It appears the XR650R and XR650L are dead


221 replies to this topic
  • Mikie1

Posted December 14, 2005 - 02:10 PM


OK, Hopefully somebody at Honda is reading this...

Here's my dream replacement for the 650R:

Modify the existing CRF-X, something like this:

100mm bore x 76mm stroke = 597cc
Longer rod, taller cylinder, longer-skirt piston
11:1 compression ratio
Stainless intake valves
Roller Rockers w/ screw-tappet adjusters
6-speed transmission
1.5 qt. engine-side oil capacity, low in frame as mcdrz suggests
200-watt lighting coil
EFI
10,000 +/- RPM limit

The weight added by the 6th gear, bigger crank, taller cylinder, added oil capacity and heavier flywheel would add about 8-10 lbs. Honda should be able to make something like this just as dependable/ long-lived as the current 650R.

I hope that's the direction Honda takes. I'd buy one in a heartbeat!!

  • khelton

Posted December 14, 2005 - 02:16 PM


I'll have 2 please, thank you very much.

( Here is how appealing that bike would be. I am 50years old and my son is 24 years old . We would both buy one. Now, that's pretty broad appeal isn't it ? Add in the fact that you just described a terrific SM motor and you have added another growing market segment)

  • Phuzzy McPhuzzface

Posted December 14, 2005 - 02:27 PM


OK, Hopefully somebody at Honda is reading this...

Here's my dream replacement for the 650R:

Modify the existing CRF-X, something like this:

100mm bore x 76mm stroke = 597cc
Longer rod, taller cylinder, longer-skirt piston
11:1 compression ratio
Stainless intake valves
Roller Rockers w/ screw-tappet adjusters
6-speed transmission
1.5 qt. engine-side oil capacity, low in frame as mcdrz suggests
200-watt lighting coil
EFI
10,000 +/- RPM limit

The weight added by the 6th gear, bigger crank, taller cylinder, added oil capacity and heavier flywheel would add about 8-10 lbs. Honda should be able to make something like this just as dependable/ long-lived as the current 650R.

I hope that's the direction Honda takes. I'd buy one in a heartbeat!!



One more thing.

MSRP of $2999.00US :applause:

  • rmhrc630

Posted December 14, 2005 - 02:57 PM


OK, Hopefully somebody at Honda is reading this...

Here's my dream replacement for the 650R:

Modify the existing CRF-X, something like this:

100mm bore x 76mm stroke = 597cc
Longer rod, taller cylinder, longer-skirt piston
11:1 compression ratio
Stainless intake valves
Roller Rockers w/ screw-tappet adjusters
6-speed transmission
1.5 qt. engine-side oil capacity, low in frame as mcdrz suggests
200-watt lighting coil
EFI
10,000 +/- RPM limit

The weight added by the 6th gear, bigger crank, taller cylinder, added oil capacity and heavier flywheel would add about 8-10 lbs. Honda should be able to make something like this just as dependable/ long-lived as the current 650R.

I hope that's the direction Honda takes. I'd buy one in a heartbeat!!



Great list

I would add:

1. 14 litre tank
2. 2 litre oil capacity
3. USDs with nitride coating. (Basically just bolt on the 04 CRF450R fork and rear suspension as well)
4. Digital speedo.
5. Options packages. An SM version. An ultra stripped US offroad version and an Aussie model road going version.
6. Power outlet so it's GPS ready.

  • khelton

Posted December 14, 2005 - 03:21 PM


I'd like to change my order please, can you make it 3 ?

  • jwriott

Posted December 14, 2005 - 03:34 PM


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 an anemic 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.


I was and still am die hard Honda but have had to look elsewhere because they've sat on their products while other companies have passed them by. About 5 years ago, Yamaha put a serious dent into Honda's sales by building a better "Honda" in almost all markets. From cruisers to sport bikes to quads, Yamaha has been kicking the crap out of Honda. They did it by building innovative, quality bikes with a Honda fit and finish. Honda has not recovered from this beating and every year they are just barely keeping up. The only bikes that are on top are the CRF250's and CRF450's and I'm not buying one with the valve issues. Honda claimed back then they would completely dominate in all these markets and 5 years later, nothing has changed. :applause:

While I agree that they are far from going under and probably never will, they really need to pull their heads out and start producing what their customers want. Otherwise, other companies will continue to pull them their way. A real good start would be to read posts such as this which detail what their customers desire.

