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The "XR's are too heavy" Myth.

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So I've been Riding my recently purchased (February) 2008 XR650L; offroad every chance I get.  Long ago I owned and adventured on a KLR and I avoided dirt when I could due to scares.  

I've encountered every type of terrain and hill climb you can imagine on the XR.  I use Stock gearing 15/45 and only a few performance mods, tires - Kenda 270's. I have yet to come across an obstacle that has caused me to lay the bike down. I've jumped down trees, climbed Wet rocks and rutted wet red clay hills, torn through small sandy gravel.... Sure I've had my Clenching moments but why do you guys think people say this bike is too heavy?  (I think they lack skill)

I love my big red Pig!!! Twisties or Dirt is eats them all with ease.

 

Edited by Wanderfool
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Yep
You said it.
Lack of skill.
When I first started, I had the same problem.
Lacked bike handling skills.
What I do is carry a 13t front for trail, works wonders for slow single track. With a 15t, 2nd is crazy tall....

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I have no doubt that a good rider can do very well on an XRL. I know a few really good riders who can make big red look good on a trail. I also know that every one of them are far better off-road on a WR, YZ, CRF, etc.

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XR's are too heavy.  It's the truth.  But I love mine anyway.

When I used to ride a Yamaha YZ-250 two-stroke, I could go places easily that are quite difficult on the XR.  And stock gearing is still too high in the really tight stuff.  Also, seriously steep hill climbs are a bit more difficult on the XR because of the higher center of gravity.  It doesn't run out of power, it's just harder to keep the front tire down.  Just trying to be realistic about the bike here.

This past week I installed a new set of Shinko 705 tires on my bike and rode 140 miles of twisty roads on it yesterday.  It's great on roads like that.

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I agree, it's not that it's too heavy, it's where she carries the weight. I think that the high center of gravity combined with underconfident riding styles results in tipovers where all that weight works directly against the rider.

I've always rode heavy dual sports in places where everyone else is on lightweight trail bikes. I get a lot of weird looks and questions like "how'd you get that thing in here?". With that said, I picked up a light little KDX220 a couple years ago and it is incredible how much easier that bike is to ride on the same terrain.

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My mx bike scares me nowadays, like I'm mounting a slingshot! Pew pew! The xr feels grounded. Up, down, left, right, grounded.
If you grew up trying to be first every race, you figure out how to stay on top of the bike.
Learn to lean. And trust me I'm no expert anymore, I have to relearn my g forces. So Im undoubtedly slower

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9 hours ago, MeCH_MaN said:

Yep
You said it.
Lack of skill.
When I first started, I had the same problem.
Lacked bike handling skills.
What I do is carry a 13t front for trail, works wonders for slow single track. With a 15t, 2nd is crazy tall....

I've thought about changing the Gearing, but I'm an hour away from the really fun Dirt.  So Stock seems to work fine.  I imagine 13T front would be a blast.

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8 hours ago, ThumpNRed said:

I have no doubt that a good rider can do very well on an XRL. I know a few really good riders who can make big red look good on a trail. I also know that every one of them are far better off-road on a WR, YZ, CRF, etc.

I would imagine I could have some serious fun on a smaller displacement dirt bike!  I purchased the XR to be my Swiss Army bike.  Not the richest guy around.

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8 hours ago, ScottRNelson said:

XR's are too heavy.  It's the truth.  But I love mine anyway.

When I used to ride a Yamaha YZ-250 two-stroke, I could go places easily that are quite difficult on the XR.  And stock gearing is still too high in the really tight stuff.  Also, seriously steep hill climbs are a bit more difficult on the XR because of the higher center of gravity.  It doesn't run out of power, it's just harder to keep the front tire down.  Just trying to be realistic about the bike here.

This past week I installed a new set of Shinko 705 tires on my bike and rode 140 miles of twisty roads on it yesterday.  It's great on roads like that.

Let us know how the Shinko's Perform in the dirt,  I would expect some great handling on pavement.

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7 hours ago, Backwoods-Bomber said:

I agree, it's not that it's too heavy, it's where she carries the weight. I think that the high center of gravity combined with underconfident riding styles results in tipovers where all that weight works directly against the rider.

I've always rode heavy dual sports in places where everyone else is on lightweight trail bikes. I get a lot of weird looks and questions like "how'd you get that thing in here?". With that said, I picked up a light little KDX220 a couple years ago and it is incredible how much easier that bike is to ride on the same terrain.

The little bikes are fun I have to admit.  I work with small motorcycles and get paid pretty well for it.  I do love the comments when you're somewhere you're not supposed to be on a big bike :).  Cheers B-Bomber

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6 hours ago, notoriousE-R-I-C said:

My mx bike scares me nowadays, like I'm mounting a slingshot! Pew pew! The xr feels grounded. Up, down, left, right, grounded.
If you grew up trying to be first every race, you figure out how to stay on top of the bike.
Learn to lean. And trust me I'm no expert anymore, I have to relearn my g forces. So Im undoubtedly slower

Dirt Skills are something I've not had for some time.  The XR seems to be bestowing them upon me.  She lets me know when I'm doing something right.

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 Stay in the all knowing, it's the "not knowing" and doing something wrong that kicks you ass! Especially with girth.

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2 hours ago, Wanderfool said:

Let us know how the Shinko 's Perform in the dirt,  I would expect some great handling on pavement.

I don't expect to do any serious dirt riding on those tires.  I have a spare set of rims with a D606 rear and a TKC-80 front, which works very well in the dirt.  The Shinko 705 is approximately as good as the IRC GP-110 on the street, but less expensive ($108 a pair, shipped).  It gets good enough traction for me, at least on dry pavement.

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Guys, it turns out I do not in fact have stock gearing.  The dealer told me lies!! I was doing routine maintenance and noticed the front Sprocket has a 14T on it....rear is a 45T.  So I guess that's another bit that's helping me out in the dirt. 

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I find 14/48 is great.  Can comfortably travel at 60 - 65 to get to the dirt without shaking the engine out of the bike and works great in most situations.  Heavy? Nah!!  Better in the choppy stuff than my old X because of it.  Love it.

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IMHO when it comes down to brass tacks, the bike you are on is 15% - 20% of the overall equation. It is mostly rider skill/ experience. 

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30 minutes ago, Dwrizzol said:

IMHO when it comes down to brass tacks, the bike you are on is 15% - 20% of the overall equation. It is mostly rider skill/ experience. 

So why do I seem to have way more "skill" when I'm riding a motocross bike that weighs 100 pounds less?

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6 minutes ago, ScottRNelson said:

So why do I seem to have way more "skill" when I'm riding a motocross bike that weighs 100 pounds less?

There are several factors involved as well in any general statement like my previous one. Look at it this way if a truly epic rider is on a mediocre bike and Joe Trailrider is in a Factory "go fast bike" The epic rider is most likely going to clean Joe Trailrider's clock. Does that mean that a better bike will not help Joe Trailrider of course not. Also as this discussion is mostly about weight terrain plays a big part. In the open deserts of Baja weight makes much less difference than if it was a tight twisty competition. A really good rider would also benefit more from a factory bike than say, I would. 

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Have you raised your bars? Huge difference!! Stock bars are stupidly uncomfortable...too low and rearward - cramps the cockpit immensly forcing you back on the seat and screwing up center of gravity - hence heavy. Put a set of 2" Rox anti vibe bar risers and high bend bars on and push the bars forward over the forks. You can crotch ride the tank in tight stuff and stand for everything else except roads. Center of gravity is where it needs to be - over the piston.  Huge confidence builder and you'll ride faster.  Doesn't feel heavy to me at all.  

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