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Calling all XR650R/L Guru Knowledge (Front Rim Differences)

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My XR650L was getting lonely, so I bought her a play friend... a 2000 XR650R...

It took about 1000 bux to get the new 650R up to my standards before I take it on a real ride.

I am not entirely familiar with this bike yet.


My question is the difference between the front hoop between the 650L, and 650R.

The OEM part numbers are different I know.

I bought some parts off of a chap on CL, and took a look at his front rim, it looked similar to my 650L.

That is wide with the OEM honda brushed Aluminum / clear anodizing, however my 650R has the exact same hoop as my CRF450R.

It has a polished look, it may have been replaced at some time in the past.

Even though they both say 21 X 2.15, the CRF type hoop is substantially narrower than the 650L hoop.


Can someone tell me which is the proper XR650R hoop to meet OEM spec.

I'm trying to restore the bike to OEM, it's working well so far.

I would prefer the wider profile of the 650L type hoop so the sidewalls of the tire don't flare as much with a 90mm profile tire.

I can post some pics of her if you want....


Thanks for the help...

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First things first. The XR650R has 36 spokes where the XR650l has 32.


The L has the same rim as the XR600 and are wider and heavier than that of the CRF series and the XR650r which are considered RACE bikes.


If you want a replacement rim for the 650r just look for a CRF250 or 450 rim on E-Bay. Be careful in that the rims usually have cracks or are dented because they are lighter than the L rims.


Now if you want a rim similar to the XRL rim contact Keith at KSR Wheels and get a DID rim. www.ksrwheels.net


Tell him Steve in SF sent you.

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So, the OEM rim IS the same as my CRF450R....

Thanks for the insight...

That means that mine has the OEM rim, and the guys that I saw most likely had an "L" rim on front.

Thanks a lot, I didn't want to order the 650R OEM rim, and get what I already had.


Steve, FYI

Not sure about the front, but the rear is a 32 hole on the XR650R.

Upon removing the tire I saw two cracks in the rim, and ordered an OEM (D.I.D.) rim from Motosport.... and ordered a spoke kit from Buchanan's Spokes.

FYI, anyone that orders one of Buchanan's "Pre-made Kits" they come with .320" diameter nipples instead of the stock .281" ones.

The rim must be drilled with an 11/32" drill, per Buchanan's instructions.


Anyway, thank you for your input.

I just wasn't sure if the piggy came from the factory with such a skinny rim...

The finishes don't even match ???

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Honda runs 36 spokes front and 32 rear on the dirt bikes. Most other brands run 36 front and rear. Only on the XR650l do they run 32 front and rear for a big bike. Some smaller models also have the 32-32.


As far as Buchanan's go all you have to do is tell them what diameter nipple you want and they will give it. Not an issue. I would much rather have the correct nipple than have to drill the rim which is a PITA. Having a to large a diameter nipple will have the spoke nipples coming out of the rim crooked.


Most aftermarket rims use a larger diameter nipple. I have built a bunch of wheels for the XR650l's and I spec .300 nipples to get them lined up correctly with the Excel rim.


My wheel build thread from over at ADV Rider:



Edited by mcma111

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