Would you buy a 650L again?


44 replies to this topic
  • DUX

Posted January 31, 2005 - 06:40 PM

#1

If you own a 650L, I'd appreciate some opinions on how much you like or dislike it.

I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that Honda isn't going to make the bike I really want:

- A bike that can be ridden, but not flogged on the MX track and be street-legal enough to ride on back/dirt roads that lead to trails.

- Limited paved riding.

- Reliable and low-maintenance.

I was looking at converting a Honda MX bike to dual-sport, but getting it plated in DE seems like it's going to be a chore.

Ironically, at the motorcycle show in DC, both the Honda and Yamaha reps suggested I go look at the Suzuki DRZ 400.

Honda, if you're listening........ I've bought 3 street bikes from you in the last two years and am developing a strong loyalty to the brand. I can't be the only one looking for this bike!!!!!

  • Misfit

Posted January 31, 2005 - 06:49 PM

#2

I would definently buy another 650L in a heartbeat :cry: Its a very fun do it all machine (except maybe motocross) :cry: I really wouldnt recommend motocrossing it since you would probally be bottoming out on those doubles all the time. You could probally do table tops pretty easily though I've never tried. Other than that you cant really find a more reliable bike out there :cry:

  • DUX

Posted January 31, 2005 - 06:54 PM

#3

Thanks for the reply. I want to get back into a bit of moto cross, but have no interest in hitting the doubles. I'd just like to be able to go out on the track and have a good time.

Most of the bikes duty would be on dirt roads, fire-roads, and trails. How hard is it to lower the bike a few inches? I have a 32" inseam.

Where in Pa are you? I live in DE, where it seems that there aren't a lot of places to ride. I go to VT often, and think it would be a good bike to have up there.

  • jamesp

Posted January 31, 2005 - 06:57 PM

#4

I just sold my second 650l a month ago and wouldn't buy another one. Between the two, I'd say get the DRZ.

  • CrackiN

Posted January 31, 2005 - 07:12 PM

#5

DUX my brother and I both have short inseams...We opted for sliding the front forks through the clamps and shaving the foam on the seat..We took out about 2". My brother also put a lowering link on his but they are about $100.00-$130.00...Very easy to install though....We aren't riding specialist by any means but we haven't noticed any loss in in handling.... I think being able to get your feet on the ground would far out way any handling problems that lowering would cause...

  • Dual_Dog

Posted January 31, 2005 - 07:33 PM

#6

If you own a 650L, I'd appreciate some opinions on how much you like or dislike it.

I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that Honda isn't going to make the bike I really want:

If you can only have one bike and you need to ride "longer" distances on paved roads at higher speeds the Big Fat Pig, I mean XRL, is a good choice. No, Honda hasn't built the ultimate dual purpose bike since 1982. If they did, it would hurt their XR650R sales, even if you can't DS 'em (XRR's) anymore. There's talk about one that's "possibly" in the works, but it's been like that for 6 or 7 years. No one can or wants to wait that long. :cry:

I'd like the same thing. But in the process I really tailored my 98 BFP to how I ride. I've preran some of the Baja 500, explored Mex starting from the States, commuted to work, ridden tough and tight singletrack, and also WOT desert whoops and sand washes.

One bike? Yes. Best application? No. But you'll always have compromises with ANY dual purpose bike. You just have to ask yourself how many are you willing to accept. For mostly dirt, the DRZ would be a better choice if not for the weight savings alone.

The XRL does have a huge fun factor, though. :cry:

  • Misfit

Posted January 31, 2005 - 08:05 PM

#7

Thanks for the reply. I want to get back into a bit of moto cross, but have no interest in hitting the doubles. I'd just like to be able to go out on the track and have a good time.

Most of the bikes duty would be on dirt roads, fire-roads, and trails. How hard is it to lower the bike a few inches? I have a 32" inseam.

Where in Pa are you? I live in DE, where it seems that there aren't a lot of places to ride. I go to VT often, and think it would be a good bike to have up there.

I live in a town called hanover its only a few miles form the PA/MD line. There really isnt that many places to ride where I live either. The closest places to me are Tower city www.towercitytrailriders.org where I normally ride and rausch creek www.rauschcreekracing.com.

Towercity is all trails I think they have like 5 or 6000 acres of land Its a really great place to ride the only thing that sux is its 2 hrs away from me. I've never been to rausch creek but its mostly motorcross tracks and I'm not into motocross.

  • Rusty_2

Posted January 31, 2005 - 08:41 PM

#8

I had one, a '00 model that I bought brand new, and I loved it. I had it modded and accessorized to the max, and as long as I was just out by myself doing what it did best, I was having a blast. But I got to riding regularly with a crowd who all had serious enduro bikes and MX bikes, and over time I realized that I was just working much harder than them down in the really deep tight nasty rough stuff. It was rock solid dependable, comfortable, rode like a Lincoln Town Car,.....and that power!.....Wow, was it ever a brute! It was just that I would tire out and wear down and they would have to stop and wait on me when we were in the rough gnarly stuff. It really hurt me to let it go...and I still miss it, but I just needed something a little more "flickable" for the riding we do.

Me personally if I were to buy another big bore "Monster Honda"...I think it'd be a shiny new XR650R. I've been in awe of them since they came out.

Good luck with whatever you decide on DUX.

  • KillerPriller

Posted January 31, 2005 - 08:41 PM

#9

I owned one and liked it. I would buy another if the need came up.

based on your comments though, i dont think your going to want to take it on an MX track.

