Trying to fiqure out why we like our BRP's


From what i hear this bike has won every Baja race since its introduction.

But then again i dont race, i ride for fun.

My other choice before i got my BRP was a KX500, but i didnt want all the maintenence hassles associated -w- a 2 smoker.

Uh, irondude, i hate ta mention this, but the KX is early 90's tech for sure, the BRP only cause you say so.

Funny thing is, my other bike is a '82 XL500R.

Dude other than the reliability issue there are very few similarities. (they both have 2 wheels and a gas tank.... :D)

I checked out the CRF450 as well before buying the BRP and the CRF also seems much too high maintenence.

Besides of which, it only holds a thimble full of oil, what do you gotta change it every 15 minuites?? :)

I think the 650R is unpopular (or should i say not very popular) because of the public's preocupation with motocross.

MotoX is the "in" and "hip" thing right now.

Hell, Honda even restyled the beloved Z/XR50 and renamed it "CRF".

Big B I G news guys.

The world is not a MotoX track.

Those fragile ultra light hi tech bikes are fun going round and round, but i wanna make sure the bike im on (when im out 30 miles in the desert) is gonna get me back home in time for supper!

Dont get me wrong, i like MotoX, but i love offroad.

And i love Honda's.

Thats why i bought a XR650R. :D :D

My reply that I decided to drop was a lot longer then yours but, the same type of thought. Dry sump oil system? Suspension on my XR600R was nothing close to the XR650R. I have had every piece of both apart. The fram is 98' there is nothing like it before this. The CRF fram is better. There is a hole list of wins I pulled up. The CRF is now becoming the bike of choice, Now that they have the extra oil resavor and two and three ring pistons from wisco. When they become main streem parts and the CRF450X hits the show rooms our piggies will be old news. :) No, they may not be the best at everything but, they will stay together doing enything and still have more torque then the 450 will ever have.

Got this off the PIG PEN

The uncorked XR650R has significantly more total power in terms of torque than the stock race ready CRF450R, but they have very similar power to weight ratios and that's very important, especially on tighter courses.

An uncorked XR650R produces close to 42 lb/ft of torque at 5,500 RPM and close to 48 rear wheel HP at 6,500 RPM. The CRF450 comes stock as a full fledged race bike and produces about 29.5 lb/ft of torque at 6,500 RPM and 40 rear wheel HP at 8,000 RPM. The CRF450 has a much broader powerband that's very linear and it will keep pulling where the XR650R falls off in the RPM range, so naturally it will feel faster to some people. Gearing also plays a big role in all of this.

A modified CRF450R that includes a special cam grind that's installed to the correct degree with higher performance valve springs, retainers, guides, porting, 12:5.1 piston, power now valve, Doma exhaust and running Nutec Special 5 fuel produces about 34.7 lb/ft of torque 7,200 RPM and about 53.4 rear wheel HP at 9,200 RPM.

Now if you modify the XR650R with a 680 kit, cam, piston, header & exhaust, you can boost the torque to about 50 lb/ft at 6,000 RPM and raise the rear wheel HP to 64 at 7,500 RPM.

If you take the total torque of the bikes and divide it by the weight of the bikes, you'll get a better idea of the power to weight ratios.

CRF450R @ 29.5 / 225 = 0.1311 lb/ft torque per lb of bike weight.

CRF450R modified @ 34.7 / 225 = 0.1542 ft/lbs torque per lb of bike weight.

XR650R @ 42 / 277 = 0.1515 lb/ft torque per lb of bike weight.

XR650R modified @ 50 / 277 = 0.1805 lb/ft torque per lb of bike weight.

You can clearly see that an uncorked XR650R engine still makes more raw torque than a stock CRF450R and it's very closely matched to a modified CRF450R in terms of total engine torque, but an uncorked XR650R makes its power with more reliability, with less effort, thus less with maintenance. When you modify the XR650R with the 680 kit and other goodies, then the choice becomes very clear, especially on courses where weight isn't an issue. No matter how you slice it, the CRF450R is a very attractive bike and extremely competitive due to its lighter weight, but the XR650R is still very competitive when the weight of the bike isn't as much of a factor.



