What's Going To Happen To The 650R?


131 replies to this topic
  • eastreich

Posted August 08, 2007 - 04:35 PM

#21

rumors are flying about the 650R. Most are very hard to verify.
Here's another: today I was in a bike shop (not a Honda dealer, but they prep XRR's and CRF's for desert racing).

The owner tells me that Honda are currently actively testing XRR type motor in a CRF type frame.

True? Anybody's guess.


I really don't see how that can be true.
1.) the 650R motor has too long of a stroke. If it was in a perimeter frame the fuel capacity would be severely limited (downfall of KLX650R). The motor is so tall that the tank would sit above the frame rails instead of between them.
2.) The XR motor is too long, the cases and transmission would have to be redesigned to stack the shafts to shorten the motor.
3.) The heavy inertia motor would require a completely new starting system. I have thought long and hard about putting a 650R motor into a 450R frame, and the kickstarter location always rears its ugly head. To shorten the kick starter, they would need to really lighten the rotating mass of the crank assembly so a mere mortal could kick it over. Yeah, I know it would have a button, but you would have to start it with the lever sooner or later.
4.) With a flywheel that light, it would hit so hard it literally would rip your arms out of the sockets.

Wait a minute! Number 4 makes me think I need to get busy with a used 650 motor and some chunks of billet aluminum...

  • OUTERLIMITS

Posted August 08, 2007 - 06:58 PM

#22

When it comes down to it, the 450 can maintain the same speeds as the KTM690 so why would honda go down that road again?


Ah yes, but the 1000 is a much different race, especially when it runs to La Paz. I've always been a Honda fan, but I think that this year could be the year that Honda gets dealt the blow. 450X or 650R, it's the riders that win this thing much more so than the bike. I would imagine that the riders would prefer the 650R for the 1000 rather than the 450X. At least that's what they said a year or two ago. With that said, Honda has very good riders, well prepared, and they do their homework. KTM had a very good team for the 500 and scarcely little time to get a ride on the bike before they had to race it (I think less than a day from what I have heard). They had some problems, but still finished 2nd as they did a couple of years ago on the KTM 700. A longer race on some more open roads could really prove to be the difference. And with Childress and Cody gone, I'm not sure Honda has enough horses left in the stable to even field a solid B team. So a break down here or a mishap there could change everything.

I will still pull for a Honda win, but if it takes a loss to a KTM 690 (or a good scare) to get Honda to produce another big bore, that will ultimately be good for all of us.

  • Billahjack

Posted August 08, 2007 - 08:21 PM

#23

Many will have the pleasure of riding the 2009 KTM 690 Hard Enduro (aka Baja). A lighter weight, e-start, 6 speed, EFI, 650cc thumper with upside forks, a linkage rear suspension, and a near 4 gallon fuel tank. The bike Honda could have built, but won't.

KTM is going to enter another niche market and hit a home run, like they usually do.

And I will be able to pick up a nice used XR650R that someone will be selling to buy the KTM. I'll drain the fluids, put some Stabil in the tank, and park it in a corner for a spare so I'll have a parts source when Honda obsoletes the 650R (no more parts).

Maybe I'll find a used KLX650R to go with my XR650R. If Kawasaki had built that chassis right, Honda would have been way late to the party. I've always wanted to put that KLX motor in a KX500 chassis...



I'm not sure if this was asked, but isn't the KTM 690 heavier than the XR650R?

--wait a minute, it was already answered. Nice pics of the KTM!

Other ideas - You don't have to have 650cc to make big power. I think a well engineered 550 could shorten the stroke, raise the powerband up a couple thousand RPM and make more power while still maintaining honda reliability. Over 500cc, a cylinder starts to run into breathing problems due to the surface area of valves compared to the volume of the cylinder because of the non-linear relationship between the two. This significantly affects maximum horsepower. This is why the 650R is more of a tractor than a wind-up redline zone race motor.

  • JohnnyAirtime

Posted August 09, 2007 - 03:44 PM

#24

Whatever happens to the 650R... I'll still love'er for what she is/was....

.... A chuggin' brute of a bike. Roll on the gas and get caught in the wrong gear... who cares, roll it on.

.... scary set of whoops coming up, butt puckers, hands tighten, body tingles and you again... roll it on, riding the steed through to the end.

