650 - DO'S & DON'TS


57 replies to this topic
  • BrianVT

Posted May 27, 2004 - 04:11 AM

#21

When the R starts to boil at least you KNOW to shut it down

It's better to get it moving than to shut it down. :thumbsup:

  • heliosstudios

Posted May 27, 2004 - 04:35 AM

#22

How'd this thread get twisted into oblivion? That said, I still think the R & L are very much alike, well except for the newer models. They do the same thing, handle about the same, weigh about the same, look similar... yes there are differences but your question was not the difference between the two. I still think "R" is for Race and "L" is for Lit... I think a new rider would be better off getting an R if they don't plan on riding on the street or an L if they do. An R if they're into supermotard, an L if they just want to go riding. Some people have endless testosterone, free time, and money to rebuild their R into an L, (they even make an electric start kit $900, cha-ching!), but if that's what you want, why not get that to begin with? It's up to you... but every time I take my new stock L out around the neighborhood, at least one kid always yells "Hey cool dirbike! Pop a wheelie!" :thumbsup:

  • SaltyWalrus

Posted May 27, 2004 - 04:54 AM

#23

I had an 87 XR600R. Every couple years, I would have to strip down the frame, sand blast away the paint at some stress areas and have all the stress cracks welded up. By the time I got rid of it, I had oil seeping out of the backbone under the seat/tank juncture. I guess I rode it kinda hard. The new XR650L's frames are the same as my 87. I would buy the XR650R for the frame alone. The only advantage of the L, in my opinion, is the magic button. As far as price of putting lights on an R, I looked around and found a new 01 leftover for $3999. I put Baja Designs kit on it for $430. A mirror and DOT tires were another $140. Still cheaper that a new 03 or 04 XR650L. And IMO, it looks way better. Now I have the perfect 80% dirt use, 20% road use bike I was looking for! All I need now is a sencond set of wheels with road tires!! :thumbsup:

  • dez4ever

Posted May 27, 2004 - 09:55 AM

#24

Thanks guys, I really appreciate the input. It looks like I'll be leaning towards the 650R.

  • smashinz2002

Posted May 27, 2004 - 06:18 PM

#25

Yeah Dez, the R is kick ass. Here's what mine looks like with the dual sport kit installed, it's street legal, uncorked, and will smoke the crap out of an L. Also it has never overheated I don't know what they are talking about. If you get one, and uncorked it, and rejet it with the 175 main jet, or whatever jet you need for your elevation, it won't boil over, don't worry about that. I've ridden this thing in Colorado every summer on very tight, slow, and steep trails running a 160 main jet, and even at those slow speeds and constant load, it never boiled over. And yes it does have the stock radiator cap. It's a bad ass bike, get one!
Posted Image

  • enduromaniac

Posted May 27, 2004 - 07:49 PM

#26

ps...doesn't boil over either..


"Right you are Ken"...the head just warps from heat...

There are enough L's around with over 30k miles to make that statement urban legend. The R had more reliability problems in it's first two years than the L has had in eleven.

  • enduromaniac

Posted May 27, 2004 - 07:58 PM

#27

By the way, I don't really hate the R model, it is, after all, a Honda. But honestly, when me and my buddy trade bikes, which we often do, the R feels like a torture device in comparison. But hey, to each his own. (and my L does get all the oohs and ahhhhs:)

  • airport4

Posted May 28, 2004 - 02:25 AM

#28

Yeah Dez, the R is kick ass. Here's what mine looks like with the dual sport kit installed, it's street legal, uncorked, and will smoke the crap out of an L. Also it has never overheated I don't know what they are talking about. If you get one, and uncorked it, and rejet it with the 175 main jet, or whatever jet you need for your elevation, it won't boil over, don't worry about that. I've ridden this thing in Colorado every summer on very tight, slow, and steep trails running a 160 main jet, and even at those slow speeds and constant load, it never boiled over. And yes it does have the stock radiator cap. It's a bad ass bike, get one!
Posted Image


Ditto, uncork it and the boil-over problem goes away. BTW my XR is set up exactly the same as the pic and it ROCKS! :thumbsup: The only down side is rear tires dont't last to long :awww:

  • motorick426

Posted May 28, 2004 - 05:56 AM

#29

I usually don't post-but this talk about the L model is just insane. The L is a very old street bike that is ok on the street and ok on dirt roads at slow speeds. But it should not be compared to the R in any way shape or form. The bike is just not made for hard core off-road use, period. The R is made for hauling ass across open desert and it does it very, very well. You would get hurt bad trying to do the same on the L. No experienced off-road rider would even give the L a thought. Then L is fine for light off-road exploring on mostly fire roads.They should not be compared, end of story.

  • XR650L_Dave

Posted May 28, 2004 - 07:19 AM

#30

If you mean, don't do "at speed" on the L what someone can do on the R, I'd agree.
But, the L will go anywhere the R will. Just keep it low, and a bit slower. The L is a serious dirt bike. I have witnesses.

-Dave, gone there, done it.

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • dez4ever

Posted May 28, 2004 - 09:09 AM

#31

Jeez...this thing has turned into whole different animal than I ever thought it would!!

  • enduromaniac

Posted May 28, 2004 - 09:24 AM

#32

I usually don't post-but this talk about the L model is just insane. The L is a very old street bike that is ok on the street and ok on dirt roads at slow speeds. But it should not be compared to the R in any way shape or form. The bike is just not made for hard core off-road use, period. The R is made for hauling ass across open desert and it does it very, very well. You would get hurt bad trying to do the same on the L. No experienced off-road rider would even give the L a thought. Then L is fine for light off-road exploring on mostly fire roads.They should not be compared, end of story.

