XR650R or XR650L or DR400S

I am looking to ride some dual sport rides in the Midwest. Probably 40% gravel 40% single track and 20% paved. In Iowa it is difficult to plate a XR but have a chance with out of state previously titled bikes. The Suzuki 400S weighs the same as the XR650R so I figured the extra power would be nice. Besides the pavement and gravel, the single track here in Iowa is really tight woods. Not so sure the 400S would not be the best for me 5'10" @180lbs. Just concerned the paved and gravel on the 400 would be underpowered. Although the price on them 2nd hand is very reasonable. I like the idea of roll on power wheelies and 3rd gear power slides and suspect this puts me back to the 650. Any opinions or suggestions?--------------------------------Rethy


I would go for the 650R..Tons of power..But no e-start...Plus their are lots of aftermarket parts for them.. I am sorta biased, because I just bought a 650 R though!

Welcome to Thumpertalk, Rethy, Thats a tough ?? you will get a lot of biased

answers...IMHO...XR650R..all the power..Great handling bike....a lot of guys here have

dual sported them...



Comparing the 650R and the 400S are like comparing night and day. The 650R has loads of power over the 400 as you would expect. If you want snappy throttle response, you have to take the 650. Of course, electric start is nice, but I have never felt the need for it when I had my 650R. Despite what some people might say, the 650 isn't hard to kick start. If it is jetted correctly, it will fire right up. Also, equalling the weight of the 650 by adding a battery and starter doesn't make sense to me. The only drawback to the 650 is on tight twisty single-track. It doesn't turn on a dime, but it is manageable. I don't want to knock the 400S completely, because two of my buddies have them. One of them can ride it like it's an MX bike. They claim to be about the best all-around dual sport bike. Me, however am a bit more dirt oriented and prefer the 650R.

I bought a 650L. I love it! I sat on the DR400 and i seemed a little big for it. 6'1" and 250lbs. I wanted a 650R but in CA you cant dual sport the new ones.:cheers:

I would go with the 650 L..........you can always modify if you want plus its already street legal!

If there was a nuc war there would be 2 things left...Kieth Richards and the mighty XR650R!!!!

Remember that you have to spend money on any of these to get them to what you want.

The XR650R starts much easier with an Edelbrook carb especially after you dump it.

The DRZ400 needs engine work to get more power out of it.

The XR650L lacks in suspension and is to heavy so I would not consider it for single track, but is best on the highway.

The XR650R is all about speed and torque so can handle high speeds easily.

All great bikes with lots of aftermarket goodies!

Thanks for the replies gentlemen. I think I am convinced the 400S is out. It boils down to how difficult it will be to plate a 650R. I was told at the Honda dealer the VIN# brings up something to red flag it in terms of off road only. I will do some checking and may have to settle for a 650L. Which is not such a bad thing. I know the air cooled are as reliable as a claw hammer. Thanks again for input.-------Rethy

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