... you all know, I could go on and on, as the 650R will. Look at the CR500... end of build was late 2000 for an '01 bike. They still are ran strong, and even put into newer frames (AF models). The XR will be that bike and more.

I'd say a Honda will never succumb to a KTM win. If they do... I'm selling all my red and going blue. I guess it's safe to say I won't be having a sale for a long time.

Lastly... a CRF550? Why? My 450X walks all over the KTM 525. Why make a CRF550 when a 450 does it all already?! It would be a waiste of time. A low compression 600 in a 450 frame work... now that, that would be something to ride. A chugger, with all the right geometry, light, and lasts a loooong time between pistons/valve jobs. :thumbsup:

I've heard it'll be replaced with a CRF625X Fi :smirk:

  • martinfan30

Posted August 09, 2007 - 03:54 PM

#25

Ah yes, but the 1000 is a much different race, especially when it runs to La Paz. I've always been a Honda fan, but I think that this year could be the year that Honda gets dealt the blow. 450X or 650R, it's the riders that win this thing much more so than the bike. I would imagine that the riders would prefer the 650R for the 1000 rather than the 450X. At least that's what they said a year or two ago. With that said, Honda has very good riders, well prepared, and they do their homework. KTM had a very good team for the 500 and scarcely little time to get a ride on the bike before they had to race it (I think less than a day from what I have heard). They had some problems, but still finished 2nd as they did a couple of years ago on the KTM 700. A longer race on some more open roads could really prove to be the difference. And with Childress and Cody gone, I'm not sure Honda has enough horses left in the stable to even field a solid B team. So a break down here or a mishap there could change everything.

I will still pull for a Honda win, but if it takes a loss to a KTM 690 (or a good scare) to get Honda to produce another big bore, that will ultimately be good for all of us.


you sir , have the right answer!!

  • OUTERLIMITS

Posted August 09, 2007 - 06:46 PM

#26

Maybe I'll find a used KLX650R to go with my XR650R. If Kawasaki had built that chassis right, Honda would have been way late to the party. I've always wanted to put that KLX motor in a KX500 chassis...


Concur 100%. When Kawasaki designed that bike for introduction in 1993, they were far too single minded about the whole perimeter frame thing, which was their design. I owned the last (and best) year, 1996. I currently own a 650R and it has absolutely nothing on that engine except maybe a tad more on the bottom. This is comparing stock to stock, but uncorked on both. From mid to top that KLX could rock and it was stone reliable. However, Kawasaki chose to build it into a perimeter frame and that KLX engine was the tallest thing I have still seen to date. It was great in a sand wash or open desert, but was hugely top heavy in turns. I could not begin to tell you how many times I came to a stop, put my leg out, and either lost it or just about did due to that top heaviness catching me by surprise. Even though it weighs within a pound or two of the 650R, comparatively the 650R feels like an XR250. But that was quite an engine that really deserved a chassis like the 650R got.

  • pwrpapa

Posted August 10, 2007 - 07:31 PM

#27

Are we sure it's gone?

  • EddieTNT

Posted August 10, 2007 - 07:44 PM

#28

Whatever happens to the 650R... I'll still love'er for what she is/was....


A low compression 600 in a 450 frame work... now that, that would be something to ride. A chugger, with all the right geometry, light, and lasts a loooong time between pistons/valve jobs. :thumbsup:

:smirk:


Amen Brother!!!:worthy:

  • ogrider650

Posted August 10, 2007 - 08:01 PM

#29

well honda may have just gotten a reprieve for the 1000 unfortunatley chris blais broke his back pre-running the V2R (say a prayer for speedy recovery) but he was a driving force in the 690baja, that being said the ktm guys are down one of their big guns. and personally i believe in baja alot of the race is the rider moreso than the bike? so with chris more than likely out im hoping for mikey to step up.

  • MikeZ

Posted August 11, 2007 - 05:02 AM

#30

My buddy recently paid almost 10 grand for one of the new KTM 650 Adventures.

My XRR will absolutely stomp this bike in any contest of acceleration AND top speed.

And by the way 10 F-in' grand!? Give me a break.

And by the way, the bike is a maintenance nightmare. The bike basically needs to be taken apart to adjust the valves. 30 minutes on the XR.

All I want is same basic XR with e-start and street legal, minus 20lbs.

