Help me decide: XR650R or CRF450X


40 replies to this topic
  • bigtooth

Posted September 19, 2006 - 09:26 AM

#1

I have a 1991 xr600r and its pretty much the only bike I have ever had, with the exception of some old two strokes.
After 4-5 years of learning/loving my pig, I have decided (with the permission of the wife) that in the spring
its time for a new ride.

As excited as I am to be able to finally get a new bike, I am now faced with a decision, that no matter how much I read
or think about it, I can't seem to make. I have narrowed it down to the 650r and the crf450x. I have wanted the 650r for
a long time, but this weekend had a chance to ride and talk to a crf guy, who pretty much insisted that with what I ride
I would need the capabilities of the crf setup.

Here is my scenario:
I am 24, 225lbs, 6'4", I live in Vermont and ride mostly in the woods. I find a lot of mud and ride some rough terrain,
I think that I have made my XR600 do things that it was really was not made to do.
One thing I'm not into is hitting huge jumps, don't get me wrong, I like catching some air or riding wheelies off water bars and such,
but you won't catch me jumping on a track.

I have done some poking around in the crf forum and seem to get that the consensuses is that the crf is a race bike and needs
constant attention to keep it from having engine trouble. This would discourage me 100% from buying a used crf, but I would buy a
used xr that I new had low miles and seemed to be in decent shape.....this might save me a lot of $$?

I also would like to plate the bike, and be able to do some dual sporting, but not for transportation but more to get from trail to trail.

Well, sorry for the long post, but I really cant make up my mind on this one, I would love to hear what any of you have to say.
I was thinking of posting this in the crf forum also to get some of their opinions.

  • Butta

Posted September 19, 2006 - 09:43 AM

#2

I just bought a 2000 650R, and am used to riding my YZ450. I can tell you, especially for coming off of a 600 like you are doing, the 650R is an INCREDIBLY capapble machine. Yes, it has its limits and its weight, but I took it on some really really tight single track (we're talking first gear crawling here -- Donner Pass, if you are familiar) and was quite pleasantly surprised at how the BRP handled it all. I gotta admit, it's impressive!! Bulletproof as a bike can be, and tractor-like low end torque, with comfortable ergo's to ride all day...what more can you ask for? Pick the BRP, you'll be glad you did!

  • huntmaster

Posted September 19, 2006 - 09:52 AM

#3

Lots of open terrain and some single track = 650R
Lots of single track and some open terrain = 450X

That said, if you have a history with big XR's and appreciate their reliability and durability... you might want to move to the 650R. I did the same from my old 600R years back and felt it a worthy successor. It's no lighter but feels like it in the technical stuff...no flex, way more power but with all the old world XR virtues intact. You have the size also, and the bigger or stronger you are the less the big XR's drawbacks effect you...and the more it's virtues help you!

  • StevePierson

Posted September 19, 2006 - 10:08 AM

#4

WOW...

I had a 2002 xr650 r... powerfull bike,,, but WAY TOO Heavy...

Dude, look into the Yam WR 450 ( i currently have one. it is more powerfull than the 650. also, when you fall over, there is NO ritual for clearing the flooded carb. ) and the WR250. I just bought a wr250. WR = Wide Ratio, built for the types of terrrain you ride, the 250 will absolutly change your entire perspective on trail bikes. Dont get me wrong, Honda builds a great bike, but the lighter bike has ALL the juice you could possibly need.

As far as the Honda.. the xr600 and 650 are just simply not designed for the woods. The suspensions are set up for open desert riding, the fork rake, rear shock, even the swing arm lenght are optimized for open terrain riding. The first time you stand on the peggs and stear that little animal throught the woods for a couple of hours and relize the VAST differance in terms of your personal energy expended, how nimbal they are, and simply how much more fun your having.....

I said good bye to my large thumper last spring and have not looked back. In fact, im going to sell my wr450 and take the money and buy an overbore kit for the wr250.

Hope this helps...

