Dual Sport - XR650R vs. XR650L?



26 replies to this topic
  • Scout

Posted January 05, 2004 - 05:03 PM

#1

Is it better/easier to make an "R" more street worthy or an "L" more dirt worthy? Why did honda make one liquid cooled and one air cooled?

  • irondude

Posted January 05, 2004 - 05:43 PM

#2

Good question. Why?
-Mike

  • enduromaniac

Posted January 05, 2004 - 06:47 PM

#3

Honda already had the L in their stable for 7 years before coming up with the R. Most of us that own the L love it. It's now in it's eleventh model year, virtually unchanged. Kind of says Honda got it right the first time around. The R is a great bike, but it's not marketed as a dual sport , regardless of conversion kits.

  • smashinz2002

Posted January 05, 2004 - 08:58 PM

#4

You have to decide what type of riding you are going to do most often. The "L" is better for dual sport if you ride on the street more often, and the "R" is better for dual sport if you use it mostly offroad, and on the street for short trips.
The "R" is easy to make street legal, especially here in Texas. I have an '02 model which I dual sported, but after a year, I took it back to off-road only.
Also, the "R" is a a lot more powerful of a bike if it's uncorked and jetted.
The "L" is air cooled because it's based on an older design which Honda hasn't changed. It's a good bike, just not as good off road as the R. Also the L is very heavy and very tall. The "R" is a little lighter and shorter.
So what you're lookin at is TWO very good bikes, just depends on whether you want a more dirt worthy bike, or a more street worthy bike.

  • BuddyK

Posted January 06, 2004 - 07:49 AM

#5

I rode both before buying a street legal R. I would buy an R even if it was for mostly street use. It just feels much more flickable/responsive & fun. I'll second the seat being a little hard for long rides though.

  • irondude

Posted January 06, 2004 - 12:07 PM

#6

yeah, yeah, for sure which bike you buy depends on your bank account and your riding needs, etc.--but what about the other question--
Why does Honda make both a water cooled and air cooled 650 dual sport? The market is small for these things outside of So Cal. Why not just make a Street Legal Water Cooled XL/XR650R? The XR650R sold in Europe (and Australia?) comes with turn signals and a license plate holder.
With the changes in Cali DMV laws a considerable part of the XR650R market-i.e. dual sport guys-are now left with out the option of buying a new XR650R - maybe the '05 XR650R will come with a license plate (and a button?) here in the USA.

Better yet make it a CRX680R with a license plate.

Why does Honda offer the 650L and 650R?

  • smashinz2002

Posted January 06, 2004 - 09:09 PM

#7

Hell yeah Irondude, if they come out with a CRX680R then I'll buy one!

  • x400r

Posted January 07, 2004 - 07:12 AM

#8

imo, honda is missing out on a great thing. i think both bikes are great, but they need to get rid of the air-cooled L.
make a 650x and a 650r, one off road and one dual sport(street legal). both water-cooled. :)

  • xr650Lroostnya

Posted January 07, 2004 - 07:49 AM

#9

I think they just need to update all the xr's (i.e. better suspension, More HP. :)

  • DRCR

Posted January 07, 2004 - 10:20 PM

#10

Let me brag on what a great dual sport the xr-r is ..... to me the motor is pure road race! tons on the the bottom end, followed by a chucky in the middle burst ending much later with screaming top end. since you are in houston stop by and i will demo for you and if you have the clams in your hand i will let you take her for a spin because i am being forced to sell her :) for reasons mentioned in the forsale portion of TT. :D

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • fourstrokin650

Posted January 08, 2004 - 08:15 PM

#11

I think that since the 650L is based on the old XR600R, they are keeping it around to get rid of the leftovers or maybe until the tooling wears out. I find it hard to believe they won't bring the street legal 650R here at some point. The bike is totally awesome even primarily as a street bike. The only thing they would need to do to the overseas street model is add a battery (the euro version powers all lighting off the coil) metal tank (which is easily replaced) and make it pass the EPA crap. Maybe now that the California Dual Reg laws are changing, they will get more pressure to do it.