-Z

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • bosshog

Posted August 11, 2007 - 05:54 PM

#31

All I want is same basic XR with e-start and street legal, minus 20lbs.
-Z


That is exactly what I want aswell. I think there are alot of us. Well said:thumbsup:

  • pburke

Posted August 11, 2007 - 06:09 PM

#32

My buddy recently paid almost 10 grand for one of the new KTM 650 Adventures.

My XRR will absolutely stomp this bike in any contest of acceleration AND top speed.


he bought the wrong KTM :bonk: I just bought a used 950 Adventure S for about 8k and am loving it. It's not quite as fast up to 60mph as the XR650R, but it fills a huge void for me - it actually cruises at 75mph on the highway and carries luggage and a passenger without complaints. Meanwhile, when the going gets dirty, the XR still kicks its ass, but then it's 200 lbs lighter. Still, that KTM goes damn well for the weight! Anyway - the 650R will be hard to replace and I don't plan to ever sell mine. Just got a new suspension for it, so watch out there in the woods: the hooligan bike is back!

  • KASUYAHO

Posted August 11, 2007 - 07:04 PM

#33

Well, the writing's on the wall, it's pretty certain that after the 2007 model year, the 650R is no more. Just wondering what you think will happen in the next couple of years - will it become sort of a collectors item for people looking for a big, heavy, simple, fast and fun dirtbike (kinda like late 60's early 70's musclecars), or fade away into obscurity - regarded as an old technology motorcycle? I have always felt that us pig owners are kind of a cult, it's a bike built for a different kind of off roading compared to most other dirt bikes, and once it's gone - there really isn't too much else out there to replace it.


For me the XR650R will be a keeper for years to come.
KTM's LC4 is junk compared to the 650R's motor.

If Honda turned the XR650R into a Adventure bike like the KTM 640 Adventure, and replaced the XR650L with it, put a botton on it and a bigger tank, they would sell heaps of them to the Dual Sport riders.
Honda could sell bits for it for Dakar and rallies. big tanks, side tanks, HRC kit, all installed ready to go to the public.
Even if they contracted it out to some one.

Then do there Baja based bike and if people want lighter give it to for lighter.
Put a button on it.
I did hear that Yamah have tried the 660 motor in a WR450 frame and had some cracking issues.
That maybe the way Honda are going to go too????
Because that size motor ya just can not take alot of weight out of the motor.

It does not worry me if a bike has not got a button, but it is now expected by riders that a dirt bike should have a button.

  • motomonte

Posted August 11, 2007 - 07:15 PM

#34

Let me guess....I'll bet a CRF with a bigger engine but not after one or two years in the dark(gotta sell all the leftover bikes first).And even a street legal CRF based bike.With the new market for supermoto and adventure bikes I don't think Honda may sit for too long.At the end of the day it's all about making a profit.

  • philipstjohn

Posted August 12, 2007 - 05:45 AM

#35

All you guys dreaming about CRF 650's, 550's, 500's :blah: etc. etc. should send your ideas to the Honda R&D team. Let them know what you want in a bike, or what they should do with the XR650R. I am glad I have a 650R, and I to hope it lives on in some form as well. Being such a proven motor, and overall bike, like others Honda has had around for many years (ie the 600/650L) it seems hard to imagine them just dumping it all together. Most agree the XR650R could be a great replacement or updated street legal option to the L, and they could offer it in either dual sport or SM versions, like Suzuki has with the DRZ.
My only advice is if you do not have one yet, and you have always thought about getting one, just do it. This is and will always be one bad ass dirt bike. Period! I can not think of any bike that could replace it as my overall, do everything bike. There is no doubt until the day I die there will always be a 650R to sneak out to the garage to look at!!! :banana: :applause:

  • motometal

Posted August 14, 2007 - 02:35 PM

#36

as a longtime Honda fan, with two of them currently in the garage, I've been pretty disappointed with their actions for a few years now. Totally dropped the ball on the two strokes (which KTM and Yamaha are capitalizing on). And why aren't they making an updated dual sport by now? Look what Husky and KTM are doing on a fraction of the engineering budget. It wouldn't take much to make the XRR 50 state legal. Or, make some changes to the XRL (I'm not asking for them to redo the entire bike in one year), charge $500 more for it, and watch them fly out the door.

They just don't care. Somewhere in Hondaland there is an accountant with an MBA way smarter than all of us that could explain these decisions on paper. Frankly, I don't care, I just want a bike. I'm currently looking at Huskies and KTMs, and would much rather replace my Honda with another Honda!

