650R, 650L, or 450x??

45 replies to this topic
  • Dagwood_55

Posted August 28, 2005 - 05:44 AM


I will be 50 YO next week and been off bikes for 10 years or so. But wanting to get back in, Been lurking and reading everthing here and on the CRFonly site. Last dirt bike was a 650L. Wish I'd never sold it but....

I live 20 miles from the National Forest where there is unlimited fire road rideing, You can ride for days on Forest Service roads then hit the county road and ride home without going into a town. I usually ride from the house, but plates are not important, but lites are.. I'm not all that aggressive a rider as I used to be, but power is fun!

I know what a 650L is and is like, nothing wrong with it at all, but after reading about you guys that have a R, the extra power would be nice..

But then I read about the guys riding the 450x and how well they handle and don't get as tired and being able to pick around, then hit the fire road. But the extra maintance has me a little concerned.

Anyone own or ride all of the above?? Might be able to give me a first hand account of the diff??

  • frankstr

Posted August 28, 2005 - 06:13 AM


I've had a "L" before and now have a "R" and would not trade it for anything else for what I do... :D :D
The XR class is cheaper and easier to maintain then the CRF IMO........ :D
I'm sure you'll get some other ideas and thoughts on the subject..
There all great bikes, Oh yea, It pretty easy to upgrade the "R"s headlite.. :eek:

  • huntmaster

Posted August 28, 2005 - 07:05 AM


You forgot to mention a CBR600RR and a trials bike! he he.
Seriously, if you liked the "L" before and it fit your needs you may still be happy with one. However it is a dualsport bike with some off-road ability where the others are pure dirt bikes with some road abilities. But if as you say you have no requirement for a street plate, you may want to consider one of the others which are far more dirt capable and higher performance machines.

Between them the advantage goes to the 450X for light weight, happy button and technical/tight trail capabilities. Similarly, the 650R is better for open country, road capability and no doubt durability and easier maintenance.

They're all good bikes at what they do best. It comes down to what you want to do with it. :D

  • roadcam

Posted August 28, 2005 - 06:06 PM


the 'L' has more than enough power for most dual-sport riders ... gobs of torque ... good lighting, a Silvania Silver Star headlamp gives almost twice the brightness, at the same wattage draw, ... a cheap ($30) lighting upgrade

  • wr450fyamaha

Posted August 28, 2005 - 06:21 PM


well, if you are 50 you may want a lighter bike such as a drz400.......u will feel it the next day after throwing around 350 pounds of xr650l fury........ i prefer the xr650l to the r because there is no fancy water cooling....cant crack a radiator cuz it aint got one. the l just seems like the more reliable bike and that it will last longer....plus if u buy a l you know it hasnt been raced cuz it is in no way a race bike where as a r may have been raced......the seat is also way more comfortable on the l.

  • Jayzonk

Posted August 28, 2005 - 08:30 PM


Dude, I have an L. I do some trailriding, and I find it more than adequate. If you're being pretty casual about your offroading, then the L is great. I like the fact that the bike is ready to go, right out of the box - no mods required to just get out and ride.
And that's all I'm sayin'..... outta here!

  • hondaracer47

Posted August 28, 2005 - 10:03 PM


I work in the parts department at a honda shop. All of the above replies are absolutely true, all three are killer bikes. I would say that if you dont need the street capiblities, look past the L. It is a great bike as far as reliability goes, but the suspension is really old technology, and it has a smaller motor than the 650R but doesn't really lack power, until you try riding an R. Between the 650R and the 450X, I would say that you would probably be happier with the 450X. It has a little more maintance, but it is significantly lighter, has the E start button (lots easier than kicking the 650R on a steep hill, or after a long ride or fall). Also, most of the issues I have come across with any of the CRF moto bikes is that the valves need to be adjusted more often, and California (where I am from) is having the most problems with this, partly because our gas sucks compared to everyone else. I have run race gas in my 2004 CRF250R for the last year and a half and only had to adjust the valves once. However, your best bet is going to be going down to your local Honda dealer and sitting on all the bikes and seeing which one is most comfortable to you. Good luck with your search, and ride safe.

  • Triumphs

Posted August 29, 2005 - 07:21 AM


Just remember that some people are so eager to recommend THEIR bikes based on their requirements that your own can get overlooked.

