Keep the WR, or Get the XR

I have been giving some considerable thought to trading in my 2001 wr426 for an xr650r. Now for the questions.

Power. I realize they have similar hp, but the xr has more torque but is also heavier. I don't want to loose any power making the switch. I love the snap and power of the wr ( yz timed, yz pipe, jetted and filter) The thing flies, does 5th gear wheelies and I want to keep that. I will probably miss the high strung rev happy motor, but, If I have more grunt and torque, It will make up for that. How about roll-on power? Say 4th gear, both at 3000rpm, up a hill on a grassy trail, and you crack them both. Which one will pull ahead ( considering the wr has similar mods to mine, and the xr has the power up kit)

The main reason I'm considering this is that my wr is getting older, and I want reliable. A little more peace of mind. Certinally not to say the wr is not reliable. It is. But I hear the honda may handle the long run a bit better. My wr has never let me down, but later on down the road, will liklely need rings/valves etc before the honda would. I ride trails and plenty of dirt roads, and will probably dual srort it. I run out of gears on the wr. needs a 6th. I understand the xr goes a few mph faster with fewer revs Right?

how about suspension? My wr is a bit soft. I'm 6'4" and 240, and the wr has factory settings. works ok for me because I dual sport a lot, and don't go much more than 2 feet in the air. How about the comfort? The xr is lower, and im wondering about that. I love the tall WR. will I have good leg room? And the seat on the wr is hard. How about the XR? I haven't even seen one to sit on one so thats why I ask.

One more thing. I absolutly love the sound of my wr. It is LOUD, but SWWWEEET. It barks and thumps and rips all at once, and very fast. How about the honda?

I don't know, maybe I don't know what I have. Maybe I should keep the WR, but I'll see what you guys say. I just want a new bike, with similar power, but not have to be working so hard ( high rpm's, high compression) to get it. But I realize that is what makes the wonderfull sound and hard hitting power.

I always had my eye on the xr, but the wr came up already dual-sported, so I couln't pass that up. I'm just hoping the extra cc on the honda will propell me quicker, But I don't know.

Oh, and the extra weight is not a concern. I work out, and do strongman, so 20 extra lb won't matter much.

Thanks in advance for all of your guys's time

Where do you live? For example, getting a plate for the BRP in AZ is no problem.

It doesn't take much to unleash the power of the BRP but there is one expense that alot of people incur, a pumper carb. The BRP has plenty of power, you just have to decide where you want it and gear accordingly. The seat needs padding and the stock footpegs are too small.

You will need a different triple clamp and bars to get comfortable at your height. If you are looking to be propelled then look no further, this bike can plow a field and rip your arms out in the process. :thumbsup:

Hey there Bigrunt, hopefully I can help you out here, because I owned a '00 YZ426, and now I own a '00 XR650R. Personally, I would not trade my XR for ANYTHING at this point. It's that good of a bike in my opinion.

Power: The YZ426 feels about the same as the XR650R but only if the XR is "uncorked/jetted". I have done further simple mods to my XR such as holes in the airbox, and a large 180 main jet, to further increase it's power. Currently, with those simple mods, my XR650R is more powerful in every way, than my YZ426 was. The 650R will not rev out like the YZ, but the low-end and mid-range power is noticeably stronger, hitting instantly and brutally right off idle, and continuing throughout the mid-range, then tapering off a bit on top end, but by then you are already hauling ass like a madman (102mph is my best top speed run with stock gearing)

To be completely honest, I think the 426 and 650R will probably accelerate about the same, with the 650R outpulling it only slightly. But keep in mind the 650R engine produces alot more torque, and as such, it's acceleration is more abrupt at lower revs. It's been called "trigger happy" by many riders.

Another interesting thing about the 650R is that it can be easily tuned for various power/noise level requirements for different riding situations; with very simple jetting, intake, and exhaust tip mods. Jetting is very easy on this bike, and so are all other aspects of maintenance such as air filter removal/cleaning, and valve adjustments, which are easy. This is unlike the YZ/WR, which is a pain to adjust the valves on.

I hate to ramble on and on about it, but I have been riding the heck out of my XR650R for 3 solid years now, and it has never given me a minute's worth of trouble. And of course the bike totally freakin' rips!

P.S. the 650R feels like a big fat pig compared to the YZ though!!!! haha. When I need a lightweight bike I just ride my KX500, it rips big time and doesnt need mods to make it fast.


'00 XR650R (uncorked/jetted/street legal)

'04 KX500 (wild ride)


I am also 240 and 6'4" and have owned and love both bikes but I think the weight difference is more like 30 lbs. and feels like 50 after a long day on singletrack. Only place I think the BRP will significantly outdo the WR is above 70 miles an hour and I very rarely go that fast. If I did a lot of dual sport I would pick the BRP but occasionally getting on blacktop to connect singletracks the WR shines.

My XR is faster,(anyway you can measure it), than the WR450. The 450 is better running rutted

rocky down hill single lines where less weight helps

but - I'm sure I go faster in the woods on the XR.

The bottom line is the XR fits me better, (6'2-230lb), and I've put more effort into it's setup.

