I'd would value your opinion (need help with purchase)

32 replies to this topic
  • RCinLaveen

Posted September 12, 2007 - 02:41 PM


I raced motocross for a few years in my younger days, and all the bikes then were two stoke. I've been looking at 450s and larger from various manufacturers. I even found Service Honda, and their "new" CR500.

I like two strokes for simplicity, and I'm familiar with them. I'll probably do mostly desert/trail/mountain trail riding. I posed this question in the 450 forum, and most said the 450 is better (between the 450 and the 500).

However, while looking at a CRF450X a few days ago, I saw the 650 model nearby. I'd never thought about owning one, but it looked to be a bit more durable than the 450 (motor wise). The salesman said, "You don't want that, it's a pig." I noticed on this forum that they're referred to as pigs as well.

So, it weighs more, but is it fun to ride in the desert? Does the motor hold up better than the high-reving 450s? Is it that much more of a burden to ride than the lighter and narrower bikes? Does the 650 hold up better under larger riders (I'm 6'2", and 220lbs without riding equipment added).

I've also found a site that mentioned a new 500 or 600 XR in the future. So, bottom line, I'm looking for a little advice. For recreational riding for a guy my size, how does the 650 stack up? I'm sure there are many other factors I'm not aware of enough to even consider or ask about...so...thanks for your responses.

  • markseaba

Posted September 12, 2007 - 02:47 PM


IMO, NO on the 650, total NO. Since you seem to be a Honda guy, for the needs you listed, go with the 450x. If you go blue, then check out the WR450. The 650 is old technology. It is a GREAT old bike, but again, older technology. I went from an XR400, same type bullet proof technology to a WR, and it is amazing how much better they handle. I think if you were able to ride each bike you would agree. Get ready for about a thousand more opinions after mine. Ride both if you can.

  • dezracerE

Posted September 12, 2007 - 02:50 PM


All the new 450's are awesome.
I would buy a Service Honda 500x if I had the jack.
Love CR5 hundies.
Check my garage- best of both worlds...
650 for dual-sport and prerun, 450 for everything else.

  • koldsimer

Posted September 12, 2007 - 02:54 PM


I'd go with the 650r if it were between the 650 and 450. For a big guy who wants to blast across the desert, the 650r cannot be beat IMO. I'm 6'6" 250 and my 650r is perfect for me. I love having gobs of torque no matter what rpm i'm at.

I have never owned a modern 450 mx'r but I would imagine the engine in the 650 would be longer lasting overall. It seems to be the general consensus that the 650 is one of the most durable, long lasting high performance four strokes out there.

  • Bigmutha

Posted September 12, 2007 - 03:00 PM


I ride in the desert most of the time. I used to ride a CR 500, but now I ride a 650r. In my opinion you can't beat the 650. You have to uncork it and do the suspension and you are ready to go. (also do the peg mod). The 650 motor is bullet proof unlike any 450. The bike flat out rips. I loved my 500, but all around I think the 650 is better. I am 6'3" and 255 lbs. I put a GPR stabilizer on it and pro taper bars and the bike fits me fine and handles alot better than you think. If you are looking at a 450 or 500, I would go for the 500. The only four stroke I would own is the 650. It does it all with great reliability.

  • bosshog

Posted September 12, 2007 - 05:20 PM


The 650 is old technology. It is a GREAT old bike, but again, older technology. I went from an XR400, same type bullet proof technology to a WR, and it is amazing how much better they handle.

You can't really compare the 650R to the XR 400. Maby the older 600 yes or even the 650L. What is so old tech about it anyway? It has an Al frame. It may be heavy by comparison but it is bigger too. They just arn't made for the same things.

If desert is your thing than the 650R is your machine. Also for a larger guy like yourself you may like the larger bike. For tighter trails like everyone else said it's not the best. I'm not saying that it's better than a new 450, but it dose have some pluses.

  • RCinLaveen

Posted September 12, 2007 - 07:42 PM


Thanks for the replies. Any other insights?

  • 2XR650s

Posted September 12, 2007 - 09:15 PM


I have a Service Honda AFX and and two XR650s. The 500 is more fun for shorter rides and the 650 is more practical for long rides in the desert. Both bikes are great choices for big fun low maintenance.

  • porterdog

Posted September 13, 2007 - 06:44 AM


So, it weighs more, but is it fun to ride in the desert? Does the motor hold up better than the high-reving 450s? Is it that much more of a burden to ride than the lighter and narrower bikes?

Do a google search on xr650r; Honda designed it to dominate at the Baja 1000, which it did until this year. The very mission of this motorcycle is fast, long rides over uneven terrain.

  • spotsboss

Posted September 13, 2007 - 07:13 AM


If I owned that dealership, I'd have a talk with that salesman.

Sure, the 650R is heavier than most two-strokes and that's an ASSET. I came off a KTM 250 EXC and bought a 650R. Way more fun to ride. I go 40% street and 60% Forest Service roads/trail. The thumper just feels planted and stable to me. The extra 40 pounds is nothing to the engine - - uncorked it has enough grunt to handle anything you ask of it. And stone reliable and simple to work on.
The other day, I got a nice drive out of a corner in 3rd gear and decided to just snick up through the gears and pin it a little to see what would happen. In the time of less than 10 seconds, my eyes were watering at 60, then my visor was pulling my helmet back at 70 and I glanced down at the speedo and I was going 80 and still way shy of full throttle. The "pig" wanted more!
Sufficiently puckered, I backed her down. Eighty with full knobbies on a public road is plenty for me.

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  • Billahjack

Posted September 13, 2007 - 08:03 AM


The 650r is a big bike that builds speed slower than the 450 mx bikes. Compared the 450x, it is probably close to about 50 mph where the 650r will start pulling on it.

