XR650L vs. DR650


18 replies to this topic
  • mrfreeze54

Posted February 04, 2008 - 07:23 PM

#1

I started shopping today for new bike. I was pretty much decided I was going to buy a new XR650L. I went in to a dealer today and was told buy salesman that the DR had a lot more power. I don't want to start a fight but what is your guys impression of that? Power was not one of my major deciding factors any how. I think I will still buy the XR but not there. Thanks...

  • martinfan30

Posted February 04, 2008 - 07:27 PM

#2

The XRL is a more capable offroad bike also. With some rejetting, exhaust and airbox mods, it makes very good useable power. Less weight also. I use mine for alot of comuting also. Very good on the hiway. Just a small change in gearing is needed.

Its also a bit taller, what size are you?

  • AtomicGeo

Posted February 04, 2008 - 07:45 PM

#3

Depends on how you are going to ride the bike. If you are going to mainly want it for off-road, I would choose the XRL because of the larger clearance and lighter. On the street, I think the DR is a little more comfortable. Of course there are plenty of other bikes out there, but for me I like the XRL more dirt worthiness than the DR.

  • jdubb75

Posted February 04, 2008 - 07:48 PM

#4

If your still shopping and not 100% decided, you may want to look at the XR650R too. Just a thought. I see you are in OH, what part? I found a couple really good deals that may be close to you when I was shopping around a few weeks ago.

  • Bibleman

Posted February 04, 2008 - 08:03 PM

#5

Everything I've ever read points to both bikes being similar in power. IF the DR has more it's not a lot more.

  • jonr3

Posted February 05, 2008 - 05:45 AM

#6

I've had a few DS bikes (although I have never had a DR650) and my 650L is by far my favorite - plenty of power once the basic mods have been done, good ground clearance, good street manners, etc. Plus, I just don't think you can beat Honda's reliability.

  • mrfreeze54

Posted February 05, 2008 - 06:08 AM

#7

I have other bikes for more street oriented riding. That was why I wanted a more dirt oriented bike, like the xr-l. The mods look pretty simple to me. The xl-r looks to hard to convert and get plated. I am not sure I want to go through that, Unless I find one in Ohio already plated. I am 6ft. and 260# so I think height is good.

  • jdubb75

Posted February 05, 2008 - 06:26 AM

#8

I have other bikes for more street oriented riding. That was why I wanted a more dirt oriented bike, like the xr-l. The mods look pretty simple to me. The xl-r looks to hard to convert and get plated. I am not sure I want to go through that, Unless I find one in Ohio already plated. I am 6ft. and 260# so I think height is good.


I brought my 07 R home from the dealer with a tempoary plate and they had the title switched to street use for me. There was not 1 piece of d.o.t. legal equipment on it and I am in the process of doing that now. I've read posts from others in OH that claim it is very easy to get it switched to the street there as well.

You may want to ask your dealer if they can do this for you. My dealer just submitted a change of title when they had it transferred into my name and that was all it took. :busted:

Don't let getting it titled for the street discourage you. It's not a hard or expensive process. (depending on where your at) I think your good in OH though. I'll look for the old thread that I am referring too. I was in your exact situation about 2 months ago. After a little research my mind was made up...650R all the way!

  • jdubb75

Posted February 05, 2008 - 06:43 AM

#9

This is not the thread I was thinking of earlier, but it will give you an idea of what it's like in OH.

http://www.thumperta...t=ds conversion

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

Posted February 05, 2008 - 06:56 AM

#10

sounds to me like a typical inexperienced salesman pitch - "it has more power" what BS, maybe it does on a spec sheet, but who cares. It's all about your personal preference and what you intend for the bike to do for you, off road, trails, commuting, general purpose fun. The only real technical differences is that the XR650L is the most dirt worthy as compared ot the DR650, or the Kawasaki KLR which are by far more street and dirt road oriented and thus also more comfy, looks plays into a decision too and the XR looks burly, ready to go. The DR I like second best in looks and the KLR to me is nasty lookin, butt ugly - but.... it has a huge following. Quality wise Honda, you can't go wrong, Suzuki is close and the Kawasaki, again to me is cheapy lookin. There is also the Husqvarna and KTM dual sports to be considered if you want to go a bit exotic. In my humble opinion the XR650L after uncorked is the best value for your hard earned dollars.

  • Denn10

Posted February 05, 2008 - 07:18 AM

#11

I have other bikes for more street oriented riding. That was why I wanted a more dirt oriented bike, like the xr-l. The mods look pretty simple to me.

I am 6ft. and 260# so I think height is good.



That right there says that the 650L is more for you than a SlowZUKI DR650, Honda 650L is way more of an off road inspired dual sport!! Im a tad bigger than you and in stock form with a little gearing change its alot of fun. I come from a MX background where im always wanting more HP and my L hasnt disapointed me yet AND my engine is still bone stock. With small mods like a different carb , high compression piston and cam, these air cooled VERY RELIABLE engines can rip pretty good.

