Bad talk about the XR650R

And let's not forget that of the Husaberg finishers, (294x) Don Robbins of Phoenix Arizona Ironmanned the whole race on a 5 year old bike! :cry::cry::cry:

How about "HondaDale"??? or "BullHonda" instead??? :cry::D:cry:

~ Ken

HonTaco??? :lol:

Acktualy when I first heard of Mike Kay's story of the CRF250 pile of junk story, I tought of my friends Hodaka 125 piece of art back in 1974. :cry::cry::cry: You have to be around for awhile to have been blest with a good ride around the block on one of those.

Hodaka CRF250X?



Huge apologies to all those Husaberg riders and to the people of Sweeden in general.

Not only do i appreaciate the innovative Husaberg frame with its hidden away airbox houseing, but i am also big fan of Linginberries.

I would also like to wish all americans running this years Dakar best of luck. I hope none stub their toes and have to pull out--that would be horrible.

If anyone has Scott Hardins email, please let him know i will run KTM stickers on my XR680R Dakar bike in exchange for two spare Michelin Desert tires at Tidjika and Bamako! Yeah-- i know, assuming i even get to day 4... :cry:

Hondaka's Rawk!

...wait a second...i raced a Hodaka Ace 100 and then a Super Rat 30 years ago--they where great bikes!

Precision Concepts has a foot peg fix for that foot peg problem

hey marcia--you ever get those pipes?

Well ya gotta admit...Honda hasnt done anything, i mean absolutely nothing with the 650R since it was introduced. Hard to get excited about something if the factory is excited about it either!!


The CRF600 is now being tested. For sure it will be a great bike. But given all the issues with the last 3 models Honda released--i for one wouldnt buy a first year bike from them.

Not true...the Honda regularly gets bold new graphics! A long standing XR tradition. And in keeping with tradition it will no doubt be re-named the CRF 600 as other XR's have been migrated towards, just as XL's all go renamed XR's a few years back!

As for a genuinely new CRF600...that would be interesting but that is the first I have heard? Just as with the 650R five years ago I would be less concerned with it as a first year model as it will not be an MX based machine.

Here is where the manufacturers have run into trouble and as long as they insist on basing their off-road line off of highly stressed MX machines they will be at risk. There is no replacement for displacement. Both the CRF450 and the XR650R make about 50 hp at the rear wheel. And while torque is another story, the 450 uses massive revs, titanium valves and F1-type single ring pistons with no skirt to speak of. All trick, but of dubious long term durability? The 650 uses cubes to make it's power, in the best of American V-8 tradition, and provides enviable dependability and durability while doing so. The CRF is a much better MX bike. I don't ride MX!

I am intruiged by the upcoming "off-road" CRF450X and have been considering one to replace a four year old 650R, but will not be buying a first year model. Honda has apparantly gone to great lengths to work on it's durability. I hope so...we'll see! :cry:

[ Honda has apparantly gone to great lengths to work on it's durability. I hope so...we'll see! :cry:

They have?

Go read the CRF250X posts.

The new Hondaberg/Hondakas are anything but dependable.

.7 quarts of oil? How is a 450X ever going to be dependable with so little oil capacity?

Ti valves and like you said a 1 ring piston....?

You are right on. Its a MX bike with lights.

Give me a XR440 with a pumper carb, USD suspension, sexy cam and an ebutton and i will show you the best selling off-road bike....but a CRF450X?

Why not just buy the KTM or leat they have had 3-4 yers to work out the bugs!

Ok, if they make a water cooled CRF600 that weighs oh, lets see 253.2 pound dry and and all the goodies. 45~ 50 hp to the rear wheel, button, high output stator, a battery that works...what ever. My question is how many years will it run with just the graffix changed and if there is a problem with it (like the foot peg breaks off) the first year will it just stay on all the bike to come and they just change the graffix? This would be the biggest gripe I have with the "fringe" bike idea Honda has. It's not the bike on the front cover of the MX magezine not the bike in the big poster on the walls of the bike shop. Not the bike in the pictures in the, what the heck the fat old farts will buy them anyways and pay to fix the problem so let it go... :cry::cry:

Why not just buy the KTM or leat they have had 3-4 yers to work out the bugs!

