How's the XR650 on the technical stuff?


11 replies to this topic
  • DaisyCutter

Posted February 17, 2005 - 08:44 PM

#1

Hello,

I currently ride a 2001 CR500. I'm considering getting a big thumper. Reliability and horsepower are my two primary goals. I don't really trust the ultra high performance CRF450s and such, and I need more power than an XR-400 puts out.

This brings me to the XR650. I've never ridden one. I've spent a little time riding XR600s, mid 90's models. I liked the feel. Does the 650 feel more powerful, more heavy? It doesn't look as trim as the decade old 600s, IMO anyway.

How does the XR650 perform on technical obstacles? My CR500 isn't a small bike, it sports a desert tank, frame guards, pipe guard, rad braces, skid plate, etc. It's not a motocrosser anymore. Would it be reasonable to think that a XR650, handling-wise could keep up with a 30lb overweight CR500?

What's the true scoop on reliability. Can I expect to ride a XR650 weekly for 10 years without tearing down the engine?

MY CR500 is only three years old, to the month. Currently, I'm on the 2nd piston, 2nd rod and 2nd set of bearings. All of which need to be replaced again.

Love the power and performance, PO'd at the rebuild frequency.

  • sportbiker929

Posted February 17, 2005 - 08:59 PM

#2

I have had XR600,s and CR500s before. the torque is pretty close to a 650r. The 650R has more power than an XR6 and is an all around better bike. A 650 against a CR500 in a drag race I think the 500 would win to about 70 or so. The way the 650 makes power, is very easy to ride fast. I ride mine inn some pretty tight stuff with guys on 250 enduro bikes and I keep right up. Just hit the gym, because if you don't the 650 will wear your a$$ out!

Mitch

  • DaisyCutter

Posted February 17, 2005 - 09:16 PM

#3

My limiting factor is stamina, I'm 6'2" at 175lbs. And I'm of average strength.
I can keep up an trails with most anyone on any bike, but I can only stay with a good rider for a couple miles, before I have to slow down. The CR500 takes a lot of work to keep under control.

  • AzMtnThumper

Posted February 17, 2005 - 09:20 PM

#4

Can't comment on the CR500. You will find the 650R more nimble and somewhat narrower (believe it or not) than the 600. More power than my stcok/uncorked 600 had at any RPM and builds much faster from the bottom to the rev limiter. I've only had mine a few months. :)

  • superslyko

Posted February 17, 2005 - 09:32 PM

#5

:) Reality Check,

Buy the XR for its reliability. It's bullet proof. Get the 650 for it's power and torque. It's blast in the desert (it owns the desert) or on the fire roads. Don't kid yourself and think you can negotiate the tight woods with any flair. Sure you can hit them, but that beast will ware you out fast. Heck, my XR400 is a tank in the woods, after 90 miles I'm beat! If you want a nice leisurely trail ride with the family through the woods.......it can't be beat. If you're trying to keep up with the pumpkins at an enduro......good luck!

The bike is called the BRP (big red pig) for a reason! Don't get me wrong, I love my XR. But get it for the right reasons. Don't kid yourself thinking its a woods weapon. The XR will have a much smoother power delivery than the CR, but it's heavier.

Sorry guys, let's be honest.

  • Mescalero

Posted February 17, 2005 - 09:36 PM

#6

And what about the part of his question about being reliable and running every weekend?

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  • big t

Posted February 17, 2005 - 11:00 PM

#7

Depending on how many miles you ride every weekend I would think you could get at least 5 years of hard riding out of it with proper maintenance. Seems like I heard 10000-15000 miles before needing to get into the engine. It all depends on type of riding, how hard you ride and maintenance. I think you would be very happy with the 650. As others have said the power delivery is easy to handle. The bike can do the woods pretty well but it will wear you out if going fast but it can be done.

  • HondaXR650R

Posted February 18, 2005 - 03:38 AM

#8

Thank you God!!! A thread about my two favorite bikes I've ever owned!!! :thumbsup:

First of all, this thread needs background music...

http://www.pcdon.com...oodtobetrue.wav :D

OK, here goes... Q&A style...

--------------------------------

Q: Does the 650 feel more powerful?

A: Uncorked with Edelbrock QS carb... YES!!!

--------------------------------

Q: Does the 650 feel more heavy?

A: YES! ...a little bit! Don't expect to be able to whip the bike around as easily around hairpin/switchback turns, which I did easily on my CR. Part of that is because the CR is also a 2-stroke monster!

--------------------------------

Q: It doesn't look as trim as the decade old 600s, IMO anyway.

A: Wrong... A BRP is only 277 pounds dry with a modern, lightweight ALUMINUM FRAME, not steel like the old XR/XL 600s.

--------------------------------

Q: How does the XR650 perform on technical obstacles?

A: Honestly? It depends. Depends on the obstacle. Depends on the rider. Depends on your size/strength/abilities/experience... IMO if you're a big strong guy (6 foot plus & 200-220 pounds and in pretty decent shape) you will be able to ride the BRP (XR650R) a lot better than you would under 6 foot/under 200 lbs or out of shape.

--------------------------------

Q: My CR500 isn't a small bike, it sports a desert tank, frame guards, pipe guard, rad braces, skid plate, etc. It's not a motocrosser anymore. Would it be reasonable to think that a XR650, handling-wise could keep up with a 30lb overweight CR500?

