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Seat-of-the-pants impression of...

3 posts in this topic

...the HRC power-up kit?

I'm buying an XR650R in the very near future and would like a rider's impression of the HRC kit. The current garage bad boy is a Honda CR500 and it hits like a ton of bricks in the midrange. It has an FMF Gnarly pipe, all else being stock. I rode an uncorked XR650R last week (with stock gearing) and as expected it did not have that instantaneous surge of power that my CR has. What it did have is a very strong, almost electric-like (by my standards), pull that was very easy to control. In an all-out acceleration test my CR would probably pull away firmly, only to get reeled in VERY quickly on top. It impressed me and now I want one!

However powerful an uncorked 650R is, I still want a little more and the HRC kit looks promising but as with anything that substantially increases power, I have to wonder what the cons are. Some of the questions that come to mind are:

1. What does the power up kit do to the power delivery?

2. Does it move the powerband up in the RPM?

3. Does it negatively affect low-RPM performance?

4. Will it still be ridable in tight trails?

5. Does it reduce engine reliability?

6. Does the kit have good bang for the buck?

7. What are some alternatives without getting out of hand in power or price?

All comments and opinions welcome. Thank you.

Sean :cool:

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...the HRC power-up kit?

1. What does the power up kit do to the power delivery?

2. Does it move the powerband up in the RPM?

3. Does it negatively affect low-RPM performance?

4. Will it still be ridable in tight trails?

5. Does it reduce engine reliability?

6. Does the kit have good bang for the buck?

7. What are some alternatives without getting out of hand in power or price?

1. More of everything, especially mid.

2. No it does not move the powerband at all, IMO. Just gives you more.

3. IMO it improved low rpm-performance. For me (and others that have rode my R) it was easier to ride at slower speeds. The power pulses seem smoother, and it is actually easier to chug the motor down low.

4. For me, it was actually easier due to #3. I came off of KX500s, so just about anything was easier to ride on tight trails than one of them.

5. I have over 5 years of very hard racing and abuse on my HRC kit. My piston has finally started to wear the coating off the skirt, but is still well within spec. I have replaced the rings once just because I was there (I was replacing the valves). IMO reliabilty is as good as stock or better.

6. Depends on what you call bang for the buck. The full kit retails north of $1000 US. For me, if I ever buy another 650R, I will put a new HRC kit in it before I even ride it.

7. You can go with a HotCams stage 1 cam. This cam has an equivalent grind to the HRC cam. The HotCams stage 2 grind, is more aggressive and really bumps up the top end power even more. Many also go with a big bore 680 kit in conjunction with either of the above cams. I have no personal experience with any of these other routes, but many here on this forum will tell you how great they are. For me however, if it is good enough for Honda , which is a very conservative company, to put their name on it, it is good enough for me. I also liked the fact that the HRC kit came with a stouter cam chain and gears. I think that this adds to the reliability of the HRC parts.

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Thanks for the feedback eastreich, that's the kind of info I am looking for.

The HRC kit is a little spendy but like you said, if Honda put their name on it, I'm sure it's quality.

I want an XR650R more than ever now that Honda has decided to stop making them. Not too many factory strokers left these days! :ride:

Sean :cool:

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