Should I sell my CA plated XR400 and buy a CA plated XR650R?


8 replies to this topic
  • michaelxr

Posted March 15, 2008 - 11:10 AM

#1

I have a few questions about the differences between these bikes. I'm thinking about a 650R because I find myself wanting to do more adventure type riding than gnarly trails.

I've had my 400 for 5 years now. I used to ride a lot of gnarly hills and trails in the Sierras and mix in some fire road. I had a XR250 for 4 years or so, then bought my 400 and absolutely love it. I used to push myself, climb hills and ride trails that were above my skill level. I'd fall off all the time trying, never really hurt myself though. Then I wiped out pretty bad at Hollister screwing around doing stuff I shouldn't have been doing and broke my collar bone in half in late 2003. Since then, my riding style has changed a lot, a lot more cautious, still push myself some when I'm in the mood, but I haven't laid my bike down since that last bad crash.

I dual sported my 400 back when I first got it and have been enjoying riding asphalt roads in the Sierras more and more. I've done a few long adventure rides with a friend which included 50/50 paved road and fire roads to get to some pretty remote areas and those rides have been my favorite of all. I've been looking for a set of used Excel 17" supermoto wheels for my 400 for a couple months now. I'd like to do more road riding and would really like to do it with street tires and not 90% dirt knobbies like I have now.

My best friend is buying a Suzuki DR-Z400 SM in the next few months, so there will be a lot of road riding after that and until he gets his second set of wheels just for dirt.

Anyway, sorry to ramble, but my 400 is twitchy and revving pretty high at 55 mph or so. I really don't feel that comfortable on it on the street. I'd like to be able to relax a little more and enjoy the scenery but find myself hanging on real tight, gripping the tank with my knees really tight, and just not relaxed at all while at speed.

I've been doing a lot of reading here and other sites, and I think for my style of riding now the 650R is exactly what I need. I love Honda's, the XR's I've had have been 100% reliable, very, very low maintenance machines. I've found myself wishing for more power with my 400 and have done all mods I can without opening up the motor, but still would like more. Don't want to do internal motor work because I do not want to sacrifice any reliability.

I'd like to hear from those of you who have or who have had both of these bikes. It sounds like the 650R is around 20 - 25 lbs heavier, but I think I'll actually like having that extra weight for the street. From seaching and reading, it sounds like the suspension on the 650 is a little more up to date and better than the 400? Of course, the power and reliability is there with the 650. I've also seen many sets of used Excel 17" supermoto wheels for 650R's for sale. Then if I want to go ride at my local OHV park and climb hills and mess around, I can slap the dirt wheels back on the 650R and it will still be as good as my 400, and much much better than a 650L.

Anyway, any opinions would be great, but I don't really want to hear about KTM's or Husky's due to cost and maintenance. Thanks. One more thing, I'm 6'2" 200lbs. When I went from my 250 to my 400, I didn't really notice any weight increase, but I did notice how much better the suspension and power was on the 400.

  • hill5150

Posted March 15, 2008 - 01:58 PM

#2

Never owned a 400, but have ridden it, get the 650, you will not regret the upgrade in useable power gain, if your 200lbs you have no business on a 400 :confused: IMO....................

  • Krannie McKranface

Posted March 15, 2008 - 06:14 PM

#3

The XR650R will be a comfortable step up, in all respects. You will experience familiar ergonomics, brake feel, clutch action (though heavier), mid-speed handling characteristics, and the familiar and legendary Honda XR reliability.
XRR pros:
- Unlimited tuning possibilities, including near stock (have to uncork a bit).
- Very comfortable ergos; this is a heavy bike, that once moving, is very agile.
- Stability: nothing better with this reliability (after suspension tuning)
- Tons of aftermarket; lots of it on close out too!
- TORQUE: the stump pulling, how do I get more traction kind. Just put it in third and ride all day.
XRR cons:
- The weight is a big factor, and really requires that you do proper suspension set up: you must re-spring and re-valve for best results. Then it is a Cadilliac that leaps tall buildings without effort.
- The handling: it is a bull in a china shop on some trails. Once you are in third, it just can't be faltered.
- Motor characteristics: tough to get the motor snappy and quicker reving, without loosing it's grunty nature.
- Did I mention that it's heavy?
- It's big. I mean as in large. You drop it, you and your last breath pick it up.