Uh- On A.S., i hate to mention this- but KTM won the Baja 300 in June. :usa: Honda will loose (they usually loose it) the Tecate, Baja, Hare Scrambles in a few weeks-most likely to Yamaha or KTM..... They win the 1000-but only cause they cheat. :D

I had a XL500 years back as well. If ya take the engines down-split the cases- and look around, you will see what i am talking about. Tell me whats different about the design between the 2004 XR650 and an '82 500? Yeah-i didnt think so. Not much difference. :usa: To quote Rob Barnum "the 650 is basically just a 600 with water cooling" - so no need to take my word for it. :D Or did you think i was comparing the KX500 engine to the BRP? Not sure where you are going on that....

Yeah the KX500 is 90's tech-just like i mentioned above. :usa: So is our OInker. The forks come from the early 90's CR500. :D The shock is even older. (Team Honda wont even use it-it fades to easy-they use the KX500/CR500 rear shock as re-worked by Precision Concepts)The Aluminum frame is a hybrid of the steel XR/XL frame and the early 90's CR aluminum. :D It aint no 21st century CRF Twin Spar!

I love our bike- Its reliable as heck. But the technology is old-just as old as a KX500. :D

Didnt mean to offend anyone by pointing out the fact that our bike is 10-15 year old XR and CR technology--!!

On Any Sunday - cant help but roost back at ya-but its just for fun--Happy Holidays!

Regarding the XR50/CRF50--the name change is consistent with the new off road product line from Honda. Nothing to do with MotoX. This change is brought about by the new emissions laws. 2 strokes will be illegal to sell in the USA in a two years. So no more CR's. The CR and the XR are being melted :D together into just one off-road offering--the CRF. (which-of course- will be a common platform available in R, X and possibly S models)

Ours is the last XR that Honda will introduce. The last of a 30+ year old product line! :)


Didnt mean to offend anyone

It doesn't offend me. I like my old tech XR650R since it does what I need and more, but I'll gladly look forward to something lighter, faster, newer tech, etc, such as this bike...

Honda CRF680X

Engine Type: 679cc liquid-cooled dry-sump single-cylinder four-stroke

Bore and Stroke: 103.0mm x 81.5mm

Compression Ratio: 10.2:1

Carburetion: Keihin 42mm Flat Slide

Starter: Electric start, plus kick start

Ignition: Solid-state CD with electronic advance


Transmission: Five-speed

Final Drive: #530 O-ring-sealed endless chain; 14T/46T


Front Suspension: 47mm inverted Showa cartridge fork with 16-position

rebound and 16-position compression damping adjustability; 315

millimeters travel

Rear Suspension: Pro-Link Showa single shock with spring preload, 17-

position rebound damping adjustability, and compression damping

adjustment separated into low-speed (13 positions) and high-speed

(3.5 turns); 315 millimeters wheel travel

Front Brake: Single 240mm disc with twin-piston caliper

Rear Brake: Single 240mm disc with single-piston caliper

Front Tire: 80/100-21

Rear Tire: 140/110-18


Rake: 27.9 degrees

Trail: 111.0mm (4.3 inches)

Wheelbase: 58.6 inches

Seat Height: 37.8 inches

Ground Clearance: 12.1 inches

Dry Weight: 247.0 pounds

Fuel Capacity: 3.6 gallons, including 0.5 gallon reserve

Color: Red

Availability: TBD


Thats what i'm, talkin 'bout! NICE :)

I NEED one of those!

Can we include:

1) an integrated steering dampner,

2) pumper carb (fuel injection like the BMW650?)

3) 200 watt stator and 100 watt H4 light

4) magnetic odometer/computer (like KTM)

5) SS header/midpipe w carbon-fiber can.

6) integrated oil level sight tube

7) UniCam Head

8) ChromeMoly Frame (lighter/stronger)

9) Fat Bars

10)Dual rim locks

11)wide footpegs

12)hydraulic clutch lever

13)regulated power plug (for heated grips, vest, mp3 player, gps, sat phone, etc.)

