More XRL Dirt Mods

15 replies to this topic
  • Dual_Dog

Posted January 18, 2004 - 07:52 AM


Been away from the Group for a while. Really busy modding my 98 XRL in the
never ending pursuit to make (even) more dirt ready. Fuel filter install
(tricky), slots in the countershaft cover wells (clean), new Renthal bars & Pro
Grips (nice), Supertrapp IDS2 conversion kit (worth it), and the ultra-time
consuming Maier XR style tail light/brake light install & on-rear fender
license plate mounting (lots of head-scratching/adapting on the fly with this
one, but a bullet-proof install). I'll post some photos of my new rear fender
set-up after I get done ridin.' Too many hours in the garage, not enough in

About the time I picked up my latest Chopper in Sep. '03, I happened across
this page,, when I did some searching for the 650L.
For me, the L on this site was the template for my bike, with a few twists of
my own thrown in. It reminds me of how I modded my old bikes before the www.
revolution. When I bought my first bike, I didn't have a computer (that was
'95), and I never heard of email or the internet. I relied solely on my own
ideas and imagination. Times have really changed. It's been great comparing and
sharing tips, tricks & experiences.

I definitely have gone further with this bike that I did with any of my
previous XL's, and a lot has to do with this group and one's like it. Seems
like someone's always got your back because they've already been there and done
it. There's quite a 'L'arge fan club out here in the www. world and it seems to
be getting bigger with all the messages posted about arguably the best factory
dual purpose machine on the planet. It is for me!

Just wanted to give a shout out to the group, and I'll be lookin' for other
Chopper Gang members at the SD Supercross next Saturday. :)

  • jstevens

Posted January 18, 2004 - 12:49 PM


Sounds like you've done some good work.
Yep I'm in the the same boat, It's always a chore looking for XR650L info or mods posted by other guys on the Internet. When searching online I always run across all of the "older stuff" out their. Again not alot of the new info from people and their bike setup's.

I'm remotely interested in swaping out my rear tail light assembly also, so make sure to post those pics when you have time!

  • billyboy11b

Posted January 18, 2004 - 01:22 PM


Nice ride, Bro.


  • Dual_Dog

Posted January 18, 2004 - 06:38 PM


Just got done riding (street) here. Good weather & met some other dual sport riders at Barret Junction and at the Tecate Border Xing near Otay Lakes & Jamul, CA.

Got a couple of shots of the Chopper & the new tail light & plate install. Overall, it came out better than I expected and it's working fine.

Posted Image Posted Image

  • bigmike61

Posted January 19, 2004 - 12:28 PM


Nice... I have a 95' and I see what you mean. I like the all white plastic (scratches don't show up so bad). I put the White Bros E-Series on it and WOW did it bring it to life. I have not done anything to the carb yet!! Aside from it "popping" when I slow down it runs fine. It runs real good up in the high desert (no popping at all). I figure i need a little bigger jet. What size would you recommend? And how hard is it to change out?? Thanks for the advice and I will get some pics up soon.

P.S. any good spots down south??? I'm always up for a road trip!!! :)

  • Dual_Dog

Posted January 19, 2004 - 12:37 PM


Hows that 93 with the overbore, cam & pumper carb? Bet you got about 6-8 more ponys on that bad boy now on top of the recommended uncorking. :D

By the way, how many miles do you have on it now, and at what mileage did you have it done? :)

  • porkr

Posted January 22, 2004 - 06:29 AM


Nice. :) How do you like the gas tank? I had an IMS on a '86 350X that leaked like a mother. Been reluctant to buy another plastic tank. Easy install?

  • Dual_Dog

Posted January 22, 2004 - 11:11 AM


The Clarke 4.0 is a good product, and I'd use it again.

It fits well, but you need to stabilize the tank as it moves side-to-side too easily for my riding. This is the only issue. You're on your own with the fix for this one, but I came up with a strong and easy solution for the 4.0. :D It's working great on both my bike and another friend's bike. :) It's a bolt, a nut, a spacer, some washers and a keeper-type clip that installs on one of the down tube (old) scoop supports and over the new Clarke metal wire spar.

The only difference I've noticed is that the front end is heavier in the dirt, for obvious reasons, and it seems to corner better on the street because of the extra weight.

Of all the mods you can do to the XRL, this is gives you the biggest return. Most dual sport rides are longer than the stock tank capacity will allow, especially when you're always on the throttle like I am. :D

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  • porkr

Posted January 22, 2004 - 11:59 AM


Thanks Dog. Not sure if I'll part with the cash or not. Nice to have info instead of looking at a picture in an ad.

  • Dual_Dog

Posted January 31, 2004 - 08:22 PM


Well, I got off my lazy _ss today and finally completed the last of the recommended mods for the problematic stock XRL carb. I pulled the carb, disassembled the vacuum piston, drilled the slide and shimmed the needle. I know what I've done but I'm not sure why it works in eliminating the low speed driveability problems. Any takers out there to educate the fuel system challenged? :D I know one thing's for sure, I'm getting better at r/r'g the carb.

No more popping, hesitation, bogging or engine cut-outs. Just crisp clean starts and smooth acceleration. Finally feels like stable running power plant. :D

Just wanted to say thanks to slip, and all the other members that took the time to explain the whole delicate process and for motivating me to get it done! :)

  • pencilneck

Posted February 01, 2004 - 05:50 AM


Hey guys. I am considering buying a 650L and thought I would check out this thread. It seems that the hot setup for the taillight is a Maier XR light. I used to have a 98' 650L and I too wanted a lower profile light. However, when I removed the stock taillight assembly I noticed that the rear fender looked identical to the 600r fender. I replaced the unit with the stock 600r taillight assembly. The fit is perfect and it completely fills in the recessed area. Judging from the pictures on this thread, my way was a much cleaner mount as it did not leave any of the recessed area exposed. Just my 2 cents.

  • billyboy11b

Posted February 01, 2004 - 10:44 AM


It runs like a scalded dog on the street and in the desert. It still beats me to death in the whoops, though. I was trying to stay healthy at the time I got it running, so I didn't really see what it could and couldn't do, but, using the "quick" break in method, it scared the bejeezus out of me when I wound it out in second gear. I've had it in the triple digits once, and that was scary too. I've been out of town since september, and I can't wait to throw a leg over her when I get home on the 13th of Feb.

Later, ya'll. :)

  • Dual_Dog

Posted February 01, 2004 - 02:35 PM



Out of curiosity, how much for the 600R tail light and brake light add-on?

The Maier was good to go for $14 bucks. And it's really bright, even in the daytime. :D


I rode my buddie's XR650R around the neighborhood today. I don't think this was such a good idea. Big Gun exhaust, Pro Taper bars, steering stabilizer, steeper frame angles & aluminum frame, water-cooled, kick start...all business and no BS. If I didn't do so much street ridin'..... :)

  • pencilneck

Posted February 02, 2004 - 07:18 PM


I don't remember the exact cost of the XR600 light assembly but it was quite a bit more than $14. Probably more like $30.

  • Dual_Dog

Posted February 03, 2004 - 06:29 AM


How was it to add the brake light function? Any pictures also?

  • pencilneck

Posted February 06, 2004 - 05:25 PM


I don't remember. I may have ordered a pigtail from Baja Designs. It has been too long but it was not too hard. If you just look at the parts you can figure it out. I did and I'm a moron.

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