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Which of these bikes is your primary ride?   3,797 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of these bikes is your primary ride?

    • XR650R
    • XR650L
    • XR600R
    • XL600
    • Other XL/XR

Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

4,382 posts in this topic

Your picture shows an aftermarket strut supporting the frame.     I think that this is unnecessary.  Salesmen lurk in the shadows.......beware......

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Honda intended to.....???????


You know what Honda intended to do? (a corporate board member who owns a lot of stock in the company (Honda) and influences the direction of the company)


The XR650L isn't a dirt bike.   The XR650L is a road bike released by Honda to commemorate the success of the Honda XR650R race bike (liquid cooled) that won many races. The XR650L never competed in a major competition or won a championship.  The XR650L is a successful road bike that does very well off road.   No more, no less.


Best regards 

Edited by egumpher

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I would like to ask opinions on the sw motech subframe supports(pic attached). I bought then to support my wolf man bags. I understand I can't haul around huge loads I was hoping these would help. But after reading this I am starting to doubt their effectiveness. If I recall they bolt to the rear passenger pegs. Does the main frame always break before or after the pegs? Also is it even safe to put a passenger on my bike. Starting to dislike my Honda...attachicon.gifImageUploadedByThumper Talk1447455738.689465.jpg

I have seen the rear frame sections develop cracks at points from the muffler mounting gusset rearward. Guys will repair/reinforce the cracked area and the cracks show up either fore or aft of the repair. How far back do your wolfman bags sit on the bike? How much weight do you plan to put in them? You may get away with it if the bags are further forward... up on rear part of the seat. 


As far as the supports go; I haven't heard from anyone credible having any experience with them. They are essentially the same idea as the cycleracks rack except they will probably flex quite a bit due to the bends in them which may make them pointless. 


Don't start hating on your XR! I love my pig with all of it's inherent weaknesses and flaws! ;)

In stock form, they don't make enough horsepower to get out of their own way, the suspension is bad enough to be dangerous off-road, the CD box is fragile as :censored:  and will fail and leave you stranded, the carb is is junk, the gearbox ratios where the result of a drunken night in Tokyo... I could go on and on. BUT, it's an great canvas on which to build!   :smirk:   


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Personally I like the motechs from the little I have used them. They were not expensive and the bends could fold I guess, but there is still that much more preventing it from bending the frame that direction too. That was my logic.

As far as bike flaws that sums them up nicely. I haven't done anything to the carb or gear mods yet I thought best to leave those alone because my intended use it long overnight trips seeing stretches of pavement.

The one strap on the bag fits over the rear of the seat, but the other strap goes under my "moose rack." I load the bags up with tools oil and water. It's all heavy. Then to top that off I throw my hiking pack over the saddlebags with my tent and sleeping bags in there.

Maybe a little dramatic to start disliking my bike already, but I have questioned whether it's as long distance travel worthy as I hoped. I know it's off-road worthy enough for me.

ImageUploadedByThumper Talk1447533610.600192.jpg

I managed to lug it around through some sand all loaded up like this.

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that's a load! There is also some discussion that the stock muffler may actually help stiffen up the rear frame. It certainly is more solid than the FMF can that I have on my scooter. 

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Fact:  ...rack attaches to the main frame the motorcycle.   The rack attaches to the frame that supports my weight and the weight of any passenger...



Fact:  My XR650L luggage rack does not attach to the rear sub-frame of the motorcycle show inside of the main frame here:


But that attachment bolt in your picture doesn't support the weight of the rack.  It is an attachment point that simply changes the vector of the load.  The rear fender support provides the resistance to rotation that weight on your rack creates.  Want to do a test to prove it?  Remove everything, light, fender, and subframe under the rack and load the rack.  Tell me what happens.  That bolt in the tail end of your mainframe will not take weight until the rack rotates to vertical.  Of course, you already knew that.


...These are hardened steel tubes...    ..Please stop misinforming readers that this is a problem.



...If the upper 3/4" tube fails then I just got hit by a semi-truck because there is no other way this tube will break...

For the record these are not hardened steel tubes.  They are plain carbon steel and are nothing special.  Of course, you already knew that, you were just testing us.


Are you sure there is no other way these tubes will break?  I ask because I've read on many forums about cracks that formed and not one involving a semi.  Just sayin'.  Of course, you already knew that.