If you like quick turning, flickable bikes, then the 650r is going to be a big fat pig. If you like a high speed cadillac ride for bombing open terrain, then the 650r is a great ride.

As with any bike you get, you should get your suspension reworked. This helps out big time on the 650R. It can be dangerous cruising open desert above 60mph with stock suspension.

Oh yeah, if you love power sliding, the 650R is a great bike for that. You will have to use your back brake with your weight forward to stick the front and step the back out slightly going into corners, then throttle steer as soon as you are off the brake and move your weight back if needed. If you don't do that, then the bike wants to go straight and not turn.

Have you seen the Service Honda KX500? I heard that is a better motor. Personally, I would rather have a 4 stoke for dual sport/trail riding than a 2-stroke that runs like crap unless its going wide open. The 4 stoke is like having an electric motor. Just nice smooth predictable power.

Maintenance - I think the 650r manual says to change the oil every 600 miles. Its the same oil for the engine and tranny. MX bikes are 1-2 rides for oil change. CRF450X/WR450F is still way under 600 miles. All of those have separate oil for motor and tranny. Two oil changes in one....yay. I like a bike that I can hop on and go....then change the oil once a month.

Be careful of older crf450X's (pre 2006 or 2007 I think). They will seize up 3rd gear on the tranny and screw you. Then you will feel like you bought a Honda-badged KTM.

  • martinfan30

Posted September 13, 2007 - 08:05 AM


xr650r would be my choice on a next bike. last longer engine wise compared to the 450's. 650 better for desert too. plus you can prob. get it plated easier.

  • Maroast

Posted September 13, 2007 - 08:26 AM


I ride a 650r and have tried several 450 mx bikes. The xr650r has way more torque and pulls like a tractor. Also, i like the added weight of the xrr, it lets you hold high speeds with less fatigue...

I don't really see the xrr as a practical load in your truck dirt bike (race bike yes)...I see it as a VERY aggressive dualsport bike. I change the oil/check valves ever 1000-1500 miles, drive it to work/school every day, ritually hit 90+ w/ dunlop 606's, and blast in the woods/ open sand pits on the weekends <--I get to ride my bike to the trails!

This bike is so sick and versatile ... it really upsets me that honda not only didn't release the bike DOT legal, but now they went and dropped it from their line. They really had a good thing going, but dropped the ball in the end. oh well, I got mine (plated)...and a huge smile on my face. :thumbsup:

oh, the "L" is a turd :ride:

  • Kyron

Posted September 13, 2007 - 09:42 AM


Thanks for the replies. Any other insights?

A big part of the answer depends on where you want to ride......
As for CR450F vs XR650R ...... I say CR500 as a happy medium
Check out Southwestdirtrider.com for more local insight :thumbsup:

  • Suikerland

Posted September 13, 2007 - 10:17 AM


This bike is so sick and versatile ... it really upsets me that honda not only didn't release the bike DOT legal

they did - everywhere except the U.S.:thumbsup:

  • RCinLaveen

Posted September 13, 2007 - 11:26 AM


but now they went and dropped it from their line. :thumbsup: :ride:

I was aware of that. Can't remember where I saw it, but a site mentioned a "rumored" 500 or 600. That's all I could find.

  • xr650rkyle

Posted September 13, 2007 - 01:58 PM


If you are into motocross closed track riding go with the 450, If you are into covering large area's of the desert quickly and in COMFORT, the 650R is your choice. I myself weigh 245 and when I sit on a 450 it feels like a mini bike compared to the 650. The 650 motor will outlast the 450 motor at least 3 times over. You must set it up correctly... 1st Oncork, 2nd Suspension for a large guy, 3rd Controls and bar set up. You will love it! You cannot feel the extra weight at all over 50 mph and the ride feels like a cadilac.
GO XR650R!

  • InternalCombustion

Posted September 13, 2007 - 05:49 PM


Ever see that Hummer H2 commercial, when that model was introduced a couple of years ago? Remember seeing that H2 hammering across the desert, in slo-mo? The tires were going nuts, up-down-up-down, keeping up with the terrain. But the body of the H2 was darn-near not bobbing at all.

That's what we're talking here: supreme stability at insane speeds over just about any terrain.

Do yourself a favor. Before you decide which bike, watch "Dust to Glory". Thatll help you decide, for sure.

  • Huffa 2

Posted September 13, 2007 - 07:06 PM


The 450 motor is more high strung, demands more rebuilding and I know the 450R motors, 02-07 (X probably to) was a gamble in some ways if you got a good one that didn't need the valves adjusted in a very short time.

Some guys went 50 hrs with out adjustment, some 20, some 100, some came out of the factory needing a adjustment right away.

You don't JUST adjust them by loosening a nut and turning with screw driver, got to take whole rocker assembly off, figure what shims you need, order them up hoping you selected the right ones, put it back together, I found it a real pain and mine intakes went south at 27 hours :thumbsup: , then 45 hours :ride:

I'm not sure but I think the XR is the simple method I mentioned above in 1st paragraph?

Piston/ring wise the CRF's go for a 100-150 hours.

I'd go with the BRP if your not so concerned with the flickability of the machine.

  • scalejockey

Posted September 13, 2007 - 08:03 PM


Iv'e owned over 40 bikes though the years and of lately rode a lot of 450s. sure they go like hell when ya ring um out but the 650 makes me grin when i roll the throttle and with a little suspension work I give them kids fits on the trail.
It really gets them when ya pull behind them and honk your horn (mine has a dual sport kit)
sure I could get a new 450 and go even faster through the nasties but i don't feel that need as much anymore.That just means when i do fall i'll just be going faster. besides hearing all the stories of 2-3 grand.on a blown 450motor kinda keeps things in reality. I've heard 650's going 10,000 miles before rebuilds.

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