Dual Sport - XR650R vs. XR650L?



26 replies to this topic
  • enduromaniac

Posted January 11, 2004 - 12:38 PM

#21

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 :D, but if you & a bud go play, you'll want to be the one on the R :)

Same here, I don't meant to bash the R, but I wish it's owners would quit putting down my beloved L. To own one is to love one. The grin factor on this bike is huge. Anyway, it's real competition is the DR650 and KLR 650, not it's faster sibling. And against those bikes, it more than hold's it's own.

  • qadsan

Posted January 11, 2004 - 03:43 PM

#22

The grin factor on this bike is huge.



The 'L' is a great bike. :) If anyone doubts its capabilities, just go for a ride with TortureChambers while he's on his XR650L and try to keep up. A skilled rider can take it just about anywhere.

  • slip

Posted January 11, 2004 - 05:45 PM

#23

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




Mike, I have never ridden an R, so I can't compare the two. But a friend has an R, and he says a brick is more comfortable than the seat on the R. I would imagine why some think the L is better on the road is because, well it was designed for it too. The seat is soft, it's geared good for the road, it's stable at highway speeds, so all these things contribute to a plush road ride. :)

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  • irondude

Posted January 11, 2004 - 05:53 PM

#24

Yeah for sure the L is a fun bike. For sure its closest rivals are the 650 Suzuki and Kawasaki. And for sure it has its many fans-and rightly so. Its as reliable as a rooster.

Frankly i wish the R came with the L frame-its 2 pounds lighter and much easier to weld on, bolt into, drill thru, etc-and almost identical to the R in design.
I just dont see much difference between the engines-but if anything the water jacket should allow for a smoother and longer lasting power source. That was the big selling point when street bikes first got radiators-that they where quieter engines, more reliable, less vibration, and so better for long hauls on the road! :D
The compression isnt much diffent-they both run great on pump gas. The R's stock cam is notoriously mild.
Just FYI--The R comes with tons of smog crap here in Cali-where its already street legal for emisions and sound. To me the R IS a water jacketed L without the trimmings-to me the R is NOT a race oriented desert bike. The KTM 525 IS a race oriented desert bike! Isnt the R just a natural evolution of the L? But for some reason Honda keeps on making the 11 year old bike. Surely its the least popular Honda on the lineup? I'm gonna ask my buddy at the local dealer how many they sell vs the R...

I guess its the button, seat, and the buddy pegs that make the L a more comfortable street bike...that and the confidence and familiarity that the L assures its owners.

L'sters--I am a fellow dirt biker (and i dont cheat) we are on the same team. Just cant figure out why you guys go Left when the rest of us go Right! :)

  • MotoChris521

Posted January 11, 2004 - 07:41 PM

#25

IronDude,your right.The R is a better overall bike.More power ,lighter and trick compared to the L (alloy frame/liquid cooled).But the L is the only Dual-Sport bike Honda makes.Stock the L is marginal off-road.I have mine close to 300 dry and totally set-up for dirt.A friend and i even raced one last year at the six-hour event(Glen Helen).So what i'm getting too is ...........Just Riding is fun.There is no Ultimate Dual-Sport bike availible at this time.I'm sure Honda (or yamaha)will eventually build a Hi-Tec bike :)

  • enduromaniac

Posted January 12, 2004 - 11:30 AM

#26

Yeah for sure the L is a fun bike. For sure its closest rivals are the 650 Suzuki and Kawasaki. And for sure it has its many fans-and rightly so. Its as reliable as a rooster.

Frankly i wish the R came with the L frame-its 2 pounds lighter and much easier to weld on, bolt into, drill thru, etc-and almost identical to the R in design.
I just dont see much difference between the engines-but if anything the water jacket should allow for a smoother and longer lasting power source. That was the big selling point when street bikes first got radiators-that they where quieter engines, more reliable, less vibration, and so better for long hauls on the road! :D
The compression isnt much diffent-they both run great on pump gas. The R's stock cam is notoriously mild.
Just FYI--The R comes with tons of smog crap here in Cali-where its already street legal for emisions and sound. To me the R IS a water jacketed L without the trimmings-to me the R is NOT a race oriented desert bike. The KTM 525 IS a race oriented desert bike! Isnt the R just a natural evolution of the L? But for some reason Honda keeps on making the 11 year old bike. Surely its the least popular Honda on the lineup? I'm gonna ask my buddy at the local dealer how many they sell vs the R...

I guess its the button, seat, and the buddy pegs that make the L a more comfortable street bike...that and the confidence and familiarity that the L assures its owners.

L'sters--I am a fellow dirt biker (and i dont cheat) we are on the same team. Just cant figure out why you guys go Left when the rest of us go Right! :)



If the xr650L were the least popular bike in Honda's line up, it would be gone, like the 750 Nigthawk and the Valkyrie. I live in a metro-urban area, and my local dealers almost can not give away the R model. Last summer they were trying to sell them for 5k, out the door, while the L model is never discounted. Location tends to determine popularity. (I'm sure the R outsells the L in rural areas)

  • dirtboy

Posted January 13, 2004 - 10:43 AM

#27

Wow! Great replies on this topic. Thumpertalk guys know their stuff. Here's mine.
1. The L is a light bike when compared to it's competition: KLR, DR, BMW 650 AND 1150, and small bore street bikes.
2. Us tall guys love the seat height. It's the tallest bike I have ever swung a leg over.
3. Just because it isn't YOUR favorite bike doesn't mean it should be discontinued
4. Some people would rather have turn signals and a speedometer than the absolute lightest and most powerful dual sporter on the planet. If you really like a powerful, light dual sport, why are you on that pig of a 650R and not on a CRF?





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