Anyone riding these beasts in the tight trails of New England?? Tips??

I just bought a new XR650R and live in central Mass. I use to be a NETRA A Enduro and H.S. rider on a KTM300EXC, but wanted a woods competent dual sport. I am waiting delivery of competition kit with racing baffle and Baja Designs dual sport kit. I go around 240 so will probably put in .47 fork and 11 shock springs. I plan on paying close attention to sag to make sure it turns in the woods to the best of its abilities. I am just much of a beast are these BRPs in the tight woods? Please share any tips or suggestions. Are flats a common problem? I had an 87XR600 and pinched lots of tubes. Thanks for helping an excited newbie! :)

i ride in tight pine forests with extremely steep gradients

if conditions are dry ,its a breeze ,the BRP will perform as good as any other trail bike

if conditions are muddy and slippery - forget it ,this pig

doesnt like playing in the mud. (weight factor)

but thats not to say its impossible,just unjoyable



This is a copy of a reply to a PM I made a while back - it seems to fit your question. I run heavy duty tubes and have not had any problems with flats.

The problem with trying to set up a bike for someone else is my preferences my not suit you. But there are certain things I have learned that may help you out, at least will be worth trying. One is to shorten the wheelbase of the bike by sliding the rear wheel forward as much as you can. The way it worked for me was good in that I prefer 13/50 gearing. With the stock chain it pulled the wheel right up in it's slot.

The next thing I would suggest is to modify the riding position to get yourself forward over the headlight, (ride with your face). If you can do that with bars only or a bar/clamp combination that is up to you. Then I slide the tubes up maybe 10-12mm to quicken up the steering and put more weight on the front wheel.

I like to run in really rough conditions with as little compression damping in the forks as I can. The conditions here in Northern Michigan make that difficult because sand is always waiting for you somewhere and no compression damping makes sand dangerous, (more dangerous).

So to summarize, shorten wheelbase, 13/50 gearing, riding position, slide up fork tubes, back off damping.

This may help you succeed with the BRP in the tight stuff, this is assuming that you have taken the time to set up your sag and the other basic setup details that are common to the 650R.

Good luck

Welcome and congrats on the 650, Salty.

When you go by another 650 during any of the rides/races in New England it's probably me. It's (650) not the best tool for the job, here in NE, but I like it.

The IRC VE33 or the Pirelli M16 are good choices for the rear.



Thanks for all of your input. Perhaps i will see you at an event BrianVT. I may start with turkey runs before I venture back into enduros.

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