It appears the XR650R and XR650L are dead


221 replies to this topic
  • Jayzonk

Posted December 11, 2005 - 09:19 PM


We need actual numbers. I had accumulated some from various corporate and industry websites, but I couldn't find very much on dual sports. The stats are mainly broken down by engine size, so it's hard to predict trends. You'd probably need to buy some consulting report from a consulting company to get the right info.

  • ThunderChicken

Posted December 12, 2005 - 10:09 AM


2/3rds of honda's full time perm. employees are 7 years or less from retirement.

you guys can figure the rest out.

  • ThunderChicken

Posted December 12, 2005 - 10:10 AM


and the rest are a bunch of temps...

  • khelton

Posted December 12, 2005 - 11:01 AM


Do not count Honda out, they are a first class company and run by first class people and frankly with an exceptional corportate ethic. Like any company that expects to make a profit , and most Japanese companies, they monitor headcount. The end result is that temps get hired on once they have proven themsleves and the best get hired first. IMHO, At Honda, an employment candidate has to do more than just BS his/her way through a 15 minute interview. People work at Honda for a llllooonnnggg time, something must be right.

  • rmhrc630

Posted December 12, 2005 - 12:40 PM


Gee i hope you guys are right about Honda

They have made some big mistakes and misread the market.

  • khelton

Posted December 12, 2005 - 01:06 PM


You are right RMHRC, IMHO they are short term mistakes...you can never count Honda out....they have made some mistakes in the past, every company does, but they will be back and in every single category. Even though they have made several short term and personnel mistakes, they can not stand to lose in any form or market.

  • mikekay

Posted December 12, 2005 - 09:21 PM


Years ago Honda was a lean and mean upstart with spit and vinegar engineers and managers--that was the combo that brought out great bikes (and then cars) in the '70's and '80's-

BUT-sometime in the '90's Honda became a marketing leader--and not a manufacturing leader. yeah they have the CRF450r. But thats it. The rest of their product line is not up to the competition. Only great marketing has allowed Honda to get by.

My take is that like so so so many corporations Honda is now slow to react, entrenched and fractured inside. They are way to big. Once the upstart with attitude, now Honda is the brick and mortar, old guard, stagnant and un-focused monolith.

One department dontates to the Sierra Club, another makes boat engines, another generators and lawn mowers...its a confused old man who is getting whacked by the nimble upstart KTM and Husqvarna and doenst know what to do.

Looks to me like 1968 alll over again when BSA and Triumph where over run by light fast cheap jap bikes from out of nowhere...except this time its Honda who is taking it.

Been to a KTM dealer lately? Unreal what they have to offer. Husqvarna's are all street legal! The new 450 yamaha and kawasaki are snipping at the heels of the CRF450r.

The dirt bike part of Honda looks to me like a sick old man.

  • XR6's_rule

Posted December 12, 2005 - 10:39 PM


I have to agree with Mike Kay, think back ten years ago (if you can that far!). Honda were fairly well on top of every sector in the motorcycle industry. Think XR600R/XR250R/XR250L/XR650L in the enduro category, they were absolutely sweeping the decks clean. Although in Australia we didnt have the XR650L/250L's the XR-R models were dominating the market. For example, Honda Australia were moving around five times the XR600R units than its nearest competitior of the time- the TT600 Yamaha. The CBR's were in a class of their own for performance sportsbikes.

Something corporate in my opinion defintely happened since this time for Honda to be caught and passed in the main sectors of the market. They have been too happy to "rest on their laurels" while KTM (dirt bike sector) and a hard charging Yamaha have released some stunning new models. Maybe Honda aren't taking their customers seriously and think that we the buyers will cop whatever gets "dished out".

Unfortunately, in this day and age the average rider has many choices and is not as brand loyal as he/she once was (especially Honda ones!). They will readily change brands and sometimes never look back. Now, the best overall product generally gets the best sales.

