XR650R and L questions

O.K., in my search for the perfect bike, I have a few more questions.

1. Is there anyplace that makes a thicker, more comfortable seat for the XR650R? I really like the bike, but I plan to use it as a dualsport, and a comfortable seat is a requirement. Because of the different frames, I'm sure the 650L seat won't fit.

2. If I were to buy a 650L, what are some fairly simple engine upgrades to get the torque of the 650R? In the old days, the piston from a 600R could be put in an XL600 to increase compression. I was wondering if the 650R piston could be used in the L, and are there cams available for the 650L? I don't want to go nuts on the engine, especially on a brand new bike, because reliability is the main factor here.

3. Is an engine upgrade even necessary for the 650L? The last thumper I rode was a '95 XR600R, and I loved the torque of that engine. It would pull the front tire up in 1st and 2nd without a problem, and just grab for more speed with the twist of the throttle. But I hear KLR650 owners (KLR is the other bike I'm considering) that the KLR is very difficult to pick the wheel up with because its way down on torque.

Thanks for helping someone whos been out of the sport for a while!


The Guts Racing tall soft seat foam for the XR650R is the ticket for a more comfortable seat. They also sell their foam to other companies such as Baja Designs.

Guts Racing tall/soft seat foam PN# 3442S

Guts Racing competition seat cover 344-21-30 (red sides / black gripper top)

You can also get this same seat cover in all black by changing the -30 to a -21.


A 650R piston will not fit in a 650 "L",try a Wiseco 102.4mm hc piston for a "L".

I used this piston in a XR600 (with Domi or HRC cilinder-stock bore 100mm),made it a 658 cc..Lots of torque :naughty: .

You can use XR600 cams in a 650 "L" (hotcams,HRC ,others...)

I was forgetting one was air and one was liquid. You can tell how long I was away from bikes! I remember when I rebuilt the top end of my '84 XL200R I used a high compression Wiseco piston made for an XR200, some 200X ATC parts, and everyting fit perfect. The XL200 didn't have any aftermarket parts made for it in those days, but since the top end was the same as the others, except with lower compression and a milder cam, parts swapping was easy.


If you plan to do much offroading of any kind the klr is not very good at all. About 60 lbs heavier than the 650l, some because of its huge 6 gal. gas tank. Also if you like wheelies the klr is very difficult, as you said, to do them on unless you like to drop the clutch. I don't know of any japanese enduro's that have more front end weight than those things. Stay with a honda and you'll be happy if offroad is your thing.

I got my seat re-upholstered by an upholsterer, he put gel in it and soft foam and my seat is really comfy now and lower as I am a short arse!

I believe Corbin also makes a seat for the R. A pipe, air filter and jetting change will do wonders for the 650L's power.

You are right...I checked on there a couple days ago and I saw the L, but didn't notice the R....thanks!!! Now I'm leaning back toward the 650R from the KLR. I always owned Hondas, and would like to continue. I did have a Yamaha quad and a KTM300E/XC for a short time, but I always went back to Honda after that.


The 650L is a bike that needs just a few things to wake it up. Free mods are: de snorkle, carb slide drill and shim, mild exhaust port(head and header). Add ons are air filter, jets, exhaust silencer and a smaller front sprocket(13t or 14t). Do these upgrades and it will put in the 32+ hp range or better. If you are looking for more Hot cams make 2 different cams for the "L" and pistons can be bought from all the major companies. Just remember it's an air cooled engine and compression will build more heat you will need to get rid of.


94' XR650L

Too many mods to list.

I wasn't looking to go nuts with compression, just get it up where the XR600R used to be. That bike was nearly perfect, in my opinion (mine was a '95), so if I can get something similar in power and handling without too much effort, it would be nice. I know I can't expect to equal it, because even though both have the steel frame, the L has all the extras that add weight, but if I can get the power close, I would be happy. Thanks.


You can dual sport the XR650R.......... :naughty:

So get the R and be done with it, You'll never look back... :naughty:

Well I would love to, but there are a few things making me hesitate about it.

1. The seat. I know I can send it out and have it redone with more foam, but that will be even more $$$, and I don't know how it would end up looking. Not that I'm primarily concerned with looks, but I don't want it to look horrible.

2. The 650L is set up running DC current, so I can add a couple power plugs and wire up a GPS, small radio for very long trips, etc. without having to put on a rectifier/regulator (more $$$, although I have an extra one from a CBR that might work...)

3. The L has less to go wrong if I were to do something dumb, since its air cooled

4.The L already has the equipment to make it street legal (here in N.H. thats pretty much a horn, tail light with brake light, and high/low beam headlight). I don't need the turn signals, but after going through the routine of getting stopped almost every time I rode my 600R, it woould be nice to have it look more street legal. I know I'll still get stopped at times because the cops are so ignorant of our own laws, but it should be less often.

5. I won't have to go through the extra paperwork and stuff to make it street legal. Last time it took me the better part of a month just to get the proper title in and get it registered. With the L, they just give me a temp. plate when I buy it and I can ride it home.


I have a new 05 L, havent done any Mods to it at all, and it runs fantastic. Will pop a wheely in first and second, has great low end tourqe and to me "stock" is plenty fast for me. I love it.

The only thing that bugs me is the little backfire sputters that I know will go away with all the Mods, but for now i am just happy as can be with the way it runs on and off road.

Just make sure to plan to dump the "stock" tires as soon as you get it, they are horrible off road and will want to make you crash at the slightest spot of mud.

I had some Dunlops on my XR600 that worked awesome on road. I picked a pattern that was a good off road medium/hard terrain knobby, and they were sticky enough that I could actually lean that bike way over in the turns. I surprised myself more than once. And when they did slide, they were predictable...the rear slid first, so I still had control. Right now I have all but given up on the KLR, so its between the two Hondas. I would have to say I'm 5% KLR, 60% XR650L, and 35% XR650R. thats just because of the simplicity of taking the bike out of the dealership and riding it without spending time in my garage making it street legal. I know I will miss the R's power and lightness a little, but thats O.K. I'm impatient, and I would rather spend my money on saddle bags, an updated GPS, power mods, and a bracket for my trunk box than spending a similar amount on a rectifier/regulator, dualsport kit, and custom seat.


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