R or L best for Street Motard Conversion


23 replies to this topic
  • ESM

Posted January 25, 2006 - 01:09 AM

#1

I want to convert an L or R into a fun motard street commuter/trouble maker. I've ridden a GSXR 750 for a year, and now want something that is less prone to “accidentally” hitting 140mph so easily, before I end up in jail or in the ground; and is just as or more fun.

My main concerns are
#1 Reliability
#2 Low maintenance
#3 Potential "Fun Factor"
#4 Of course cost.

My commute is about 13 miles on country roads, followed by 15 miles of interstate that is prone to major traffic jams, and then 8 miles of residential area. I also want to be able to jump on it and ride three hours twice a weekend without feeling like my butt has been reamed.

I think for the R all I would need to do is a trickdualsport kit, uncork it, bigger fuel tank, and sportsman’s size tires for now; and for the L sportsman’s tires, a bigger fuel tank, and uncorking it. Later I’ll pick up 17”ers and a bigger front disc, or is a bigger front disc necessary on these bikes for street use?

How many miles can one get out these bikes before they’re toast, and how often does maintenance need to be performed?

Sorry guys, no dreams of the Baja 1000.


I did read this thread: http://www.thumperta...ighlight=versus
which was more of a argument about who was the biggest idiot, and was hoping for something a bit more productive....

Thanks,
Eric

  • ESM

Posted January 25, 2006 - 01:17 AM

#2

Oh, and I'm 6'4" 190lbs... Suspension mods neccesary?

  • TimBrp

Posted January 25, 2006 - 04:25 AM

#3

The R is a much more capable supermoto bike. Weight, power etc. it's all there. Realibility is just as good as a 650L, IMO. THe suspension will need to be revalved just a tad. 10.0kg rear spring and I 'think' .44kg fork springs.

  • khelton

Posted January 25, 2006 - 05:22 AM

#4

Less maintenance on the L, much better performance on the R, much better..since you have been riding a pretty aggressive sportbike, I doubt you would be satisfied with the L for long. Don't forget though that some states may cause you a problem when trying to make it street legal.

  • mgs781

Posted January 25, 2006 - 06:33 AM

#5

L all the way :thumbsup:

Honestly, the performance can be made similar. How much do you want to spend, SM conversions aren't cheap. I'm never more than bike length behind the R. Again it is rider dependent.

If you are looking for real performance, neither hold a candle to current KTM, Husky, or Husaberg big bores.

http://www.thumperta...tachmentid=8187

MGS

  • wickedsprint

Posted January 25, 2006 - 06:34 AM

#6

If you plan on lots of extended slow going in traffic you might consider a cooling fan for the Rs radiators.

  • wickedsprint

Posted January 25, 2006 - 06:38 AM

#7

L all the way :thumbsup:

Honestly, the performance can be made similar.

If you are looking for real performance, neither hold a candle to current KTM, Husky, or Husaberg big bores.

http://www.thumperta...tachmentid=8187

MGS



Maybe, but not without taking the motor apart, and anything you can do to a 650L you can do to an R as far as engine mods are concerned.

  • rkuckkahn

Posted January 25, 2006 - 08:31 AM

#8

There's really not a lot of difference IMO, both have their plus/minus.

I have an L in part because my state absolutely did not allow the R to be converted (language on R title) so go to your MVA and ask someone then get it in writing. I've heard some long sad stories about not getting the R registered.

Like the L because it's simple, low maintenance. Change the oil ever thousand or so miles, at least that's my overkill preference. That's it.......the thing runs like a top and starts, all weather no fail. I love mine even though it's a little heavy for tight trails. I commute on local and short highway stretch all the time, love the mpg. Mods to get it running right are cheap and simple: air intake, carb, smog removal. Tons of forum help to get you there. I'm 200 lbs and wouldn't want additional acceleration or speed. Stock suspension, firmed up, works great for me. I look back at my same decision and it was simple.....................L.