The KTM is a $2,000 premium in my parts. And it's orange! And I don't want to change all 4 oil filters every 50 miles or drain the rad to check the valve adjustment!

I like the Yamaha but have ridden them and as noted by some others, they just don't FEEL much lighter then the 650R even though the actual weight figure is less. Top heavy? They get compared to the 650 here instead of other 450s and without the torque! Button is nice though.

Both of these bikes still fall into the racing 4-stroke category and while perhaps better then the 250X, are not XR's as far as long term durability goes. Depending on the person, this may or may not be an issue. As for me I'm parking my 450X plans. My 650R keeps working good, soldiering on year after year thanks do those aforementioned qualities. Come on CRF600! There's no need to limit yourself to 450cc racers based on MX bikes and MX rules. You can have power AND reliability! :cry:

I've raced my 650r for the last two years in AMA D37 and it is still going strong.

The same bike has carried me to 20 race finishes this season (average race length 60 miles).

I have six class wins on the bike.

My bike has also helped me overall the ammie line twice this season.

BTW, the two skill level overalls came in the months following a race inwhich I discovered I had raced a hour long european scramble with NO OIL.


The night before the race, I must have been distracted and buttoned the bike back up without refilling the oil.

Went out the next day, raced for an hour straight, got second.

Came home, discovered what I did, pissed my pants, cried, beat my head on the wall, said "what the Hell," filled it back up with oil went out and won my class the next day.

The bike hasn't missed a lick and after the enduro this Sunday (if all goes well) I will earn #1 open ammie in desert, enduro, and BOTW.

My bike helped me earn my red bar for 05 and I have no plans on ever ditching my xr650r program.

I may try a 450x to change things up a bit, ride enduros with it, a couple GPs, but i will always keep a XR cocked and loaded, ready for battle.

Kelly Christensen

114 Open Int.


"The CRF600 is now being tested."

Where'd that info come from???????


Motocross is where the dirt bike sales are, nothing else is even close. Sadly dual sport bikes are barely on the radar outside of California, I work in the powersports industry and have discussions with oem personal about this from time to time and they all say the same thing

Can you provide any more details related to this comment? Percent of total off-road bike sales for MX bikes versus off-road or other? I've been curious about this for some time and would have guessed that off-road bikes outsell MX. thanks

Got To Agree With Bwb! The Xr650r Is A Great Bike. I Got No Complaints With My 2003. Of Course, I Did The Initial Teardown And Relube , Uncork, Rejett, Side Panel Cut, Suspension Get The Drift. I Smile Everytime I Get A Wheelie Out Of The Sucker! If More People Spent Some Time With Up Keep , Proper Jetting, Suspension Settings And So On, I Think The Smiles Would Return. You Can't Make Chicken Soup Out Of Chicken Poop!!!! J/k

By The Way, Cool Site Bwb! Lots Of Good Info.....thanks For Sharing!


I am in the middle of a major rebuild and the site won't work. I have dial up and to reload the server takes days! They finaly have cable where I live and am looking into getting it.

Well I am not a racer and I am not brand loyal. I could not begin to keep pace with many of the riders in here. I am just a woods/desert rider in Washington state. I own a KTM 525 and an XR650R. I owned the XR650R since the first month they hit the showroom floor in Feb. 2000. It was my do everything bike. In fact I rode it exclusively in the woods and mountain trails for 3 years. Only exception was the yearly Desert 100 Iron Man Poker Run now held in Odessa Wa..

I rode a KX500 as my only bike for 3 years before I bought my XR650R and it was my do everything bike. I still have it.

Then in August of 2003 I purchased an 04 525EXC. It became my woods bike of choice. The XR650R is still my desert bike of choice. I am an old man and love the comfort factor and speed of the big XR. I also love its reliability and longevity. I have 2000 miles on my second XR650R and it is barely broke in. I have 1900 miles on my 525EXC. It is getting noisier and noisier but still performs great in the woods. I know I will be doing major work on the motor long before my XR feels really broke in.