14)dual airfilters - one on each side.

15)Quick detach rear stop light/signals/plate holder

Factory Options:

-7 gallon tank with electric fuel pump

-Dakar style front headlight/number plate

-Motard Package w/ low link, 17" wheels, etc

I want one too! :)

No offense taken dude.

Happy holidays back atcha! :D

Didnt know Honda lost to KTM (i dont follow racing that awlfully close.) mebbe next year.

Ya got me grinnin though, i got that '82 and the '02 sitting 3 feet apart from each other on my back portch, and i fail to see any manner of similarity between them.

Although im sure they both have gears in there....... :D

Its like comparing a Husaberg to a Royal Enfield.

And just a trivia fact. Honda didnt do aluminum frames in stock (non factory) CR's until '97 for the 250 & '98 for the 125! :D

Also changing the small cc XR line to CRF has everything to do with motocross!

The kiddies are fascinated with it. (some adults too.)

Having a REAL LIVE motoX bike is what youngsters dream of.

And what easier way (and cheaper) for Honda to cash in on this than by changing the plastic and name plates on the old XR line and making them into "CRF's".

Cheesy.... :D

Notice that they didnt change the XR name on the bigger "adult" sized XR's?

Yep, all marketing.

After all that money that the big red H through into the BRP's development they arent gonna change it anytime soon.

Hell the old XR400R is still with us, even though the new "superbike" CRF450 is around.

They may come out -w- a bigger cc version of the 450 someday, but i imagine not for awhile.

$$$$$$$ is still the bottom line at Honda mtr co.

It'll probably get some kind of performance/ displacement upgrade , and of course a new CRF type set of plastics to make it more "motoish".

(i think the thing looks GREAT as it is.)

If they do, and i end up -w- one i think i'll retrofit the old XR plastic and graphics just to tick off the "hey look im just like J.McGrath cuz i got a CRF" crowd.

Like i said before, i dont ride just to impress someone, i ride for the best of reasons. Just for fun! :)

Merry Christmas and Happy new year to all!

Have fun, and ride safe! :D

Hi Y'all,

I have had my BRP for 2 1/2 years and have put over 4,000 miles on it mostly at Ocotillo. After riding a friends CRF450, I found that there was just enough difference to make me buy one, so I picked up an 04 3 weeks ago. I ride for fun and don't do any track stuff. Nothing makes me grin more then being topped out in 5th down a sand wash on the piggy. But after riding the 450 I found it more enjoyable in the tight stuff and really like the ease of pulling the front wheel off the ground. For long distance open desert the pig rules, but for blasting around the camp, jumps, and wheelies the 450 is a different kind of fun. The 450 is a red sticker so it will be limited to the season while the 650 is year round grins. The 450/650 combo rocks and the hardest decision is to decide which kind of fun to have when its time to blast. :)

so I picked up an 04 3 weeks ago

Nice bike Thumpdaddy!!! Just keep posting here in the XR forums and there won't be any trouble :)

Merry Christmas!

I do not follow desert racing a lot (although I loved watching it before I got married) but I got curious when posts where made that the 650 did not win the Baja 300 and a KTM did. From what I found out Team Honda's 650 had carb issues midrace and JC had to pull the main jet on the racecourse to get it going again, this was after slow ride to the next pit to change a airfilter due to heavy and blinding dust, the filter did not solve the problem but they could not go backwards on the course to the pit so he fixed it on the course. After resolving the carb issue Honda made up time (by cheating, just kidding) on KTM but ultimately ran out of time to catch them. Also read that the 650 finished 1st in quite a few races this year and sometimes getting all the top 5 spots or first in most classes. There were also several races where the mighty KX500, YZ450, or KTM won as well. All in all I think for a big porker it puts on a good showing.

...did you know the Baja 300 KTM rider had to stop twice for closed barbed wire fences? Honda is great at pointing fingers...Heres some facts:

The Honda Off Road Team of Campbell/Hengveld/Ogilvie raced 10 desert races in 2003.

7 races where with BITD-but only 6 of those where on the 650. 1 was on a 450.

