DR-400s vs. XR 650L

I am looking to get a DS bike. Considering these two. What are the advantages as you see them. It appears from the mfg. spex that the XR is about 30 pounds more. What do they weigh after moding them to remove the normal junk? The XR is very tall ... I'm 6'0 so it's not a huge issue.

What are the respective power outputs? Does the 250 extra cc get you more grunt? Better for wheelies?

How about reliability. XR's seem to have a good track record. Air cooled seems to work ok, even in the hot desert (where I'll ride). How does the DR do.

Thanks in advance.

Why get an S then strip it down when you can buy a DRZ400E unless you MUST carry a passenger.

If I were buying a xr650 then I would go looking for a used one. They are very reasonably priced around here in the 2000 range. They never seem to wear out and if you get a smoker for real cheap you can pop in a new piston and rings for under $150 in one day. The plated cylinders seem to never wear out. At least that is a chance you take when buying cheap. It makes no sense to me to buy a new xr650 when they have not changed since 1991.

Now if you are thinking a kick start XR650R then that is a whole different motorcycle.

I had the same question, especially since Victor Venturo there didn't really answer it. However, I am looking alot more at stuff like highway speeds, mods available, etc.

And to comment on the DRZ400E/S comment, the E is not a dual sport and really the two bikes are considerably different--not as different as the XR650L/R, but close.

Both are nice bikes, the best thing to do is to test ride them both if you can. I'll give you my opinion on the two as my previous bike was an XR650L.

The XR feels a lot more top heavy than the DRZ. In retrospect, the DRZ felt like getting on a light motorcross bike, it was that big of a difference to me which you notice the most when you're off road in tight terrain. The DRZ feels a lot more modern too, less vibes, watercooled motor and newer suspension technology which gives it just an overal newer, more modern feel to the bike. You say you ride a lot in the dessert, I can't think of a better place the XR650L would feel more at home, these things are tanks and pretty much bullet proof, just like the DRZ. Reliability wise, you'll find both are very reliable and just need normal maintence, just do a search! The XR has quite a bit of low end tractor like torque and love to just chug along while going down the trail. In stock form, I'd say the DRZ is going to be quicker off the line, but the XR is going to have more top end. At the end of the day, both are excellent bikes and I don't think you can say one is going to be better than other. In my opinion the DRZ is a lot more fun to ride, but that's just a matter of opinion. Like I said before, if you can, test ride both bikes so you can make your own call.:thumbsup:

Why get an S then strip it down when you can buy a DRZ400E unless you MUST carry a passenger.

I notice you live in WA... Unless you want to jump though all kinds of hoops or own a KTM (which wouldn't be a bad thing) buy a bike that already HAS a plate. Washington is brutal on getting plated bikes.

Recently Dirt Rider or Dirt Bike (Magizines) did a quick run down on DS bikes including the DRZS and XR650L. If I run accross it I'll post the issue#.

More dirt = DRZ

More street = XRL

They are both great bikes, but i think the Drz is much more versatile.

Mike :thumbsup::usa:

More dirt = DRZ

More street = XRL


If you plan on doing much Highway.....go XRL.

though duly noted......

Both bikes can be swayed in either direction with mods. <Street------Dirt>

I have a 2008 drz400s and my dad has a 2008 xr650l the xr is like a tank compared to the drz. i can stay ahead of him through all gears but last gear which he has top speed over the drz. if you are going to be riding in long open areas mostly the xr is problly a little bit better therefor it doesnt rev near as high. But if you prefer trail riding the drz is very easy to handle in trails.

If it was drz400 vs xr650L, go drz400 unless you want a highway bike. I would never get a xr650L when I could get an xr650r, but that's just me. the r is actually an updated race bike, where as the L is just a carryover straight from the early nineties.(air cooled, less suspension, heavy, low power, ect..)

drz is more modern up to date, lighter for trails, XR is a hog on trails, The only plus is the XR can go good on highways, but who rides on highways?

the xr is the same mold year after year since the 90's...

Both bikes offer high quality, as long as you keep them serviced and maintained they will last a long time

The DRZ is my 2nd dual sport, and the best, Im 1000% happy I went with the DRZ

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