Its better suited for running around the backwood trails and fire roads. Its electric start is convenient, but also a bitch if the battery dies.

nk

  • thumper245

Posted January 31, 2005 - 09:33 PM

#10

I have an 02 xrl and love it. I rode for 206 miles yesterday. We rode some aquiduct roads some single track some washes and just up the side of a rocky hills. It did great. We also had some pretty gnarly rocky sections in the washes and it did great. I am only 5'8" I had to take the spaner nut all the way up just to touch one footed. The seat isnt that bad and the best part is that we rode from Olancha threw Death Valley on the way back (all pavment). I ride with a group of guys that all have the xrl of diff. years and all love them. I also have a 98 yz400f and the xrl just is better for the longer rides like that one. I would deff. buy another one when this one is done for. I hope that this has helped some.

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

Posted February 01, 2005 - 06:42 AM

#11

[color=black]Definitely, I would buy one again. It is a lot of work in the tight stuff, but I keep up just fine with my buds. Then when they are packing and loading trailers, I wave and ride off. On the tight curvy roads this bike is unstoppable; you will pass crotch rockets like they are parked. Then on the next fire road exit still hauling a$$! [/color]

[color=black]The ultimate would be a street legal 650R but that’s just a dream in California now. [/color]

  • babbs

Posted February 01, 2005 - 07:36 AM

#12

I bought an 05 XRL, it is everything I need, but not everything I want (or think I want). I am starting to have daydreams of getting a 650R and dual-sporting it. I am wondering if it would be that much better. Whatever you do DO NOT BUY A NEW ONE. There are so many barely used ones available for CHEAP. I bought new, and would lose about 3k if I sold it any time soon. I'll bet you could get an 02 or 03 with less than 2500 miles for about 3,000.

I would say get an XR650R, and dual sport it.


Cheers, Babbs

  • ghoti

Posted February 01, 2005 - 09:54 AM

#13

I have a 2k4 that I mostly commute on but it does see dirt too. This is an awesome DUAL PURPOSE bike. Not great on the highway, not great on the dirt. It's a blast around town, on open trails, everywhere really. It will go wherever I ask it to, however sometimes I am complaining more that the bike is. It's heavy and undersprung in the dirt, it's a featherweight on the street. A single purpose bike will aways be better in it's element. It's very low maintenance compared to thoroughbred race bike, air cooled, so no chance of being stranded with a broken radiator. I would buy another, but by then maybe there'll be a XR650X.:cry:

  • XR Dude

Posted February 01, 2005 - 02:02 PM

#14

Yes! I've ridden the thumper class for over 20 years and I just purchased an 05 650L.I love this thing. Its got the best power and most aftermarket abailability of any dual purpose thumper I've owned. True, it is dated but in some respects its an advantage to see how things will stand up over time and the parts will be available for quite sometime. I plan to ride this thing for at least 10 years maybe fifteen if I rebuild it. Contemplating getting rid of my xr600r as I'm getting older now and don't do the crazy stuff a younger man does. Before the xrr I had cr's and yz's. Its the normal progression of age/abilbity and lack of tough technical mountain riding here in the midwest. Thought about the 650r conversion but too many straight roads here and the lack of e start, although you can add that as old man time has done to his. Summary is "the brp rules".

  • goatbrother

Posted February 01, 2005 - 03:16 PM

#15

NO, I would not, the bike is just ok for trails and not comfortable for any kind of street use for more than a half an hour. The front wheel would not stick to a corner if it had glue on it and the seat was just horrible on the street. On the plus side, it has electric start and nice friendly power. Great front break but the rear was terrible. Nope, not again, maybe a KTM Adventure next time.


GB

  • jlpskydive

Posted February 02, 2005 - 04:34 AM

#16

I love mine! put 4k on it this year and had not so much as whimper from the bike. It's been on the highway at 85+ for miles and stuck in DC traffic for hours, it's been up steep single track and wide open fire roads and has even made one cameo apperance at a MX track. Yes, it does not like the doubles, but it does just fine on the table tops. Would I buy another? Not sure looks like its going to be pretty hard to kill this one. :cry: :cry:

  • captb

Posted February 02, 2005 - 06:49 PM

#17

I had four XR600Rs and then tried the 650L and was dissapointed, now I have a XR650R uncorked, jetted and piped and I'm happy I went with this bike, geared up it cruises 80 mph on the freeway and pulls to 106 top end on GPS . It flies out in the desert and with correct jetting starts 2 kicks cold 1 kick hot, I couldn't go back to a 650L now, but all the XRs I've had were 100% reliable 20 years of riding them only parts changed were chains and tires.

  • Driver72

Posted February 02, 2005 - 07:13 PM

#18

I'll let you know. Just bought a new XR650L but due to the weather haven't put but a couple of miles on it. Paid $5295 out the door w/a tank of gas, oil filter and plug.

One thing I did discover about buying new. None of the local bike dealers would let me test drive during my "kick the tires" phase of checking out new bikes. This was all the dealers. Only after I put money down would they allow test drives. Insurance/liability issues. Hell, I'm 48 years old and have bought over 15 dirt/road toys, but still no test drive. This included the Honda dealer I've traded dollars with for over fifteen years. He did even have gas or batteries on the showroom bikes. Insurance again. I wonder who really owns the dealerships; insurance company or the guy who makes the mortgage payment.

  • Misfit

Posted February 02, 2005 - 07:33 PM

#19

Yea that blows that you cant test ride anything. :cry: Theres a couple of bikes i'd like to ride at my dealer. 450X :cry:

  • Old_Man_Time

Posted February 02, 2005 - 09:14 PM

#20

Yea that blows that you cant test ride anything. :cry: Theres a couple of bikes i'd like to ride at my dealer. 450X :cry:


too bad your not in with your dealer. Mine will let me test the 450X if Im really in the market to buy. I have bought two new bikes and 3 or 4 older ones from him through the years. He let me test ride a brand new CR500 15 years ago right after they assembled it and I wasn't even looking to buy. I just happen to be there and they said try it.
:cry:





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