Purchasing Honda XR650 SM?

I don't come aorund this part of the forum much. Either way it's not for myself but my father is considering purchasing a 2002 Honda XR650 which has had SM parts added. He wants it to use for work, it currently has 4000 miles on it. My question is what's the deal with these bikes? I know the XR series is very reliable (bulletproof), but is there any things in particular to watch for? Are these good on fuel consumption? How often do you change your oil/ oil filter? What do you think to the idea of using one everyday for work 60 miles trip, is it ideal? :thumbsup:



Marc :thumbsup:

As far as fuel consumption they are not noted for being conservative. Oil and filter changes when riden off road are more like every 600mi. they only hold like just over a quart so do the math not a very conservative commuter by any standards.

they are the muscle cars of dirt bikes, they love to guzzle

60 miles every day? He'll need an arse transplant.

for that kind of commute I'd look at a klr650, corbin make a couple of seats for it too. :thumbsup:

He'll probably love it; but - S/motos aren't built for commuting, they're built for carving, and the XR-R is no exception.

They do like to drink a bit, but you won't mind, and do change the oil, frequently.

Probably want to check the gearing, too. Otherwise, it's likely to be a bit short-winded for the highway.

Post pics!


XR650R or XR650L? There is a big difference between the two, as far as maintenance schedule, convenience, performance, etc. What is the commute? If you are talking twisty mountain roads, then either would be a blast. If you are talking long freeway stretches, then neither would be ideal. Doable, just not ideal.

My two current road bikes are a XR600R and an NX650 (XR650L) and I love them both. However, I do a relatively short freeway section on my daily commute, which is fine.

It's the R version for the record

R version means higher performance, more frequent maintenance schedule, kick-start only, etc.

I bought an '01 R two years ago, for the express purpose of doing the supermoto / street-legal conversion (mine was offroad when I bought it).

A 30 mile one-way commute would be about a perfect dose of "fun", in my book. Keep in mind, street-miles will require much less-frequent maintenance than off-road miles. I use Mobil 1 in all my bikes, cars, trucks... (you get the picture). I set myself a 1000-mile oil-change interval for my R, but probably could push it longer with no problem, considering I am using synthetic.

I own 3 bikes, totaling about $45,000 investment. The R would be the last bike I would sell, God forbid I needed to sell one. I love that freaking bike that much.

The only problem your father might have would be getting rid of the stupid grin he'd have on his face at the end of each ride. They are that much fun.

The main issue on the R is getting the kick-start ritual down right. Once you got the drill down right, no problemo.

I'm guessing if he's zeroed in on an R-based supermoto, he's looking for a special experience. That bike is not for everybody, but for the lucky few of us who have "seen the light", it is dang close to perfect.

Even "kick-start only" has its appeal (at least for me).

I put 562 miles on mine in 2 days. 60 miles will be easy. Patient carb tuning can yield 55mpg and one or two kick starting. I also use Mobil 1 and change about every 1000 miles but when I went to Baja I doubled that. I have a SM setup for mine also and it's a blast. The seat can easily be modified for more comfort. Gear it up! I run a 15/42 when the SM wheels are on but it'll pull a higher gear than that.

The main issue on the R is getting the kick-start ritual down right. Once you got the drill down right, no problemo.

im 16, got it down 1st day its easy enough :thumbsup:

60 miles every day? He'll need an arse transplant.
Lots of good info on this thread. I’ve been wondering about what to do about the seat. For Dualsport with lots of pavement miles I need a nice wide seat. For the dirt sections I need the stock width. I checked into the custom seat prices, $300! The other alternative was a tall soft foam core and cover DIY seat. I wasn’t happy with ANY of the above... Then I found THIS. The best of both worlds...

I’m gonna give this a shot. It’s CHEAP! I think I can get it to work with a little tuning. First I’ll try it with the recommended 2 liter bottles. If I don’t like that, I’ll pick up a couple of gardening kneeling pads and roll them up. I’ve heard that the kneeling pads work great for seat foam. If that doesn’t work then I’ll go to the local foam shop and get some hi density foam.

I thought this was pretty weird, but the more I thought about it the more sense it made. How can ya go wrong for $24?

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

  • Similar Content

    • By XR-CJ
      I have this issue several times and cannot seem to figure it out. The four clutch spring bolts are the weakest bolts I have ever come across. I am not sure what the torque specs are, have the shop manual, have searched online and I can only guess it's around 4 ft/lbs. I have been told 8 and they seem to break every time around 7.
      What is the proper torque for these bolts?
      Should I find stronger bolts? I would still stick to the proper torque, but feel as if these things are butter.
    • By XR-CJ
      Prior to reassembling the case, I tested the shifting and it seems the center fork attached to the shaft seems to stick at the steepest section of the drum. I have cleaned and tested all forks and surfaces for smooth movement, tried it with silicone and oil. With very little help, it seems to shift ok, but without the help, it binds.
      Can I assume that once it is together the oil lines are attached and oil is added to the case, the binding will stop? I have tested every scenario short of assembling the entire motor.
      Should I be able to successfully test the shifting with the case apart?
    • By Charles Mrizek
      contact me if you're interested.
    • By Charles Mrizek
      This replaces the tube that connects the two carbs on a 1987 Honda XR600R (it may fit other years). 
      Made in the USA. 
      Constructed of TPU  (solvent safe plastic.)
       Its durable stiff abrasion resistant yet flexible enough you never have to worry about breaking it when you're taking apart your carbs. 
      Fits the o-ring perfectly and slips into the carb nice and tight.
      Matches the rear shock coil. 
      If you would like to buy one contact me via e-mail. They cost $20 Shipping is free (anywhere in the USA). $10 off for active duty or retired military.
      Make your subject: XR600r