xr650l mods: all or nothing?

Speed and Horsepower! Its how fast you want to go and HOW MUCH MONEY do you have!


Daves. ...

Tires. ...

Ride. ...

Weight loss is the biggest improvement for the pig. Then jetting/gearing/ tires.

Just ride it. Keep fresh oil in it. When your ready to drop some money get a full exhaust and when you do that rejet and uncork.


This is my first post.

Hope this isn't hijacking the thread.

I have a 2012 xr650l I purchased new.

So far mods are larger gas tank, as I needed more range.

New sprockets and chain, up 3 teeth on the rear.

I am leery to drill my carb.

Is it worth pulling the snorkel, and upping the jet sizes, if i don't drill the slide and don't change exhaust?

What does drilling it do exactly?

If i do get a slip on for the exhaust what is good to get, that is still quiet? A tiny bit louder I can take...but not wanting much louder.

Oh and i usually ride from 1,000 feet above sea level, up to about 4500 feet maximum. Most often is 1500 to 2500.

As I live in a desert area temperatures can be very hot, well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thank you

Drilling the slide gives better throttle response.

You can pick up the benefits of the mods without drilling the slide, you'll just have mushier throttle response.


At your altitudes, the stock jetting might not be far off.

Thanks for the response.

honda has spent 3 decades & millions of dollars developing these bikes and found a good balence.

if it aint broke dont fix it

the bike already takes your free time dont give it your money too...

Honda hasn't touched the 650L since 1994


I spent a small fortune on mine and am having a ball on it.


Stock it sucked.



I have had mine for 4 years, and do not find it sucks.

I have owned many bikes, dirt, street, and dualsport.

It has quickly become my favorite all around bike.

So if yours sucked I am sorry to hear that.

But mine has been great, super fun and ultra reliable.

Its been dropped numerous times offroad, and other than scratches none the worse for wear.

If it's so great and super fun why do you want to modify it?


Stock it's a turd.

honda has spent 3 decades & millions of dollars developing these bikes and found a good balence.

if it aint broke dont fix it

the bike already takes your free time dont give it your money too...


The design and tuning had to be compromised for emissions, sound, and so putzes who never rode a dirt bike wouldn't wick it up and loop it right out... so while your statement might be true on, say, a CBR, the XRL is nothing like what they would have liked to have tuned it up as.


Stock, even geared down, it won't loft the front easily over a log in the trail. Not something everyone needs to do, but if you need to do that, a bit of tuning makes the bike much more capable.

I recently did several mods to my 2012 xr650l which include...

Remove snorkel

Removed smog

Install 158 main

Install 55 pilot

Daves mods

Adjustable needle

Install uni filter

Fmf powerboat

Dg v2 silencer (very loud w/o the extra end cap)

There were noticeable gains in response but overall I was a bit disappointed. I did however notice it's on the verge of pulling the front tire off the ground in 2nd when I drag race my buddy on his 600r. It did not do that before. So... I suppose my point is you may still have performance to gain...

The CV carb is always going to give milquetoast throttle response. The mods make it better, but not nearly closing the gap to a fully maual slide.

Beezer if it is simple to modify and will not compromise reliability in anyway, I might do an after market carb, desmog, and pull the snorkel....as I said might.

I did the tank for more range.

Skid plate because i beat it over logs and rocks.

But overall i love it.

Vastly superior for my riding over the other dualsport bikes I've owned.

But calling it down doesn't make sense.

Oh and for winter rides I might also add grip warmers.

I sold my XRL engine with 9k on it for a grand and bought a xr600 engine to build up for it. Looking back I might should of just sold the bike and went with an xr650r or an XR600, but I have the RSW conversion triples, 2008 CRF450X forks, IMS tank, XR400 cooler, and the bike is amazing in the handling, so I didn't want to part with that. I just outgrew the performance, even with an FCR overnight. It was sad. I came off an RMX250 in the late 90's before my Navy adventures, so that's like going from a runner to a weight watcher drop out in the bike department. Lol just need more mid range capabilities. I may plate my RMX once I get it restored.

I love Frankenstein projects. My XRRL will be the perfect iron horse when complete.

I hated the way the XRL runs out of revs so fast, then falls flat, I have no usable power, or very little. I like the feel of the XR600 engine better and think it will feel great with an HRC copy cam and a 98mm 10.5 cr piston.

If it's so great and super fun why do you want to modify it?


Stock it's a turd.

...Stock its a red boat anchor

Another newbie here.  I have a 2007 XR650l.  I did some mods over the winter: desmogged, snorkel removed, FMF Q4, stock headers and UNI filter. First ride today with the mods. Much better throttle response, performance. Seems to be running great but I suspect I'm running lean now.  


I'm not planning to do Dave's mods. Any suggestions for jetting? I'm at 750 feet above sea level.  55/158 Keihin jets is what I'm thinking but I just don't know. Suggestions please?  Thanks in advance.  Mark  

55/158 is what I have in mine. Works well where I'm at here in central muchigan. I may go to a 58 pilot and 160 main though. I have to check my plug for color yet...

I also have an adjustable needle from dyno jet.

Thx for the quick response Srt8605. You have same set up (i.e. didn't do Dave's mods)?

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