XR650r good all rounder?


17 replies to this topic
  • TLRthumper

Posted October 29, 2006 - 09:42 PM

#1

My dad is almost 100% set on a 650 for his next bike, and he eventually wants to put some 17 inch rims and do the whole supermoto thing. My question is this, is the XR a good dual-sport in that its relaible, fun, and can do pretty much whatevers asked of it? My dad is more of a street guy, but I wanna be able to take him on some trails as well. He is kinda a power addict, and loves the twisty stuff, how is the suspension stock on these things?

Sorry for the generic question:bonk:

  • InternalCombustion

Posted October 30, 2006 - 07:49 AM

#2

I was in the same position. Had maybe a dozen bikes in my life so far, never a "dirt bike". (&%$#@!?!) My son was after me to get a bike to have some real fun on, he had been flogging an XT225 as a commuter on the dirt roads to his job, averaged 18k miles a year, rain,snow, dark of night, etc. Used a Duc 900 Monster to clear the cobwebs on the weekend. Me, I preferred Harleys and 700-mile/day road trips.

Anyway, at the ripe young age of 54 I decided I needed a dirt bike. So, I searched high and low, read about the desert exploits of the 650R, and it was love at first sight. Waited for the right one on eBay, hit "Buy", and waited for Forward Air to do their magic. Did a painless DS conversion (in VA) and got it plated.

I bought the R expressly because it was kick-only and because it rules high-speed desert racing. 3-years on, I am still in love with that big, hairy-ass thumper. No, I live 2500 miles from the nearest desert and haven't been to one yet, but that doesn't keep me from dreaming, and riding anyway.

Is it a good all-rounder? Some will argue yes, some will argue no. Me, I say it is a magnificent bike. Magnificent power band. Magnificent smooth motor. Yeah, its got some quirks but they're few and small compared to its strengths. If your dad wants smooth, endless power starting waaaay down low, if he wants a bike that will be very uncommon on the streets and yet get parts from any Honda dealer. If he wants access to TONS of aftermarket tricks, he should seriously consider the 650R.

E-button? I don't need no stinking e-button. Some will argue that kick-only is a big fault of the 650R. But once you get it uncorked and the carb dialed in, kicking it to life is simple, and VERY satisfying.

I went to a supermoto setup immediately after I got mine, ordered the parts even before the bike arrived. Check my mods and pics in My Gagage. Your dad is a power addict and loves twisties? Oh, momma! Now, you're talking!

Yes, there are more logical and more sane thumpers out there to be had, for example the XR650"L" is a very competent street/dirt bike. But it is significantly different than the R. If your dad is looking to get grin-wrinkles permanently molded into his face, I would heartily recommend the 650R.

Before you buy, check into the local laws in your state regarding converting an "off-road" bike to street-legal status. In some states the DMV office will give you their mother's phone number before they will give you a street-title for a dirt bike. If your state is like that just watch eBay for a bike that's already been titled, they generally run about $3500-4000, titled, on eBay. Forward Air will ship from any major city to any major city for less than $400-450. I shipped mine from Austin, TX to northern Virginia for $375, including their crate rental.

Keep us posted on his decision.

Ride safe.

  • HawkGT

Posted October 30, 2006 - 09:13 AM

#3

I think it's a tremendous all-rounder. When I bought my XR650R I wanted something I could ride on the street everyday AND something that I could dune with. Those two activities are worlds apart. I have duned with my XRR several times. It gets the job done although I have to admit I picked up a 95' CR250 as a dedicated dune bike. The XR is just a tad big and heavy for snaking through the dunes. It feels purpose built for screaming through the valleys though.

Really, I think the XR650R is a genuine jack-of-all-trades.

  • MindBlower

Posted October 30, 2006 - 09:50 AM

#4

I dont' really think anyone would argue that it's a superb all arounder. Very possibly the best all arounder.

  • MCCOYBOY

Posted October 30, 2006 - 10:21 AM

#5

How hard was it to get your 650r plated for virginia? I picked one up two months ago and set her up for supermoto right away. I havn't had time to go to dmv yet so I just insured her and am running my 650l tag. So far I havn't had a bit of trouble cause most cops don't have a clue anyways but I would like to go ahead and get her taged this winter. What is the first step I should take?