3 races where with SCORE in Baja.

Overall they won four races with the BRP. Sadly-they had NO professional competition in 3 of those 4! (SCORE races in Baja)

In the 7 races that had other pro teams entered-they won only one race on the BRP! That was the Terrible 250. The KX 500 team won 2 races in the same series. KTM won three.

I love desert racing-in fact i raced all but 2 of those races. The BRP got clobbered at almost all of them. The top 5 finishers rarely had more than one BRP-again--except in the SCORE series in Baja-where only Honda races.

As far as i know the BRP didnt win any other desert race-or any other off-road race- in north america. If memory serves me a Honda won the Australian Safari-but really i should double check that.

So Team Off-Road Honda won one race on a BRP this year when in a race with other pro's.

They won 3 other Baja races-but they ran un-opposed by any other factory team-who know Honda will cheat.

Not a very impressive record. Them's the facts guys-sorry. Our bike only won ONE significant race last year against other pros!

If interested - take a look at and for more info.

Anyone know of any other (significant) races anywhere in the world where the BRP won off-road? I love our bike-but its not a very successfull off-road rarely wins unless there's no competition...

"take a look at"

Just looking at the BITD for 2003 I found:

Honda Team (Campbell & Hengeveld)

Laughlin Win

Parker 250 DNF finish position: 72

Terrible 250 Win

Vegas 2 Reno 2nd (3 mins diff)

Baja Mex 300 2nd (2 mins diff)

Las Vegas 200 3rd (6 mins diff)

Riders in Open Class Overall

Abbot 1st 250 points

Campbell 2nd 229 points

Caselli 4th 202 points

I don't know which of the two Honda Team wins was on a 450. Taking one win out leaves:

1 win

2 2nds

1 third


The Kawasaki Team (Abbot & Esposito) had 3 wins

The KTM Team (Caselli & Lanza) had 1 win

So while the BRP was not dominate, neither was it clobbered.

Hats off to the Kawasaki Team. :)

Laughlin win was on the 450.

Adelanto GP they rode both the 450 and the 650.

Parker BRP DNF-the bike broke!

KX500 (racing) Dominates the Desert! They got first place in 3 of the 6 races they entered. Bike never broke.

Honda 650 got one win. Bike broke.

Again-sorry guys- but our bike very rarely wins anything--except when theres no competition.

Its a fun bike, but not the dominating off-road steed TTers think it is.

I wish TT had a forum for racing issues. Would be fun to have blue, orange, red and green go at it in one forum.

-also---if ya havent tried racing the Pig, BITD is a good place to give it a try. Its a fun sport, and a top notch organization.



Alright Mike. It is time to change your name on here. How many votes do we have for controversydude or perhaps "stirthingsupdude". Irondude is just not going to cut it anymore.

I love how you mix it up in here. Adds a little flare to our sometimes dull forums. :D I poke around the yz forum on ocasion and this is commonplace. Thanks for bringing the action over here.

I don't know about you, but I will race a 650 over a 500 any day of the year. Sure they are screaming fast, but I don't know how much faster I would want to go. Over 100 mph across the desert is pretty smoking fast. However now that I think of it, I could have used a little more top end in my last race. Maybe I could have caught the guy that beat me. Who knows.

Anyhow, I still highly respect the BRP and have a loyal bond with mine. I like the weight, it adds confidence. I like the power, though it would be nice to have the zippiness of my yz450, but that is about all I would want to add to it. It would be nice to not have to add so many things to it, but that is what this sport is all about...aftermarket goodies.

Long live the BRP. Keep it interesting Mike.


The XR650R was introduced in 2000 and Johnny Campbell had a few wins (darn he cheats alot).