  • mcdrz

Posted December 14, 2005 - 03:58 PM


The one thing that I disagree with Khelton about is that Honda does not have to re-ivent the wheel (XR line)...it is timeless in my opinion. However you can't just leave a design as it is year after year (6-10 years at a time w/ the 250/400 and damn near as long w/the 650) and add BNG.

Listen...They don't do it with the CRF-R's (250/450). They change those bikes fairly significantly every year. Just look at the three (3) year development of the CRF250R or the four (4) year development of the CRF450R. Why in the hell would they expect the off road guys to accept only BNG year after year.

If Honda had just made a couple of changes in the right direction every year based upon customer feedback and aftermarket upgrades/purchases...we would have exactly the off-road bikes we wanted.

I don't really hear anybody screaming to dump the XR line (never did). They just want Honda to care about a segment that commands attention and continued development. Hey it absolutely repaid KTM ten fold for their attention to off roaders...it can't be all wrong. Take a look at their designs objectively. Most of those designs have been around for years...they basically had it right to begin with and made it better and continue to do so every year. Honda basically had it right also with the whole XR line...they just forgot about it every year.

Are you guys really telling me that you wouldn't accept and/or go buy an drastically updated version of the XR250/400/650 with the items that we wish for every year and never get???

  • Supplicate

Posted December 14, 2005 - 04:27 PM


Why in the hell would they expect the off road guys to accept only BNG year after year.

Because it meant we didn't have any valve issues that needed taken care of :applause:

  • mcdrz

Posted December 14, 2005 - 04:34 PM


Because it meant we didn't have any valve issues that needed taken care of :applause:


Yeah I guess that is my point...we don't want the reinvented wheel that we have to knock the square edges off of...we want what we have grown to expect...anvil reliability in an thoughtfully updated package. Instead they just say that we can't make it what you want...we need to start over. I call BS...If they had done the right thing it would be much closer, but they didn't...so it really looks like a long way to go.

  • khelton

Posted December 14, 2005 - 04:55 PM


Roger, everything you have said. If nothing else it is going to be a good case study as it unfolds.

I too hope they are reading this forum. It is good feedback from their loyal and knowledgable customers. I know some of the Honda PE people are reading this forum but not sure about the motorcycle people. Hope so.

Dealers pretty well say exactly what you have said. Multiline dealers always knew in the past that their bread and butter was Honda, now many are seeing their unit sales increase for Yamaha and Kawasaki but Honda's decrease. It would not be a good business decision to give up the other lines.


I was and still am die hard Honda but have had to look elsewhere because they've sat on their products while other companies have passed them by. About 5 years ago, Yamaha put a serious dent into Honda's sales by building a better "Honda" in almost all markets. From cruisers to sport bikes to quads, Yamaha has been kicking the crap out of Honda. They did it by building innovative, quality bikes with a Honda fit and finish. Honda has not recovered from this beating and every year they are just barely keeping up. The only bikes that are on top are the CRF250's and CRF450's and I'm not buying one with the valve issues. Honda claimed back then they would completely dominate in all these markets and 5 years later, nothing has changed. :applause:

While I agree that they are far from going under and probably never will, they really need to pull their heads out and start producing what their customers want. Otherwise, other companies will continue to pull them their way. A real good start would be to read posts such as this which detail what their customers desire.



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  • BWB63

Posted December 14, 2005 - 06:19 PM


Honda "Die hard Honda" Loyalty starts to change when you go on the big Jawbone, Mohave, DEep Canyon ride and you see the same rider on the same KTM 525 for a years; ride after ride, running his bike into the ground, keeping up with the best of the XR650R riders and never having a problem. Down at the Baja 250 I traded bikes with one and was able to fly through the big whoops on that KTM 525....sure I got tired much quicker and as I got tired the bike got twitchy but, some of that could be fixed with the same stuff I put on my bike and changing the rake. Point is there are real nice bikes out there and Honda can only rely on "Die hard Honda riders" for so long and then they will go and buy the better bike. I ride a lot of different bikes and the XR650R is the best long run, lots of torque bike I have but, it's not the most fun. Some of the most fun??? CR500, CRF450R, CR250, KTM 525 MXC, WR450, Husaburg 650 to name a few I have had a lot of fun on.

  • jwriott

Posted December 14, 2005 - 06:26 PM


Roger, everything you have said. If nothing else it is going to be a good case study as it unfolds.

I too hope they are reading this forum. It is good feedback from their loyal and knowledgable customers. I know some of the Honda PE people are reading this forum but not sure about the motorcycle people. Hope so.