  • khelton

Posted December 13, 2005 - 05:24 AM


Gentlemen, Honda is behind in this one small segment and is unfortunately losing some marketshare, To predict their demise is very premature. You are talking about ( and I don't work for them), the most profitable automotive company in the world ( as in profits as per cent of revenue) and still the market leader in motorcycles. They are behind in their new models. they virtually admitted it at the dealer convention this year and also promised very big things in the coming 2 years. They have always, always, come through. In the 80's Yamaha challenged Honda, said they were going to become the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, Honda would not allow it. The ensuing manufacturing war almost brought the industry to it's knees but hurt the challengers much worse than Honda....and..look who is still number 1 ?

I agree and think it is a shame that they have fallen behind in the segment that we enjoy so much but do not count Honda out, they are a heck of a machine and they have always come back. My money is on Honda. I know the people, their competitiveness and their determination...they will be back with a vengeance.

Old and slow may apply to other stoic companies, that does not describe Honda nor their people...aggressive, competitive, they will not lose for long.

  • huntmaster

Posted December 13, 2005 - 07:03 AM


The dirt bike part of Honda looks to me like a sick old man.

Unfortunately, the marketing types would disagree... as "dirt bikes" and "motocross" are interchangeable words to them and they would quickly point you to the successful (sales and racing) CRF MX line as evidence of off-road strength! Trail and enduro bikes seem to be small potatoes to the big Japanese manufacturers...and why not, as they are happy to sell 80% of their (way too loud) CRF450R's for non-MX and recreational use while leaving resource strapped local clubs, AMA and users to deal with the consquences and land use issues...unwilling to deal with opponents themselves in fear of not appearing "green"! A nice little arrangement for them...but ultimately not sustainable!

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

Posted December 13, 2005 - 07:27 AM


Here is the bad part, like many of the rest of you and virtually all of my friends who ride Honda's, I am very loyal to Honda, own 5 Honda's now..but..my next purchase , this month, will be a Husaberg. My riding partners most recent purchases are KTM, KTM, BMW and Husky...and we have been very loyal to the Honda brand.

  • jethro3645

Posted December 13, 2005 - 08:02 AM


I own a 2002 XR650R and love it, but also upgrading to a Husqvarna TE510,
it is hard to beat e-start, and lose about 30lbs.

  • Zapp22

Posted December 14, 2005 - 06:54 AM


Years ago Honda was a lean and mean upstart with spit and vinegar engineers and managers--that was the combo that brought out great bikes (and then cars) in the '70's and '80's-

Been to a KTM dealer lately? Unreal what they have to offer. Husqvarna's are all street legal! The new 450 yamaha and kawasaki are snipping at the heels of the CRF450r.

The dirt bike part of Honda looks to me like a sick old man.


Can't find a KTM dealer! everyone gave up on the company. too difficult to work with, from what the dealers tell me. nothing is more stodgy and slow to react that a German industrial, but the owner feedback on KTM is pretty positive.... if they enjoy doing their own wrench work. if it were not for the weight and vibrations I would have a 640.

i am afraid you guys are right about the company, though. I followed cruisers for years and think honda has the right financing and the wrong products from stem to stern. I love the XR650R I have but you gotta admit it is unusual [and obsolete now]. nothing else I see there interests me except maybe dualsporting a CRF450. My V-strom is a better streetbike than anything they have in a "standard" [they don't even attempt "Adventure"]. Suzuki's 06 RM450 is a snarling beast from what I read. If aprilia could get their USA support right, they got the products coming [not that the current ones are lousy]. they're innovators.

yep, someone will out-Honda Honda, just like Honda did it to others back in the day
z

  • khelton

Posted December 14, 2005 - 07:33 AM


Zapp22 - Good points. Honda is going to take some hits, already are and probably for at least one more year. But they will be back, always have been. In the meantime, we are left to make our purchase decisons. Some of the things you say are mirrored by what Honda's own employees say confidentially. Still, they will be back.

  • huntmaster

Posted December 14, 2005 - 09:18 AM


it is hard to beat e-start, and lose about 30lbs.

