XR650L vs DRZ400S


28 replies to this topic
  • bikeslut

Posted June 16, 2007 - 08:04 AM

#21

I recently went for a fire road and singletrack ride with my DRZ and a buddy on his xlr... I am 6, 2 and 210 lean pounds (I have no gut)

after the last climb to Toro peak, and the ride down, we switched bikes...

I found the first gear to be pretty tall on the xlr, and was surprised at how well the suspension was sorted out. It felt no heavier than my DRZ, and had gobs of torque down low. Between the gearing and the torque, it didn't handle tight/steep/loose stuff as well as the DRZ, and the fit wasn't very good for me... i felt like I was up over the front wheel too much, and the bars were too close. When I slid back on the seat, it still felt odd, and I was doing isometric squats trying to saty back.

He, on the other hand, got off my bike and said:

I wish you had let me ride this up the final climb

and

I feel 20% faster on this bike

and

My wife will not like you... you just cost her 6 grand... i wanna buy one of these

On the freeway, or even fast two lanes, the XRL is the clear answer

I'd be happy with either one...

Bob

  • murgatroid42

Posted June 16, 2007 - 09:05 AM

#22

This question comes up a lot, use a search to find previous threads. Anyway, I'll repeat my post from another thread, since I owned both:

The XR650L and DRZ400 are very different bikes. They feel very different, more than the specs indicate. I am a 6 ft., 165 lb. weakling :thumbsup: so take that into account:

The XR650L
- is much more comfortable on long trips. Stock seat is great for 400+ mile days. With agressive knobbies up front, it will headshake, though.
- has more low end torque. Put a 14T sprocket on it and it will climb anything almost at idle.
- it is very topheavy. Too much for me, and very difficult for me to ride in sand (which is why I sold it)
- it takes more effort to maneuver it in tight corners.
- The XR650L ergos were almost perfect for me. The stock seat was comfortable, and long rides on pavement (under 70 mph) were a pleasure.

The DRZ400
- is terrible on long trips. The seat is a concrete pyramid. After 200 miles, I know exactly where my prostate is located.
- has has maybe a little more HP, but less low-end torque. Top end is about the same.
- it has a much better suspension. I avoided large rocks with the XR650L, but I just ride over them with the DRZ. There is no comparison between the two, really.
- it handles much better and easier than the XR650L. It feels more like a bicycle.

I had an XR650L and sold it after I crashed it trying to ride it in sand. It was too topheavy for me, and I gave up (after riding 10k miles on it in 2 years). I now have a green DRZ400S.

What type of riding will you do? Highway (then forget about both of them), or secondary roads, how much dirt, any tight tracks, etc. The more pavement, the more you will want the XR650L. If you want more of a dirtbike, and can put up with it on the street, then get the DRZ. There is no "correct" answer, get the one you like the best. Both need some mods to make them better, so save up some $.

  • pianoexcellence

Posted June 17, 2007 - 08:49 AM

#23

I recently went for a fire road and singletrack ride with my DRZ and a buddy on his xlr... I am 6, 2 and 210 lean pounds (I have no gut)

after the last climb to Toro peak, and the ride down, we switched bikes...

I found the first gear to be pretty tall on the xlr, and was surprised at how well the suspension was sorted out. It felt no heavier than my DRZ, and had gobs of torque down low. Between the gearing and the torque, it didn't handle tight/steep/loose stuff as well as the DRZ, and the fit wasn't very good for me... i felt like I was up over the front wheel too much, and the bars were too close. When I slid back on the seat, it still felt odd, and I was doing isometric squats trying to saty back.

He, on the other hand, got off my bike and said:

I wish you had let me ride this up the final climb

and

I feel 20% faster on this bike

and

My wife will not like you... you just cost her 6 grand... i wanna buy one of these

On the freeway, or even fast two lanes, the XRL is the clear answer

I'd be happy with either one...

Bob


You are right when you say that the DRZ feels faster...I think that the 650l has a way of making you feel slower than you are actually going. One time I switched to a crf 250r. and though I was just keeping up to my friend (like I always do on my xr) I felt like a superstar, cause the bike was so squirrely compared to riding the "big marshmallow"

I think that the lighter the bike, the faster it feels. My dad has an 06 K1200 sportbike with 150+hp. I can ride that for the afternoon, (and 200kph feels like 100) and my (xr) still feels quick (even though it is not even close) because it is so nimble.:thumbsup: LOL an xr 650 described as nimble...

That's not to say that the fast "feeling" is not a tangible positive. We do this for thrills anyway...

  • norm22

Posted June 17, 2007 - 11:16 AM

#24

I wouldn't take the DRZ400, XR650R, or the XR650L on long trips. For everyday use running around on the dirt roads little off road stuff the DRZ400 is hard to beat. ES, H2O cooled. All three are pretty solid will last a long time with proper care. Since owning a drz400 and selling it now I want the xr650r..

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  • calxi

Posted June 17, 2007 - 11:40 AM

#25

Readers Digest version: 650L and DRZ400 more 50/50 (give or take) type bike. Husky 510 is dirt bike with a plate. KTM 525 is a bit more road worthy than the Husky. Plated 650R just plain fun but a workout on the technical.

  • desert4seat

Posted June 17, 2007 - 07:09 PM

#26

Hmmm, After reading this thread I feel kinda crazy.
Seems to be an obvious trend here…mostly pavement go with the L…
mostly dirt go with the DRZ (right?)

Well…I wanted a bike primarily for offroad use – long rides ( reliability was of the utmost importance), in mostly sandy conditions (with 10% only street use).

I bought the L over the DRZ because of its reliability (airhead) and torque (desirable for offroad riding).

My 06 has 1570 miles - approx 100 of those are street miles – 1470 miles have been spent been spent in the sandiest of Sothern California and Mexican dezerts….was I crazy? HAHA
I guess I’ll never know.

Weight is an issue (I’ve noticed), but it’s easily overlooked with a non dot (Very agressive) dirt tire and a generous amount of throttle. Tight trails are also a little bit of work… But on wide open sections (90mph), one can easily make up any lost time…

All that aside, the biggest factor in my decision to go with the L was it’s reputation for reliability! Who wants problems when your 100's of miles from home (or truck)?

Besides….radiators don’t belong in the desert anyway. :thumbsup:

guess I wasn’t crazy after all!

  • Regalman

Posted June 19, 2007 - 10:53 AM

#27

:thumbsup: how was that landing?


Fairly uneventful... Of course, my bro is about 100 pounds lighter than me. My DRZ was bottoming out BAD and I was only getting half as much air.

  • harjp1959

Posted June 21, 2007 - 12:20 AM

#28

All that aside, the biggest factor in my decision to go with the L was it’s reputation for reliability! Who wants problems when your 100's of miles from home (or truck)?

That's really the main reason to go with a DRZ too, as opposed to the race oriented bikes. That and how little maintenance the DRZ requires.

I agree with what everyone else has been saying about the DRZ not being great on longer hauls. Although there are guys with butts of steel, apparently, who'll ride it anywhere and everywhere.

I was really impressed with what a couple of guys did on the big XR's on this ride here:

http://www.thumperta...ad.php?t=507407

  • murgatroid42

Posted June 24, 2007 - 08:15 PM

#29

I wouldn't take the DRZ400, XR650R, or the XR650L on long trips. ...

:thumbsup: I rode my XR650L 1500 miles in 7 days, no problems. I also rode several 400+ mile days (once just to eat a hamburger). The stock seat is great for long distance touring. :confused

I'm planning a 3000+ mile 10 day trip on my green DRZ this summer. The stock seat sucks, but the bike will do the trip.





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