XR or XRL ?

I have owned a few XR's in the early 80's and 1 XL. I want a new dual-sport bike to ride to and from work at times, and in the future some long distance dual-sport rides. I am considering the XR,XRL, and the DR as rides. I like the XRL and DR due to the simplicity and reliability of the air cooled engines. The KLR is out due to its size and not being as capable off-road as the others.

Hows the reliability of the XR and XL engine over time? What are the known problems and fixes? Show me some pics of your XR bikes you have modded with larger tanks and lighting kits?

Thanks in advance for any info, im just weighing my options on all bikes.

not again.....

ahhhhhhhh...grrrrrrr LOL

I would go XR650L if your gonna do longer street crusing and still want to rip some trails. Mod the sucker and have a blast. Pics in my garage...still waiting for my Clarke 4.7 tank.

The XR650L will tackle anything ANY pure dirt bike will (I have witnesses), but you'll be putting out more effort for the same speed. Its heavy, but its soooo easy to ride at up to a brisk pace- say a B enduro pace if its not real snotty terrain.

What speed do you want to go (on and off)?

Is jumping on the menu? (you want to put 350lbs only so high!)

Will Texas allow you to dual-sport an XRR?

I'm one of the few people that will tell you that it depends not on how serious you want to be off-road, but how fast.

I'm dead serious about being able to go anywhere, anytime, but I don't worry about off-road speed, so the XRL is fine.

If you need certain street capabilities, that might rule out some bikes too.

If NY allowed it, yeah, I'd probably have a mostly-street XRL and an all-dirt dual-sported XR400, but that's not an option for me.

If you're like me (220lbs) the 400 might not have the snot for really gruesome stuff- sandpits hillclimbs, merging at 75mph, etc.

So- what kind of riding? What terrain? What speeds? What street performance do you require? Why not just trailer around a dirt bike? Be honest and look forwards a few years to your needs, and you can't go wrong!


XRL!!!!! Aftermarket parts are everywhere and are priced decently. Speed is not an issue on the street. I get to 85 mph no prob. Dirt riding is all shit-n-giggles! Most important is what you want,and want to do!

B-dub-B, your funny man!!!!!!

Is money an issue? If not, buy a new xrr and dual sport it!

I've got a 650L, and I manage singletrack and dirt road stuff just fine. Even though it's a bit heavier than the R, I find that it is quite manageable through tight trails, where the turns are pretty sharp and the track is narrow. I also have no problems in mud - it gets out fine with lots of grunt. If you just want a bike for some trailriding like me, you'll have a hoot. If you want to catch air, or hillclimb or do drop-offs, you're better off with the R.


I agree. But if your not running the baja 500, but the baja 9-2-5, its a good choice. :) Over all, I feel it is a great bike that holds it own! But you are entittled to your own decision.......which makes america great :) Enjoy the process!

no offense in the "america great" comment.

yeah dude is...and he must be loaded (cause Brad Pitt he aint) *j/k*

hence the trophy wife and mad modded XR650r

Haaaa! Sh!tin -A- right!!!!!!!! Brad Pitt.......HA...........!!!!!! Nice set of nobbies though!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now this is Funny :D

Did you know a DRZ 400e puts out more horsepower then a stock or even lightly mod'd XR650L?? Stock DRZ400E uncorked puts out just over 38 horsepower and with mod's up to 48. Weighing fifty pounds less then the XR650L. Inverted forks, Kehin pumper carburetor and there are many out there with plates. A drz400s can be made into a DRZ400E real easy. DRZ400e weighs 268 pounds dry. More confortable then the XR650L also.

XR650L is 324 pounds dry weight! Only 34 horsepower to the ground Uncorked. My son's XR400 puts out almost 34 horsepower. Yea, I had to spend some money to do that :) The XR650L puts out a good amount of torque but, not a whole lot more then the DRZe. The Suzuki/Kawasaki 400 engine is one of the best water cooled, durable 400 engines out there. The only thing that a XR650L has on a DRZ400E is weight and a little torque. Torque to weight ratio is way in the DRZ's favor. I know it doesn't say Honda but, Honda missed it here. Sorry to bust up your Starbucks party with facts....is this where the "L" guy's start yelling about fags and sheep??? Can't handle that there is another bike out there better then the "L"?? Straight out the DRZ400E is better then the XR650L I have pushed them both to their limit and the "L" loses there. Street or dirt. DRZ400 stock gets 80mph, geared 90mph. Maybe that is why Pastrona uses a DRZ400 for Motard Racing???

