650R Reliability

Hi all,

Just curious how reliable is the 650R with it in the 55~ HP zone?

Is this bike capable of round the world trips without fault?

The Xr650R is amazingly reliable, but bumping it to 55 Hp will lessen it, aftermarket vs OEM parts, more stressed engiine. Look at the KLR and the 650GS BMW, not enough HP to pull granny off the pot , low compression, etc but they run forever...keep th R, don't bump it up before riding it around the world. Great bike.

Is this bike capable of round the world trips without fault?

With correct preparation, I'd say hell yea! And you can get parts for the pig almost anywhere. :D

Keep the oil changed and the valves adjusted, It'll make it........ :D

With tall gearing and not jetted lean I wouldn't be too worried.

water-cooled is higher peformance FOR SURE ... but, if ya crash all the time like I do, radiator replacements can be pricey ... plain old airhead XR-L is dependable as a hammer, ya can't argue with that ... (here we go ... :D )

water-cooled is higher peformance FOR SURE ... but, if ya crash all the time like I do, radiator replacements can be pricey ... plain old airhead XR-L is dependable as a hammer, ya can't argue with that ... (here we go ... :D )

cant argue with that, keep its simple!

Very very very few XR650's make 55hp.

It will take a high compresion 680 kit with a big cam.

1) It can be done 'somewhat' reliably but IMHO its less than 50/50 it could make 10,000 miles.

2) You would have to have it done by someone with LOTS of experience. Theres only a few guys who can build it right...i.e who know what aftermarket stuff works with what other aftermarket stuff.

3) The bike will need high octane fuel. Having traveled around the world a few times myself--you aint gonna be able to find it.

4) If you take the route accross Iran--especially the road to Baluchistan and the Paki border all the way to Quetta--you will have issues with the 650R airbox. Its VERY dusty.

5) The engine is only part of the issue with an overland XR650R. You will need radiator braces that connect the skid plate bolts-and bigger radiators, a re-enforced sub-frame, new hubs, new springs, bigger front brake caliper/disc, and LOTS of other stuff.

Let me know if you really decide to do it. Will be happy to give tech advice and route advice...doing a lap is an awesome way to spend a year

' :D

Heres a 650R that can do a lap around the world...


Damn that's an UGLY BRP.

And I have "beer goggles" on right now. :D

Damn that's an UGLY BRP.

And I have "beer goggles" on right now. :D

Thanks. I'll remember you took the time to post that.

How do you know he needs new springs before you ask him what he weighs?

because after beefing it all up, it's going to be a bit heavier.

add a 7-10+ gallon fuel tank(s), panniers for luggage, spares, etc. etc. and all 650R's will need a re-enforced sub-frame, new front and rear springs, hubs, and larger front disc/calipers. the fully loaded round the world bike is at least 75lbs heavier--and can be more like 100+lbs heavier.

This stresses everything almost everything on the bike. Axles, pinch bolts, fork tubes, spokes, bearings, linkage, frame, sub-frame, engine mounts, triple clamps, chain and sprockets, transmission, clutch, crank, tires, tubes, rims, etc. etc.

without considering/upgrading much (most?) of this stuff its a very un-safe and un-stable bike.

then you have to add in all the dual sport stuff---all of which has to now be made to fit the big bike....its not so easy...even the steering dampner has to be modified to fit with the windscreen and it goes on and on and on and on.

You are basically taking a frame, making some minor mods to it--and then building your own motorcycle. very little in the engine is OEM---if you want that kind of reliable horsepower.

It can be done. But it takes a lot of understanding of the various systems and components and especially how they effect each other.

There are a couple places in europe that can make such a bike. No shop i know of in the USA has ever done it...although there are a few who would give it a try. Expect to spend at least $15,000 if you pay someone to build you such a bike. Parts alone will be in the $10,000 range. It will take at least 4-6 months to do. Mine cost about $30,000 - it took a year - and i did 80% or so of the work myself...



Thats a sweet setup youve got there. I actualy kind of like the look, unlike some others. I see beauty in function!

How does it handle when the Sahara tanks are all full? Does it get pretty top heavy?

Please poste some more pics of the beast!


It took awhile to get the suspension sorted out--but now it can do serious off road fully loaded...the rear Ohlins wont fade like the stock shock, and the front springs are .48

Theres about $4000 just in the cockpit...dual computers, A5 roadbook, storage for sat. phone and parts, GPS mount, all of which can be contolled by the left thumb...theres also a front horn for the Sentinel warning (sounds an alarm if being passed). There is also an under the bars GPR and the headlights are HID and halogen with a quick adjust for angle. Dual power sources (AC and DC) with 2 batteries up front for easy access. The windscreen is off a BMW GS650 'dakar' a bike i used to ride...its all mounted on the triple clamps/fork downtubes with a custom harness-- so theres light pointed in the right direction. That was a big consideration-its noticable weight on the front end and i do wonder about the stem bearings--but so far no issues. I am playing with frame welded mounts on my Baja race bike and might switch over on this bike...need more testing time to have the confidence.

The acerbis tanks add weight--but just as important to consider is the height. I'm 6' 1" and its just ridable...havent put in a lowering link but have thought alot about it... When riding I drain the rear tank first, then open the front tank. So its top heavy for the first 100 miles - but the next 100-150 miles its really not bad at all. Of course by then the suspension settings are off! With the upgraded brakes the bike stops better than stock.

Its been a fun project...




Ugly ???? That Sucker is Beautiful !!!!!! AHM could sell them by the tons...

Go to their employee parking lots..they are loaded with other off road brands because Honda will not make a bike like this.

Irondude, post some more pics, sweet bike. Kinda like that movie, Timerider.

When/if the CRF600X comes out, Honda should drop the outdated L model, turn the current 650R model into an L/street legal bike (like in Europe) w/estart, and make an "adventure" type bike similiar to what you have done possibly stepping up the engine size to handle the extra weight.

What mounts in the rear above the break lights?

The bike looks really great. Everything but those fake carbon stickers! Those are :D

Irondude.....Nice bike....... :D

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