  • wheelnut46

Posted February 05, 2008 - 07:20 AM

#12

I had also considered both and here's what I learned.
The XR650L and the DR650 weight the same. Both are air cooled. :busted: The DR has 1/2 gallon larger tank. The DR is shorter and can be made shorter still by adjusting the rear link and replacing the kickstand with a shorter one available from Suzuki. The XRL costs a slight bit more but not much. The DR has an oil cooler hanging off the side in a precarious place. I liked the idea of an oil cooler and lots of folks buy them and ride forever but I knew that I would find a stick or a rock and bust that thing easily - just my luck. Take a look and you'll see what I mean.
The DR seat is reputed to be pretty bad. Ask around - for many people it's the first thing being replaced.
Everyone replaces the XRL fuel tank eventually. Why not, it lightens the bike and gives you more fuel.
If you go to www.advrider.com you will find a rabid group of DR owners who will tell you you're a fool for riding anything else. I think they are justifying their purchase and recruiting others to make themselves feel better.:worthy:
Lets face it, there's no place a DR can go that a XRL can't.
BTW I find the XRL plenty comfy on the road for extended rides for a tall open bike (no fairing).

  • Itchykawa

Posted February 05, 2008 - 06:43 PM

#13

Go to a dealer, sit on both, then squeeze the front brake and rock back and forth. You will probably find that the DR is sprung way too soft for a person of your size. It is my ONLY complaint with the DR650. A great bike otherwise and some may actually like their suspension that soft. :busted: I bought an XRL partially because I didn't think I could live with it every day.

Also, the XRL is a better trail bike (though not by leaps and bounds) and I have always been of the opinion that it is easier to make a "dirtier" bike better on asphalt than it is to make a "streetier" bike work well in the dirt.

  • resurrection

Posted February 05, 2008 - 09:57 PM

#14

Has anyone mentioned the fact that the XL is a HONDA .

  • Slave2Fishing

Posted February 07, 2008 - 08:40 AM

#15

I have been lurking here and advrider, trying to find out which is the best mount for me as well. I am also between the XL and DR. From what I've read the DR is sprung soft (I'm 6'3" 275 pounds) and most people do the following to their DR : Susp Mods, open airbox, Rejet, grind a header weld, put on aftermarket can, replace seat. The DR is a cheap bike but after all this maybe not so. I have owned an old 600L and I liked it. I like tinkering but I'd like to be pretty happy out of the box. I mostly want to commute with this new bike but also do a little riding in the Ocala National Forest. What are the most common changes made to the XL?

  • jonr3

Posted February 07, 2008 - 09:21 AM

#16

I like tinkering but I'd like to be pretty happy out of the box. I mostly want to commute with this new bike but also do a little riding in the Ocala National Forest. What are the most common changes made to the XL?


You can easily ride a 650L right off the showroom floor and be fairly content with it. Although, with just a few minor mods, you can really wake it up:
1. Remove the smog stuff
2. Remove the air box snorkel
3. Add a DynoJet kit or do Dave's carb mods

Those minor, inexpensive mods can make a BIG difference. :busted:

After that, the options are unlimited...

  • cornelieaz

Posted February 09, 2008 - 12:51 PM

#17

I started shopping today for new bike. I was pretty much decided I was going to buy a new XR650L. I went in to a dealer today and was told buy salesman that the DR had a lot more power. I don't want to start a fight but what is your guys impression of that? Power was not one of my major deciding factors any how. I think I will still buy the XR but not there. Thanks...


I have been lurking here and advrider, trying to find out which is the best mount for me as well. I am also between the XL and DR. From what I've read the DR is sprung soft (I'm 6'3" 275 pounds) and most people do the following to their DR : Susp Mods, open airbox, Rejet, grind a header weld, put on aftermarket can, replace seat. The DR is a cheap bike but after all this maybe not so. I have owned an old 600L and I liked it. I like tinkering but I'd like to be pretty happy out of the box. I mostly want to commute with this new bike but also do a little riding in the Ocala National Forest. What are the most common changes made to the XL?


I have owned both an '04 DR650 and the '98 XR650L. I was in the same spot, trying to decide what dual sport was my best fit. I bought the DR because I found one really clean and for a great price used ($2600 with 2200mi). Really pretty bike, smooth and comfortable due to the engine counterbalancer, and yes, LOTS of power stock...more so than the XR stock, but then I took it off road poking around in the woods and bottomed the thing out twice in one day of just foolin around...no good. I'm 6'1" 165lbs. I took the thing home, sold it and bought the '98 XR for $1300 with 14K on it. It aint pretty and it's not quite as fast, but it sure is alot more fun in the dirt. It's my trouble makin machine, whereas the DR was a much smoother commuter bike and a blast down bumpy dirt roads. In the end I wanted a bike that could go anywhere and take a severe beating from being tossed so many times.

DR650 -
:busted: smoother operating engine, pretty, tons of torque
:ride: squishy smooth suspension (great for bumpy roads, no good in the nasty stuff)

XR650L -
:blah: funny lookin, not quite as fast stock (I don't really miss the extra juice though), vibrates alot.
:worthy: the stock seat is actually much more comfortable than the DR strangely...it'll take you anywhere though.

It's about priorities I suppose.

  • Slave2Fishing

Posted February 10, 2008 - 04:40 PM

#18

Thanks for the feedback guys.

  • mrfreeze54

Posted February 10, 2008 - 05:19 PM

#19

Tomorrow or the next day I am going to pull trigger on 2006 xrl with 1100 miles never dropped or crashed. I can't wiat to get first drop out of the way and start to mod....:applause:





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