My 2006 XR650L

Bought my 06 XR brand new in late 05 when they first came out. I love the bike but it's still stock and underpowered. I'm building It as an expidition bike, not a race bike, to match up with my expiditioning built Jeep Wrangler. Even though I've had it for a year I haven't done nuttin with it yet it's just sat there till now. I've pulled it out and am begining to go through it. I've heard of a restricter plate in the carb and the exhaust has to go. Tires are Dunlops 50/50's ,not sure the specific tire don't have it in front of me right now, But turning with em sucks off road. It's been suggested to me to put a more aggressive tire on the front than the rear. Keeping in mind this bike will see just as much highway time as offroad time. The only other thing is the gearing. 1st to 2nd is a big jump kinda scary when off road so I'm lookin to do some'n about it. I'd love to see other XRL's and hear any suggestions. See ya'll out on the roads n trails real soon.

Once I take some pics i'll post 'em and the mod's as i go. 1st will be a sissy bar to accomadate camping and long travel gear. Gonna build it my self i'm an accomplished welder and half ass decent fabricator considering some of the tools i don't have yet.:bonk:

Welcome to TT! lots of folks around here with lots of answers!

The best compromise for tires yet found by me anyway is the Dunlop 606's.

For exhaust and many other parts check out They have a billet rack that you may wish to copy a bit or use as a referance, also they have the finest exhaust, their all stainless full exhaust, for your use I would reccomend the quiet core insert too. The IMS smog block off kit is a neccesity, as well as rejetting the carb, and Daves mods are the way to go for this, Also removal of the snorkel on top of the air box. As far as gearing just change the stock 15 tooth counter sprocket for a 14 tooth, this will help with the 1-2 gap give better tight trail capability and still have long enough legs for the highway! Also you will need a larger fuel tank, here you can go with a 4 gallon IMS or 4 and 4.8 gallon options from clarke. Keep us posted on your choices and do not hesitate to ask any questions. Take care! :bonk:

Welcome to TT, good choice on the XRL for an expedition bike. Rebel was correct on the tire, the dunlop 606 is the way to go for 50/50 road off road use. As for the carb mods I cant help you as I went with the Edelbrock pumper because throttle reponce is really important to me. About the gearing, I put a 48 tooth sproket on the back and left the 15 up front for my road use, I found that the stock gearing too high for traffic. If I know that I am going trail riding for the day I have a 14 tooth countersprocket that works well for strict off road use but is a little too low for highway use. Just my .02, Good luck, OZ

Wow, thanks for the responses with the info i'm taking notes on all of it. Haven't had a chance to check out other threads for more notes but i will. I'm posting again for a few more specifics on my XR as is. The tire's currently on it stock are the Dunlop K850A's which aren't bad tire's just leave alot to be desired. Still wondering about perhaps a more aggressive tire on the front. One thing i forgot to mention is how high the bike stands. I'm 6'1" and hafta stand on my tippie toe's when i come to a stop and thats on level pavement. It also seems to ride a little stiff off road maybe. Please keep in mind I'm NOT an experienced bike rider. So any ridin tip's n advice I will diligintly practice. This is my first Bike ever i've always ridden four wheelers. I still have my first fourwheeler a purple and yellow 95 yamaha blaster 200 I can't part with it even if it's been needing a rebuild for ...ever now. Anyways, I've read up in the manual on adjusting the suspension will that do anything? Cuz i don't think so. When i was passing through Beatty, Nevada there was a group of dual sports and i noticed the blinkers, brake light(neither stock) and plates were mounted directly on the rear fender looked functionally tough. I've also wondered about tachometer and temp. gauge if its possible. Well i think this is enough for a while. Man i can't wait to ride.

XR's Only makes a temp gauge that replaces the dipstick so its right there when you look down there $40. I have the Dunlop 606 on my bike and i think you will like there 50/50 performance just not sure how many miles these last since ive only had mine for a month now. Im 6"2" and i know what you mean about how tall the bike is but youll get used to it its not too bad. But you can do some adjusting on the suspension to help out Whatever you were reading in the manual is prolly a good starting point

If you are going to change the gearing change the front,its cheaper and easier to get at. Then you can keep the 15t in plastic some where and change it out as needed. About the tires conti tkc 80 are what most people over on adv rider will tell you to try. Ive got them now and I can't think of any 50/50 tire that could compare. These things corner on the road so well its incredible.

I have the XRSONLY billet rack and it is great. Also have the oil temp dipstick, great addition. Done the carb mods, airbox mods, smog removal, regeared to 14/48, supertrap, modified stock headpipe, small tail light, CR high bend bars, and the Clark 4.0 tank. You have to do the Clark tank. I think the 4.7 looks a little ungainly but the 4.0 looks and works great.

Also, depending on the type of riding, the re-gear is a must. I can still motor at 70 on the road easily, but it works much better for trail riding. Will power the front up in second gear.

I have the dunlop and I believe I'll be going with the Kenda's next time. If you read about them they seem to be a great all around tire, and cheap. If you haven't already, you might sign up on as well.