  • XR650L_Dave

Posted January 25, 2006 - 08:49 AM

#9

R is lighter, and has more power, will be faster.
Not sure what pipple mean when they say the L has less maint. required.

Comes down to does the R cost something extra in time, effort, $$, and is the extra performance you get out of the bike worth that extra effort/time/$$.

Now, if you were talking a tight-single-track/rock-crawler dualsport, I could steer you towrds the L...

-Dave

  • HawkGT

Posted January 25, 2006 - 09:22 AM

#10

You don't sound all that different from me. I was forced to give up street riding a few years ago. :thumbsup: A dual sport has been a safe (i.e. mostly legal) way for me to re-enter the roadgoing motorcyclist lifestyle.

I pondered the L vs R situation and decided the L was just too ho-hum for my taste. I'm very happy with my choice. For street riding, I couldn't stand giving up ANY performance than what the R offers. It's quite adaquate, but no less for me; thank you very much.

Forget about the kick vs. electric start. Once you figure out how to start an R, and it's jetted correctly, it is EASY to start (even cold). Starting is a non-issue.

Longer-haul comfort might be the one area were the R gives some up to the L, but I'd do your commute on my R. Just be prepared to feel a little more beat up after a ride compared to your GSXR. It's the lack of windprotection that really gets to me but I suppose the L is no better in that department. I'd bet with a gearing change, handlebar weights, and maybe even an aftermarket seat (if you wanted to go that far) you'll find the R to be just fine. I've found my R to be acceptable without any of those things.

hope that helps

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  • TimBrp

Posted January 25, 2006 - 09:40 AM

#11

Forget about the kick vs. electric start. Once you figure out how to start an R, and it's jetted correctly, it is EASY to start (even cold). Starting is a non-issue.


I couldn't agree more Hawk. If you look at alot of the GNCC races who are the guys still sitting on the line when the others dash off...? The E-start guys. However, do I loathe for E-start on an offcamber...yes. Otherwise give me my kicker(it keeps my leg in shape).

Dave- I can't see how the L would be better for tight rock crawling singletrac unless of course your suspension is beat and the seat height is closer to the ground. Otherwise the R is the clear choice for all offroading, performance wise.

  • ESM

Posted January 25, 2006 - 09:51 AM

#12

Thanks for all the input, thus far. :thumbsup:

Handlebar weights, I suppose I'm clueless on this point :bonk: , as in stuffing your bars with lead?

How often are oil changes requireq on each, mileage wise?

At how many miles do they require a rebuild?

Thanks,
Eric

  • TimBrp

Posted January 25, 2006 - 10:10 AM

#13

Rebuilds really depend on how you ride them. Unless a dramatic turn of events it would depend on your maintenance schedule and total RPM you ride at. More RPM=more wear and tear on the motor. I change my oil religiously every 150-200 miles with the filter(I don't see the point in changing the filter, every other oil change). Keep the oil fresh, the airbox/filter clean and the valves up to spec and this bike can last for years without issue.

  • captb

Posted January 25, 2006 - 12:48 PM

#14

If your used to riding 180 mph street bikes the thumpers seem like dogs when you twist the throttle at 80 mph, but at least the R will still pull after 80, my L was done at 80, the less weight the more fun even on the street.

  • 2000 xr650r

Posted January 25, 2006 - 02:06 PM

#15

For me the R was a much cheaper bargain. I bought one that had the conversion kit and was uncorked. Super low miles and sweet. I paid $3000. The reason it was cheaper was because I would not have to do a total overhaul on the L to get the power up to my specs. The R has plenty of power for the street. I was very suprized how hard it accelerates from 80mph to 100mph. Also the pull from 60 and up is much better that a cr500. One of the fastest dirtbikes ever.

Get the R. Heck with comfort. If you get a L you will think its a mini bike compared to a gsxr. Wouldn't trade mine for anything. Maybe a plated ktm525.

  • wickedsprint

Posted January 25, 2006 - 04:32 PM

#16

If your used to riding 180 mph street bikes the thumpers seem like dogs when you twist the throttle at 80 mph, but at least the R will still pull after 80, my L was done at 80, the less weight the more fun even on the street.



