretty hot. She'll boil over when worked hard at slow speed. And she's HEAVY. Help your buddy push his KTM 450 EXC across a waist deep, fast moving stream, then go back and push the XR. You'll hate it. Then when you stall it, you'll hate life trying to kick her. Yes, you can get an aftermarket e-start, but they're like, what, $900? But when you've got trail wide enough to stretch it's legs, OMG THE POWER!!! It's a great bike, and I've always had a massive hard on for Honda, but I've since moved on to a KTM 450 EXC, just like my buddy's...
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:33 PM   #6
larryboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onederer View Post
No compromise meens a dirt bike with blinkers, which sucks for long distances.

Ever ridden a dirt bike with blinkers for long distances? It sucks just as bad as a factory street legal bike.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:41 PM   #7
1224R
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I have a 2000 which is street legal... I really don't ride it on the street too much... I bought it to explore the Dez and be able to hit roads in-between. It's a touch heavy but I am also 6 two and I have no problem moving it around... If you are short don't get a XR cause you are going to need a ladder to kick start it...... I love mine... It might not be the best choice for tight singletrack but it just makes it more challenging for me...
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:49 PM   #8
straightrod
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It might be nice if these noobs filled out their profiles, so one could an idea of where they live and other important criteria!
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:09 PM   #9
Garthe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by straightrod View Post
It might be nice if these noobs filled out their profiles, so one could an idea of where they live and other important criteria!


Well said...
..
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:41 PM   #10
Wesley J
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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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Great dual sport bike for my kind of riding. I've done 2500km+ trips on this thing.

Pluses:
Scads of power
handles fantastically on the roads with the appropriate tires
I go where the guys with the 450's go, and I ride to the trails
Kick start (light)
A lot of fun on rough stuff
Easy to pick up when you crash


Negatives:
Not a lot of fun on a windy rainy highway
Spend a lot of time waiting for your buddies to catch up
When riding with the little bikes you work twice as hard as them

In my part of the world overheating isnt an issue. We have lots of muskeg around here and its not unusual to see me moving at 3 mph on the stop in 1st and its ok. Add a little katoom rad to it and you're set.

I dont want to offend anyone here but this is my objective view. I've spent some time on these bikes as a comparison to my BRP:

KTM 640 Adv: it has much better suspension in the small stuff, much better brakes. About as much power as a golf cart when compared to my pimped BRP. A little scary when going fast in the rough stuff. Heavy. Better manners on the road with the exception of the vibration.

400 DRZ: about the same all around as the BRP just everything is at about 75% if you know what I mean

KLR: Similar to the 640A just everything is at about 50% of the 640A capability.

My $0.02
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:29 PM   #11
sintax
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i've had mine for 10 months or so now.

I'll give you my personal findings. Every time I ride this bike it impresses me more and more. You obviously give up a few of the comfort aspects for performance, just like anything. I've decided to get 2 sets of wheels and tires. One with a true dual sport tread pattern and one with proper dirt tires.

I've found its street and highway capabilities very decent for it being just a "dirt bike" as everyone so gracefully put it. It'll cruise happily at 65-70 mph with a 15 tooth front, and still will pull like a freight train well above the high 90's. Obviously it would be much more comfortable with a little bigger wind deflection device. I've been debating making one for any highway trip. As for freeways here in southern California, its not so great. But then again, not much is.

Aftermarket is great, lots of parts and support. Parts from honda are not cheap, but there were a lot of these bikes around so there are lots of spares.

I've been toying around with the idea of trying a TM40 pumper carb. Rumour has it they really waken the machine up as well as aid in starting and more importantly RE-starting after dumping the bike.

I'm not a big guy, pretty much just average (6'1 200 lbs) but I find the bike very well sized for me. The previous owner has added some taller risers under the bars and i can really more or less ride standing all day. Last week my lady and I and some buddies did roughly 200 miles of open desert, full of woops and goat trails and all that good stuff at a pretty good speed. I felt really good after, not sore at all. The bike is very effortless to ride compared to the 250cc 2 stroke / 450cc 4stroke MX bikes I normally ride.

