? for gtms34

Hi gtms34

You replied to me on the DRZ forum. I was wondering about the DRZ vs. XR.

You said you have and love your XR650. I live in So. Cal. too, so not sure about getting the DRZ now...I want to dual sport and ride anywhere, anytime...not get a stinking red sticker preventing me from getting a plate.

What type of terrain do you ride your XR in? I have been riding in Hungry Valley on some tight trails. How does your XR handle in tight stuff? Does it turn well?

All the mags say how big and heavy it is, but it's only 10 pounds heavier than the DRZ, and lots lighter than the DRZ/S. Are they just picky from jumping off the latest motocross wonder bike? It feels lighter and is narrower than my old XR350, albeit with an empty tank. I'm not terribly aggresive, but I try to maintain a decent pace.

Plan on doing a lot of riding in the Mammoth area too. Already know the XR is tops in wide open areas, so not too concerned about that, just wondering about the tight, gnarly stuff. I'm about 5'11'' and 170.

My bike is so old, with old style suspension and ergos, I'm sure anything will be a big improvement! :)

Damn, the hardest thing (and most fun) is trying to decide on the next bike purchase!



Hey Lawn Dart,

Sorry for the delay, I don't get on the computer much on weekends.

I am happy with the 650 in the tight stuff.

However, I have never ridden anything else to compare.

Some back ground may be helpful: I'm 5'10" 180 ready to ride, I am very MX and desert oriented. I like speed and jumps. I run a BRP upper TC with CR hi bend protapers and Scotts stab. My bars are 19mm forward of stock and it's a huge difference. I don't think I would be satisfied with the bike if I hadn't made this change. The bars are in your lap in stock form. I did a 75 mile ride in July with a 4.6 gal tank. Over half was tight single track. I was working hard, it was not a cruise. The bike and I made it through all the OH S@##%$^$T turns without hitting anything or crashing. At the end of the day, I was not in any worse shape than the rest of the group. There were XR650s, XR400s, YZ&WR400-426s, and a KTM 360. That day was good evidence for me that the 650 does well in the tight stuff.

Hope this helps,


Thanks for the info Kevin

I think I may be leaning towards the XR650. I want to Dual Sport it, and it looks like the DMV is cracking down on the DRZ's. Don't want to risk it and pay for a bike that only gets a red sticker! :)

Thanks for the info on the triple clamps and bars too. Looks like our riding background and size are pretty similar, so it gives me a good perspective.

Sounds like fun having all that power on tap if you need it!

Happy trails!

I was with Kevin on the July Lake Arrowhead ride and I also road a 2001 XR650R. My last bike was an '84 XR500 :). Suspension & ergos was the prime reason I bought a new bike. It obviously handles better than my old tank. I'm 5'10" 220lb. and the bike size suits me fine. It takes a little more work & concentration to haul the bike around on tight, single track (It creates alot of inertia) but the power available is worth the trade off. (like my 500 you can put it in tank mode & take a nap while it climbs over hill & dale). I can't really compare it to other bikes, I've owned only an XR200 and a yamaha TT600 besides my 500. I have ridden my buddies Yama 2000 WR400. (Its lighter but lacks the low end and is more $$$) My TT600 only gave me problems. My Hondas run forever. I have kept all my bikes basically stock (my 650 has the the honda power up kit with an R4 pipe & new handle bars and besides getting it dual sported I don't see doing much more for it. I'm not much of a motorhead) and they have never let me down. I also come back from tight trails no worse the wear than others on WR's, except my butt is much happier :D.

The bike is heavy but is still nimble with a quick throttle response & power available that will dry your eyes out. It can be a bit difficult to restart after a spill sometimes. It's legs are a little shorter than what I'd like (the stock tank isn't very big & you can hear the bike gulping gas if you listen carefully). The suspension is (remeber my last bike was an '84) awesome after I set the sag in for my size.

I ride mostly Hungry Valley, Lake Arrowhead, and Jawbone Canyon. The terrain is different at all three and I have no problems riding anywhere at any of these places.

Thats my $.02


Hey Mike,

how you been? Thanks for the tire info. I tried the Dunlop 739at rear and I'm very happy with it. I got to ride the new saddleback park a couple weeks ago. Lots of fun if you don't overshoot the jumps. I flatlanded the finishline tabletop and man do my feet hurt. The bike handled it well, no damage and I didn't crash. My A-star tech 5s didn't survive. The lower buckles broke and the shank plates tore out. I'll be out a couple more weeks till my feet get back to normal.

See you on the trails,


Thanks for the info! My XR is an '83, so the suspension will probably be awesome to me too. I also have a CR125, and to tell the truth, I prefer the XR. I guess my riding style is more flowing than the cut and thrust, high revs, fan the clutch style of the 125.

I really want a plate on it, even though it will be 90% off road, it's nice to have the option, or to putt into the local gas station to fill up without getting the stink eye from people.

I'll probably do the triple clamp, bar, stabilizer thing, and maybe a FMF IV/Q to keep the noise down.

Hopefully I can deal with the weight, as having lots of power and torque on tap is wonderful and lots of fun.

Thanks for the comments.

Lawn dart,

If you go with the XR, you wont believe the torque! Once you uncork it, the power starts at rpm #1 and pulls all the way to the rev limiter. It has no powerband or it's all powerband depending on how you look at it.

Best of luck,


this bike is unbelivable.... i just rode my first enduro with the 2001 650r and i took fourth in the c 4 strok class in pa. i am an east coast rider and all it is out here is single track bark busting and fire roads. this bike compaired to my 99 xr 650l is far more supperior in handling in the tight stuff. i should have taken third but i was not use to the idea of coming in early to a check cince it never happend with the l. it is hard to start after a get off unless you get a zipty-racing hot start that is worth every penny..my next race im going to is in the pine barrens and im excited to see how the bike handls the tight sand!

Hey Kevin! You thought you took a long time to reply :). Great to hear about the tires. I think I can get a few more rides outa mine before I need new ones & that should allow me enough time to collect enough $$$ for the Baja designs kit before they need to be replaced. After hearing about Saddleback I am a little more inclined to try this monster on an MX track. Have you done any work to your suspension?

Mike - Later than late.

Yes sir Mike,

I had Steve @ White Bros. set up my suspenders. Per steve: it's setup for a 240lb rider. I'm 180lbs ready to ride and I bottomed out HUGE :) at Saddleback. I backed out the compression for desert. I should have cranked it in for the track. Oh well, live and learn. If your interested, I have tried lots of different lights etc. for dual sport. The only BD parts I'm using are the master switch, main harness, and regulator. I modified the stock tail light to make it brake/tail, I made the stock headlight a dual element. I'm running Lockhart mini signals. See if Baja will make you a partial or cutsom kit. Their kit is well made but I want more stealth. I'm going to sell the Baja signals, mounts, headlight, tail/brake light, etc.

Look at poor mans dual sport kit on the DR page. If you like to tinker this looks like a cheaper way to go.

Talk to you later,


[This message has been edited by gtms34 (edited September 26, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by gtms34 (edited September 26, 2001).]

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now