Dealers pretty well say exactly what you have said. Multiline dealers always knew in the past that their bread and butter was Honda, now many are seeing their unit sales increase for Yamaha and Kawasaki but Honda's decrease. It would not be a good business decision to give up the other lines.


The thing that really bums me out is I waited and waited for the CRF450 and instead bought a KTM 300 EXC because of the potential valve issues. It also weighs a ton and is no better bike than the existing KTM 400/450/525 or WR450's. I was expecting at least a lot lighter bike. My dad owns a CRF250X and it is one of the best handling bikes I've ever ridden. Wonder how that bike would feel with a XR440 engine, pumper carb and the same weight at the 250?

I sold my Vmax hoping that the VTX1800 would be the next hot rod and it's already been smoked by Triumph, Yamaha and Harley's Vrod which is the biggest insult to injury yet. I want a cruiser with the RC51 engine, aluminum frame, fat tire, 150 hp at the rear wheel and under 450 lbs. Instead, they make detuned bikes to mimic Hardley. 1 1/2 years without a cruiser and I'm still waiting but not for a whole lot longer.

Sport bikes are another issue for me. The GSXR1000, R1 and ZX10 pretty much smoke the CBR1000RR in all catagories. Where's the incentive to sell my trusty CBR900RR? Again if they don't figure it out soon, I'll have a new R1 in the garage.

  • khelton

Posted December 14, 2005 - 06:49 PM


The thing that really bums me out is I waited and waited for the CRF450 and instead bought a KTM 300 EXC because of the potential valve issues. It also weighs a ton and is no better bike than the existing KTM 400/450/525 or WR450's. I was expecting at least a lot lighter bike. My dad owns a CRF250X and it is one of the best handling bikes I've ever ridden. Wonder how that bike would feel with a XR440 engine, pumper carb and the same weight at the 250?

I sold my Vmax hoping that the VTX1800 would be the next hot rod and it's already been smoked by Triumph, Yamaha and Harley's Vrod which is the biggest insult to injury yet. I want a cruiser with the RC51 engine, aluminum frame, fat tire, 150 hp at the rear wheel and under 450 lbs. Instead, they make detuned bikes to mimic Hardley. 1 1/2 years without a cruiser and I'm still waiting but not for a whole lot longer.

Sport bikes are another issue for me. The GSXR1000, R1 and ZX10 pretty much smoke the CBR1000RR in all catagories. Where's the incentive to sell my trusty CBR900RR? Again if they don't figure it out soon, I'll have a new R1 in the garage.


I agree...and glad someone is admitting the CRF is a very good bike just needs the valves replaced and a cuppla other things. Honda does deserve a little credit.

Not much of a cruiser type here but certainly did not enjoy riding the VTX 1800, very disappointed. Motor pulled very strong and then just signed off w/no warning. Suspension was the worst part. You have some exotic tastes in cruisers.

I refused to trade in my 929 too, was too good a bike, couldn't kill it and nothing that came out was significantly better. Had good offers to trade up but no reason to..the 929 was a great bike, stayed competitive, was bulletproof ( to Honda's credit) and nothing new was really better.

  • BWB63

Posted December 14, 2005 - 07:17 PM


If you get a chance try the ST1300. It will stand straight up to 60mpg and is major stable. The CHP is replacing the BMW RT1150 with it. YOu can stand on the pegs at 80mph never touch the bars. I like it a lot. Not as much fun as the GIX'r1000 but, it is way more cumfy then the cruiser. I did an 834 mile Cali coast trip with my wife in June and it was a dream. It was a better ride them my Goldwing was....well more fun.

Posted Image

  • Jayzonk

Posted December 14, 2005 - 07:35 PM


I'm not sure what to think here, other than it looks like Honda knows how to kill something. They don't throw good money after bad, so I suspect they'll ditch the XR (sob) and leave that small segment to the Germans/Austrians/Swedes.
KTM, Husky, et al seem more apt to use high end parts from other manufacturers (Ohlins). Yamaha is also doing this on its high end R1 special edition, but I don't think Honda is ready to make that move. They want to use in-house parts, and the companies in their regular supply chain. So if they don't think they'll sell a new Baja-type XR in major quantities, I don't think they'll do it. I almost think that they're going to sit out of the market for a year or two and see how things shape up, then look at re-entering.
If Honda is gone, what are the best alternatives for a Baja-winning bike (I'll never be that, but at least I can go through the motions):
1. Husaberg 650E?
2. Husqvarna TE610?
3. KTM 525-EXC? (Note: the website says this model is not available in the US. Looks like a pretty mean bike to me - almost Baja ready, except for the 13l tank - still not big enough!)

