Thinking of going red

11 replies to this topic
  • xti

Posted July 16, 2005 - 09:22 AM


I am looking for a nice dual sport that will be a worthy companion on road as well as off. The XR650L has caught my attention for it's bullet proof design.
The other option would be to get a XR400 and dual sport it but I kind of have my heart set on the magic button. The first thing I would get rid off is the stock black pipe and muffler and replace it with a nice stainless or aluminum set up. This would greatly improve the look of the XR650L.

When it comes to factory dual sports there is just not much to choose from these day. When I was a young boy I had a paper route and one of my customers was the local Yamaha dealer. I remember getting the brochures and just looking at them for hours. It was all a mute point since my parents would never allow me to have a trail bike anyways. In the early 70s every enduro bike came street legal. It's a real shame that our choices have become so limited today unlike Europe which still have many more options then we do.

  • Jayzonk

Posted July 16, 2005 - 07:24 PM


Check with BWB63 on this: if you change your pipe without rejetting your carb and taking off the pollution control equipment, you'll likely burn a hole through your rear fender. I've seen a bike with the burnt fender!!

  • frankstr

Posted July 16, 2005 - 07:29 PM


Great choice...Red....Welcome to TT, xti......... :applause:

  • goblin127

Posted July 16, 2005 - 07:46 PM


You cant go wrong with that choice. Do the carb mods with the smog removal and you might be happy with out the pipe.

  • tjnsr

Posted July 17, 2005 - 07:11 AM


Welcome xti,
Here's my opinion:
The xr650l is a good choice for dual sport, I have a 99 and love it. One thing to be aware of is it's weight, they don't call it a BRP (big red pig) for nothin'.

There is around a hundred pound weight difference between the xr400 and the BRP, so check into it. The weight is really an asset on the street, but off road in the tight stuff it becomes more noticable.

If you are going to be doing near equal portions of dirt and road, the BRP is the way to go. If you will be doing mostly dirt with very little road, you might be better off with a dual sported dirt bike, drz400, xr400, etc...

Then there's the 650r, a little lighter than the 650l (not by much), much more powerful, still a chore in the tight stuff but easier than the L. If your brand of off road involves wide open desert stuff, it is THE bike I'm told.

  • xti

Posted July 17, 2005 - 12:46 PM


There is an 2002 XR650R in the local paper. This bike is supposdly immaculate with low hours. The guy who owns it bought it from a mechanic in CA who basically did every mod imaginable and wanted to use it for single track. He ended up selling this and bought a 450 KTM. The mods include performance exhaust system with taped header, jets, airbox, pollution control stuff removed and Renthal bar.

The current owner was going to dual sport it and ended up putting some DOT dunlop tires on it and that is as far as he got. He is getting married and buying a house. Asking price is $4300 or OBO. My intent would be to fully dual sport and make it a back road fire road type of bike. From what I have read this bike would be well suited for that purpose.

I think the guy has not had any calls on it and really wants to sell it. What do you all think would be a resonable offer?

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  • tjnsr

Posted July 17, 2005 - 01:18 PM


You are going to need a kit to dual sport it.
Check with Baja Designs at for pricing on their dual sport kit. They aren't cheap. I think they are around $450.
You're going to have to factor that into the final price.

I'm thinking if you a little patient, you might find one already dual sported for what the paper guy is asking.

What percent of on vs. off road are you planning?

  • xti

Posted July 17, 2005 - 01:54 PM


Thanks for the great advice. My riding will be around 75% Paved back roads / 20% Logging Gravel roads / 5% Highway.

I really would like that magic button of the L. :applause: Is the performance difference between the L and the R something I would would really notice that much for the type of riding I will be using the bike for?

  • goblin127

Posted July 17, 2005 - 02:16 PM


From what you have just said the L is the one. Just make sure you have long leggs.

  • tjnsr

Posted July 17, 2005 - 05:01 PM


Thanks for the great advice. My riding will be around 75% Paved back roads / 20% Logging Gravel roads / 5% Highway.

I really would like that magic button of the L. :eek: Is the performance difference between the L and the R something I would would really notice that much for the type of riding I will be using the bike for?

If you are going to race Baja, you would notice the difference, for everything else, no.

If you decide on the L, search the Honda 650 forum for "XR650L Dave's Mods." It is the best (and cheapest) way to squeeze more power out of the L without compromising reliablity. Mine was stock when I got it and after I did the mods, it felt like a different bike. Way more midrange and top end power. :applause:

  • Jayzonk

Posted July 17, 2005 - 08:17 PM


i think that's a pretty fair assessment too. You're better off spending the money on a few mods to pump up the jam a bit, rather than spending it on getting it street legal. It's a major pain in the axx. Spend your time riding instead! I've got an L, and I love driving it, and I don't spend any time worrying about whether I bought the right one or not. Once you get on it, you'll love it.

  • tjnsr

Posted July 18, 2005 - 08:25 AM


Jay, I see you have an '05...sweet.
I was recently drooling over a new one at the Honda dealer. Mine's a 1999. Hard to justify repalcing her when the old girl runs so strong. 16k miles and she still feels better than new. :applause: :) :eek: :p

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