Advise on inspecting an '01 XR650L to buy.

I'm going to look at an XR650L for my brother in law. It's an '01 with 3k miles. I'm pretty experienced at buying used bikes, and I'm mainly interested in things to look for that are specific to the XR650L.

Thanks in advance,


XRL's are like any other machine. Check all the standard things like rims & spokes; chain sliders, chain condition & stretch (high numbers on adjusters); head light brightness when idle and while revving; oil leaks at the case or head; loud clicking or tapping in the valve train, etc.

Pop open the air box cover (left side panel) & check the air box, air cleaner, & the battery condition. Check the airbox boot for cracks or rotting. Compress the front & rear suspensions & linkage while parked & listen for pops or squeaks. Check the swing arm zerks & bushings for grease.

Look for blue or black smoke coming out from the exhaust pipe which may mean a worn engine. Pull the plug and see if its black, brown, tan or white. White being too lean and running hot, black being too rich with excessive carbon build-up. Check the oil level after warmup for color, smell and to see if its a least halfway between the two holes on the dipstick. Meaning the current owner's been maintaining the most important aspect. This is probably not an issue at 3K miles.

When test riding it, whack the throttle open and then closed in all gears and see what happens. A little popping, hesitation & bogging is normal. More than that carb adjustments or rejetting is needed. Make sure there's no excessive high speed wobble (a lot depends on tire selection).

Look for aftermarket parts that aren't Honda or XRL specific. Ride it hard (if you can) and you be able to tell if feels like an old favorite or one to stay away from.

He just let me know the "battery is weak". He's recharged it and it sounds like it starts, but probably not strong. He'll bring Jumpers.

1) what can the "weak battery" be, and can it mask starter prblems?

2) What does a battery cost?


The battery could be weak just from it sitting around. Mine does that, if it sits for a long time, or back when I used to have to crank the hell out of it to get it to start when I dumped it. Batteries aren't too expensive, but, I don't remember what they cost right off the top of my head. Check for cracks in the frame on the battery carrier and on the sub frame of the bike on that side, and out near the muffler mount. Also check for cracks around the passenger peg mounts. When I stripped my bike down to rebuild it, I found cracks in those areas.

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