All in all i really like the bike.
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:05 PM   #12
BHW
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I went from an XR650L to a plated XR650R. I have no regrets about the "upgrade". The ONLY thing I liked better about the "L" was the electric starter. Nothing else is a comparison for me.

I heard all or the reasons people say that you don't want to buy an Xr650R.

I don't understand half of them. For me, it's a perfect bike. Sure, I'd love a big Husaberg 570, but it wasn't in my budget. And finding a plated and titled XR650R around here is very rare. So I jumped on the chance to buy mine. I had been very curious about the "R" he entire time I owned my "L". For me, it was a great decision. The bike does everything I ask of it. I ride tight singletrack, open trails, dirt roads, whatever. It's not a highway cruiser, but for me, neither was the "L". I wanted a big bore dirt bike that was street legal. Not a street ike with semi-knobbies.

Funny thing is, there are a lot of guys who by an "R", then buy another. I'll sell mine and buy another bike when I can afford a fuel injected European big bore dual sport. Which might be a while. Japan isn't making any.
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:12 PM   #13
AtomicXRer
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+1

I too have not looked back from making the L to R switch (~2+ yrs ago). I wish at times the R had a 6th-speed for two-lane hwy cruising, but this and occasional missing the "magic button" does not make we want another bike. It is what it is: a desert racer. The R uncorked is fantastic in open terrain, most of my rides in NM are such. For tight single-track...I prefer a bike in the 250cc or less class...not a 450.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BHW View Post
I went from an XR650L to a plated XR650R. I have no regrets about the "upgrade". The ONLY thing I liked better about the "L" was the electric starter. Nothing else is a comparison for me.

I heard all or the reasons people say that you don't want to buy an Xr650R.

I don't understand half of them. For me, it's a perfect bike. Sure, I'd love a big Husaberg 570, but it wasn't in my budget. And finding a plated and titled XR650R around here is very rare. So I jumped on the chance to buy mine. I had been very curious about the "R" he entire time I owned my "L". For me, it was a great decision. The bike does everything I ask of it. I ride tight singletrack, open trails, dirt roads, whatever. It's not a highway cruiser, but for me, neither was the "L". I wanted a big bore dirt bike that was street legal. Not a street ike with semi-knobbies.

Funny thing is, there are a lot of guys who by an "R", then buy another. I'll sell mine and buy another bike when I can afford a fuel injected European big bore dual sport. Which might be a while. Japan isn't making any.
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:27 PM   #14
Wesley J
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I have the Edelbrock pumper carb. I havent ridden it without so I cant compare to a stock carb but I only ever have troubles starting it when its very cold (35F and lower). Now that I've had it for a while it's extremely easy to start even after crashing.

I guess the other time it can be hard to start is in the muskeg/mud when you're buried up the the frame and you dont have a full kick available. When that happens I just lift the bike out and kick away.

Wesley J
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:49 PM   #15
mtothef
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they are more awesome than people let on...

i miss mine.

it lived with me during a phase that included a VOR 503, an old dick mann tt500, a ktm 450, an aprilia 550, a ktm 300, a ktm 250 exc, an xr400 and a crf250x spread between myself and riding buddies (the VOR and the aprilia were/are mine, so was the 200. i have questionable judgement).

starting and carb woes were never something i encountered, in three years of alpine riding that included a whole lot of singletrack. i never missed not having a button, just had to make sure the jetting was roughly in the ballpark. it didn't overheat, it never broke down, it was less maintenance intensive than almost all the other bikes on the list above (except the 300 ktm, which was pretty much an ax with wheels), it was fast as snot in the open, and once i learned how to dance with fat chicks, i could keep up with anyone, anywhere, all the way until things got into "how come nobody told me we were going trials riding" territory. it is a surpisingly capable bike, moreso than some other open class bikes i've ridden that weigh less.

gas mileage was good. nursing it i could get 50mpg. going hard it would drop down to around 30. stock suspension needs to be revalved for just about everyone. uncork it, fix the right footpeg, twist throttle, change oil, laugh often. i'm 5'9", 185, and never really felt like it was too big. even went with bar risers on mine. but then again, i notice that once you get really really really stuck somewhere nasty, everything seems to weigh about the same when they're upside down on top of you at the bottom of a ravine...
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