Power question on XR650L

I have a 96 XR650L. I've owned it for a month. Bought it with 3,900 miles and bone stock. I've done the Dave's mods, UNI air filter, snorkel gone, jetted 158/55, and 5 position needle on the 4th setting(from the top.)

My question is with the 15/45 sprockets I can lift the front wheel on pavement in first gear but not second. On dirt I have to really work the clutch and have good traction. The bike does still have the stock "Death Wing" tires which I'm guessing makes a big difference in the dirt.

My throttle response is very good and the bike does not sputter at all. It feels really strong, but from what I've read I wonder if it should be able to lift the front wheel into second gear and first easier.

My question is: is this a change of sprocket issue :banghead: Or do I need to play with the carburetor :lol: Should I put the stock needle in and shim it :lol: The fourth setting on this needles seems to be about the same as a shimmed stock needle.

Thanks for any insight.

1996 XR650L: Dave's mod's and just getting started :lol::banghead:

Oh my :lol:

I dunno how mine would react to 15/45 gearing, probably worse then yours. I run 14/48, and it will pull second with very little provocation (and absolutely no clutch work).:banghead: Dirt wheelies, in second, are hit and miss considering I have a near bald tire on the rear but it will do it in first no problem unless conditions are truly that slippery.

Mine runs great for cruising down the highway too. 80 is about as fast as I like to run it. I commute with this thing 10miles each direction on a 60 mph freeway. I get about 38-40mpg depending on how hard I am throttling.:banghead:

I would say that if you are able to pull in first and sort of in second, with that gearing, you are doing well. IMHO:thumbsup:


My 650l with 14/48 will pull 2nd but I need to tug at the bars to do so. Thats on the street also.

I had a 94 that would pull the front thru 4th gear, street or dirt. I bought the bike already modded and am not sure what was done. The things I could see were no smog device and White Bro's exaust. Whatever it was I'm hoping to duplicate it with the 05 I just bought :banghead:

Another note on my bike. The top speed seems to be around 85 mph which seems to be bit slow with my current settup? Granted this has been with a small headwind, it just seems to be a bit lacking in the top end power. Thanks again.

My friend has a bone stock 02 XRL and can clutch them up pretty easy in 2nd.

I have an 02 also, with 14/48 gearing and a UNI filter and the front will come up pretty easy in 1st if i'm on any sort of a hill or little bump. I'm not comfortable trying the clutch wheelies yet though.

my 650l with a rear deth wing, pulls in second with minimal tug on the bars......i run 14/45....many mods including yoshimura pipe and hot cam.

I have a 96 as well and with the carb mods and smog stuff removed I had the same 85 mph wall that your up against. I ride mainly on the road so I bumped the countershaft to a 15. Now I can cruise at 80, not sure what the top is now. BTW...with the 14 I could pull the front up in second but I had to work it.

85 My 94 would cruise right past that into triple digits, even the stock 05 I just got hit 90 with plenty more throttle left before I ran out of room :banghead:

Shimmed stock needle gave me better throttle response than the aftermarket needle.

There's a big 1-2 gap on this bike, so 2nd gear wheelies take a little effort with the stock gearing.

14-48 gears should let you get the front end up in 3rd with just a little throttle chop-n-whack action.

With 15-45 you should be able to 'tuck' and get the speedo to about 100, whatever that speed actually is.

My bike is running a bit rich on 55-158, don't know why, but I'll leave it rich for the winter.


Depends on your weight, where you sit on the seat, and how far back the rear wheel is adjusted. etc. Probably mostly on your weight. I could only get the front wheel off the ground in first when I had mine.

Mine is stock withthe exception of a Uni filter and de-smogged, stock Bridgestones and stock sprockets.

The front end comes up with a mere blip of the throttle in First.

Second gear takes a bit more, be respectful - but not afraid - grab a handful and then hang on and let the torque do the rest! comes right up in 2nd gear too. Did this the other day (off road) sure puts a smile on your face!

85 My 94 would cruise right past that into triple digits, even the stock 05 I just got hit 90 with plenty more throttle left before I ran out of room :banghead:

yeah, i had mine up to 90 (with a non high way rated front tire and in a residential neighborhood) and she had a long ways to go.....14/45 gearing.

14/48 carb mods air box and smog removed a little tug in third and away you go.

14/48 with 220# slid back ..... cant keep 'er on the ground :applause:

Stock, I can bring it up easily in first, but it really struggles to come up in second. I just performed the standard mods (not finished yet because I'm waiting for a jet...arrrggghhh!!); I'll report soon on the results. Also am putting on a Supertrapp IDS2 Quiet pipe...158/55 jets. Look for my starting a new thread about this over the next week.

ive got mine at 14/45....she pulls in second with little more than a jug and a tap on the throtle.

Mine will pop 3rd gear wheelies pretty easily and can do 4th gear wheelies on little slopes in the dirt easily. Oh sorry I have a 650r. lol

Mine will pop 3rd gear wheelies pretty easily and can do 4th gear wheelies on little slopes in the dirt easily. Oh sorry I have a 650r. lol

yeah, ya forgot to mention that you bike tops out at about 55 in 4th gear!!!!

14/18 gearing is the setup to have.

I have more mods than you but before the camshaft it would come up 1st and 2nd with just a smashed on the throttle. In 3rd it would stand with a little clutch fan.

After the cam with with all mods it is a wheelie machine. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, sometimes 4th with no clutch work. I have had it in a 5th gear wheelie a few times on highway.

I would say it should come up alot better with a gear change.

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