XR 650R at freeway speeds.

22 replies to this topic
  • Dirtscience

Posted May 30, 2003 - 04:59 AM


Anyone Ride their 650R at freeway speeds for say 20 or 30 mile stretches? I'm talking 75 to 80 mph. I know the bike is fast and durable just curious if anyone thinks these extended periods of high speed may be damaging.

  • JamesD

Posted May 30, 2003 - 05:33 AM


The speed itself isn't damaging. Guys go that fast in the desert all day.

Long term on road use might not be a good thing for a different reason. Factory dual sport bikes have some sort of shock absorbtion system on the drive line for durability. Dirt bikes don't neet it since the dirt can't transmit shocks like that to the engine. I don't know if the problem is with stopping and starting or if bumps on a highway are also a problem. Occasional highway usage shouldn't hurt it, it's long term use that supposedly cause stress fractures in the tranny. How many years it would take on a beefy tranny a 600cc+ bike has I wouldn't have a clue.

  • XR/CRDave

Posted May 30, 2003 - 11:56 AM


I met a guy who commutes about 50 miles a day on an 00 650r and as far as I now he hasn't had any problems.

  • Burren_Rider

Posted June 01, 2003 - 01:56 PM



I have done a lot of miles on dirt bikes over the years, both on the road and off it. While you can certainly feel the difference in onroad shifting between a bike with a cush drive hub and one without it, I am fairly confident that it is not all that detrimental to the bike. I am not sure about the 650 but I believe the XR600 had a spring loaded mechanism in the clutch designed to do the same job as a cush drive by isolating some of shock to the gearbox on changing.

So far I have done around 11,000km's on my 650, with about 30% of that being at highway speeds on the road. The bike still shifts perfectly and makes no more noise than it did when new so I guess it is holding up OK. It has also done a few days of 900km's or more on outback tracks and roads without complaint, even in summer when temperatures were consistently up around 40 degrees celcius. The bike didn't complain once by overheating or not starting which is more than you could say for a few other brands under the same conditions.

Another point that gives me confidence is that one of the bikes that was used to run the Australian Safari has done 20,000 plus competitive kilometres, most of which were at speeds I wouldn't even think of, without any mechanical faults. If Stephen Greenfield, one of Australia's fastest desert racers, can't kill it then I reckon it should last me a long time. Only time will tell I guess.

  • PeterJ

Posted June 01, 2003 - 05:49 PM


I agree it is built to take it. That's why the BRP weighs 40-50 pounds more than the KTM and Husaberg!

  • Aussie_650

Posted June 02, 2003 - 01:10 AM



Hey Burren Rider where do you come from? I ride an 01 650R and live in Ipswich outside Brisbane. At a guess I'd say your from north western NSW.

I ride to an from work on the highway and have done 10 000km, with no problems.

I also rode from the Cairns to the Cape in September last year. You can read my story at www.eatmydirt.com.au the article is in the main menu and is called Eight is Enough.

My fellow pig brothers read and enjoy.


01 650R stock except 24 L acerbis tank 15/45 gearing and stainless steel oil filter.

  • Dirtscience

Posted June 02, 2003 - 03:52 AM


I am an ex Dez racer. I am fully aware of being able to ride a bike properly jetted full out for extended periods of time. I should have been more clear. My question follows along the lines of JamesD's post and vibration and road shock to the engine. I remember years ago hearing about this and wonder if its just an urban myth or real. I no longer race but now I am into prospecting. I bought the BRP because I felt it could meet my needs for prospecting (leaving from my house on paved roads for about 50 miles to dirt.) and for playing with my Dez buddies (full out trail roosting fun). Thank you for all the replies.


  • PeterJ

Posted June 04, 2003 - 06:23 PM


One other comment: A good tall off road knob will provide more flex than a cush drive hub anyday. If your worried about it keep a good knob on.

  • needsprayer

Posted June 05, 2003 - 04:00 AM



That's sounds very sensible, never thought about it that way. Running dual sport knobbies have an unexpected benefit. :)

I have been running Michelin Desert (front) and Baja (rear) DOT tires. I ride at 65 mph on highways (to get to canyons and such) and have had no problems. Even the spokes have stayed just as tight as running pure off-road.