  • Jayzonk

Posted December 14, 2005 - 07:39 PM


I agree...and glad someone is admitting the CRF is a very good bike just needs the valves replaced and a cuppla other things. Honda does deserve a little credit.

Not much of a cruiser type here but certainly did not enjoy riding the VTX 1800, very disappointed. Motor pulled very strong and then just signed off w/no warning. Suspension was the worst part. You have some exotic tastes in cruisers.

I refused to trade in my 929 too, was too good a bike, couldn't kill it and nothing that came out was significantly better. Had good offers to trade up but no reason to..the 929 was a great bike, stayed competitive, was bulletproof ( to Honda's credit) and nothing new was really better.


I hear ya on the sportbike thing. The power is one thing, and the bike-as-a-piece-of-art is another. The R1 is just plain fast and just plain beautiful. Honda just doesn't have that approach to power or style. Not sure why they can't be stylistic in cars or bikes. I can understand ridability of the bike, though (power).

  • khelton

Posted December 14, 2005 - 07:49 PM


I hear ya on the sportbike thing. The power is one thing, and the bike-as-a-piece-of-art is another. The R1 is just plain fast and just plain beautiful. Honda just doesn't have that approach to power or style. Not sure why they can't be stylistic in cars or bikes. I can understand ridability of the bike, though (power).


Yeah, that sure seems right. At one time Honda said they were an engine company which was smart in that opened them up to any market that required an engine, didn't limit their philosphy to just motorcycles or cars. It gave them all sorts of opportuities. But... engineers are rarely good stylists or marketing types. The product is well engineered but just slightly behind in style in a lotta respects. I think the Rune is an example of that..but again, that's just my worthless .01

  • Supplicate

Posted December 14, 2005 - 07:56 PM


engineers are rarely good stylists or marketing types.

I gues I'm an engineer type then. I would rather have an ugly bike that ran strong and long then some garage queen that looks good but you can't trust beyond your driveway.


edit:

but my next bike will most likely be a KTM. mmmm... 300 EXC...

  • khelton

Posted December 14, 2005 - 08:01 PM


I'm not sure what to think here, other than it looks like Honda knows how to kill something. They don't throw good money after bad, so I suspect they'll ditch the XR (sob) and leave that small segment to the Germans/Austrians/Swedes.
KTM, Husky, et al seem more apt to use high end parts from other manufacturers (Ohlins). Yamaha is also doing this on its high end R1 special edition, but I don't think Honda is ready to make that move. They want to use in-house parts, and the companies in their regular supply chain. So if they don't think they'll sell a new Baja-type XR in major quantities, I don't think they'll do it. I almost think that they're going to sit out of the market for a year or two and see how things shape up, then look at re-entering.
If Honda is gone, what are the best alternatives for a Baja-winning bike (I'll never be that, but at least I can go through the motions):
1. Husaberg 650E?
2. Husqvarna TE610?
3. KTM 525-EXC? (Note: the website says this model is not available in the US. Looks like a pretty mean bike to me - almost Baja ready, except for the 13l tank - still not big enough!)


In my absolutely valueless opinion, I don't think Honda will allow themselves to be run out of any segment of the market that they have any interest in. That includes dualsports. ( They don't right now have any interest in the adventure market as it appears) They get a lot of great PR out of winning the Baja 1000 every year. Last year with the fiasco in AMA superbike and less than stellar results in MotoGP, they did not have a lot of headlines . Winning Baja was pretty valuable in such a winless year. Yamaha kicked their butts in MotoGp, mercilessly, and Matt Mladin / Suzuki kicked their posteriors in AMA Superbike, I believe their best placing was a 4th by Miguel Duhamel..their best. They needed the win in Baja badly and got the centerpage CycleNews spread out of it. What wins on Sunday sells on Mondays..or so the theory goes.

  • rmhrc630

Posted December 14, 2005 - 08:22 PM


I gues I'm an engineer type then. I would rather have an ugly bike that ran strong and long then some garage queen that looks good but you can't trust beyond your driveway.


edit:

but my next bike will most likely be a KTM. mmmm... 300 EXC...



yeah but supplicate I'd argue that Honda does occassionally get styling right - look at the 1990 - 2000 model XR600R. It was and still is a beautiful bike.

It had smooth lines and was a great looking bike.

Good design is timeless.

However the italians di it best - witness the tamborini designed 916/996/998 family of dukes - sex on wheels IMHO





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