Best year of the XR650R?

I've decided to get the R, had 2 different L's, and was wondering if there was a best year of the R to get (aside from new). Can't afford a new machine. TIA.

2002 and up have what fixes HONDA believes should be done, completed. I.E.-clutch bushing upgraded galley and the new countershaft seal. Other than that all years are the same aside from the BNG's.

There's absolutly no difference between the 650R years except that Honda modded a clutch bushing and counter sproket seal in 2002. More improtantly, I'd look for a well maintained example. Mine's a 2001 and had clutch bushing issues. A $12 fix, so if you buy a 2000-2001, change out the bushing before you even ride the bike. The "symptom" of a bad bushing is when the clutch basket siezes to the main shaft. Not good.

Great info. EXACTLY what I was looking for. Thanks guys.

As said, before, the counter shaft seal and clutch bushing were upgraded in mid 2001.

There are bikes in the year of 2003 that were still using the parts from 2001 bikes. My 2003 came with the old clutch bushing and counter shaft seal. So, was it just a 2001 with a 2003 name plate and those killer 2003 graphics's?

Biggest change each year is those graphic's! The 2006 graphics's totally suck and make that years bike worthless :ride::crazy:

There was a run of XR650R's that had thicker engine cases, between 2002 and 2003. This was done to make the engine noise less.

In 2005 the fork compression valve port holes are a lot smaller but, they kept the same shim stack. This was done to help slow the front end for bigger riders. Makes the front end harsher. They seemed to have changed the fluid they used also. Stock compression valve holes are 2.65mm on 2000~2004 models but, I just did a 2005 that had much smaller 1.96mm holes. They can be ported out to 3.64mm making a much plusher ride but, needing a stiffer shim stack to make up for it.


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