1st overall, Baja 1000

1st overall, San Felipe 250

1st overall, Baja 500

1st overall, Henderson's Terrible 250

2nd overall, BajaMex 300

2nd overall Las Vegas 200

3rd overall, HYR 24 Hours of Glen Helen

3rd overall, Tonopah 300


1st overall, Baja 1000

1st overall/world record (1414 miles), 24-hour Off-road World Endurance Championship

1st overall, Vegas-to-Reno

1st overall, Terrible's Town 250

2nd overall, Baja 500

2nd overall, San Felipe 250

3rd overall, Tonopah 300

8th overall/1st privateer, Paris-to-Dakar Rally


1st overall, Baja 2000

1st overall, Nevada 2000

1st overall, San Felipe 250

1st overall, Tonopah 300

1st overall, Adelanto Grand Prix

2nd overall, Baja 500

2nd overall, Terrible's Town 250

SCORE Overall Motorcycle Champion

Best in the Desert Silver State Series Overall Motorcycle Champion

AMA District 37 Big 6 Grand Prix Series Open-class Champion

Well shut my mouth and call me for supper, IronyDude. :)

most of those firsts are in SCORE races... but I think he is bad ass none the less.

More race results...

Steve Hengeveld

Chris Blais

I bought my XR650R because I was used to riding/racing open class two strokes most of my life and wanted torque, reliability, minimal maintenance & respectable performance along with being able to cruise slow with my kids while they learned how to ride. I talked to a number of off road tour companies using them with great results and they seemed to also hold up very well in Baja racing. I've mostly been a Yamaha & Husky rider, but every Honda I had was rock solid reliable, especially the little XR's that I grew up on and still had. The XR650R seemed like the ideal choice for my trail riding needs (except for its weight), especially with the hope of someday dual sporting it. I thought it would make a good do-it-all type bike and I'm quite happy in that respect since I can glo slow with the kids, take a mellow ride with my wife or sometimes keep up with or even stay ahead of my friends when I want to go fast (especially through the desert whoops). So far my XR650R has been extremely reliable for me, but I've only got about 1,800 off road miles on it so far.

Just being protective of my Red Headed Amazon of a dirt bike. :)

I had a little problem with: "The BRP got clobbered at almost all of them." Second place, a couple of minutes behind,is not clobbered.

SCORE 2003

The American Honda factory motorcycle team of Steve Hengeveld, Oak Hills, CA, and Johnny Campbell, San Clemente, CA, were honored not only as the Class 22 winners, but also the 2003 SCORE Overall Motorcycle point champions on their Honda XR650R.


Sounds to me like you have lost confidence in your race bike. If that's the case you definitely need to make a change. There's no use in starting a race you know you have already lost because someone else is on better equipment. I think you should get that Husaterd 650. I made that mistake in the mid 90's and although I'm sure they are much improved I'll never fall into that money pit again. Since you are showing lists of wins why not give us a few stats on all the great victories that HUSABERG has racked up lately in the USA.

This thread started out by saying how everyone bagged on the XR650 anyway and now you are saying that everyone here thinks it is the greatest racer. :D

I didn't buy it for a race bike but I know that a semi retired racer has a couple of top 5 finishes on the BRP in the GNCC's. I have even won on it myself in AMA disrtict 13 races. I know you said important races but hey, they were important to me. :) I still have confidence in my bike but when I lose it I won't be here pissing and moaning about it. I'll go get something else. :D


You mentioned that cutting edge desert racers are checking out the Husaberg 650, from what I remember this thing has been around for awhile, I remember them in mags at least 4 to 5 (or more)years ago - not so cutting edge in my book. Plus Husaberg was never known for their reliability, not what you want in a desert race.

You also mentioned that the 650 cost more to race (setup) than most bikes out there and kinda inferred that the KX500 is cheaper to setup. This maybe true but I would not think the 650 would be much more. The only big expense that I can think of is that the 650 uses CR500 shock parts other than that all the big boys run bikes w/ motor work, special pipes, suspension, etc.. I know that the KX needs motor work to keep it's powerband friendly and usable at high speeds, otherwise it falls off/on the powerband alot, I had one. So I do not see where the big expense is by running the 650. Also out of any bike I have owned this bike needed the least modifications (uncorking, protapers, and triple clamps, and rear tires) to suit me.

Of course I am not a racer so I am speaking from my limited experience and observations to form these humble opinions in protecting our piggy's already tarnished rep.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now