buying a new bike whats your opinion xr650l or drz400

I'm planing on buying a new dual sport very soon. It's a toss up between the XR650l or the DRZ400s. I plan on doing more dirt rideing than street. I have to consider that I'm 6ft 6 300 lbs. What are your opinions on either of these bikes?

much appreciated


I have a DRZ and my friend has a XR650L, which I've ridden often. At your size and weight, you'll need to do suspension mods on either bike.

The XR650L is heavy, the gearing isn't well spaced for the dirt, the stock suspension is too soft for the dirt, and the motor is a blast. All that torque is just plain fun. It's an old air cooled motor that has a reputation for running too hot in the head area.

The DRZ is more modern by comparrison: water cooled motor, lighter, better brakes, and much better gearing for the dirt and street. But at 300 lbs, the motor might be a little weak for you? There are some mods you can do, but a 650 is always going to be a big-easy motor to ride.

My friend is selling his 650L because he bought a used XR400R for the dirt, and likes it better on the road also. Want to make a trip to Salt Lake City for a low mileage XR650L?

I haven't riden an XR, but I have a DRZ S. I really like the bike. I'm 6' 1" & 245 & it fits me good. Plenty of power for commuting & trail riding. It gets a consistant 50 mpg, even after rejetting, 3X3 mod & a 14t front sprocket. It'll cruise 70-80 mph no problem & pull wheelies in 3 gears. I'm no pro rider. I don't race or MX at all. I ride the bike to work almost every day. I've riden it on the freeways around San Antonio with no problem keeping up with (or out running) traffic. It'll putt around town with ease. The seat is a little uncomfortable on long rides. The tank is only good for 100 miles till reserve. The stock tires are pretty good on the street, but kinda squirley on the dirt. It's a great ride & priced pretty good too. Plus, this forum is a treasure trove of knowledge. I don't think either bike would be a bad choice, I liked the blue & my dealer had one for $4400.00. That was the deciding factor for me. I visited this forum a few times before I bought, so TT helped in the decision as well. Good luck!!

If your going to be riding mostly dirt, go with the DRZ. The XL is a pig on the trails...however the XL would probably be a good choice if your only going to ride hard top. :excuseme:

I sell motorcycles, I seriously try to get my customers on the right bike. I don't care if you weigh 600 pounds and are 5'5" if you are riding offroad get the DRZ400, it is faster than the Honda 650 either one actually. You can not imagine the numerous times I have had to explain why a 400 can be faster than a 650. "how many cc's does it take to make a horsepower" yes someoane asked me that. but I am just a stupid salesperson. What do I know, ask your "IT" guy what bike to get..... :excuseme:

Wait a second, I am an "IT" guy and I still think the drz is a good bike :excuseme:

IMHO get the bike that feels most comfortable for you. While I love my drz several of my associates feel just as strongly about their xr650ls. Of course for the lumbering, outriggerish (yall know what I mean) riding they do the 650s suit them.

I rode both, then bought the DRZ 400. The bike is awsome on the road or in the dirt. The xr is a good bike too and you may like it better. Aren't choices fun?

I have owned both bikes, my Honda was an 05, my current DRZ is an 04.

If your dirt riding is mostly graded dirt roads not trails I would go with the Honda, for me it had a better seat and was a lot more comfortable to ride. Put an oil cooler on it and re jet it and it will last forever.

I ride enough single track trails that the 650 was just too heavy. So for me the DRZ is the better Dual Sport.

Something to consider is the type of motor you want. I have a green DRZ400 & this thing loves to rev. All my other 4strokes had most of there power at the bottom end, but the DRZ400 is more like a 2stroke redlines at about 10,000rpm. I bet the 650 cant do that.

I have a 06 400s and a klx 650r, the off road version of the klr. I love the drz. just the weight savings means alot. :excuseme:

The DRZ400 is the best of both worlds, :excuseme: the 650 was too heavy off-road, lots of power for the streets.

The XR-L is a better choice for street riding with occasional forays into the trails. The DRZ is a better choice for trail focused riding with occasional forays onto the street. The XR has more low end torque, the DRZ has much better suspension. Both make approximately the same peak hp in stock form.

In stock form the DRZ-S motor is very tame power wise. With just a few mods that are well documented on this board, it becomes one of the great trail bike motors of all time. Snappy vibration free mid range power with lots of revs on top for those times when you don't feel like or can't shift.

Buy a DRZ, have the suspension stiffened up for your size, put an FCR carb on it from the "E" model and go ride. You will love it! :excuseme:

More dirt = DRZ

More street = XRL

I had the same dilemma and a wise salesperson (is there such a thing?) asked me this? Who do you ride with and what do they ride? The buds were all riding 2 stroke 250s and 4 stroke 450s, he said go with the DRZ, I did and never looked back. A new friend has a brother with the KLX and was trying to talk me out of it, until he rode the DRZ. Now he loves it, so much lighter, easier to mod.

You just can't ride it 2 hours unless you have an iron butt.

BTW, I'm 6' 4" and 365. :excuseme:

Good luck to ya buddy! I spent hours here. :excuseme:

I have put about 15000 miles on several XR650L's and about 2000 miles on DRZ's. Done about everything to the 650L including 675 kits, cams, exhausts.....still works out to be the same, one big top heavy outdated pig. It was a great dualsport in its day, unfortunately, that was back in the early 90's. Personally, I would rather purchase the DR650S than a XR650L. The DR has a better motor from experience, and a few bucks in the suspension department will cure it's shortcomings considerably. I would definitely try to sell you a DRZ despite the fact that I don't work for a Suzuki dealer. Suzuki has been in the forefront of dualsport excellence for quite some time. My money goes to them for the effort in which most manufacturers ignore....

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