XR650L in Baja?


4 replies to this topic
  • evomx971

Posted December 01, 2006 - 10:26 AM

#1

Got back from a few days of riding in Baja on a XR650R. It was a tour deal so it wasn't my bike. Other than being a little big for some really tight single track we were on, the BRP worked great. Great motor.

I'm hooked on Baja now and want to go back. I have an XR650L with all the usual mods. How well will it work in Baja? I saw several down there at Mike's Sky Ranch but not sure what terrain those guys were riding. I'm pretty comfortable with how it will work on rocky trails and the wider gravel/sand/dirt roads, but less sure about how it will compare to the BRP in the sand washes and the sand whoops? The L seems a little heavier up front than the R and I wonder if I'll get into situations where 1st is too low and 2nd is a bit high.

Welcome any thoughts or experiences.

evomx971

  • cleonard

Posted December 01, 2006 - 10:47 AM

#2

Got back from a few days of riding in Baja on a XR650R. It was a tour deal so it wasn't my bike. Other than being a little big for some really tight single track we were on, the BRP worked great. Great motor.

I'm hooked on Baja now and want to go back. I have an XR650L with all the usual mods. How well will it work in Baja? I saw several down there at Mike's Sky Ranch but not sure what terrain those guys were riding. I'm pretty comfortable with how it will work on rocky trails and the wider gravel/sand/dirt roads, but less sure about how it will compare to the BRP in the sand washes and the sand whoops? The L seems a little heavier up front than the R and I wonder if I'll get into situations where 1st is too low and 2nd is a bit high.

Welcome any thoughts or experiences.

evomx971



The big step between first and second can be an issue. One popular and easy change it to put a 14 tooth countershaft sprocket on there. That helps a lot in the more technical trails. The down side is reduced top speed.

The L is quite a bit heavier than the 650R and is not a rigid. This does result in somewhat less whoop capability, but it will go down just about anything. Just not as fast.

The L does have a few Baja pluses as compared to the 650R. Low compression at 8.6:1 so it will run fine on just about any kind of gas, and no radiators to get damaged in a fall.

Be sure to do the uncorking mods if you have not done that yet. This helps a lot.

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  • evomx971

Posted December 01, 2006 - 11:13 AM

#3

This is the kind of answer I was hoping for. Wouldn't expect my L to do as well as the R but wouldn't want to go back and end up fighting the bike more than the terrain. It's really surprised me on everything I've done with it so far as long as I don't try and push it faster than it wants to go.

My L is uncorked, desmogged, FMF Q pipe, 14 tooth cs (and it'll still almost hit 100), Clarke 4 gal tank, etc.

Funny you mention the lack of radiators as a plus. I got to witness my buddy endo his R in Baja and fold over the bottom of the right radiator on a rock. Luckily we had just dropped off a paved road into the sand wash so it wasn't bad to get it out of there.

  • motomonte

Posted December 01, 2006 - 11:29 AM

#4

One thing that may surely improve your ride would be to install a fork brace and maybe a steering damper for more high speed stability.The L is a cappable machine up to it's limits.To go further it will need some suspension upgrades.You can start with the front forks spring dialed to your weight.Good luck and have fun in Baja.

  • Dual_Dog

Posted December 01, 2006 - 08:44 PM

#5

One thing that may surely improve your ride would be to install a fork brace and maybe a steering damper for more high speed stability.The L is a cappable machine up to it's limits.To go further it will need some suspension upgrades.You can start with the front forks spring dialed to your weight.Good luck and have fun in Baja.


The venerable XRL can handle the rigors of Baja. I've ridden down there (& back) on mine. I remember being sore for days after the ride since the L is a beast to control for extended periods of off-road riding.

But motomonte is correct. Suspension upgrades are needed for any serious sand riding & whoops. And a steering stabilizer is the gold standard for sand.

The biggest problems for the L are the weight placed up high & the fact it's under-suspended. With some mods & a bit of cash you can make the L behave "somewhat" like the even older XR600R...





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