XR650L/R on the highway?


57 replies to this topic
  • xarhtna

Posted October 04, 2007 - 02:00 PM

#41

Almost a year ago I bought my first motorcycle, a 1993 xr650l. I was inclined to get a krl but found a used xrl in my price range. It had about 12K miles and cost $2k. It was stock except for being unplugged and a slip-on supertrap muffler. It showed its age but ran strong. Looking over lots of ads since, I should have paid about $500 less, but I was very eager to get on the road. I have put about 3500 miles on the bike in the last year. Running fire roads, dirt secondary roads, two-lane mountain twisties and lots of in-town commuting.

Before long, I realized I spent much more time on the street than off so I changed out the stock tires for Dunlop D607 front/Trailmax rear. Every day that I don't have to use four wheels, I use the xrl for the commute (40 miles round trip) to work. I am able to get a jump on all other traffic off the lights and cruise at 65 - 70 mph in the stretches where traffic allows. The height of the xrl puts my line of site on the road at about the same height as in my Astro van. Once your comfortable with the xrl, it is very maneuverable, quick and nimble.

I have put in a few 200 + mile (usually a mix of dirt and pavement) days on the xrl and I have to admit, I was fatigued at the end of the day. Chest and shoulders were sore from holding on/fighting the wind and a general fatigue from the buzziness. Before I balanced the front tire, the ride was kind of scary over 60 mph - the balancing makes a huge difference. I know there are some who cruise for extended stretches at higher speeds, but I still don't feel real comfortable over about 70 or so.

The D607's feel good on the street and highway (I'm a noobie and I know it, I don't come anywhere near the traction limits in the corners) and handled most dirt and gravel roads pretty well. The only negative experience I have had was on a dirt road with some sand drifts in sections a couple weeks ago and the front tire felt like it wanted to fold back under the bike going through the deeper sand.

I am very happy that I got the xrl. It has been great for learning basic riding skills (building on the MSF basic riding class), it cuts through traffic with ease, and is a pretty simple machine to maintain.

When it comes to care and issues with the machine, this forum is a great resource. I have learned enough from lurking and reading the archives here that, along with a little help from Clymer, I feel pretty confident doing most of the maintenance and repairs myself.

Bottom line is its a fun bike that, if you are not in too great a hurry, you can buy used for a reasonable price and keep it up without breaking the bank. I have already bought a second motorcycle for longer highway rides but I have no intentions of letting the xrl go.

Whatever you choose, have fun and ride safe.


Thanks for writing, I'm even more excited to get one now :confused:

  • hondacrf150f1

Posted October 04, 2007 - 02:42 PM

#42

Thanks for writing, I'm even more excited to get one now :confused:


So your going with the 650L...great choice:applause: im willing to bet money on it being the longest lasting single cylinder motorcycle that ever existed.:confused:

  • hondaxrl650

Posted October 04, 2007 - 02:50 PM

#43

I'm looking for a dual-purpose bike that I can ride on trails and commute back and forth to and from work.

Work is about 15 mins city and 20 mins highway (90km/h or 55 mph)...

Anyone do this? What kind of gas mileage can I expect? Any mods to be done?


I have had a 07 xrl since Feb and I can say I love it . When I ride it to work it is a 84 mile round trip and it is great at 65-75 mph with 15-48 gearing . Mods I did daves mods and de-smoged 55 pilot and 158 main at sea level and it woke the bike up . What ever bike you get enjoy as I have mine :confused: on

  • xr650l bum

Posted October 04, 2007 - 09:55 PM

#44

So your going with the 650L...great choice:applause: im willing to bet money on it being the longest lasting single cylinder motorcycle that ever existed.:confused:


The best! The xr650l is my first and only bike. I have learned everything on this bike. The great thing about these bikes is how you can dial it in for your needs. I have 3 sets of wheels/tires so I can do street/ off road / 50-50. While learning to ride off road, one thing I stumbled into was how durable a machine it really is. You can crash alot and pick the bike up and keep going. Riding buddies are always breaking some radiator, overheating, fan, blah blah blah. The xr650l has always gotten me back! It is the most durable bike period. Great choice enjoy

  • squatpuke

Posted October 04, 2007 - 10:39 PM

#45

+1 for the L
+1 for the durability
------
I bought an '07 XRL after a 25 year riding layoff (YZ80 then Bultaco250)...

It's a great 50-50 bike...and I commute about 14 plus miles one way...gas milage is good with the steady low throttle 5th gear.