  • enduromaniac

Posted January 10, 2004 - 12:17 PM

#12

The R model is now in it's 4th year. I kind of doubt Honda had 4 years of "leftover" L models. I rode both and bought the L. To each his own, but Honda would have to add more than electric start to make the R model as comfortable as the L. The fact that the L is still selling after 10 years speaks for it's practicality as a dual sport. It's reliability is legendary. And it does have it's fans. I rode mine across 800 miles of Ontario higways, I couldn't imagine doing that on the R. Dual sport (to me) means a degree of comfort and viability on pavement too.

  • slip

Posted January 10, 2004 - 06:24 PM

#13

The R model is now in it's 4th year. I kind of doubt Honda had 4 years of "leftover" L models. I rode both and bought the L. To each his own, but Honda would have to add more than electric start to make the R model as comfortable as the L. The fact that the L is still selling after 10 years speaks for it's practicality as a dual sport. It's reliability is legendary. And it does have it's fans. I rode mine across 800 miles of Ontario higways, I couldn't imagine doing that on the R. Dual sport (to me) means a degree of comfort and viability on pavement too.


My feelings also. :)

  • MotoChris521

Posted January 10, 2004 - 07:06 PM

#14

I'm on my third "L".I love these things. Yeah they are big , and heavy. But with simple mods they can do single-track or interstate.And that e-start has saved me many times stuck on the side of a gnarly hill !
But i also have a dirt bike (and a street-Dirt bike).And i want a mini dirt bike(crf150)and a small trail-mx bike (crf250r)and a sport-tourer(vfr800) and............... :)

  • irondude

Posted January 10, 2004 - 07:54 PM

#15

For sure dual-sport means differnt things to different people. I have a BMWF650GS that is one of my dual-sports. It will eat up Interstate--super comfortable-its got a windshield, heated grips, a plug for my electric undergarments, and luggage. Besides commuting to work on it for awhile, I have done a couple hundred gnarly Baja off-road miles on it.
I hear ya on the need for comfort if you are doing serious highway miles. I put 10,000 on my Beemer in the first year!
SO it got me thinking-and i am not trying to get in a pissing match with anyone--but all you L fans. Other than the button-what makes exactly makes the L more streetable than a street legal R?
Is it the seat? They are both counter-balanced. They both have basically the same frame. They both are heavy enough to be stable on the HWY. Just curious what makes the L seem to some a better road bike.
-hasta,
Mike

  • MotoChris521

Posted January 10, 2004 - 08:12 PM

#16

The "R" motor is better all around.I only rode one off-road but i was way stiffer(suspenion wise).The L sucks up small road/trail imperfections and the seat is way more cushy.That smoothness makes it more comfortable on road,plus the fact that it is a factory "Dual-Sport",no questions about legal this or that.I dont worry about getting pulled over or the state changing regulations/laws. :)

  • xr650Lroostnya

Posted January 11, 2004 - 05:52 AM

#17

[QUOTE]
I'm on my third "L".I love these things. Yeah they are big , and heavy. But with simple mods they can do single-track or interstate.And that e-start has saved me many times stuck on the side of a gnarly hill !




Yeah I agree too the estart has saved me many times too. And the L isnt as bad off raod as you guys with R's may think. The R isnt that much lighter than the L when you put gas in it. :)

  • enduromaniac

Posted January 11, 2004 - 05:56 AM

#18

For sure dual-sport means differnt things to different people. I have a BMWF650GS that is one of my dual-sports. It will eat up Interstate--super comfortable-its got a windshield, heated grips, a plug for my electric undergarments, and luggage. Besides commuting to work on it for awhile, I have done a couple hundred gnarly Baja off-road miles on it.
I hear ya on the need for comfort if you are doing serious highway miles. I put 10,000 on my Beemer in the first year!
SO it got me thinking-and i am not trying to get in a pissing match with anyone--but all you L fans. Other than the button-what makes exactly makes the L more streetable than a street legal R?
Is it the seat? They are both counter-balanced. They both have basically the same frame. They both are heavy enough to be stable on the HWY. Just curious what makes the L seem to some a better road bike.
-hasta,
Mike



