Happy with a 650?

I have been looking at bikes for a couple of months and I'm leaning towards the xr650. I ride a xr400 now and have been happy with this bike but want something with more power. I will keep the 400 for a spare. I'm not big on jumping so I don't think I want a CRF or YZ. I notice the WR has been having problems so I am little afraid of them but it sounds like the 04's are fixed. I have ridden the KTM 520. I like the KTM but don't feel it has the reliability like the XR and around here a 04 KTM 525mxc is $7250 before taxes and all the other charges they tack on. How is the 650 to start? I had a 89 xr600 and it was hard to kick but I liked the power. Any info would be appreciated. By the way I'm 6'2" and 275lbs so weight of the bike is not an issue. I will be riding trails most of the time.

Hey big t,

I am very happy with my 2000 XR650R. With the help of my nephew, I uncorked it and boy does that make a difference!!! I would highly recommend uncorking and rejetting.

I weigh 230 lbs and am a little over 6 feet tall. The 650 has more than enough power to tractor me up the steep trails. I have installed the 13 tooth front sprocket to gear it down a bit for the tight trails I like to ride.

Other than the uncorking, the bike is pretty much stock. As far as starting, it has not given me too many problems.

For trail riding, I love this bike. I love the sheer power.

Can't beat the 650R in my opinion!!! :)

The 650R is a great bike if you set it up the right way.

It starts well if you junk the stock carb, handles great

if you run the correct springs.

Take the time to set it up right and I predict

the three other machines at the bottom of your post

will have cobwebs hanging from them.

Big T, I love it!

I lived in memphis and once you set the jets (10 min.) and once you get the technique right to kick it you can get it running with 2-5 kicks. (less if warm) Now if you take a spill many have claimed to kick and kick forever to get it started but I didn't have that much trouble, 10-15 kicks, which is too many in heat.

Since then I put an edelbrock QS carb (best money spent for me) from barnumspro.com and I can start it barefoot now and if you spill its probably gonna still be running when you pick it up! If not it's only 2-3 kicks and your going again. But I like the results to the low end that the pumper carb gave, since I ride woods as well!

Weight is not an issue for it and people that haven't ridden it will tell you other wise but I had a XR200 before it that felt more cumbersom to ride!

Dutch mentioned Suspension, and from what I have heard its a difference from night and day. I'm only 160 and I find that the stock springs do well for me for now, (I will get it fine tuned to me eventually)

Honestly, I don't think you will have any complaints at all.

My wife and I will be visiting my family for Christmas in Germantown TN after Dec 19th and I'll have my 2000 XR650R with me. PM me if you haven't tried an uncorked one and you want to try one! It'll be a busy break and I won't post the details here but maybe we can work something out!


If you ride an XR400 now, I would highly suggest the XR650R instead of those other bikes you mentioned. I've had my 2000 650R (uncorked) for almost three years now, and it's never given me any trouble at all. If the 650R is uncorked and jetted, the power will be FAR more than the XR400. Not just a little more power than your 400, but TONS more!

The 650R is a true beast and will have no problem at all hauling around a big guy. And I can't even imagine finding a hill steep enough to make it run out of steam.

Much of the starting hassles with the 650R are user related I'm sure. There are a lot of people out there who just do not understand how to kick start a big thumper. If you are good at it, you can expect 3 or 4 kicks when cold, and one or two when warmed up. It's not a problem in my opinion, as long as you don't "stab" at it like a 2-stroke, because then it will never start.

I bought a used 2001 XR650R a little over a week ago. I'm 44, 6', 230# & have been away from bikes for many years. I rode a few 400's XRs & DR's before deciding on the 650. Mine starts with 2-3 kicks dead cold & 1-2 when warm (normally one). The bike is an absolute blast & feels very light/nimble in the trails. The grunt makes even flat ground fun, & makes steering with the throttle in the woods very easy/controlled. :)

The 650 makes around 53 hp unkorked :D of course. Compared to the 30 or 31 hp :) that the stock xr400 makes. It also has much more snap almost kind of like a two stroke. I think youll be very happy with the 650R just make sure you gear it down for the woods and youll be fine.

The xr650r is super, I grew up on hondas then had two ktms and two yamahas and all had big problems, but the pig is superb, great reliabilty and the handling in my opinion is super, when you get it dialed in it flys through rocks like no other machine, My 200 ktm 400 and 250 exc and 01 yzf426 and 02 wr250 could not do this at all. All were set up properly and all deflected or bounced through the rocks, the 650 just tractors through I think the added wieght is a major advantage on these conditions and Im only 165lbs. Easiest bike to start ever my dad who is 63 still rides he has a 01 400 xr and a 01 250 xr both are harder to start than the 650. what works fo me is hold compression release in give it a quick full kick and immediatly let compression release out and kick through. Thats it.the 2 kicks combined should take no more than 2 seconds. Put a 13t front sprocket for trails much easier and more useable in the lower gears. Not to mention your bike will walk without a hand on the throttle! :)

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