Personally, I'm not too comfy above 60mph...anything below is great. I love taking the back roads homes.

I'm 6'2" and 260...with your size, you'll want to invest in a new triple and handlebars I'm sure ($250) I put mine on all by myself (hehe) and am VERY phobic with wrenches...easy upgrade. Soon, I'm looking forward to carb mods, desmogging, and new pipe. (anybody willing to be my "online buddy" during all that?)

I've heard good things about the KLR, but I'll be damned that EVERYTIME I see a "big" guy on that bike, they look like a bear on a tricycle.

my .02 cents

  • Huffa 2

Posted October 05, 2007 - 02:30 AM

#46

I have the L but just recently rode a R for 50 miles or so on the highway, to me, the L just kicks butt in every aspect of road riding.

1) extra weight of the L HELPS it actually and just seems more solid on the road and is why I wouldn't want a lighter DRZ also, espeacially for long trips.

2) the powerbands of the two were pretty much identical with of course the R having more ponies through out but it wasn't THAT much of a difference, less then I expected for sure and mine was geared higher and speaking of gearing .......

3) I run about as tall gearing I feel you should go with an L, 15/42 and the bike just laughs at 75MPH and has no hint of unsteadyness at any speed, it would cruise 80 all day, easily! I get 53-57MPG riding it with a short shifting method, using the full torque of motor. Just no need to wind an L out, it's just as much fun with low revs and you still get up to speed palenty quick and over time that will help engine life also.

4) The ES of course is a big plus and even though the R started 1st or 2nd kick (took me 4 though, not used to it), I just want a button for sure!

5) Both seats get irritating after so long but the R seat is definitly a lot harder (Like a DRZ seat), the L is a sofa by comparison.

6) I run 50/50 Mefo tires and don't have any complaints what so ever with them, never used them in trails but heard they work quite good.

http://www.thumperta...&highlight=mefo

7) I noted with the R it had a trans whine sort of, maybe the mating teeth of gears are cut different, I don't know, but the L engine I don't hear a thing, it actually felt to be more solid of a motor even though they are both quite bulletproof. The noise in a way bugged me but if I never had an L, then it probably wouldn't have.

I want it to be known I'm just guessing it was from the trans, maybe it had something to do with that it's water cooled and I heard the pump a bit or something, just don't want to bum any R guys out making them think the engine is overly noisy, it's not, but more so then the L, at least this R was.

  • martinfan30

Posted October 05, 2007 - 06:58 AM

#47

+1 for the L
+1 for the durability
------
I bought an '07 XRL after a 25 year riding layoff (YZ80 then Bultaco250)...

It's a great 50-50 bike...and I commute about 14 plus miles one way...gas milage is good with the steady low throttle 5th gear.

Personally, I'm not too comfy above 60mph...anything below is great. I love taking the back roads homes.

I'm 6'2" and 260...with your size, you'll want to invest in a new triple and handlebars I'm sure ($250) I put mine on all by myself (hehe) and am VERY phobic with wrenches...easy upgrade. Soon, I'm looking forward to carb mods, desmogging, and new pipe. (anybody willing to be my "online buddy" during all that?)

I've heard good things about the KLR, but I'll be damned that EVERYTIME I see a "big" guy on that bike, they look like a bear on a tricycle.

my .02 cents


We are all your online buddies! we'll get you through it.

  • Motosprtman

Posted October 05, 2007 - 08:11 AM

#48

did I mention I went to the dark side and for the commuter bike now I ride a 2007 HD Dyna Superglide Custom, first HD ever, but it does ride nice on the road. Difference between the 650 and the HD is like comparing a WWII Willys Jeep to a new Cadilliac.

Still I love my BIG RED and have kept it and always will.

and no I don't wear the HD bad boy garb, refuse to. I am more like a "Wild Hog".

  • martinfan30

Posted October 05, 2007 - 09:18 AM

#49

did I mention I went to the dark side and for the commuter bike now I ride a 2007 HD Dyna Superglide Custom, first HD ever, but it does ride nice on the road. Difference between the 650 and the HD is like comparing a WWII Willys Jeep to a new Cadilliac.