True, both motors are counter balanced, but the R model is much more "hopped up". Higher compression, more radical cams, dry ignition..etc. Stock it is lower geared, and it is a much more specialized machine. It is excellent for it's intended purpose (desert-woods racer). The motor is awesomely powerful, but there's a price to pay for that power. The R motor is much more stressed than the L. The R has had more problems (though granted not terminal ones) in it's 4 years than the L has had in 11. R owners seem to want the demise of the L in hopes Honda will replace it with a street legal R. But if and when that happens, they might not like what they get. Honda will undoubtedly lower compression, put on a cv carb, and do a lot of other changes to make the R comply with emission, noise, and other federal and state restrictions. What youll get is a water cooled L. (and personally, I prefer air cooled motors:)

  • BuddyK

Posted January 11, 2004 - 06:17 AM

#19

Just wanted to say, I was not bashing the L. If your the type that e-start is a significant consideration, then it may be just what you need. I'm 44 & wouldn't mind the e- start, but I would not trade the performance or handling advantages of the R for it. I ride about 50% street, goofing off on back roads after work or running errands, just to get in some seat time between weekend outings. Either bike can make you feel like a kid with his first mini bike :), but if you & a bud go play, you'll want to be the one on the R :D

  • Dual_Dog

Posted January 11, 2004 - 08:18 AM

#20

...just to get in some seat time between weekend outings. Either bike can make you feel like a kid with his first mini bike


Couldn't agree more. It's all about the fun factor. It's not about the bike, but rather who's having the most fun while out riding.

Each one is suited for different things. The R is about keeping up with current off-road racing technology driven by that market segment. Keep up or get left in the dust. If I were to ride off-road exclusively, the R is what I'd have. Hell, I almost bought the R a few months back over the L because the L didn't have a kick starter! To me that's (always been) a part of riding these big Thumpers. :D

The L is cruising along as it has since 1978. It's for a different group of folks. The biggest jumps for the L were when they started using the XR frame, put discs on front and rear, and added the "magic" button. Don't get me wrong about "cruising along." I've ridden my XL's & XRL's really hard off-road right up to my own personal limits, not the bike's. Sure it's heavier, but that doesn't lessen the absolute enjoyment of riding.
:D

Oh yeah, jumping on my Chopper and riding for an hour or so on the street really makes up for the times when I can't get to the dirt. :)





Related Content

Forums
Photo

XR650L super moto wheels by greggkklee


Dirt Bike   Make / Model Specific   Honda   XR600/650
  • Hot  28 replies
Forums
Photo

Engine Loping/Sputtering by tcaldwell


Dirt Bike   Make / Model Specific   Honda   XR600/650
  • 2 replies
Forums
Photo
Supercross

Supercross Preview 2017 Part 1: Championship Contenders by Chris Cooksey


Dirt Bike   Special Interest Forums   Pro Racing
  • Hot  171 replies
Forums
Photo

2015 XR650L Squeaking noise by Crayjay


Dirt Bike   Make / Model Specific   Honda   XR600/650
  • 3 replies
Forums
Photo

Post Apocalypse, ThumperTalk style! by Justin Pearson


Dirt Bike   General Dirt Bike Forums   General Dirt Bike Discussion
  • Hot  35 replies
 
x

Join Our Community!

Even if you don't want to post, registered members get access to tools that make finding & following the good stuff easier.

If you enjoyed reading about "" here in the ThumperTalk archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join ThumperTalk today!

The views and opinions expressed on this page are strictly those of the author, and have not been reviewed or approved by ThumperTalk.