A: YES! - Fully uncorked with an Edelbrock QS carb, that is. But, the BRP will not jump like the CR. Just won't! BRPs are dirtbikes, not motocrossers!

--------------------------------

Q: What's the true scoop on reliability.

A: ABSOLUTELY BULLETPROOF!!!! You will be amazed!!!

--------------------------------

Q: Can I expect to ride a XR650 weekly for 10 years without tearing down the engine?

A: A lot closer than you might think! Maintenance on a BRP is going to be pennies on the dollar compared to your CR!!!

--------------------------------

My comments: All I can say is... up until I bought and uncorked my BRP and dualsported it, the CR was my favorite bike I ever owned. :cry: Now, the BRP holds that place of honor in my heart, mind and soul. :) The BRP is a godsend! :o I just wish Honda would produce a factory dualsport version of the XR650R as the future XR650 dualsport... :lol: A Honda XR650RL perhaps??? ;) Now that, I would buy! Better yet, how about a factory XR680RL :D or XR710RL :D or XR750RL :) or XR1000RL? :D Now I'm dreaming... :D

Bottom line: Oh yeah, last but not least... If you can ride a CR500 very well at all, you can ride a BRP!!! :thumbsup: Go buy one... if you can handle it, that is. :p

  • frankstr

Posted February 18, 2005 - 05:00 AM

#9

All the above pretty much covers it....... :)
I've owned a cr500, great 2 smoke............. :)
I love my BRP, Hides it's weight good,I ride in tite trails and it handles great for me :D :p
The XR line has always been known as a reliable bikes, Keep the oil changed and valves adjusted and ride :D

  • huntmaster

Posted February 18, 2005 - 07:42 AM

#10

Hello, I currently ride a 2001 CR500. I'm considering getting a big thumper. Reliability and horsepower are my two primary goals. I don't really trust the ultra high performance CRF450s and such, and I need more power than an XR-400 puts out..........

MY CR500 is only three years old, to the month. Currently, I'm on the 2nd piston, 2nd rod and 2nd set of bearings. All of which need to be replaced again. Love the power and performance, PO'd at the rebuild frequency.


I have owned both bikes and they each excel in their own way. Neither are exactly tight woods bikes but can do it in a pinch. Depends on what your defination of "technical" is I guess? But they don't exactly compete with each other. The CR is a race bike which can be trail ridden under certain conditions with some setup...and the XR is a trail bike which can be raced under certain conditions, with some setup.

Both have reputations for durability and reliability which I can personally attest to. My 650R has been six years of gas and oil...and a few wear items.
I hardly had to touch my 500 too...a set of rings over a couple years for play riding was it. Not sure why you have had issues? With a borable steel liner and infinate overbores available, no power valves to screw with...it is a very long lived bike and many 20 year old 500's can still be seen running around. Something I doub't we will see with the current generation of MX-based 450's ! :)

  • Old_Man_Time

Posted February 18, 2005 - 09:12 AM

#11

I have owned an XR650R since the first day they hit the showroom floor in our local Honda Shop back in Feb. of 2000. At the time I rode almost exclusively on tight mountain trails with an occasional sand dune adventure. Now I ride it desert a lot in the winter months and I would have to say its about the best all around bike I have ever owned.

It is quite capable of going fast even in the tight stuff, depending on the riders abilities. Although it will work you harder in the tight stuff if your keeping up with the little bikes. On the other hand if your just riding a nice pace but not racing you will be fresh as a daisy while others are beat to death by their light bikes suspension.

It is a bullet proof bike and little ever goes wrong. I spend a lot of money on aftermarket goodies but that is not necassary. I do that with all my bikes.

In the desert it is a dream to ride. Oh, and you do not have to be tall and strong to ride one although it wouldn't hurt. I'm 5' 8 1/2" tall and I do work out which also helps but even when I didn't work out I had fun on the bike.

All I can say is it depends on you as to whether you will be happy with one. Out of all my bikes if I could only keep one (glad I don't have to make that choice) it would be the XR650R. Mainly cause it will still be running 10 or 20 years down the road and the others will require major work to keep running that long (I ride a lot).

  • Husky_Forever

Posted February 18, 2005 - 09:44 AM

#12

Fitness level says it all when working the 650 in tight stuff. I have ridden with guys who are 5'6" to 5'9" and 160-180 lbs. They are in good shape, ride often and throw their bikes around. Even with the IMS 7 gallon tank and Baja lights on the front. Other, bigger guy in less shape are winded in first hour of mountain riding.

Back when Los Anicanos ran the Tecate 250 enduro, I rode with guys who raced CR 500's in enduros. Weighted flywheels, torque pipes and protection made that bike a natural woods and desert bike. They too were in shape. Again, fitness level. In the 70's and 80's when it was the Tecate 500 ( 2 days at 250 miles a day) all we rode were 2 strokes. Again, fitness level dictates how well you hold up.

Make sure you uncork your 650 (BIG Difference), change the carb and replace the right side footpeg before you head out. The 650 has only been out since 2000, so 10 years without a top end job, no one knows. But with small maintenance, you should be able to get 10-15,000 miles out of one like an XR 600. And have more fun riding one than a 600 too. :)





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