Bwa Ha Ha. You know nothing about the L. It shares frame and suspension technology from the xr600, the winningest dirt bike in Honda's history. It is not a "street" bike. The R is faster, and lighter. I could dual sport a crf450 and it would put the R to shame in those categories. Big deal. It would also be an even more miserable ride on the street than the R is. Nothing wrong with liking whatever bike you choose, but R owner's can't seem to praise theirs without knocking my beloved L. And it's usually from guys that have no experience with it anyway. The L has always gotten mucho respect from the dirt pros, including Scott Summers. But enough of this pi**ing contest. The R is fine for what it was intended for. But it isn't a true dual sport, and anyone that rides it for any length of time on pavement would admit it.

  • needsprayer

Posted May 28, 2004 - 09:42 AM

#33

I haven't tried street oriented tires on the XR650R. The mostly dirt oriented tires don't make for a comfortable long dual sport ride. I don't think it's the bike, I think it is tire choice. A little extra padding in the seat solves the monkey butt issue.

  • XR650L_Dave

Posted May 28, 2004 - 09:54 AM

#34

Yeah, we L owners are pretty loyal... we know what the bike will, and won't, do. It'll go anywhere, sometimes fast, sometimes slow. I'll be the first to call it a pig, but its got grit!
Just don't call my (3rd) kid ugly!

  • Dual_Dog

Posted May 28, 2004 - 11:16 AM

#35

I usually don't post-but this talk about the L model is just insane. The L is a very old street bike that is ok on the street and ok on dirt roads at slow speeds. But it should not be compared to the R in any way shape or form. The bike is just not made for hard core off-road use, period. The R is made for hauling ass across open desert and it does it very, very well. You would get hurt bad trying to do the same on the L. No experienced off-road rider would even give the L a thought. Then L is fine for light off-road exploring on mostly fire roads.They should not be compared, end of story.


Nah, its not the end of the story. Sure the L isn't a race bike, but ask an L owner that's done a few "fire road" mods how the bike performs and the answer won't be slow. Nothing wrong with old technology especially Honda bullet-proof RVFC tech.

I guess since I don't have an R, I shouldn't even try to ride anything else but "fire roads." Good thing I didn't read this post until today. You see I preran 100 miles of the upcoming Baja 500 yesterday with my good friend who was riding an '02 R, uncorked and with fully race built suspension from Precision Concepts. 150 miles total and the L made it through all the same places as the R. Sure, I didn't keep up with him. I didn't even try. He's a pro racer and I'm not.

I'm a recreational rider that likes to ride off-road a lot. Tight single-track, steep hills, sand, flat out desert, big whoops, you name it. I've got this bike dialed in where I can ride it to work all week, and then swap sprockets and hit the trails without hesitation.

I guess if this were a thread about who's having the most fun when they're out riding (anywhere) on either bike, the responses would be much different. :thumbsup:

  • motorick426

Posted May 28, 2004 - 12:38 PM

#36

I agree,there is no doubt that off-road riding is all about fun more than anything else. Also, we all know it's 90% rider-10% bike. My post was in part due to the bikes that the original poster rides-YZ426, WR450. I also ride a 02YZ426 and an XR650 and felt that an XR650 would probably meet his expectations regarding motor, suspension, etc.. Nobody I ride with owns anything but motocross bikes or XRs and Drz400s so what do I know, I didn't mean to hurt anybodys feelings, sorry.

  • Dual_Dog

Posted May 28, 2004 - 01:13 PM

#37

No worries.

We all have our opinions and biases, and we can learn from each other. That's a good thing. I've learned a lot here at TT about many different bikes and all types of riding, not just "mine."

It really comes down to having fun anyway. That's why we ride. :thumbsup:

  • BWB63

Posted May 28, 2004 - 01:20 PM

#38

The guy that wrote this has it right!
"Not the same bike. R's are lighter, faster, better suspension for offraod, liquid cooled and not street leagal. With all that being said, I love!!!! my 650L"
I have riden both on the street and off. The "L" has cush pads in the back hub that makes it better for the street. It feels fatter and heavier, longer swing arm, 'E' button, battery, and still wounders on the freeway like the "R" with the same tires. Once off the street it's a whole different story and those that want to compare the two bikes will never find commond ground. I remember having this same argument about the XL600 and XR600 years ago, at least they were closer to being the same bike. There are those out there that love there KLR650 and even ride those out in the dirt....you can be a MX rider and your not going to ride that close to 90% rider 10% bike with a KLR650! You have to have at least close to equal bikes for that to come into effect. I was riding with a kid that just bought a XR600L and was on his third ride ever....couldn't under stand why he couldn't keep up....let him ride my sons XR400 and he found out the difference. Each bike has it's nitch and following but, some guys admit there are better bikes then theres but, Love there XR650L, they just don't need more.

  • enduromaniac

Posted May 28, 2004 - 06:37 PM

#39

Sorry if I stepped on any toes. It's not cool to knock another person's ride. But I do love my L. Yes, even the air cooled part of it. The sight, the sound, the ride. It's not the fastest, or most modern. But it's pure, soul filled.. nirvana.

  • qadsan

Posted May 28, 2004 - 06:43 PM

#40

The bad in this thread is now declared dead. Let's ride!

Besides, its the rider that makes the bike :thumbsup:





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