I'm a New Honda XR650 Owner! Need Advise on Modifications

Big Red Pig Riders,

Finally, I'm a new Honda XR650 owner! (well almost)

I've wanted an XR650 for over a year now and I just sold my trusty old '96 XR600 and I'll be purchasing a barely used 2001 XR650 in 3 weeks. :)

It's dual sported, has suspension upgrades, armor, etc.

Now, I want this thing to haul freaking bootie without paying for a 680 kit, etc.

I have a couple questions...

Edelbrock: I'm already planning on buying this first, but does this carb add more power, or just help with starting?

Exhaust: I may buy an aftermarket exhaust system, but which one?

Moriwaki? Everyone on this board WAS raving about it, but now it sucks? No bottom end torque? What's up? It looks great though, eh?

Barnum's Pro? Now everyone is raving about Barnum's. But it's not even available yet, right? &%$#@!?

Or maybe I should keep the stock header, get it ceramic coated, and just get an FMF Q? But does the Q stifle power?

I want great power, without it being too damn noisy.

Questions, questions, questions...

What do you guys recommend for an aftermarket exhaust system?

THAT is my big question.

Thanks. :)

stock with the HRC tip is hard to beat :)

From what I understand, the Edelbrock carb does not add much, if any, power. It has other benefits though. Check around the forum and there is a lot of info about the Edelbrock, both good news and bad.

As far as the pipes go, here is the setup I'm running now, and it works very well; Stock headers, stock muffler, HRC exhaust tip (modified by removing the baffle cap and spark screen). All other items uncorked by the book. Stock carb jetted to 180, and running 100 octane fuel at 700' elev.

I have had two previous exhaust systems, a Big gun full race series, and the white bros. Neither of the aftermarket pipes did much of anything for power in my opinion. Mainly they just widened and flattened the power spread, and ruined the low-end torque.

The stock headers in combination with an opened up (40mm) exhaust exit, drilled airbox, which allows more flow and richer jetting, seriously improves the performance of the bike WITHOUT sacrificing low-end power (It actually increases the low-end response). Mid-range power is noticeably stronger too, and top-end power is slightly improved.

Good luck with your new bike man, you're gonna love it !!!


'00XR650R/uncorked/jetted/street legal

'04KX500/crazy but fun


See www.xr650r.us for all kinds of kool xr650r info.

The Edelbrock ads a little more power, improves low end throttle response when you quickly open the throttle, eliminates flooding (one kick starts if the bikes goes down), minimal tuning when changing altitudes, super easy to tune compared to other carbs when changes are made to you bike, etc.

I really like the stock exhaust with the HRC insert because it super tough, delivers good performance for the money, is legally spark arrested, can easily be quieted down by changing the end cap back to stock, etc. I've never heard anybody say the Moriwaki sucks. The eye candy factor on this system is tops, it's built very well and it delivers well at high RPM, but it does take a bit of bottom end away just like most exhaust systems will that have a larger diameter header. I would think this system might be especially good with the use of a high compression piston, agressive cam, porting, etc, for agressive street riding, motard, or if you're spending a lot of time at higher engine RPM. Barnum has been using this unique exhaust system he designed for years and winning several races with it, but he has only recently started to offer it for sale in limited quantities. It looks nice and the concept & details behind it sound very enticing, but I don't have any experience with it other than seeing it on his bike and reading Naru's comments here on TT.

There was a xr650r exhaust system shootout in one of the magazines and some of the bigger name exhaust systems actually lost power when compared to the stock system opened up. Some exhaust companies have their work subbed out to more than one company making their products and what comes out of one shop may differ in quality than another shop. Also, designs sometimes change and what was once a product that underperformed may now be a product that performs well, but the opposite can also hold true. I don't think you'll find any recent (within the last year) independant dyno tests for xr650r exhaust systems, so all you'll get is opinions from people with limited experiences such as myself. There was a guy here years ago that bought all the exhaust systems he could get his hands on and then sold them off to TT memebrs. The only exhaust system he kept was the White Brother E series slip on running 10 disks with the stock header. The xr650r exhaust system shootout also ranked the WB E series at the top and as the only system that outperformed the stock system everywhere in the curve, but this test was done years ago and many new exhaust systems have since appeared. I have a Moriwaki on one of my bikes and think it's a terrific exhaust sytem (especially at higher engine RPM), but for the money, I happen think the stock exhaust system with the HRC insert is hard to beat for the average trail rider, weekend warrior, dual sporter, etc, when considering price/performance/durability/versatility/legal.

JWS, Smashinz2002, and Qadsan,

Thanks for the great feedback on the Edelbrock and Exhaust Systems.

Sounds like I don't need to do a lot to make my new BRP shred.

I want 10+ more horsepower than my trusty old XR600.

From what you're saying, it sounds like the following will do it...

* Uncork airbox (already done)

* Drill side cover of airbox for even more air flow (will do)

* Get an HRC tip (it has a Baja Designs turn-down exhaust baffle)

* Re-jet the stock carburetor

I don't mind spending a little money, so let me know if you have other suggestions.

Thanks. :)

You can sometimes find the HRC tips used on eBay for $50 or so. Adding a cam will also help. I liked the HotCams stage 1 for a bit more low and mid range and bought mine on eBay for ~$100 a few years back. The Stage 2 cam gives more top end with a slight loss to the low end from what I understand. I'll be trying a stage 2 in a few months so I can get a first hand opinion of the differences. I like the HotCams product because it works with the existing valve train components if they're in good condition, but their cam like many aftermarket cams do not accept the auto decompressor mechanism of the stock cam.

For even better performance, you may want to consult an experienced engine builder who can offer you a special cam grind, higher compression piston, porting & a matching exhaust system that all works together to produce a known & proven result in a way that meets your specific needs.


When you mentioned

* Get an HRC tip (it has a Baja Designs turn-down exhaust baffle)

I'm interested because I just ordered the BD baffle for my HRC insert. I personally love the sound of the HRC but its really too loud and I'm hoping the BD baffle won't kill too much flow. It seems like it may be kinda overkill to drill out the air filter cover if you are going to stuff up the exhaust. The only reason I'd consider drilling would be to adjust for altitude easily. For instance, keep the openings taped or covered somehow until you've gained 3K+ feet, then you wouldn't be running so rich up high. Suppose its a moot point with the QS. My riding regularly involves 5K+ altitude changes so I'm looking for some ways to mess with the mixture without rejetting (the QS is not an option).

Anyone tried this?

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