We have similar performance from our motorcycle stables, I agree with you however our 650Rs sure do still feel exciting in that first 60mph, the difference being our streetbikes are still in 1st gear with another 20mph to go! I would get the R model for an SM project, from what I understand the swingarm allows larger width wheels or something along those lines.

  • dukeryder

Posted January 25, 2006 - 05:16 PM

#17

I would get the R model for an SM project, from what I understand the swingarm allows larger width wheels or something along those lines.


you don't reaal want a wide tire on an sm bike, most people find the 150 tire handles better than a 160.

I faced the same decision; when it came to my bike. I wanted a SuperMoto, I really like the KTMs, but they are for 1 pretty expensive and it's hard to find one or a dealer close by. Fortunately for me there's 2 Honda dealerships within like 5miles from my house. I thought about doing my Own conversion but that gets expensive. I was to covert a bike; I probably would've done an R as the price difference isn't that great, and it's not hard to plate an R here. I decided I wanted RIDE, not work on the bike and I didn't want the hassle of having to got through the process of getting the R titled and plated. So I bought a 2001 XR650L already Converted to SuperMoto w/only 4500miles for $4000, plus anohther $350 to have it shipped to me.

The only problem I had so far was within the first 100miles a Wheel Bearing EXPLODED in the front Hub. Whoever did the wheels forgot to put the spacer between the wheel bearings inside the hub :thumbsup: !!! That kinda pissed me off and cost me like $100 to get if fixed $50 for bearings/seals/space and another $50 to pay the guy at the local ind M/C shop to cut the outer bearing race out of the hub. If I was patient I could've sourced the same size bearings, and found cheaper labour but I said F' it and wanted my bike fixed right away.

Anyhow I've seen XRLs that had over 20,000miles on them, and you won't be needing to adjust your valves and change your oil every weekend. E-Start is nice too. But that stuff might not bother you, and I started street riding with SMs, and haven't ridden LiterClass sport bikes (closest thing is a 800 Monster). Find someone who's got one and ride and see how you like it.

  • FJT

Posted January 25, 2006 - 07:00 PM

#18

Get an R. Too much performance and weight difference not to do so. :thumbsup:

Ls are stone reliable. So are Rs - you just need to change oil and do valves a bit more often.

But when you twist the throttle - you'll discover that Ls are just ... slow. :bonk:

No disrespect, just fact.

Best,
FJT

  • mtrhd101

Posted January 26, 2006 - 02:20 AM

#19

Just do the R.. It's more powerful, better handling, lighter and will do anything the L will do only better.. You will have to give up E start and get a better seat for the R otherwise it is far superior.. Some say air cooled means more reliable, may be if you never look at the hoses, people who have reliability issues because of hoses need to get a grip with a maintenance schedule, their bikes are gonna fall apart anyway.... The water cooled engine will outlast the air cooled one on a hard driven big single, it's the way to go.. The guys with the L's just got smoked by an R (street or dirt) and are trying to find something to point at to try and justify the L.. But it dont work, the guy with the R knows better... Your gonna have to do an R, otherwise your always gonna wonder what your missing.. :thumbsup:

  • snaggleXR650

Posted January 26, 2006 - 05:08 AM

#20

I run an R in SM mode on the street. It is a blast and has the power to give crazy acceleration around town while still giving ~120mph top speed. The biggest problem with the 650R is lack of steet legality from the factory, uncormfortable stock seat, and lack of e-start for those that HAVE to have E-start. Kick starting it is a breeze once you learn and get the carb setup, and there are aftermarket options for a softer seat.

The L would be a good choice to though. The only tradeoff with the L is that it is heavier and not quite as powerful. Still powerful enough though.

The new 2006 Husky's are street legal from the factory, light, POWERFUL and have E-start. If you have a dealer within 100 miles or so, I would look into this option also. It's a shame, Japan needs to step it up, Euro bikes are doing it right nowadays.





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