So why have a 525exc? Cause its a dream to ride it fast in the woods. I am able to ride it fast with much less effort in the tighter stuff. It is a higher maintenance bike with a smaller oil capacity than my XR. Thus forcing oil changes much more frequently. But it is not in the same class as the XR and should not be compared to it. I put my 525 in the crf450r/x class. The only difference is that the KTM requires less maintenance and most likely is more reliable than the CRF450r/X. KTM makes a good solid bike when compared to the other lets make it lighter and faster bikes. But it's not an XR and niether are any of the other lets make em lighter faster bikes. (The WR450 may be the exception to that?)

In the final analysis I believe the XR650R is a desert race bike that can be used for anything else too. If your just out to enjoy riding and it doesn't matter how fast you get to that woodsy scenic mountain view the XR will do the job with ease. If you want to get there faster with less effort choose a KTM or just about any of the lighter faster new breeds. In the desert the XR is still a force to be dealt with and the longer the race the more likely it will come out in the top finishers.

The KTM 625SXC was an awesome bike for the money but they have weak trannys when compared to the XR. You will also note that it is not sold in the US anymore. I don't care if they finish Dakar. Watch the problems sections on KTM talk and you will see trany problems are a more common problem. I have a friend who can make his 625 do everything and does it well too. His trany went belly up and the bike was not even 2 years old. He got it fixed and loves his bike.

So am I against KTMs or Honda XR650Rs? Nope, I would buy another XR650 in a heart beat. It would be nice if Honda put a pumper carb and electric start on the big XR. I would also buy a 625SXC in a heart beat if they were still marketed in America. Hey they're retail price was unbelievable and they were dual sported. I almost bought one instead of the 525.

No matter what you buy or like in a bike - have fun on it! That's what it is all about.


I ride an XR650R because it is MUCH faster and MUCH more powerful than a Husky 510.


Mikekay- I believe you speak for the many Honda supporters not only in the U.S, but globally.

I for one have very much leaned towards Honda ever since starting to ride my father's 1980 XL250S. I have tried other brands - a Yamaha WR400 springs to mind, but none have offered the combination of dependability, servicablity, performance and simplicity of the XR's - including the 650R. These bikes have been my inspiration for dirt-riding, I grew up reading stories of dominance with the XR600R winning the "Australian Safari" (7 day desert epic covering some of the toughest terrain Australia has to offer) 12 out of 15 years of its model run, often making a clean sweep of the top placings. The CR250/125's huge success over the eighties and most of the nineties will probably never be replicated.

Wind back to 1997, Honda are basking in their success with dirt bikes in general and had been content to practically "stand still" with development because at the time it seemed no other brand were trying to or developing a "breakthrough" model. Enter the YZM400F factory machine and later the production YZ400F. This machine was cleverly released into the market with uncanny timing, it was a machine nothing like anything else to ever come out of Japan.

It seems now that Honda were definitely taken nearly completely by surprise as it took four and a half long years for the red camp to release a comparable model. Meanwhile. Yamaha had made the most of their "headstart" and released the WR400F which by 2002 when the CRF450R was finally released, was refined and debugged to the point where it was a fairly reliable and outstanding performer, it's popularity among enduro/trailriders skyrocketed.

Today in 2005, the way I see it, Honda are back on the comeback trail but of course they started with a four year handicap to Yamaha, putting them at a disadvantage. Hence we are getting new models with flaws due to rushed R&D. That said, I am willing to wait and keep riding my modded 1995 XR600R and XR400R until Honda finally releases their next "stand out" model.


Honda will start racing the new CRF600 in Baja within a year.

The first prototypes are now being tweaked in japan. Sorry-cant reveal sources...

Target is:

262 lbs

61 hp



it will come in a motard version as well as dirt. The motard can be converted to dual sport with some new tires.

BUT-KTM will offer a 710 version of the LC4 and next year Husqvarna will have their race tested (for 3 years) TE-630 with a twin cam head...

Honda will start racing the new CRF600 in Baja within a year.

The first prototypes are now being tweaked in japan. Sorry-cant reveal sources...

Target is:

262 lbs

61 hp



it will come in a motard version as well as dirt. The motard can be converted to dual sport with some new tires.

BUT-KTM will offer a 710 version of the LC4 and next year Husqvarna will have their race tested (for 3 years) TE-630 with a twin cam head...

As long as it holds two quarts of oil, has two compression and oil rings on the piston and no Titanium Valves, I will buy one! :D

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