  • InternalCombustion

Posted October 30, 2006 - 11:03 AM

#6

How hard was it to get your 650r plated for virginia? I picked one up two months ago and set her up for supermoto right away. I havn't had time to go to dmv yet so I just insured her and am running my 650l tag. So far I havn't had a bit of trouble cause most cops don't have a clue anyways but I would like to go ahead and get her taged this winter. What is the first step I should take?


1. Get your DS equipment installed. I moved to PA 2 years ago so don't quote me on this, but if I remember in Virginia you need a rearview mirror, brake light, headlight and DOT tires. There appears to be no legal requirement for turn signals in VA, but I installed them anyway, fool-hardy not to, IMHO.:worthy:

2. Get it inspected. I wound up taking mine to an inspection station I used for my other bikes. Guy was real laid back. It is not clear if you need hydraulic brake light switches on both front and rear brakes in VA. I only installed a hydraulic switch on my rear brake, so I "casually" :ride: kept my right foot on the peg in case he asked me to test the front brake switch...:mad: I recommend AGAINST taking it to a bike dealer, they are generally more strict. Also, in Virginia not every inspection station is qualified to do bikes, so check in advance.

3. Once you have the inspection slip, take that and your off-road title (that the previous owner signed over to you when you bought the bike) and take them to your nearest DMV. Give them the title and the inspection slip and tell them you want to title it for the street. I walked out in 15 minutes with my O-fishal paper title. Man, was that a fine day!:mad:

Once I moved to PA, the rules here are much more strict. I am told it is theoretically possible to street-title a dirt-titled bike in PA, but I do not know
anyone who's ever done it. My wife decided she wanted a street-titled CRF230F this summer (yes ma'am!!:mad: ). I just waited for one to come up in eBay that was close by, and snapped it up, already titled.

YRMV.

  • adam574

Posted October 30, 2006 - 01:30 PM

#7

definately a great all arounder... not to many bikes that you can put ten of thousands of miles on without any real maintenance besides changing the oil... mix that in with some woods,dunes, maybe the occasional mx track if you really feel daring and there isn't anything the bike can't do.

  • captb

Posted October 30, 2006 - 02:13 PM

#8

Other than the seat being a form of mid evil torture on long hiway rides I don't think you can get a better jack of all trades for the money, so far mines been just as reliable as all my XR600Rs were but with more power and it runs cooler.

  • Ferdinand

Posted October 30, 2006 - 02:32 PM

#9

(Put it to you like this:thumbsup: ) Weather was finally nice today. Just took a short 650L ride around the neighborhood, nice fun enjoyable ride, nice smooth throttle response, fun, fun, fun. Came back took the 650R out (had sat for a almost a month because of :mad: weather started on second kick. Same cruise around the hood, insane, head shaking fun. Hang on for life throttle response and fixed face hurting grin on my face. With the thoughts of this is a rediculously insane bike constantly going thru my head.:mad: just my opinion:prof: :mad:

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  • InternalCombustion

Posted October 30, 2006 - 03:01 PM

#10

(Put it to you like this:thumbsup: ) Weather was finally nice today. Just took a short 650L ride around the neighborhood, nice fun enjoyable ride, nice smooth throttle response, fun, fun, fun. Came back took the 650R out (had sat for a almost a month because of :mad: weather started on second kick. Same cruise around the hood, insane, head shaking fun. Hang on for life throttle response and fixed face hurting grin on my face. With the thoughts of this is a rediculously insane bike constantly going thru my head.:D just my opinion:prof: :mad:


Pretty much sums it up!

EVERY time I take the R out its like I got this laugh all bottled up inside me and while I am riding I feel like any second its just going to burst right out of my throat. WWA-HAAAA!!! You gotta watch it though, spotaneous laughter like that gets odd stares from folks. :ride: :banana: So most of the time I hold it in.

Bottom line, its a way-fun bike, can be had for a very modest investment if you're willing to buy used, or is a SOLID investment if you want a new one and can find one. Excellent aftermarket. Proven gene pool.

And then of course, you got us. The ThumperTalk Honda XR600/650 is the single best, most helpful forum I know of. I don't know how many bike forums you've looked at or are a member of. Lots of forums I am a member of I rarely visit because they're full of guys snipping and whinning and trying to one-up each other. On the XR600/650 Forum, the most you'll ever see is some good-natured ragging back and forth between the "L guys" and the "R guys" and the "600 guys" (some guys have multiple personality disorder and own each model!!). But even then the ragging is done with respect because they're all great bikes.