I've removed my cowls n seat to clean out the cobwebs n look everything over. I'm going to attempt taking off the snorkel while i'm at it. I've also read some other threads that mentioned drilling out the box and filter swaps. Still takin notes and ready for any n all suggestions. Also curious what it specificaly takes to remove the smog/ restrictor plate thingie still not clear on that. But i'm not attempting that just yet. One more thing any good catalogs i could order, subscribe too? For instance i have quadratech for my Jeep. I use it mostly for reference to get an idea what things look like and so on. And of course,:naughty: Thank you thank you thank you!:bonk:

It seems getting an actual catalog is rare these days, but most of what you are looking for is online.

As far as wanting full instrumentation the trail tech vapor or endurance, seem to have the most features. Temp gauge, tach, etc...

As far as a more aggressive front tire try the Dunlop 606, they seem to work well when used front and rear. 90/100-21 and 130/90-18

If you ride much in sandy dusty enviroments you are better off leaving the air box alone and not drilling it the slight gain is negated by the additional dirt the filter has to deal with.

One riding tip the L model does not like soft sand no matter what tires you have and is fine as long as you are accellerating, but the second you are off the gas or braking the front end loads up and swims around, pushes real bad.

Just be carefull and take your time learning the nuances of the bike, and enjoy.

Also new bikes seem to be a bit tall till the shock spring wears a bit. you can back off the preload on the spring to get a bit more sag, which by the way should be around 3 1/2". Also there are aftermarket links that you can replace the stock shock linkage with, that will lower the bike, I have seen guys that have actually cut the stock spring to achieve a lower ride height but would not reccomend this. you also lose stroke on the shock. You can also slide the forks up in the triple clamp which will lower the bike. Check your fork air valves and bleed the air from them for a bit more cush. And adjust the compression damping on the bottom of the fork legs under the rubber caps. Also check out the following link for a more comfortable bar set up and their front fork brace. A higher rise set of bars helps with stand up riding too, the unbraced Protaper 1 1/8" bars seem to absorb more of the thumpers vibes making for a bit more rider comfort and endurance, they are tough too, dont bend if you happen to drop the bike.

Good luck, but get out there and ride seat time is your best friend when it comes to learning! :bonk:

My xr just sat there for about a year now. Charged the battery, put in a new spark plug cause i'm in a higher elevation right now, filled it up with gas and it started right up. Drilled out rivets and took the snorkel off the airbox i think that looks much better. Then went for a little ride today to get my bike legs warmed up, felt great!

I had already decided not to do anything to the airbox cuz i'm constantly in dust n sand but was just curious. Looked at the whole smog elimination kit, now i understand. I give in, i'll check out the 606's.

I'm getting used to how high the bike sits, it has broken in a little and settled down but stopping on uneven terrain is gonna worry me a little till i get out there more. I've definately noticed the slowing down hindering the turning and you say it's common with the L. Is this a weight issue, suspension or both? Either way keep on the gas.

Since the oil is pumped outside the bike is it possible, is there a kit, would it do any good to adapt an oil cooler like were a radiator would be? :thumbsup:

check out the forum, tons of oil cooler Ideas,I run one of a xr250 I got it on ebay for $30.00 I could not get the banjo bolt washers to stop leaking even with new ones so I threaded it out to except a standard pipe thread and then I used some fitting I got at the local fleet farm store,about $6.00 and connected those up, its a simple and cheap way but effective,to hook up a cooler, the mount I made for the cooler is stainless steel also very simple, heres some pics.

oilk cooler bracket 001.jpg

oil cooler set up 001.jpg

oil cooler set up 004.jpg

oil cooler set up 007.jpg

oil cooler set up 005.jpg

Bought my 06 XR brand new in late 05 when they first came out. I love the bike but it's still stock and underpowered. I'm building It as an expidition bike, not a race bike, to match up with my expiditioning built Jeep Wrangler.

Sounds like we think alot alike! I have built a diesel LWB Samurai and an XR600 for expedition type exploring.



Sounds like we think alot alike! I have built a diesel Samurai and an XR600 for expedition type exploring.


Brudda...that is friggin' shweeet!!

Great choice on the XRL, suicidal'. Some say that there's not enough aftermarket support for these bikes to outfit 'em for any serious outback trips. Don't believe it. I believe mine is coming along fine...




Great choice on the XRL, suicidal'. Some say that there's not enough aftermarket support for these bikes to outfit 'em for any serious outback trips. Don't believe it.

Some people have no idea what they are talking about! There is tons of aftermarket stuff for the XR600/650L. I'm going to be ordering up the Acerbis 5.8 like yours soon as I'm going to ride the TransAmerica Trail this summer and I don't think my 4.7 will be big enough.

I bet those same people didn't know that Acerbis made an 11 gallon tank for the XR either.


Nice L by the way! Who makes that rack thats on yours?

drtlvr- seen your cooler on another thread i like your custom work. I take it you too have some machining skills? that gps setup you got goin on is a great addition! Very nice bike.

Jeff- A diesil samuri thats a wet dream! Nice bike photo too looks beautiful, cold but beautiful. Rolled my jeep at some sand dunes last year(sigh), still rebuilding. No mech. damage, whole lotta body. 11 gallon tank, thats uh........alot.

Manchu- Gotta tell us where that rack came from that is, sooo sweet!

Fwiw, the pic on his website is of the original model. The newer ones (like mine) have the extra legs that run down and connect to the passenger footpegs.

Check-out for an awesome rear rack for your "L";the owners name is Don Boyer--good guy>

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