Yep. Hopefully that's what the new CRF600X will be all about... with the added benefit of an actual dealer within 100 miles!

  • craft

Posted December 14, 2005 - 09:58 AM


Can't find a KTM dealer! everyone gave up on the company. too difficult to work with, from what the dealers tell me. nothing is more stodgy and slow to react that a German industrial...
z


Where are you looking? The only major market in Texas without one is San Antonio...The german occupation ended in '45; so, they're Austrian. :applause:

  • scooby33sup

Posted December 14, 2005 - 10:20 AM


I haven't read the entire 14 pages of stuff on the demise of the XR650L but what do you make of this.
http://powersports.h...ModelId=XR650L6

  • thumpasaurus

Posted December 14, 2005 - 10:54 AM


I haven't read the entire 14 pages of stuff on the demise of the XR650L but what do you make of this.
http://powersports.h...ModelId=XR650L6


That's the gist of this thread: '06 appearst to be the last year of the XR line. Wondering what the future holds with re: to Honda and enduro/trail bikes..

  • mcdrz

Posted December 14, 2005 - 11:01 AM


I don't think that Honda will disappoint us here. I think they will follow their recent pattern and produce a CRF600-650X boutique bike that will switch their market share from motorcycles to parts distributors, just like they did with the introduction of the 250/450X's. I have every belief that Honda will make an aluminum perimeter framed, water cooled, Uni-Cam 6?? bike w/Ti valves and a 13,500 rpm ceiling, and low oil/fuel capacity to continue their switch over to Honda OEM parts distribution centers.

If they wanted to stay in the bike sales forefront they would have updated the XR 250, XR 400, and XR650 with the technology to keep it on par and keep selling. They could have put a updated Showa suspension, nice rims/hubs, New frame w/aluminum subframe and hydro formed swingarm, updated the anvil reliable but heavy motor slightly (10.5:1 compression, shortened the stroke a little, added a pumper carb, HRC or aftermarket like Cam specs and taken the oil out of the frame and put it low like the new YZ450F, etc) and updated the ergos ala the CRF line. They would have kept their customer base and brand loyalty that they had built over years and years of happy XR customers.

Sigh....

  • khelton

Posted December 14, 2005 - 11:40 AM


Honda builds a model out to it's rightful end an then brings out something totally new, different and better, something that is significantly different from the competition that it will capture people's attention and be reason enough to change brands or purchase another Honda. They will not do like Chevrolet starting with a 265, then a 283, to 327, to 350 to 400. They do things like make a 6 cylinder 250 cc roadrace bike, shake the world up with he first Elsinore, the RC211V, the original XR and the CRF. My guess is they will come out with something unique and different enough to make an impact on the buying public. They are a heck of an engineering company. .

IMVHO, the new engine will share similarities and many parts with the proven CRF. It has been a marketing and racing success. I do think they will increase the oil capacity and utilize a longer lived piston design.



I don't think that Honda will disappoint us here. I think they will follow their recent pattern and produce a CRF600-650X boutique bike that will switch their market share from motorcycles to parts distributors, just like they did with the introduction of the 250/450X's. I have every belief that Honda will make an aluminum perimeter framed, water cooled, Uni-Cam 6?? bike w/Ti valves and a 13,500 rpm ceiling, and low oil/fuel capacity to continue their switch over to Honda OEM parts distribution centers.

If they wanted to stay in the bike sales forefront they would have updated the XR 250, XR 400, and XR650 with the technology to keep it on par and keep selling. They could have put a updated Showa suspension, nice rims/hubs, New frame w/aluminum subframe and hydro formed swingarm, updated the anvil reliable but heavy motor slightly (10.5:1 compression, shortened the stroke a little, added a pumper carb, HRC or aftermarket like Cam specs and taken the oil out of the frame and put it low like the new YZ450F, etc) and updated the ergos ala the CRF line. They would have kept their customer base and brand loyalty that they had built over years and years of happy XR customers.

Sigh....







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