Need a good Honest Opinion On the 650R

I got a deal to swap my KLX 250 for a '01 XR 650R. I got the KLX to dual sport with but just haven't made the effort to do so yet. I don't have much of a problem with a 250 on the road (I have a KLR 250 already so that is not much of a issue.) Although the 650 should be much more fun to squirt around the corners Supermontard style. I just need some honest opinions to justfy the price difference.

I have briefly ridden and XR 650 in the desert and was impressed: much more stable than my CR 250. And even though it was still semi-corked it seemed to be competitve with the KTM520MXC that I also rode that day. Either bike (KLX or XR) I will have to do suspension work with so that is not that much of an issue. In fact I feel the KLX upside down forks may be an advantage.

I just need to know if any of you feel the XR650R seems bulky in the tight woods? I felt while riding the XR and KTM the MXC felt bulkier even though it is a lighter bike. Any opinions would be much appreciated.

If you want to understand the XR650R, ride it and then spend some time at :)

There are great prices to be had if you do a little shopping. You could even pay shipping from another part of the country where the deals are better.

The link above will provide you answers to setup, best deals, riding areas, etc. :D

IMHO the XR650R will take you anywhere. Would I race it in the woods? No. Would I take it with confidence in the woods? Yes, if uncorked and properly jetted (stock/restricted bike tends to overheat).

[ January 25, 2002: Message edited by: needsprayer ]

Yes, it is bulky on tight trails. It feels like a Freightliner compared to my buddy's KTM 400 E/XC. All I can say for it is its better than my old 600 was in the woods.

I rode the 650/450 and YZ426 and picked up a used 426 waiting for some cross-breeding between the 650 and the 450. That will/would be an awesome ride.


I just upgraded from an XR400 to a '00 650R. The suspension is still trail-like like on any XR, but at the same time it is worlds better than what my '87 XR200 and '96 XR400 had. I'm actually quite pleased with the stock suspension on the 650R, short of taking it on a MX track.

Furthermore, due to the much better handling and balance of the 650R, it doesn't feel like it's any heavier than my 400. The only time I notice the weight is when I pick the beast up. The power is truly amazing, compared to what I'm used to. My only complaint on the 650R in the tight woods is the stock gearing is too tall. I could literally crawl at an idle with my 400 and 200, but the 650 tries to go faster. With stumpier gearing, I would be VERY pleased with the 650R in the tights. Just my opinion.

By the way, with the stock gearing, she will cruise at 70mph with ease, with plenty more in reserve. So as a dual sport, I think the 650R would be an excellent choice.

Some magazine I read went up 4 teeth on the back sproket on the 650r so they could ride it on the trails, I left my gearing alone because I will be dual sporting it also.

I just took my 1st road ride on my 650r after converting it for dual sport and it was GREAT, much more fun than a 01 Shadow 1100 Sabre.

The only thing I don't like about the 650 is the short handle bars. I have riden many 650's, even thow I don't own one. If I didn't have so much trouble switching back and forth I would get one. The tour group I ride with uses XR650's and they rock. For the price your getting a killer bike.



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