Posted October 23, 2001 - 08:07 AM
Just joined, I'm in the market for a Dual Sport bike and have been looking at the XR-650L. I wanted to talk w/ some owners before I purchase. I probably won't be ready until this spring.
I'm looking at all the factory offerings including a Suzuki DRZ 400. I am even considering a DS kit to legalize a off road bike, like a Yamaha WR 426 since all I've ever owned is Yamaha. It's a shame they don't offer a decent DS.
I live in the People's Republic of Northern Virginia so quiet and stealthy are important.
I'd like to be able to commute to work say 80 miles round trip. I expect my percentage of use would be 70% road and 30% off road. I want something that's light enough to load on my pickup and take with me for a weekend getaway, run to the store for errands, trail ride w/ my 8 year old who's taking an interest in the 76 YZ 80 lurking in the garage, explore some gravel roads, trails and maybe hit a couple of small jumps, I'm 38, 6', 160 lbs.
Any comments appreciated.
Posted October 23, 2001 - 01:48 PM
Buy a XR650R and dual sport it. The L is a tank. There are 2 kinds of XRL riders those who have crashed today and those who will crash today. The extra 75ish pounds is murder when riding off road.
Best of luck,
Posted October 23, 2001 - 03:56 PM
Posted November 13, 2001 - 04:05 PM
Posted November 13, 2001 - 04:42 PM
Posted November 14, 2001 - 05:39 AM
Because of its light weight (290 lbs) and more aggressive steering rake angle, the bike is a bit more fidgidy at high speeds (and the seat is thin and hard). All the above makes for a super fun trail bike and short distance commuter, but it seems to me one of the bigger (street oriented) Hondas would do the trick for you.
Posted November 15, 2001 - 05:09 PM
Posted November 19, 2001 - 04:27 PM
I have no experience w/ KTM's but I was most empressed w/ the quality of the components and the fit and finish. How are the bikes for reliability? Parts availability? etc. Things to look out for? I'm comparing it to a DRZ 400S.
Posted November 19, 2001 - 05:04 PM
Kosts Too Much
Honestly I don't know if KTMs need more maintenance or not. I have heard many complaints about parts availability and cost from owners.
Buy the 650R and dual sport it. I wouldn't have beleived how well this bike adapts if I hadn't done it myself. Maybe $5500otd street legal.
Posted December 11, 2001 - 06:22 AM
I've done done just about everything with it: commuting (about 60 miles round trip), off road racing, highway trips, I even converted it to a supermotard and scratched both footpegs on the tarmac!
It is a fantastic bike and most of all it is very very friendly and easy to ride. It is not the best bike on nor off road but all in all I think it is very good. It is unbelievably reliable, parts are easily available, it is very torquey, very tunable, very comfortable and can do absolutely everything reasonably well.
Yes it is heavy, but you only consider this if you find yourself on a very tight and twisty trail path. Or if you drop it and have to pick it up afterwards, especially with a full 5gal Acerbis tank (I've done it - not nice).
It is also old fashioned. The engine dates all the way back to 1984, I think, so performance (stock) isn't comparable to more modern bikes. Performance when modified IS! It doesn't look all that hot either. Design-wise not a lot has happened since 1991, when Honda launched the first white 600R.
Otherwise it can climb any hill, ride through mud, jump, slide, wheelie, do stoppies.
I've riden the 650R. Compared to the XRL it is better in every conceivable way, except comfort and ease of starting. The L is electric start, you see... a VERY big plus!
The DRZ-S is also a very good bike which can do pretty much everything as well. It can go off road better than the XRL (it is lighter) but on the road the XRL, I think, is better.
It really depends on what you want to do with it and of course how good/experienced of a rider you are.
I've modified my bike quite intensively. If this is of any interest to any of the guys on this list, I could post a rundown of the mods and their results.
Posted December 11, 2001 - 03:47 PM
My 2 cents worth.
If money is not a concern go KTM LC4.
If reliability and ease of maintenance is the highest priority buy the XR650R and dual sport it, particularly if your are good with electrical and mechanical maintenance. The XR650R will meet all of your requirements. I dual sported my XR650R. It is powerful, has excellent balance and goes anywhere with authority (sand, dirt, road, hills, etc). It pulls like a farm tractor and races like a motard. It is the best big bore 'dirt bike' ever made with one shortcoming...No Electric Start. Once you learn the starting procedure it does not pose a problem (the decompression lever helps make starting easier).
Go visit some dealers. I recommend taking a trip to Shenandoah Honda in Winchester, VA to get the best deal. They are number one in the nation for Honda sales.
Posted December 12, 2001 - 12:59 PM
Posted December 13, 2001 - 03:48 PM
Get the XRL
Posted December 15, 2001 - 11:41 PM
Ain't nothing on that Honda that can go bad except maybe the battery.
Don't discount the DRZ400E though for a really good commuter bike. Plenty of used ones out there at really good prices right now. Just add a brake light and electric horn and mirror.
It sounds like the electric start is what you are really after and I have to admit that is the way to go for dirt or street.
Posted December 16, 2001 - 10:38 PM
Posted December 16, 2001 - 01:08 PM
Posted December 16, 2001 - 05:01 PM
"My 650L was the only bike that came through unscathed."
A BS ticket is not a hit on the XR650R. Also, the owner was not running a stock exhaust pipe or he would not have gotten a ticket. Needless to say, aftermarket pipes are a waste of money on the XR650R. No net HP improvement regardless of the claims (same HP with delivery spread across the powerband a little different). A little weight may be shaved off of the bike and the exhaust may look cool but that's all you get for $250.
XR650L vs XR650R: The engines are different and you see the difference in the power delivery.
Both bikes are extremely reliable. It's really a question of whether electric start is the top priority.
Posted December 16, 2001 - 07:07 PM
Posted December 17, 2001 - 04:46 AM
Originally posted by XyzGuy:
why he did it I'm not sure. .
To let the beast hiding inside come out! Just a few simple mods turns the stock bike into a power monster. From 42 hp to 55 hp. A friend of mine just picked up a used one. If Honda puts that motor on the L, I'll buy one in a heartbeat. I once had an XL500, so I do like Hondas. It was a fun bike for it's time.
You can check out the XRR mods at: http://www.xr650r.net
[ December 17, 2001: Message edited by: DR-ZEZ ]
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