  • philipstjohn

Posted August 14, 2007 - 03:47 PM

#37

as a longtime Honda fan, with two of them currently in the garage, I've been pretty disappointed with their actions for a few years now. Totally dropped the ball on the two strokes (which KTM and Yamaha are capitalizing on). And why aren't they making an updated dual sport by now? Look what Husky and KTM are doing on a fraction of the engineering budget. It wouldn't take much to make the XRR 50 state legal. Or, make some changes to the XRL (I'm not asking for them to redo the entire bike in one year), charge $500 more for it, and watch them fly out the door.

They just don't care. Somewhere in Hondaland there is an accountant with an MBA way smarter than all of us that could explain these decisions on paper. Frankly, I don't care, I just want a bike. I'm currently looking at Huskies and KTMs, and would much rather replace my Honda with another Honda!


It seems that way... but EPA regulations are forcing the big guys to comply... and Honda has alot out there...look at lawn tools and generators... most are going to 4 strokes for the past few years... I bought the XR650R because it seemed to be the best bike for off road/on road use... and dependable. I just wish as you do Honda gives us choices soon to compete with all the others...:thumbsup:

  • InternalCombustion

Posted August 14, 2007 - 03:54 PM

#38

I love this question! We all been answering it for at least 2 years now, that I know of...

Ah, what the heck, conjecture is fun!!

I only know one thing for sure about Honda, collectively they rarely make stupid moto decisions. Most of the time they crank out excellent machines, right?

The problem they have is that maintaining a full-line motorcycle design and manufacturing operation is a compromise: which bike will yield the most new sales with the least amount invested in updates. That's the trick.

Like philipstjohn said, its hard to imagine that Honda will just dump the XRR outright. But, who knows? I got mine sitting pretty in the garage and would love nothing more than to have Honda surprise us all and come out with a DS'd, e-buttoned XRR.

Also, if they DS it they'll have to go to a sub-frame design that is more tolerant of rear luggage. But then that would be a fairly simple engineering exercise, not a big deal. Anyway, again I say: Honda does not generally make stupid decisions regarding race-winning motos in their line up.

Here's a twisty idea: most of us were a bit surprised when Honda campaigned (successfully) the CRF450 at Baja. What if:

1. Honda simply got bored with winning the Baja with the XRR and wanted some excitement, not to mention pumping up sales on the 450 after it won.

2. They proved the 450 was capable of winning Baja against lots bigger bikes (sorta like "My little dog can whup your big dog...")

3. And all along they have been secretly developing a new "Adventure-bike" platform.


See, all this time I've been thinking Honda was going to de-stroke the 650R, down to maybe 550 or 525, giving maybe a 9,500 rpm redline, solid HP numbers and an engine height that would then fit into the CRF frame. But maybe, MAYBE, Honda is going in the opposite direction and developing a big-honking ad"V"enture bike to compete against (and probably annihilate) the KTM 900 and BMW 800 twins.

Except lighter. And freaking counter-balanced. And Honda-reliable. And red.

Now THAT would be a hoot.

My fingers are crossed.

  • jclaus98

Posted August 14, 2007 - 06:51 PM

#39

Just a question I've had while oogling the pics of the KTM690, has anyone heard how the thing rides??? It appears as though 80% of the entire bike is a gas tank? How could that possibly be anything but a nightmare to ride? I don't know, but I'm assuming a tank that large is what, probably 5, 6 gallons??? 5 gallons of fuel weighs approx. 40lbs! A 40lb difference between full and empty has got to make a significant difference in how the bike handles, wouldn't it? I'm just thinking out loud, wondering if I am completely retarded or if this thought has crossed anyone else's mind.

  • captb

Posted August 14, 2007 - 10:57 PM

#40

My buddy recently paid almost 10 grand for one of the new KTM 650 Adventures.

My XRR will absolutely stomp this bike in any contest of acceleration AND top speed.

And by the way 10 F-in' grand!? Give me a break.

And by the way, the bike is a maintenance nightmare. The bike basically needs to be taken apart to adjust the valves. 30 minutes on the XR.

All I want is same basic XR with e-start and street legal, minus 20lbs.

-Z

That's why they call the bike an ADVENTURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:crazy:





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