Good luck.

  • adam574

Posted September 19, 2006 - 10:08 AM

#5

looks like the basics have been covered by the other guys.. one thing not mentioned is how long you plan on keeping this bike. if you are the kinda guy that will keep it for 4-5 years then i would lean more towards the xr since you won't even have to tear the engine down. whiel the 450 will probably need a serious rebuild somewhere in that time frame, along with some valve adjustments.

i had been racing 450's for two seasons before i got my 650 and as far as the woods go i think they are pretty fairly matched. neither one is super light and they both have to much power for woods stuff anyways. i think the only big difference is when you try to take them both on a track which obviously the 450 will just blow the doors off of the 650. for some reason i don't notice the weight in the woods but on the track i certainly did.

  • Old_Man_Time

Posted September 19, 2006 - 10:11 AM

#6

I have owned the big XR650R since the first year they came out and find the bike to be excellant do all bike. The weight is an issue and that I cannot deny. I learned to live with it and rarely go down so I rarely have to pick it up. I am shorter than you so the weight would be a little less of an issue for you. Although in my opinion on tight trails it is always going to effect how you ride.

The XR650R is a good trail bike if you are not trying to keep up with the light bikes in the twisties and switch backs. It is by far the more road worthy if you are going to be dual sporting. But if you only want to get from one trail head to another it has no advantage over CRF450X because that is not really dual sport riding. Only if you plan on doing a lot of on road riding would it make a big difference.

As far as durability and longevity the XR650R is the better bike. I owned the XR600 before I traded it in on a new XR650R. The XR650R feels considerably lighter than the 600 when its up right. If you have to pick it up off the ground it feels about the same.

But keep this in mind. The CRF450X is by far a better tight trail bike. That is what it is designed for. Don't confuse the CRF450X with the CRF450R. They share the same motor but there are changes in the CRF450X motor due to the fact that it is intended for the trail. The problems you read about with the CRF450s are mostly the 450R not the 450X. When the X is driven for what it is intended it will outlast the 450R which is intended for racing. Racing will bring out the weaknesses in any bike because the stress placed on all the componants is far more than what the average trail rider will ever put on his bike. The 450X can give years of trouble free performance but not if you compare it to the XR650R which is built like a tank.

I haven't owned the 450X yet but am considering one. I do like it's looks and it's performance is common knowledge. They are a great bike. In my case I don't plan on getting rid of my 650 when I get a 450X.

  • Ferdinand

Posted September 19, 2006 - 10:18 AM

#7

If you are use to the weight of a 600R then the weight of a 650R should not be an issue at all. Plus reliability of 650R has been proven through countless posts from owners and of course baja championships. :thumbsup:

  • Triumphs

Posted September 19, 2006 - 11:11 AM

#8

Dude, look into the Yam WR 450 ( i currently have one. it is more powerfull than the 650.

????? On what planet would that be? Are you talking about the 650L. I've owned both the WR and 650R...no comparison. The WR450 spots the 650R about 4-5 horsepower (both de-corked) which actually feels tons stronger due to it's massive torque advantage. Only the latest WR's really "feel" any lighter then the 650R due to the top heavy feeling of the earlier models which were often compared disfavorably in handling to the 650... nevermind the other 450's!

Don't get me wrong...the new WR450's are great bikes (and the coming 07 looks awesome) that have been well developed over the years and are a worthy and reliable option...but otherwise a different class of bike then the 650R, comparing with it more similarly to the 450X in that regards.

  • rmhrc630

Posted September 19, 2006 - 12:44 PM

#9

I have a 1991 xr600r and its pretty much the only bike I have ever had, with the exception of some old two strokes.

Here is my scenario:
I am 24, 225lbs, 6'4", I live in Vermont and ride mostly in the woods. I find a lot of mud and ride some rough terrain,
I think that I have made my XR600 do things that it was really was not made to do.
One thing I'm not into is hitting huge jumps, don't get me wrong, I like catching some air or riding wheelies off water bars and such,
but you won't catch me jumping on a track.
.



