650L Question :

The 650L even at 324+ lbs dry is still on the light side for cruising the highways. It will have a tendency to get pushed around in the winds or wash from oncoming semi trucks. It's a trade off for trying to make a "jack of all trades" bike.

My wife and I just rode up Highway 101 and into the woods cruising the fire roads. It's a hoot when you have that capability. Granted there's places I won't dare go with the 650, I'll save that for the YZ. I can see why Honda still makes these big D/S thumpers. :)

yeah, mine is definitely very "nimble" at 70. :)

I cruise at 60-65, seems ok there.

But, wow, you sure can rip on a tight, twisty bumpy old blue asphalt 1-1/2 lane... I think you could give a 750 cafe bike a good run!

I know exactly what you are talking about. The first couple times out when I hit 60mph I hit a cross wind and it tried to change lanes with me before I knew what was happening. I really had to lean into it to hold it. I am more used to it now, but it still happens. I don't think it has anything to do with the steering, more that me and the bike weigh in at less than 500lbs.! Take that small weight and 60 mph head wind with no fairing it ain't got no choice but to be light! If anyone has any advise I'm all ears as well! I stay at 55-60 most times and can pretty much feel it coming now. I haven't even thought about topping it out yet, feels like it ought to push 90mph, but I really don't need to know right now!LOL! Later-Robert

Hey guys, Here's another question for anyone who may be interested. I took my bike out over the weekend and for the first time I hopped on Rt.80 to see how it handled on the highway at 65+mph. Now keep in mind, last time I rode on the highway at this speed was on a Shadow 1100. When I got up around 65-70 I just felt like the bike was very sensitive in the steering. It was a kind of windy plus the normal wind from moving at this speed, and I felt like the bike was being pushed all over the lane. Is this normal for these bikes? Would a steering dampener help to keep the handlebars more stable at these speeds? I hope I’m not the only one who’s thought this. As always any input is welcome. Thanks.

I know the feeling, I've only been able to put 30miles on mine off road, the rest is all street (to and from work mostly)

since I installed the XR400 renthal bars the "twitchy" feeling is worse.

I've been looking at the WER steering damper, it mounts down low on the front fender mounts instead of up on the bars like the Scotts.

I know this is going to sound wierd, but make sure your knees are against the tank. My experience is that my knees tend to relax and fall out a little from the sides of the tank, and it must set up some kind of sympathetic vibration, causing the bike to waver back and forth at speeds over about 60mph. Other than that, I find the XR650L much better than a converted XR400, or a DR350L. If you leave the gearing stock, it is real happy at around 70mph.

Yep. Wind and 70 mph do not mix well with the L. I have a small windshield and it only makes times like that worse. Plus, those "elephant ears" off the tank catch wind. On the other hand, I've been on highways when it wasn't windy, and the bike is rock stable at 80 mph plus. Nothing wrong with the steering....it's just high and light..and a real wind catcher.

Thanks for all the input guys. I good to know I'm not the only one that thought this.

It does help to grip the tank with your knees & relax your arms in bad cross-winds...I lean forward a little at high speeds for a more aero position...if your body is getting buffeted by wind, try not to let the shock go from your body to the bars. I rarely go over 70 on the L with stock gearing (15-45), but it has a sweet spot around 60-65. Uncork that beast yet Mike??!!

Like it was mentioned before, straight line stability will be comprimised to get a bike to turn tight and slow. This was readily apparent at the MSF Safety Course I used to help teach. You'd see these new guys, with their first bike being a GSXR 1100, trying to do a 5 mph corner...those bikes are designed to turn at 125 mph, not 5 mph. The exact opposite is your 650L.

I try my best to stay off of the highways on my D/S 650R. These bikes are so tall, and pretty light compared to street bikes, that they are very prone to being blown around by the wind...wait until you meet a 18-wheeler going 80+ mph on a two lane road...hahaha...if you wear a dirt helmet, look down otherwise the gust will grab the visor and try to A: rip the visor off...or B: try to pull your head off the top of your shoulders...hahaha

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