Is the XR650L really that reliable?


49 replies to this topic
  • gnr650

Posted October 16, 2007 - 12:48 PM

#1

The reason I ask is because I have read some things that indicate that it is hard on top ends due to excess heat generated. It doesn't even have an oil cooler so it does seem like heat could be a problem.

I used to have an XR250 and my buddy had a 350 both with no oil coolers. I recall they used to get pretty hot, especially in the woods. Neither one ended up being reliable either, but I think both were thrashed by previous owners.

This of course goes against the general consensus that Honda's are the most reliable thing on earth, so I figured I would ask the question.

I'm looking at dual sport bikes so just asking the question in the event a 650L pops up.

Thanks for any input or discussion.

  • cleonard

Posted October 16, 2007 - 12:53 PM

#2

Nothing is indestructible. Any bike can be overheated to the point that damage occurs. I have heard of several reports of 650L's going over 50,000 miles without a rebuild. I've never heard of a two stroke or a modern slipper piston four stroke doing that.

No radiator to smash on an air cooled bike.

  • gnr650

Posted October 16, 2007 - 01:08 PM

#3

Excuse my ignorance, but what is a modern slipper piston?

50K sounds pretty good.

  • cleonard

Posted October 16, 2007 - 01:19 PM

#4

Excuse my ignorance, but what is a modern slipper piston?

50K sounds pretty good.


A slipper piston has almost no shirt. The piston in the XR's are tall at 4 or 5 inches. The slipper pistons are really short. No skirt at all on the side and only an inch or so fore and aft. The light weight helps performance, but the piston life sucks.

Slipper
Posted Image




Not slipper
Posted Image

  • martinfan30

Posted October 16, 2007 - 01:19 PM

#5

Excuse my ignorance, but what is a modern slipper piston?

50K sounds pretty good.


the hi-perf. almost no skirt pistons in the modern 4 stroke mxers.

the 650l engine is to honda as the 22r is to toyota.

rejetting cools em down and an oil cooler can be added.

  • Nummie

Posted October 16, 2007 - 01:35 PM

#6

Is the XR650L really that reliable?


In a word - yes.
That is unless you really abuse it and don't do any maintenance.

  • XR650L_Dave

Posted October 16, 2007 - 02:01 PM

#7

The main fairly-rare XRL problems-

-Bad CDI- $90- $130

-Dropping a valve seat- good excuse to put in a high-comp piston! I have heard of folks getting out of the bush with this failure

-Heard of one case of the auto-decompressor failing 'on'.

The bike was pushed/towed out of 5-miles-of-hell. If they had loosened the (right?) exhaust valve, they could have ridden it out.


Dave

  • jclaus98

Posted October 16, 2007 - 04:03 PM

#8

The other main reason behind the XR longeviety as compared to the newer 4 strokes is piston rings. As mentioned by cleonard, the newer bikes have very low profile pistons, but they also only have two rings, one compression ring and one oil ring. Most engines built for reliability typically have 3 rings, two compression, one oil. The reason for this is that as the oil viscosity begins to break down, and the rings fail to adequately retain compression, the fuel/air mixture will escape past the rings and be deposited into the engine oil. Over time, this accelerates the breakdown of the oil and eventaully will burn the rings completely. That's why the newer 4-strokes have to have the oil changed so frequently. The XR's came with three rings, larger pistons, and if they are porperly maintained and jetted as stated before, they won't overheat. My XR is a decade and a half old, has only had the oil/filter chaged regularly and has nary a problem, and according to my oil temp guage, the oil sits firmly between 150-200 degrees, even in the 100 degree heat here in Sacramento. If its longevity your looking for, an XR is your answer.

  • truck6driver

Posted October 16, 2007 - 06:06 PM

#9

If you are concerned about heat, you easily add an oil cooler. The XR650L uses the down tube of the frame as an oil tank. The oil is circulated through the tank from top to bottom. Since the down tube is in front of the engine it acts as a cooler just by getting the oil away from the engine and having air on all 4 sides of the tank. I added a JAGG oil cooler on a 94' just because I have always looked at the worst that could happen. For $145. it was cheap insurance for just a bolt on kit. I noticed that the oil life increased right off the bat but either way I did not have any problems that was the fault of the bike. It had well over 30k when I sold it. I still see it riding today and he has done nothing to it but service it.

RH

  • stepho

Posted October 16, 2007 - 06:36 PM

#10

The main fairly-rare XRL problems-

-Bad CDI- $90- $130

Thats a big 10-4 on the cdi Dave. Mine went out this week after 26900 miles no biggie though did not get stranded

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  • ghrati ghoti

Posted October 17, 2007 - 04:53 AM

#11

I have an 04 with over 28,000 miles. I think the motor stalled a couple of times, but it started right back up.:crazy:

  • scalejockey

Posted October 17, 2007 - 05:00 AM

#12

seen a few xrs' with a dry air filter suck in dust thus destroying the rings then burning up the oil then starving the top end for oil.The end results are ugly.All in one ride!! Simply always keep the air filter serviced.They last forever!

  • jonr3

Posted October 17, 2007 - 09:42 AM

#13

I've put over 5,000 miles on mine since I bought it in April, and besides regular maintenance and doing a few mods, I haven't had to do a thing to it. I'll commute on the highway anywhere between 65 - 90 mph and take it off-road on the weekends. Great bike! Wish I had bought one a long time ago!

  • Denn10

Posted October 17, 2007 - 10:29 AM

#14

My L has 128374 miles on original motor and oil THEY ARE RELIABLE!!!

  • martinfan30

Posted October 17, 2007 - 10:31 AM

#15

My L has 128374 miles on original motor and oil THEY ARE RELIABLE!!!



are you sure its 128K? thats amazing!:crazy:

  • machman

Posted October 17, 2007 - 01:17 PM

#16

My L has 128374 miles on original motor and oil THEY ARE RELIABLE!!!


Are you serious denn? I'm calling a tentative bullshit on that. Tell me I'm wrong please...

  • Denn10

Posted October 17, 2007 - 02:45 PM

#17

LOL im close but sorry for the exageration of reliability Its a good dependable machine as i say in poker "good call" machman

  • Frank ZX

Posted October 17, 2007 - 04:51 PM

#18

Are you serious denn? I'm calling a tentative bullshit on that. Tell me I'm wrong please...


I was scratching my head!::crazy:

  • truck6driver

Posted October 17, 2007 - 06:02 PM

#19

I was OK with the mileage but the original oil, not happening it this life time.

RH

  • martinfan30

Posted October 18, 2007 - 07:00 AM

#20

LOL im close but sorry for the exageration of reliability Its a good dependable machine as i say in poker "good call" machman


so whats the mileage then dummy?





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