Still I love my BIG RED and have kept it and always will.

and no I don't wear the HD bad boy garb, refuse to. I am more like a "Wild Hog".



no leather chaps? no motorcycle club jacket?:confused:

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

Posted October 05, 2007 - 09:37 AM

#50

ok chaps and jacket
FULL FACE helmet

  • Motosprtman

Posted October 05, 2007 - 09:42 AM

#51

[quote name='martinfan30'][quote name='Motosprtman']

i could be, for a small fee!!LOL!

heres a link for that video.....

http://www.breitbart.tv/?p=6314[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the video link.

  • martinfan30

Posted October 06, 2007 - 09:20 AM

#52

Fixed that for ya

Dave (pot, meet stirrer, hehehehe)


LOL! thanks dave!:confused:

you have a LARGE cauldron spoon!

  • azkarn

Posted October 07, 2007 - 10:49 AM

#53

I'm looking for a dual-purpose bike that I can ride on trails and commute back and forth to and from work.

Work is about 15 mins city and 20 mins highway (90km/h or 55 mph)...

Anyone do this? What kind of gas mileage can I expect? Any mods to be done?

I bought a Kawasaki KLR 650 in June 07...Broke it in in NYE Montana...Its 7 mi of heavy gravel road to the pavement from my place. Its a good commuter. I average 200 miles to the tank and have not laid it down yet. The bike is responsive and has plenty of travel if you hit rocks or potholes. As a trail bike? I dont know your terrain, but the weight may be a little heavy if you are talking trails without someone to help you pick the thing up again.

  • Old Dog

Posted October 07, 2007 - 05:41 PM

#54

I've been riding Honda single cylinder bikes since I was 6 years old. My first bike was a Z50, then an XR80, XL100, XR200, XL500 and now an '06 650L. I had some non-thumper Street bike in there too (CB350, CB750Four, CB750 Custom, Yammy FJ600). Of all those bikes, my 650L is my favorite. I've done quite a few mods too it, including a Corbin seat (a must for long rides), an Edelbrock Pumper carb and an Big Gun Evo-X exhaust. The two top mods that seemed to wake it up were the Big Gun exhaust and Edelbrock (after I figured out the procedure for cold starting it without a choke that is! :confused:).

I wouldn't trade my thumper for any other DS out there. It was a good bike stock, but once you get it uncorked and set up to your style of riding it's even better. There seems to be an endless number of aftermarket mods available for it too. :confused:

  • tcj650

Posted October 07, 2007 - 05:48 PM

#55

i get about the same (40 mpg) on an XRL. 5K on it and it just keeps on going. lots of rear tires though

  • martinfan30

Posted October 08, 2007 - 10:16 AM

#56

i get 45-50 with a fcr pumper, lots of tires!

  • xr600inoz

Posted May 13, 2008 - 02:33 AM

#57

yo, i just rode my 98; r 750kms in one day. he used spot on a litre of oil and about 60 litres of fuel. It was a hard run from sun up to sun down only stopping for lunch and a few fuel stops. mine has 8600kms on the clock and the way it is going i would expect atleast another 10000kms with out to much hassle. on the highway I got a numb right hand after about an hour which made the day a long one but it is a matter of new flexx bars and checking all the bolts on the bike to make sure they are tight. All i would say is i am sick of kicking the @#+* over - get electric start.

  • 1nstr

Posted May 13, 2008 - 06:05 AM

#58

The L is a great all around bike when you do the mods. I also did the battery surgery and got that ugly thing under the seat and in the air box with no change in the performance. I have taken it all over the trails and valleys.





Related Content

Reviews

Honda XR650L 2017 by Chris.GVS


Honda XR650L 2017
  • - - - - -
  • 0 reviews
Forums
Photo

DirttyPig 2005 Xr650l Prroject! by braapmebb1moretime


Dirt Bike   Make / Model Specific   Honda   XR600/650
  • 22 replies
Forums
Photo

XR650L super moto wheels by greggkklee


Dirt Bike   Make / Model Specific   Honda   XR600/650
  • Hot  28 replies
Forums
Photo

Engine Loping/Sputtering by tcaldwell


Dirt Bike   Make / Model Specific   Honda   XR600/650
  • 2 replies
Wiki
Want to add a kickstart to your XR650L?  Here's how - last post by clc3251

Want to add a kickstart to your XR650L? Here's how


Articles
  • 0 replies
 
x

Join Our Community!

Even if you don't want to post, registered members get access to tools that make finding & following the good stuff easier.

If you enjoyed reading about "" here in the ThumperTalk archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join ThumperTalk today!

The views and opinions expressed on this page are strictly those of the author, and have not been reviewed or approved by ThumperTalk.