XR650L "Dirt-able" Mods

Hello All- Have a 2000 XR650L- turns out I never use the street capabilities and want to make it a little more trail friendly. First, what size knobby can I get on the back? Second, I want to lower the final drive a bit to trail ride in 2nd and 3rd instead of mostly first. Change the front or rear sprocket? One tooth or two? Will I need a longer chain? Thanks for any ideas. Don't need to go real fast- just faster than my kids (XR80 and XR100.)

Off-hand (here @ work) don't remember what size shoe you can stuff on the back, but I'm sure someone else will chime in, as it's the same as a XR6. You're supposed to replace the chain and sprockets at the same time, you can usually find a package deal, but if you only want to swap sprockets, I'd drop a tooth on the front, that'd be from 15 to 14. I don't think you can get a 13 tooth.

I'd also remove the smog stuff, and pull the intake snorkel to let it breathe better. You'll need to rejet also, I think Baja Designs sells a kit specifically for the L.

Id keep the stock 15tooth on the front but change the rear sprocket out to a 50 or 53 tooth for off road. Thats what im going to do to mine for off road and then for the road I have an extra set of wheels with dual sport tires and the stock 45tooth on the alternate rear tire. :)

The largest tire size for the rear with the stock length chain would be 130/90-18. That's plenty big and just clears the chain guard inside the swing arm. Also try running around 17 psi in both front & rear tires. Any more and you lose traction, any less you run the risk of pinch flats.

The rule of thumb regarding sprockets is 1 tooth in the front equals 3 teeth in the rear. If you run a larger rear tire, you'll definitely want to drop a tooth in front. Just don't plan on long freeway jaunts at 70 mph anymore.

Don't forget to add 4-6 psi in the front forks. Makes a big difference in the handling off-road.

I'm running a 120/100 Dunlop 739, ok tire, I got a good deal on it, but wouldn't reccomend it.

If you change the counter sprocket, I would make sure that you get one from honda. There has been cases reported on the Yahoo xrlug user group of guys putting other brands on, and having it strip the spline teeth on the counter shaft. Supposedly the reason is, that aftermarket sprockets don't fit as tight, thereby allowing mud/moisture to get in between the shaft and sprocket, eventually corroding, and then ultimately disingrating the teeth. This is just their theory, but there has been more than one instance of this happening, so that's enough for me. We are talking big bucks to replace the counter shaft. :D I have a GP 110 on the rear of my bike and it's not to bad off road. Put some good dirt sneakers on, air down, set the sag appropiately, 4-6 psi in the forks, , bark busters, and your good to go. :)

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