As noted, all these bikes do certain things very well. ..but what are YOU doing with it? Ask yourself:

A) Do I need a street legal bike and
:D How technical is the off-road riding I'm doing
C) How much maintenance can I perform?

One of the bikes will become obvious! A Yamaha WR. he he. :D

Good luck.

  • qadsan

Posted August 29, 2005 - 08:09 AM


Yeah, don't forget to look at the Yamaha WR450F as it's a very reliable fun bike. If you're set on getting a Honda, then the 450X is certainly worth a second look. The 650r is awesome in the desert and loves fire roads, but the 450x or 450F will be more nimble in the woods and through singletrack. If you're going to spend more time on the pavement than off the road, then give a good look at the 650L.

  • khelton

Posted August 29, 2005 - 08:54 AM


I have both the L and the R, after getting the R, I never get on the L, ( I mean never too). I Save it for "friends" or visitors to ride. I am also over 50 yrs old. Part of it will depend on how aggresive you want to ride. If you prefer to just plonk around and just see the sights, the L is fine, If you really want to ride more aggressively, go with the R.

Now, If the 450X is as much improved as the R over the L, get the 450X.

As another said, also depends on whether you need a street legal bike, my R is street legal and I have never had a bike I enjoy more. ( R or wife ? I sure would miss her)

Good luck.

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  • blueridge

Posted August 29, 2005 - 10:53 AM


Don't buy new, cause you'll be buying the CRF600/X when it comes out in '07. <g>

  • Triumphs

Posted August 29, 2005 - 11:24 AM


'07 eh? Can we hold you to that? :D

Don't buy new, cause you'll be buying the CRF600/X when it comes out in '07. <g>

  • blueridge

Posted August 29, 2005 - 05:58 PM


the <g> means it's a rumor. You know Honda. September of every year. 1 year to go.

  • wr450fyamaha

Posted August 29, 2005 - 06:43 PM


i myself am an L rider and i would never stear a 50 year old to it. my dad is 46 and he wouldnt be able to throw it around for more than a half an hour b 4 he would just pass out and complain about it for the next month. i would reccomend a drz400s or a similar bike.....light and tame but a good smooth ride with power when and where you need it.

  • roadcam

Posted August 30, 2005 - 07:21 AM


your old man needs to get into shape, then ... Im 53, crippled with two knees full of arthritis, ZERO cartilage left, 3 shoulder surgeries and a bicep held on with a screw ... cancer took a kidney 3 months ago, and I aint got laid in 6 months (probably the most serious impairment!!) ... my XR650L is a sweet ride for me :D

  • mcd

Posted September 01, 2005 - 08:18 PM


your old man needs to get into shape, then ... Im 53, crippled with two knees full of arthritis, ZERO cartilage left, 3 shoulder surgeries and a bicep held on with a screw ... cancer took a kidney 3 months ago, and I aint got laid in 6 months (probably the most serious impairment!!) ... my XR650L is a sweet ride for me :D

Swap yer L for an R or an X and you might get laid!!! Good Luck and ride happy!

  • Toolmaker

Posted September 02, 2005 - 05:21 AM


Roadcam , is your nickname Lucky ?

  • roadcam

Posted September 02, 2005 - 07:10 AM


nahh, my nicknames "Crash", or "Klutz" ... :D

  • lrutt

Posted September 02, 2005 - 08:16 AM


From the type of riding he describes, blasting down fire roads and trails does not sound like a stretch for the L. I'm 49, have an L, and don't understand all the paranoia. I'm not that big either.

What I think is more important is the magic button. While I could always kick start my ole Yamaha flat tracker 500, it could become a lot of work. That button my my L is great.

I would heartily recommend the L. The suspension is more than adquate for the type of riding he describes.

  • Moredesert

Posted September 02, 2005 - 11:30 AM


I'm 48 and I desert race a DRZ436. I ride the XR650R when ever I go to Baja or a dual sport ride. The 650R is light years ahead of the "L" and if you can get it dual sported and can still kick a pig over I would go with the "R". If your a little out of shape or can't kick start your bike easy with out braking a sweet you might think about the DRZ400S. The old air cooled bikes like the "L" and the XR600 were great machines in there day. The difference I see with my two bikes is I sit on the DRZ and I sit in the XR. The water cooled bikes last longer but are not as bullet proof as the air cooled bikes. As far as the 450X it looks sweet at 250 lbs but I haven't had a chance to ride one yet.

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