:mad: :worthy:

  • NavyNuke

Posted October 30, 2006 - 03:19 PM

#11

just a quick VA regestration thing, you are supposed to have front/rear switched, but they don't check that close, and ANY shop that can do a car inspection can do a bike, even if they don't want to, they have to by law. Check the certificates, only different one is for trailers.

No turn signals needed, but VA Beach cops don't like motards, my DRZ400E motard got pulled over a lot there, even when I was behaving.

  • InternalCombustion

Posted October 30, 2006 - 04:00 PM

#12

just a quick VA regestration thing, you are supposed to have front/rear switched, but they don't check that close, and ANY shop that can do a car inspection can do a bike, even if they don't want to, they have to by law. Check the certificates, only different one is for trailers.
No turn signals needed, but VA Beach cops don't like motards, my DRZ400E motard got pulled over a lot there, even when I was behaving.

I stand corrected. I based my earlier statement on a conversation with an Inspection Station manager who told me his shop didn't do bikes and that many shops didn't do bikes. I just assumed it was a "qualification" thing. Thanks for the clarification.

Re "VA Beach cops don't like motartds...", yeah, there are jerk cops just like there are jerks in any profession. One thing I always do when I'm out riding my R motard and I pass a cop, I nod at them, make sure they know I'm on their side and respect what they're doing. Most of them I've found are just trying to do their job and you show them a bit of respect you get it back.

My two cents.

Ride safe.

  • TLRthumper

Posted October 30, 2006 - 05:38 PM

#13

Thanks for the input, I'm the dad getting the XRR. I'm fed up with sportbikes I watched two guys crash in front of me this summer riding over their heads and I want to get out of that scene. It's XR for me wheelies, slides any empty parking lot can be a race track Woot! Can't wait!

  • DangerDoom

Posted October 30, 2006 - 06:26 PM

#14

im going to get an XR650R and make it street legal just so i can ride from my house to the trails so i dont have to trailer it. . . to lazy

  • InternalCombustion

Posted October 31, 2006 - 06:47 AM

#15

Thanks for the input, I'm the dad getting the XRR. I'm fed up with sportbikes I watched two guys crash in front of me this summer riding over their heads and I want to get out of that scene. It's XR for me wheelies, slides any empty parking lot can be a race track Woot! Can't wait!

Shortly after I got my 650R and my son had a chance to ride it, he sold his KTM LC4 and bought a 650R.

Its a sweet bike, no question. :mad:

  • thumpin hard

Posted October 31, 2006 - 07:06 AM

#16

ok,i am getting a complex,i have a 650l that has been uncorked and jetted,but now i want more power..i just found out about the aprilia motards,two cylinder...tell him to check it out on the web first...but..8 grand or more! ouch!

  • InternalCombustion

Posted October 31, 2006 - 08:01 AM

#17

ok,i am getting a complex,i have a 650l that has been uncorked and jetted,but now i want more power..i just found out about the aprilia motards,two cylinder...tell him to check it out on the web first...but..8 grand or more! ouch!


True. At the same time--besides the cost penalty--other considerations need to be factored:

- history of reliability and quality
- availability of parts and service
- availability of aftermarket parts and support
- availabilty of performance "tips and tricks" (ala, our "ThumperTalk" base)

Its sorta the "Ferrari vs Corvette" argument: yeah, some Ferrari models offer higher levels of performance than the Vette, but always to the detriment of the above factors.

Don't get me wrong. The Ferrari (and Aprilla motard) obviously get rave reviews and I can imagine either would be a blast to own, but you got to be prepared for the downside as well...

My two cents.

  • gaspipe

Posted October 31, 2006 - 09:37 AM

#18

Shortly after I got my 650R and my son had a chance to ride it, he sold his KTM LC4 and bought a 650R.

Its a sweet bike, no question. :mad:


I sold off all my LC4's after one 10 minute ride on a nicely prepped XR650R. I have two XR's now, and love 'em. I loved the LC4 and the 640 Adventures that I woned, but the XR is, IMHO, a more robust offroader, and I didn't need the extra carrying ability of the LC4 subframe.

Both are great bikes, but the reliability/durability of the XR is the thing I need most for the crazy stuff I am doing these days.





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