...welding fabrication techniques are use that don't use post-weld heat treat stress relief.

Because the frames are ERW plain carbon steel tubing, there is no post weld heat treat or stress relief...instead they are MIG welded with run of the mill 80ksi hard wire and air quenched like most all welded steel motorcycle frames are done.  Of course, you already knew that.


The cracking that is common where the subframe meets the main frame is fatigue cracking.  This is caused by the subframe flexing repeatedly from load at the intersection of the diagonal gusset.  Of course, you already knew that.


...I have seen no objective evidence to suggest that the additional 10lbs of weight that I place on the rear of my motorcycle will damage the frame...

Have you seen any evidence that it won't?


This is a great forum.  It is full of plenty of very experienced XR owners that have seen damn near everything and try to pass along their experiences to help others that may be new to the bike.  I've read ThumpNRed's post several times and I see nothing that suggested a personal attack until you decided to decide to show everyone your holier-than- thou attitude.  Guess what, we don't care who you are or how smart you think you are.  


If you are the type of person that isn't willing to take a little advice and apply it to your own situation as you see fit then maybe the forum isn't for you.  If you feel the necessity to take a simple suggestion to keep an eye out for a common problem as a personal attack then maybe the forum isn't for you.  And, if you feel that you are the only person on here that is old motorcycle guy that also has an education then you're in for a rude awakening and maybe this forum isn't for you. If you think everyone else on here must be some sort of dirty cavemen that are barely able to negotiate their day without you breathing then maybe this forum isn't for you.


I'll be you're a mechanical engineer that has spent most of your life in the government or with a government contract.  Probably took you 5 times to pass the PE (if you did).  You've probably spent your whole life at a desk drawing, writing ridiculous procedures, and compiling reports and never actually seeing anything happen.  I've met your type in many places for many years.  If you haven't seen it then it must not be possible.  If your computer model says it can't happen then it can't happen.


Find another place to be a  :foul: .

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This is my new to me, 2000 xr650r. Has warp 9 rims with Avon tires. I also have 2 complete sets of dirt wheels and tires. It is an absolute blast to ride and one of the easiest starting bikes I have ever owned!



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Here's my fleet; '10 Street Triple and '93 XL.  Just picked up the XL for $500, going to make a touring and desert project of it.  Here's what I've got so far:


- FMF powerbomb and Q4

- Shorai under the seat

- Uni

- Risers and bars

- Seat Concepts foam and cover

- CRF 450 fenders

- Clarke 4.7 gal


About to install a set of Pirelli MT90 A/Ts.  I plan on taking a pause after that, putting some miles on it, and reassessing.





2015-11-29 16.04.07.jpg

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Spent a few hours on an old golf course today.  Lots of good riding to be had on these.

Edited by hollerhead
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That's a good lookin L!! What paint or covers do you have on case an swing arm? That bike is sweet!!

I appreciate it.  It's a '98 model that was seriously neglected in the past so I had to do something with that stuff during the restoration.  Those are all stock parts that I had powder coated.  The gray parts are all done with a two stage powder with the gray base color and a gloss metallic ceramic clear over it.  It's supposed to be pretty durable and I figured it may hold up on the stuff down low that takes a beating.  Time will tell.  Thanks again.

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Now you have caused me to spend more on my 93 hahahaImageUploadedByThumper Talk1449495807.066265.jpg

Nowhere close to yours! But it was my do all bike till I got this 4 months agoImageUploadedByThumper Talk1449495875.660479.jpg

She has always been matained but rode very hard an I think I heard a sigh of relief when I brought the cr home lol!

Now it's back to a 15/49 set up instead of 14/52 rack back on an so on lol

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Hi guys, been lurking for a few months as I updated and got to know my XR. A quick thanks for all the great info and "how to" posts. Definitely made getting more out of the bike a lot easier - THANKS!

My '04 was squeaky clean and stock except for the Dave's Mod and header. I haven't done anything extraordinary: Clarke tank, risers, skid plate, Pivot Pegs, hand guards, racks, oil cooler, etc.





Last Spring at Evans Creek ORV


Stampede Pass, late Last Sept


And one loaded down Piggie. Took all that schidt over Naches Pass with me, ugh! I guess I could have taken the w/c 1200 GSA "Ultra Piggie", but like, that woulda sucked on the Naches! lol


Edited by Whippoorwill
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