That should get the pot stirred :)

try decaf brah...


were just bustin your chops


I wouldnt trade my XR650L for an R or 2 z's

I got exactly what I wanted as did most who ride an L and I love every mile of it ! :):):D

We are all aware that the xrl isnt the fastest, lightest, coolest machine on the market money can buy. To me it is worth every cent I paid for it. Maybe if I wanted to race I would get a DRZ or an "R", but I dont. Well I am out the door to ride and tinker around w/ the bike. Maybe I will stop and get some coffee from starbucks and randomly start yelling FAGS AND SHEEP, FAGS AND SHEEP!LOL! Alright guys have a good one today!

Its all about the torque, baby! Not just how much, but at what RPM.

I love that torque, that's why I put a 455 in my '67 GTO. Wasn't the fastest engine choice, but it'd do neck damage when you stomped it!

The DR may have almost as much torque, but the XRL has it starting at a lower RPM and over a broader RPM. That's what makes for ease of terrain coverage. That's also why the XRL may be a bit faster for us, um, hefty guys as opposed to a 400.

That's also why its gas milage kinda sucks.

Best thing to do is ride some of the choices. What's right for you is what's right- for you.


If you want power and torque there's the old but true saying (there's no replacement for displacement) if they make a XR750 I will have that next.

The L is a little light on the street. At 70mph I don't even think about taking my hands off of the handlebars :)

I would have loved to get an R, but I don't have Bdubs money tree and unless you're riding in wide open places, (like the street :D ), there are many faster bikes in the woods.

Most will say the drz's close ratio trans is an issue on the street.

I choose the L and am not sorry, I love riding it on the trails on the weekend and to work all week :)

Hey B dub, do you know why there's not so many R racing pro supermotard? Not a bait, just wondering.

The DRZ400e is not a dirt race bike. It is in the same class as the XR's. The 'E' is more the dirt and the 'S' is the street.

More facts that noone want's to hear (not that you guy's have ever ridden a DRZ)

XR650L stock on the Dyno 31.6hp and 29.1 torque. Uncorked 34 (some claim 36) and 32 torque. :worthy: The bike is so restricked for smog it is a joke.

Add a JE 10.5:1 piston (stock bore), WB All-Around Camshaft, 41mm Flat slide Mikuni Carb, port the cylinder head and installed

a Pro Meg E-Series Exhaust and you can get 50hp, 41 foot pounds torque, out of your XR650L!! Still running pump gas. Just as reliable as ever!:) Now you have a real XR650! Now there is no replacement for displacement :D but, you guy's don't even have the same horsepower setup as the old XR600L :D

DRZ400e 38.6hp 28.2 pounds of torque and it comes on as early as the XR650L. I was just checking out a DRZ punched out to 475cc 51hp and 32.5 torque. That is more horse power and the same torque as a CRF450 and it's a trail bike. The DRZ is not a Baja racer or some MX bike! Like I said, it's Suzuki's Idea of an XR. Yes, if you change the carburetor, cam, and piston in a XR650L it would no longer be in the same class but, Honda detuned the XR650L so much it's in the 400cc class. 8:1 compression piston (DRZe is 12:1 and the DRZs is 10:1) XR650L has a super mild cam and a CV (constant vilosity, for the street) carburetor.

I am not ripping the bike. It's what you bought and you become blind that there is better out there. You don't care about the facts because, it's too late you already bought the XL650. That's cool. Ride it, love it :D Be happy :D It's a cool bike but, not the best for what it is made for. The dyno charts are there and the DRZ400e really does put out right close to what the stock XR650L puts out. Ride one :) I love Honda but, there are a couple of bikes for the money that are better. KLX300R is right there, being close to the XR400R (close but, the XR400 is better for some) :D DRZ400E Is better then the XR650L for the money (same price OTD) :D

Yes, there are XR650R super motard racers (most in europe) but, I am not into Motard. Lot of the guy's talk to me via Email about getting more horsepower ot of there tards for racing. I think that the CRF450 is a better choise. Your on and of so quick that the XR650R is a little to much.

These bikes really don't compete with each other. How much street vs dirt riding you do should answer the question before you rationalize making an R street legal. Why Honda never imported the street legal version of the R as in other markets I don't know.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now