I had one, sold it, bought an R, hated it in the desert, bought an X, love it, but wanted the plate again, so I bought a used plated XRR. Still setting it up, but man is it cool.

  • AaronBrown

Posted March 15, 2008 - 06:18 PM

#4

I think I would do it. I have been looking at 650r bikes around here to buy. If I could find a plated one....................:confused:

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  • Billahjack

Posted March 15, 2008 - 06:32 PM

#5

My best bud went from the 400 to the 650 and has thanked me ever since!

  • BBA

Posted March 15, 2008 - 06:44 PM

#6

The XR650R will be a comfortable step up, in all respects. You will experience familiar ergonomics, brake feel, clutch action (though heavier), mid-speed handling characteristics, and the familiar and legendary Honda XR reliability.
XRR pros:
- Unlimited tuning possibilities, including near stock (have to uncork a bit).
- Very comfortable ergos; this is a heavy bike, that once moving, is very agile.
- Stability: nothing better with this reliability (after suspension tuning)
- Tons of aftermarket; lots of it on close out too!
- TORQUE: the stump pulling, how do I get more traction kind. Just put it in third and ride all day.
XRR cons:
- The weight is a big factor, and really requires that you do proper suspension set up: you must re-spring and re-valve for best results. Then it is a Cadilliac that leaps tall buildings without effort.
- The handling: it is a bull in a china shop on some trails. Once you are in third, it just can't be faltered.
- Motor characteristics: tough to get the motor snappy and quicker reving, without loosing it's grunty nature.
- Did I mention that it's heavy?
- It's big. I mean as in large. You drop it, you and your last breath pick it up.

I had one, sold it, bought an R, hated it in the desert, bought an X, love it, but wanted the plate again, so I bought a used plated XRR. Still setting it up, but man is it cool.


Very nice read Krannie. I could not have put the pros & cons any better!

  • trail searcher

Posted March 15, 2008 - 07:13 PM

#7

I beleave the 650r can be riden faster off road due a stiffer chassis. It doesnt seem to flex as much as the 400. I have had one for 6 years. You have to ride smooth or it will spank ya. I have also tried some adventure or longer street rides on the bike but it vibrates too much even with gearing. Myself and 2 of my budies 650rs didnt last very long on the road. All 3 of them
lost rods. Good luck.

  • skyhighdaz

Posted March 15, 2008 - 07:39 PM

#8

I've had a 400 for about 3 yrs and the old 350 before that. Now mine isn't plated (doesn't mean it didn't see it's share of the back roads). I never had street tyres on it, only 80/20s.
Last year I bought an 01 650r, bought 17's with sm tyres and after 38 yrs on bikes,,,, this is "the bomb" as the youngsters might say. Or might not. Really, it kicks ass and you can read the other forums,,, once you get used to it, you will blow away those GXSR guys in the tight stuff.
As for the offroad,,, They don't call it the Big Red Pig for nothing.
but don't get to technical and it will be fine.
or you can be like me, and keep both!!!
Have fun!!!

  • Krannie McKranface

Posted March 16, 2008 - 03:56 AM

#9

QUOTE OF THE DAY:


I beleave the 650r can be riden faster off road due a stiffer chassis. It doesnt seem to flex as much as the 400. I have had one for 6 years. You have to ride the XR650R smoothly, or it will spank ya. I have also tried some adventure or longer street rides on the bike but it vibrates too much even with gearing. Myself and 2 of my budies 650rs didnt last very long on the road. All 3 of them
lost rods. Good luck.







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