  • Grimmer

Posted June 05, 2003 - 09:22 AM


I've been riding my BRP on the road for awhile. The only modification I've had to make was to the radator plastic. At highway speeds they spread out from the air blast. One actually broke loose. I simply used a zip tie to fasten them at the front to the radiator, problem solved. As far as durabilty I don't forsee any problems. Heck even the XR650L doesn't have a cush drive sproket anymore.

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  • XR954

Posted June 05, 2003 - 06:38 PM


One word for you...BUZZZZYYYY. BRP will vibrate the crap out of your hands and your feet. You dont notice this at all on dirt but on the street and freeways.......look out. Maybe I'm comparing my BRP to my CBR954 but man, she's buzzy.

  • needsprayer

Posted June 06, 2003 - 03:54 AM



You make a good point and you got me thinking. Perhaps a padded tube could be slipped over the grips when doing highway stints. I will experiment with this idea.

I don't notice the buzzy feel on the feet, perhaps it's the difference in boots. I probably look a little strange on the highways. Since I am just traveling to more off-road spots, I am wearing all of my protective gear. Those cruiser types most think I am a freaking alien. :)


  • Dirtscience

Posted June 06, 2003 - 07:10 AM


This doesnt cure the buzzing problem completely but I use the OURY road grips and they do help. They are a little larger diameter than normal mx grips, have a tacky feel with gloves on. The larger grip helps also if you have a fairly large hand. I raced desert races with them for years and wont use anything else anymore.
Some of my freinds absolutly hate them though, so I know they are not for everyone.

  • qadsan

Posted June 06, 2003 - 07:39 AM


This doesnt cure the buzzing problem...

If you're talking about bar vibration, you can try filling your bars with silicone and that may dampen things a bit.

  • fishjag

Posted June 06, 2003 - 07:59 AM


I rode mine from Perth to Newman Western Australia 1200kms while still running in and uncorked no probs.

  • smashinz2002

Posted June 06, 2003 - 06:30 PM


What is a Kilometer? For example, how much distance is that in miles? like .67 or something ? It's an oddball measurement, what's up with it ? hahahaha. Just kidding, I know it's a thousand meters, but then again, how much is a meter?? Something like 39 inches or what? A little more than three feet? Do you have any idea how long it's going to take to calculate and figure out how far a kilometer is in miles? Just kidding haha. But honestly, I believe in metric for tool sizing, but that's about it. Like a liter is sort of like a quart, but it's not! It's something else which I don't know what it is.
Please note that metric sizing for engines in CC's is cool, because I don't think anyone would know how many Cubic inches the XR650R is. And honestly who would care? I like the CC's thing, that's cool. And metric tools are cool.
P.S. I didn't know the XR650R was "buzzy" because I have never in my life ridden a street bike so I guess I don't know what that's all about either. haha. I figured that all motorcycles vibrated a huge amount above 60mph, which I considered just part of riding. Oh well I learned something new. Also note that Honda uses a cush device in the clutch assembly which eliminates the need for the outdated cush hub. The XRL does not have a cush hub either. KTM RFS's have no such clutch device and should not be dual sported. Also their gears are paper thin.

  • smashinz2002

Posted June 06, 2003 - 06:48 PM


Dirt Science, Nope, that's not gonna hurt the bike at all. If you maintain your XR properly, you will have a hard time hurting the engine or trans. It's very tough and race tested. Mine has almost 8k miles on it now, much of that street riding and also a lot of nailing the crap out of it off road. No major problems with the bike since I bought it back in 2000. (my subframe nut fell off, and the kickstarter bolt came loose, I used blue loctite on those).

  • Dirtscience

Posted June 07, 2003 - 07:12 AM


I might be wrong but my calculations show the BRP to be
39.6 cubic inches. Anyone Else??
Damn it looks like i'm highjacking my own post. LOL

  • qadsan

Posted June 07, 2003 - 09:13 AM


649cc / 16.386 = 39.6 inch^3

or you can figure it as...

Engine cc = (Bore(mm) * Bore(mm) * Stroke(mm)
* Number of Cylinders * 12.87) / 16386

100mm * 100mm * 82.6mm * 1 * 12.87 / 16386 = 648.76 cc

or as...

Engine inch^3 = Bore x Bore X Stroke X Number of Cylinders X 0.7854

3.937 * 3.937 * 3.25" * 1 * 0.7854 = 39.56 inch^3

  • billoyd

Posted June 07, 2003 - 05:31 PM


Gadsan, You kill me!!! Some time we'll have to sit down and play chess? Can we call you Yoda? or Sensai?

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