XR650R a Race Bike?

9 replies to this topic
  • MagMan

Posted April 07, 2003 - 01:00 PM


I was think of a WR but want to move away from "Race Bikes". I have a 97 KTM 360 EXC 2 stroke and would like to move away from a bike that requires to be rode fairly hard, I refer to it as busy. I do a lot of my riding with kids ( 2 - 15 year olds) on quads, they are not real slow but a Blaster and a Lakota don't pair well with a KTM 360 EXC. I thought I had it sorted out with the XR650 but the last dealer said that it is a race oriented bike that doesn't like slow speed - to be run in the lower RPM,s. I kind of wanted a bike that didn't have to be buzzed - or in this case thumped. With my 2 stroke your either accelerating or decelorating in a sense. I want to be able just to cruse along, sometimes fast and sometimes at a slower pace. Is the XR400 a better option? By the by, I'm 6'2 240 - with so so skills.


1500 Motorcycles Magazines and counting.

  • Dutch

Posted April 07, 2003 - 01:46 PM


One feature of the BRP is that it can be set up to do many things well. The motor is happy trolling along or ripping at high speeds. The dealer you are speaking to may have other motives as to why he would say that. That said though - the XR400 is a great bike and may suit you needs better.

  • Rokatt88

Posted April 07, 2003 - 01:49 PM


Hey MagMan, I think the XR650R would be a great bike for you. This is not a motor that has to be revved out, believe me! It's got torque up the wazoo. I see you are in So. Cal., so I bet you ride in similar conditions. I love the Pig for blasting through the desert and I also have logged 100 mile weekends plunking along with my daughter at 15-30 miles an hour! If you keep your bike stock it's gonna barf it's coolant out pretty quickly if you are puttin'. Put on the HRC Power Up Kit and jetting, take off the emissions, unplug the airbox and go to a higher reated radiator cap 1.6 or 1.8. Me and my other Pig Budz run the 1.8 with no probs. or issues. All these mods give you more power but it actually makes the bike run better because it's not choked down and too lean. It's an awsome engine/bike. Enjoy! :)

  • MagMan

Posted April 07, 2003 - 02:02 PM


Dang - It's tough, I'm sitting here biding my time trying to decide to go out and get one. The last month or so I've been
1. Trying to decide if I should get a new bike.
2. Trying to decide what to get.

So XR650
Good -
Decent handling at speed
Can be made street legal
A desert sled

Needs mods to work at basic level?

Any other advice
Comments XR400 vrs XR650?

I wouldn't really be loading - lugging it juat want to be able to cruise along at 20 - 30 mph or so on my ride with the kids.

The overheating thing worries me a bit, don't need a new bike for that, mine does it fine. Also, can you ride the thing with out mods - with minimal $$$ mods for a while. This will take most of my $$$ and it's difficult to explain why you have to spend money on something your just bought --- if you know what I mean :)


  • Portland_650R

Posted April 07, 2003 - 03:28 PM


Versus XR400... I got such a deal on mine that it cost less than a 400. That's probably because I'm on the rainy side of the Cascades - all woods riding. I think it will last a lot longer - there's no substitute for cubic inches, as they say - and I ride it on a huge variety of stuff. Unless you're a jumper - it's sort of heavy for that, I think - I'd sure go with it. The only mod you'll need - and you WILL need to do this - is to open up the airbox, cut the restrictor out of the intake manifold - or buy the one without it, cheap - open up the pipe a bit. I cut the tip out of mine with a hole saw, which opens it up I think a bit too much, so used three stainless-steel scrubbers to quiet it down but still let it breathe. In the woods here, a 400 might be better. But it's nothing like the CR500 style you might be thinking about. More like a freight train. If you look in the latest Rev magazine, there's a piece on it.

:) New bike! Sounds like fun!

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  • Grimmer

Posted April 07, 2003 - 04:43 PM


For my 2 cents worth you can't go wrong with a XR400 or a XR650. Both are great bikes, one just has a S-load more power. I have a XR650 and find it to be suitable for just about anything. As for the overheating, yes it does do that if you are poking along in 1st gear and then let it idle for a couple of minutes. I opened mine up and the problem is gone! The mods these folks are talking about are very cheap to do and well worth it. They turn the bike into the monster it was designed to be. It adds to the fun factor, even more so if you are use to the kick of a 2 stroke. No matter what 4 stroke you get it will be much more able to handle a slow cruise in the woods than your average 2 stroke. Maybe wait a couple of months and get the CRF450X when it comes out. Should be a awesome machine.

  • MagMan

Posted April 07, 2003 - 05:27 PM


Well I'm stumped, maybe tomorrow I'll nut up and decide XR 400 or XR 650. Seems like the over heating isn't a big deal - we keep it rolling no problem there. Sounds like the basic mods are no big deal either. I'll sleep on it and see what I think tomorrow. Just don't want to make the wrong decision. I rode an old XR 600 a couple of weeks ago - it was kind of a beater but I really liked it. I went faster on this one down hill fire road on the XR than I usually did on my KTM. Loved the no breaking, just use the compression breaking, roll on - roll off, it was sweet. I really like the idea of the 650 but don't want something I have to ride 50mph all the time. Well Thanks to all, we'll see tomorrow. Oh - hope to be going to the Desert (So Cal) this weekend.


  • BrianVT

Posted April 08, 2003 - 01:48 AM


They were air-cooled 'till 2001, I believe. Maybe you could find one nice ?

  • tma

Posted April 08, 2003 - 05:25 AM


:) I agree with Rokatt88. After you do the HRC kit + desmog + 1.8, the pig will put put just fine. The bike was suspended for someone weighting about 170 to 175 lbs so you'll want suspension if you want to go faster in the rough stuff... But, if your just cruising the stock pig is great! Before I did the suspension, the single greatest improvement was pitching the stock bars... They are too low and too far back (no leverage)and bend really easy. There are several ways (high cost / low cost) to remedy this depending on what you intend to do with the bike... But, I would put new bars + clamp risers in your budget. :D

  • qcustom

Posted April 08, 2003 - 12:38 PM


I went out and got a brand new 650R in 2000 after not riding for 3 years loved the bike a little under powered for a 650 but great bike, power-up kit parts came in install kit now the bike rips. I had my bike overheat 1 time the whole time i've had the bike and with no new high pressure cap. I ride tight woods trails it's maybe a little heavy but if your not racing then get the 650 because weight doesn't matter and both the 400 $ 650 have the same lower end torgue motor that is made for lower speed. the 400 and the 650 are just like the diffence between a truck with a small block and 1 with a big block.

So if it's not clear I'm voting for the 650.

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