For woods riding the X is the better bet.
It has far more modern suspension, power band, perimeter frame and electric start.

Vermont being in the east has entirely different terrain to the open west doesnt it?

The 650 is also very heavy - no estart and older technology. The 650 for woods is possibly overpowered so what OMT said is correct.

Yes it will last longer, but honeslty do you value longevity over performance? I mean that is a seat of the pants fun machine kinda way not a in the workshop everyweek kinda way. The CRF is more like a cut and thrust kinda bike. The XR is the open country desert king.

Im my opinion the CRF crosses over easier to open riding that the XR crosses over to tight woods riding.

It's not like the X blows up - just that it does need more attention. But you get more so people accept the trade off.

Estart on the middle of a large hill is a godsend

  • Mikie1

Posted September 19, 2006 - 03:26 PM

#10

I own both. If I HAD to sell one, it would be the 650. I don't do any road riding, but I do intend to get my 450 plated, just to connect trails. The 650 would be WAY better on the road.

That said, I do more desert riding than it sounds like you do. If I did very little desert it would be an easier decision to get rid of the XR. I haven't had the 450x in the desert yet, but I had an '02 R with a wide-ratio transmission. It was pretty good in the des, but didn't compare to the 650 in comfort on long rides. The more technical, the better the 450 was. And the more you need the electric start of the 450x.

If the 450 had a 6-speed, it would be a no-brainer. If the 650 had e-start (and weighed 30 lbs less) IT would be a no-brainer.

For now, though, I think I'll keep BOTH! :thumbsup:

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  • huntmaster

Posted September 19, 2006 - 04:31 PM

#11

Only the latest WR's really "feel" any lighter then the 650R due to the top heavy feeling of the earlier models which were often compared disfavorably in handling to the 650... nevermind the other 450's!

Yep. But the WR has changed a lot over the years and the XR is still the same bike. The new ones are definitely a viable option with very good reliability and durability by "racing fourstroke" standards.

  • Mudshark

Posted September 19, 2006 - 05:15 PM

#12

Estart on the middle of a large hill is a godsend


E-start when youve endo'd and ripped a groin muscle is a godsend :thumbsup:

Hey I love my R.... but once or twice it would have been nice to have an e-start.
But then again... you can get an e-start added for about 900 bucks.

  • Scotty Breauxman

Posted September 19, 2006 - 05:33 PM

#13

If you have to ask, then you should get the 450

  • bigtooth

Posted September 20, 2006 - 05:00 AM

#14

Wow, thanks for all the great info and opinions. As far as open terrain around this area, its the occasional dirt road or hay field, other then that its old logging roads and goat paths. I think what I really want to do is get both bikes :thumbsup: ....but I don't know if I could sell the wife on that one. I guess the only thing that makes me hesitant about the crf is reliability, I don't want to be paying on a bike that has a blown motor or something silly like that. But with that said, I'm not afraid of tinkering and maintenance.

I think I will go with the 450, but also look into the wr's, I'm sure that in a couple of years I will be able to pick up a 650 for a pretty reasonable price.
Thanks guys, as always your wisdom and experience is greatly appreciated.

  • Ramcc4x4

Posted September 20, 2006 - 06:34 AM

#15

????? On what planet would that be? Are you talking about the 650L. I've owned both the WR and 650R...no comparison. The WR450 spots the 650R about 4-5 horsepower (both de-corked) which actually feels tons stronger due to it's massive torque advantage. Only the latest WR's really "feel" any lighter then the 650R due to the top heavy feeling of the earlier models which were often compared disfavorably in handling to the 650... nevermind the other 450's!

Don't get me wrong...the new WR450's are great bikes (and the coming 07 looks awesome) that have been well developed over the years and are a worthy and reliable option...but otherwise a different class of bike then the 650R, comparing with it more similarly to the 450X in that regards.


