Newbie introduction, please advise!

Hey ya'll!

Well I am new here. I am about to take delivery of my 2001 XR650L. I have never rode a bike this big. I have rode, smaller 4 stroke 2 wheelers, and tons of 4-wheel action. I wanted a bike I can ride to work and around, and still play with it some. I have looked at the KLR as well as theKTM, and BMW, but I think I made the right choice. No dealer for the KTM or BMW within 100 miles. I am a little apprehinsive over the seat hight. I am 5'11" 165lbs. I could flatfoot the KLR, but man it was soft feeling. I have read many posts on here about the raw torque of the Honda, and the extra potential. After the break in period,of me and the bike, I am sure I will uncork it. I will definantly want a little sound. My worry is the fact that I have never ridden on the street. Never mind the traffic cautions, I am well aware that folks don't look out for bikes. I just want some pointers on the steet manners of this beast. How much to lean the tall thing? How light is the front tire in stock form? If I can get comfy on the street with it, I will be ok offroad. Most of my offroading will be dirt roads and fields, I live in south Ga. where it is flat and muddy. We do have sand dunes, but I won't go there with this. I am affraid it will be too heavy for deep sand. I know there is a world of experience here and would appreciate any advise ya'll can give me. I will let you know when I take my first trip out with it.

Thanks in advance-Robert

Stock 2001 xr650L

take a course given by The Motorcycle Safety Foundation, also known as MSF ... I beleive that you can even ride your own bike during the 2 day class, which is a pretty good overview of basic (note basic) street riding, and safety tips. Also it gives you a few hours of putting arround a secure parking lot to get comfortable with the bike ... have fun, enjoy the bike and be safe!

I second the notion about the MSF course. It's a very good investment. Most insurance companies will offer a discount if you've had the course. Years ago, I used to help teach the course and even the guys that had been riding for all their life, gained something from the class.

My advice would be to always wear bright clothing, and MAKE yourself be seen. Always be aware of your surroundings, and ride defensively. I once was turning off of a main road, making eye contact with the lady setting at a stop sign, and she pulled out and almost hit me...I couldn't believe it.

I'm only 5'9" and ride a dualsported 650R and even though I tippy-toe on one side at stops, I like setting up high where you can see everything.

If you really do end up wanting a lower seat height, check out, they have a lowering link that will lower the bike a couple of inches.

Good luck, and welcome to the site...these guys here are awesome, and have helped me out tremendously!

Hey thanks! I have already checked in to the saftey class, and it will be November before there is an opening in the whole state Ga. I guess there are alot of us Rednecks that need some schooling!LOL. I was just wondering if there were any particular bad habits these bikes might have on the street? Thanks-Robert

Yo Rob! Excellent choice on the 650L...been on an '02 five months & it's an easy ride on the street...I'm 5'10" so the 37" height is a concern...try to anticipate your stops...the bike is so well balanced that it's easy to keep upright while stopped, even when on your toes. You can flatfoot it if you roll off the saddle a little to the down side & keep your other foot on the peg...this works great for longer stops. The clutch action is excellent, so starting the bike rolling is cake...the engines' broad power band & 5 speeds make shifting's a relatively low revving motor, so the power comes on early & stays long...easy to control & you can stay in your gears longer. I ride alot on twisty, hilly backroads. The L handles extremely well & can lean nicely! I'm still running the stock tires & they're fine on the road, but marginal in dirt. The feeling is of solid security on the bike...excellent handling...power on demand...good brakes...great visibility & the raw torque of a 100mm bore!!! Best & baddest Dual-Sport for the $$! Like the Bros. say, take classes if you can, read up, & don't overlook FULL protective gear, even if only road riding. I always wear full MX gear: boots, MX pants, knee pads, gloves, full face helmet & goggles & Enduro jacket. Drive defensively, ride tons & you'll be in the XRL Zone in no time...Thumper Talk has all the info. you'll need when you're ready to uncork...Enjoy!! Big Jimi

Is the air filter on the 650L paper or oiled foam?

Hey! I just got my bike and put a few miles on it. It is awsome. I was really surprised at the ease to ride. It is tall and a strong crosswind nearly blew me into the other lane before I knew what was going on! I slowed and recovered. The wind will catch you on this thing. But Wow!-Robert

Right now my bike is pure stock. It has the paper filter element. Why? How long did ya'll wait to change the oil? How many break in miles before the change to synthetic? Thanks-Robert

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