Your right about setup Dutch,makes a big difference. Its been a year and a half since I sold my BRP so maybe I dont remember quite how fast it was. What I do remember is it was sure not what I wanted to race enduros with. Now a flat out desert race, well everyone knows the BRP is king in the dez. Remember when Summers raced the same woods course on an XR 250 400 and 650 and was quickest on the 250. And woods can be different too. Woods to me is nothing but a mountain with trees on it. If you live in a wooded coastal plain area the woods are gonna be different and a more powerful heavier bike might be better. Tim

Thanks a lot guys. I think I will likly dual sport it. I go about 50/50 on/off road.

So, I will probably raise my handlebars, and can I add seat foam and keep the stock seat cover? It sounds like my kind of bike, Lots of torque, and snap. Is there a kit or something I can do to lower the footpegs a bit? I may find it ok, but if there is an option there, it may make riding on long trips more comfortable.I was reading a website, and it had lots of info on the xr650, uncorking, the weak points which may need to be addressed, etc. I'll just wait to see what other people say, but it sounds good. Thanks again fellas.

Oh, and one more thing, would it be worth it for me to add a pipe to it, or use the exhaust tip in the honda kit. Noise is not an issue. I live in Nova scotia, and the people here seem not to mind a loud pipe, mind you I don't go by senior citizin complexes accelerating wide open doing wheelies. I try to save that for off-road. I'm not doing it to save weight, but unleash more power, if it at all gives more power than the stock one.

The aftermarket pipes that I have tried are junk and don't help the power much if any at all, and they ruin the low end power. Unless you have a special cam and high compression piston, then pass on the aftermarket pipes.

The stock headers are excellent for low end grunt and mid range if the bike is jetted right. Use the exhaust tip from the honda kit, and cut off the spark arrestor screen and baffle plate, leaving nothing but the bell reducer part. Jet rich on the main, open up the airbox and intake boot, and you're good to go, the bike will haul ass. With these mods the bike is still quieter than with aftermarket racing type pipes and straight through silencers.

I had a big gun race series full exhaust system and I thought it didn't do anything but flatten the power spread and ruin the low end, and it was absurdly loud. It did help the top end some, but not much with the stock cam and piston. After a few months, it fell apart, cracked, and leaked, so went back to the stock headers and silencer, and proceeded to modify the HRC tip, jetting, added airbox holes, and run a high octane fuel mix, with extremely good results.

I owned a BRP for 2 years. In that time I bought an edelbrock pumper. Uncorked,HRC Baffle,Pro taper, all other goodies. I am 6'5 @ 200lbs. The seat height was not tall enough for me, so I purchased a WR450f. Honestly, I am very happy with my choice. For ME, the WR is all around a much better bike. THe handling is like night and day better. The performance is night and day better. The only downside is that it is more difficult to adjust the valves( which isnt too much of an issue since they are still in spec with just over 2000 miles on it). They are completely differant animals. The XR is more of a mellow trail bike with tons of torque. The WR is a motocross bike/off-road hybrid. Either bike is great. I had about equal reliability issues with my XR that I have with my WR( close to zero). Hope this helps. Good luck! :thumbsup::devil::awww:

I have been riding an XR650R since they came out in my area, Feb. 2000. In stock form it was only a little faster than my XR600 and I was disappointed. I quickly purchased the power up components to uncork it. Wow, the difference was night and day. After riding nothing but an XR650R for 2 years a good friend asked me if I wanted to try out his YZ426. The YZ426 felt like a kiddie bike in comparison. It was mild easy to ride type bike. Keep in mind I weigh in at 250. I had a lot of fun on the 426 but once you get used to raw power its kinda hard to go backwards so I was quite happy to get back on my 650. I am getting older now and I am actually thinking of buying a bike with less power like a 450. I have even thought about some of the 250s that are now on the market. I will always keep my XR650 cause it can be ridden like grandmas tricycle or daddy's Corvette with no changes. But to have something that I can throw around on the trails, I'm starting to think about weight.

I have an 02 XR650R with a white bros. R4 full exhaust, un-corked, keihin 41mm FCR and it RIPS!!! I don't know what "smashinz2002" was talking about when he said aftermarket pipes sucked!!! I don't think he knows either!!! My bike has more low end power than you could ever need! I have also ridden a friends WR400, and it was cool, but just doesn't have the low end torque that a 650R has... I do like the way it revs out like a 2 smoke, yet still has good low end power. But it just doesn't have what an XR has in the torq department!!! :thumbsup::awww::devil:

I don't know what "smashinz2002" was talking about when he said aftermarket pipes sucked!!!

Dirt Bike magazine did a pipe shootout with various aftermrket pipes for the XR650R and most of the aftermarket pipes made equal to or less power than than the stock setup with the HRC tip. There was one or two major brand name pipes that made significantly less power almost everywhere than the stock HRC setup. There have also been several guys here and on other forums who have had their expensive aftermarket pipes crack at the welds, or where they join together, etc. The fact is that its pretty hard to beat the stock header with the stock cannister for the weekend warrior or even the casual racer when it comes to durability, performance, cost, etc. The HRC tip provides pretty good performance and it can be quickly removed for even better performance. There aren't too many XR650R exhaust systems that I know of which let you keep all your existing low & mid range performance while allowing the bike to make more power on top in addition to providing long term durability.

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