650R smacks down RM-Z450, KTM 525 XC

Check out the wheelie pic. 650R riders have good reason to be proud, once again:

"Indeed, from that point on, Childress and Hengeveld worked on putting down more flawless laps on their Scott Dunlavey-prepared Berkeley Honda/Precision Concepts/Dunlop XR650R, a job made easier after the rain finally subsided as the first lap wound down. That's also when Folks stopped the field out of concern for the dangers imposed by the rain."

http://www.cyclenews.com/ShowStory.asp?HeadlineID=10060

Las Vegas 300 (10/16/2006): The XR650R of Mike Childress and Steve Hengeveld wins the Vegas 300. Team Honda insists their A Team continue to ride a bike that nobody will be able to buy next year. They figure if they keep winning races, people will finally realize this bike is only built for winners, and

not for the masses and mechanics. Since there is such a small market for

winners, it will be easy to convince the public it was a wise decision to

discontinue selling it. They can point to the all the superior technology

in the bikes they beat as proof the XR650R has to go, after wrapping up

their third straight victory. When asked why they chose the 650R over the

450X, Childress said "if we start winning races on that, everybody will get

scared, and think only winners can ride it."

I think it's a simple exercise in business logic. Honda never sold that many 650R's and they last forever. I think that the 450X is somewhat more popular, and doesn't last nearly as long. Since the 450X has to be replaced more often, Honda makes more profit.

Yep, Honda's 650R is a bike that's too good, too reliable, too fast, too much bike for the average rider. With every 650R Honda builds, they are putting themselves out of business since it will be the last bike the rider buys for the next 10 years. I'm keepin' mine.. no one gets it until they pry it from my cold dead hands. :devil:

Hrm, maybe next year I'll ironman the Baja 1000, I think I only have 10k miles on her, the motors just gettin broken in. :thumbsdn:

I think it's a simple exercise in business logic. Honda never sold that many 650R's and they last forever. I think that the 450X is somewhat more popular, and doesn't last nearly as long. Since the 450X has to be replaced more often, Honda makes more profit.

I guess I can appreciate where Honda is at regarding the almost-bullet-proof 650R: they made it too good, as we all know and love.

But they are on really thin ice, it seems to me. If they come out with a "disposable" BRP replacement that's got Unobtanium valves and a proprietary nuclear-fusion drive, they will be making a major gamble. With the 600R/650L/650R lineage they built a reputation for building 2-wheelers with stone-axe durability and class-leading capability. If they replace that hallowed lineage with a fix-it-every-other-weekend bike, no matter HOW fast it is, their "red-or-dead" customer base is going to start drifting to shades of blue or yellow or orange...

Honda, be careful.

Please.

I wish I could do weelies like that. I got mine completely vertical once on accident scared the bejeezus out of me.:mad:

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