Actually, I've owned a 2002 XR650R and a 2006 WR450. I believe that the WR450 has 43-44 hp when the inner exhaust baffle is removed, the throttle stop is fixed and the gray wire removed. Isn't the uncorked hp of the XR650R 44 hp?
I loved my XR650R and modified it for my riding (side panel mod, Edelbrock, stage 1 Hotcam, header, pipe, cdi) and loved it but I do agree that aside from the torque advantage of the BRP the Wr450 has just as much hp.

  • Butta

Posted September 20, 2006 - 11:46 AM

#16

Actually, I've owned a 2002 XR650R and a 2006 WR450. I believe that the WR450 has 43-44 hp when the inner exhaust baffle is removed, the throttle stop is fixed and the gray wire removed. Isn't the uncorked hp of the XR650R 44 hp?
I loved my XR650R and modified it for my riding (side panel mod, Edelbrock, stage 1 Hotcam, header, pipe, cdi) and loved it but I do agree that aside from the torque advantage of the BRP the Wr450 has just as much hp.


HP numbers don't always tell the truth...the "seat of the pants" feel you get in the woods and the acceleration rush you giggle over is most commonly measured by the torque values. Since the 650 has so much more torque (just about equal hp with only 8k rpm's, therefore much much more torque to develop the same hp) then it only makes sense that the seat of the pants feel is going to be heightened on the 650 over the 450....spin the 450 up into the rpms and you'll feel the hp, but the low end grunt out of a corner that just about pulls your arms out is all torque....

  • rmhrc630

Posted September 20, 2006 - 12:05 PM

#17

HP numbers don't always tell the truth...the "seat of the pants" feel you get in the woods and the acceleration rush you giggle over is most commonly measured by the torque values. Since the 650 has so much more torque (just about equal hp with only 8k rpm's, therefore much much more torque to develop the same hp) then it only makes sense that the seat of the pants feel is going to be heightened on the 650 over the 450....spin the 450 up into the rpms and you'll feel the hp, but the low end grunt out of a corner that just about pulls your arms out is all torque....



Butta thats interesting - I run a CRF450R as well as a worked XR628 and seat of the pants tells me the CRF absolutley whips the XR in acceleration and feel.

Granted my XR628 is no XR650 but surely the feeling of lower revs and heavier bikes makes you feel like you're going slower?

At least that's how I feel when on my CRF which is like a gun shot with that FCR carby pumping gas down the throat. The CRF accelarates so much harder - like it's trying to twist the plant instead of move forward

  • coffee

Posted September 20, 2006 - 12:07 PM

#18

I also would like to plate the bike, and be able to do some dual sporting, but not for transportation but more to get from trail to trail.

Post wasn't that long and it helps to have more info than less.
Why don't you get a ktm or husky with a plate? Those are good reliable bikes, at least the husky is don't know a lot about ktms... Personally I would not get a perimeter frame bike as it seems a bit more difficult to work on, dosn't the subframe have to come off to get the carb out?

.

  • woodsryder

Posted September 20, 2006 - 06:54 PM

#19

I used to own both,.. what I wanted was a CRF450 with a 650 motor,... so I built one :thumbsup:

http://www.thumperta...ad.php?t=418463

Seriously, the 450 was a better bike to ride, but just can't handle the high mileage demands of serious dual sporting where a big ride is 1000 miles and even a casual day ride is 100-150 miles.

  • huntmaster

Posted September 21, 2006 - 08:27 AM

#20

Isn't the uncorked hp of the XR650R 44 hp?.

Even with the standard (uncorked) HRC baffle people are getting 49-50 hp from the 650. Add a real loud pipe and you can get 51! :thumbsup:
A well tuned stock 600R is 42-43. As noted, it's riding a 650R vs a 450 that the most noticeable difference and the extra torque defies even the 4-5 hp difference! I do like the WR450 though and at the risk of being flamed... even this long time Honda guy would get one before the 450X! The 07 looks awesome.





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