I know nothing about XR's

4 replies to this topic
  • Dustin_Mabro

Posted June 01, 2007 - 05:28 AM


With high gas prices and my want for a bike I was looking through the local Auto&RV book and noticed about 4 XR's (some 600's some 650's some L's some R's) I want a bike that can handle the 2 lane highways (not interstates neccissarily) and dirtroads as well. My cousin rides Honda's and says these are pretty bullet proof. My question to you XR riders could I hop on any plated XR and expect good results as a dual sport? I work on a lot of farmland so my job consists of commuting to a farm, and then driving all over in the field doing work.

I'm on a pretty tight budget though as my wife doesn't think i need a bike where I see it as I get paid .45 a mile for milage for work, and instead of driving my truck and breaking even...why not make money by using the bike as much as possible. I remeber there was an 80's XR street titled for about 1,500 and it said it was in good shape.

Any help is appreciated:worthy:

  • atkxr600

Posted June 01, 2007 - 05:59 AM


If it's a mid 80's bike, and its an XR, then someone converted it to be street legal. When I bought my 1986 XR600R (new in 85) the XR___R models were offroad only. The XL___R models were dual sport. With a bias toward the street.
At some point Honda changed this model designation. I believe the new bikes (650's) are are all XR's, XR650Rs are off road, and XR650Ls are dual sport.

I think this is the case, I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

As far as what you can expect for dual sporting, I think its an excellent idea. Sounds like you could make more money on the .45 cent per mile part of the equation.

The biggest difference I see between a mid 80's 600 (XR or XL) is that the XL's had "e" start.

I converted my 600 to plated status (in Mich.) in 1995. At that time all I did was add a bicycle horn, mirror and brake light. Got it inspected, put a plate on it. My commute is only 10mi., but it worked well.

Stay away from the interstate and you be fine. Depending on the gearing a 600 will run 55 to 65 mph for extended periods without problems.

The early 600's could be a pain to kick start. Make sure the valves are correctly adjusted, and learn the routine, you'll be fine. From 1985 to 1990 the 600's had daul carbs. These are generally considered less desireable. And were the hardest starting models.

If you find one thats been sitting awhile, plan on replacing the oils seals around the gear selector shaft, kickstart shaft, counter sprocket shaft and clutch shaft. Clean the carbs, set the valves put a new plug in it, and go.

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  • goblin127

Posted June 01, 2007 - 06:03 AM


For what you want it for I would think the L over the R would be the best choice out of the two. Just about any bike that is street legal could fit the bill.

  • cleonard

Posted June 01, 2007 - 06:46 AM


Pretty much any of the XR's will work. The XR650L is street legal from the factory. Any of the 600 or greater bikes can handle the freeway just fine. If you are only going on lesser roads even an old and cheap XL250R will work for you. They go about 70 and handle 50 or 55 roads great. They are also less hard on tires and chains.

Check your reimbursement schedule. In many cases bikes get a lower rate than cars.

If you are trying to save some cash, you might not. The bike will get much better gas mileage(40 to 45 mpg), but there are other costs. The tires do not last very long and usually cost as much as the gas on a per mile basis. It's best if you ride the bike because it's fun.

  • Dustin_Mabro

Posted June 01, 2007 - 07:51 AM


thanks for the replies. the one i really had my eye on was the 1986 Honda XR 600. It says "Stock, Excellent condition, low miles, titled for 1,500 OBO. So it sounds like this will have dual carbs, and no E-start....Estart isn't a problem but I already have trouble with jetting so the carb thing isn't exactly a selling point. There are other newer XR's on here both L's and R's but for much more 1-2grand more actually but way newer. I really don't want to spend a ton of money as it'll mostly be a work commuter type bike, as for the reimburment schedule, from what I've seen I get paid the same if it's a bike or a truck...

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