thinking of purchasing a 650l...need your insight

Hey guys/gals, I've been kicking around the idea of picking up a dual sport for running around town and riding to work on Friday's. I've found a few 650l's and was curious what the 'issues', if any, there are for the bike.

Most likely I will buy a used bike and was hoping TT can provide me with some insight as to what to look for on the 650l's specifically.

I appreciate your help.


Hey Junr,

I bought my first 650L in April and it's probably the best bike I've ever owned! I've had Harleys, XLs, KZs, and even a couple of old scramblers to name a few, but this XRL seems to do everything pretty well.

I commute about 40 miles roundtrip on it everyday and rode it once about 400 miles in one day. (butt was a little sore) It cruises nice on the highway, has plenty of power, and plays well in the dirt. Plus, there are all kinds of aftermarket products available for it.

I've put about 4,000 miles on it since April without a single problem. I just do the basic maintenance and it seems to run great.

If you buy a stock one, it's recommended that you change the jetting in the carb as they run lean (and hot) from the factory. Mine already came with a DynoJet kit installed but I have heard that Dave's carb mods work even better.

Anyway, hope this helps. I highly recommend 'em!:applause: :applause: :applause:

cant go wrong! A MILLION different mods and parts to put on/do. good offroad bike, good street bike. i use mine for commuting 40 miles aday and long adventure rides with me 6'5" 230 pounds and 40 pounds of camp gear. love the bike so much got 2 others to buy em!

... was curious what the 'issues', if any, there are for the bike.

Issues? We don't have no stinkin' issues!

thanks for the quick responses and that is exactly what I like to hear. I won't use it off-road as I have a motocross bike for that.

I was thinking of keeping it stock, except to fix the lean issue as mentioned, and putting on street tires. At first, I'm not looking to make too many mods just the basics...which I am sure will lead to more!!

thanks again,


I just picked up a used 2000 XR650L 2 weeks ago. I love this bike. Mine is stock except the previous owner changed the sprockets for lower gearing. I haven't checked, but I think he went down one tooth up front, and up two teeth in the back. Even with that gearing, I can comfortably cruise on the highway at 65+. Like you, I plan to re-jet soon.

With that said, your last statement about this bike will not go off road, and that you will install street tires makes me wonder whether the XR is the right choice. I also own a 650 VStrom. I really like the XR on dirt and gravel roads, but the Strom is waaaay smoother on the road. The Strom is just OK on dirt roads, and plows through the gravel so much that I prefer to not take it on gravel roads. The Strom will give better mileage (50-60 mpg), has much better lighting - headlights are awesome, and brighter taillight so you are more visible.

But, the thought of making an XR into a super moto also sounds like a lot of fun. Good luck with your decision.

I got my 07 in Feb bike is great . I have done dave's mods and it woke the bike up alot . I have about 3k miles on mine now and love it .Great on dirt roads and gravel a bear to fight with in deep sand but all around great bike ....:ride: on

I got my 07 in Feb bike is great . I have done dave's mods and it woke the bike up alot . I have about 3k miles on mine now and love it .Great on dirt roads and gravel a bear to fight with in deep sand but all around great bike ....:ride: on

good tires help with the sand. i run mt21's.

thanks again everyone.

barchetta...I keep finding, from time to time, the XR's for a reasonable price and lowish mileage and I like the way they look. I thought about the V-strom but didn't care for the looks.

thanks again everyone.


good tires help with the sand. i run mt21's.

Yes good tires do help . Time for some new ones as I type this . The d/w has about 3k miles on it and it is about shot.....:ride:

Yes good tires do help . Time for some new ones as I type this . The d/w has about 3k miles on it and it is about shot.....:ride:

d/w ??

I just picked up a 1997 XRL w/ 5800 original miles, orignal owner and tires(!) for $1800. It's never been down or off road. I'm so glad I didn't get the KLR I thought I wanted for so long. (Adventure rider - naaah) Whew! That was close! As I was looking at KLR's, motards keep popping up. (I'm glad!)

The XRL is certainly not the fastest by far, but I won't have to do a top-end every 40 hours either. I may rattle can the paint job - who cares. It's paid for, w/ cheap insurance too. And if I happen to toss it down the road - no great loss of finances. If nothing else, it's a good way to get my thumper feet wet and really see if I would want to eventually buy a higher end street 'tard later on. Besides, even things like pulling the rear tire off was a joy compared to the heavy ZRX. One carb instead of four. Just pushing it around the driveway without ripping (old) muscle is cool stuff. It's the little things I'm enjoying now. I just rejetted it, trimmed the front fender, took off the accordian fork tube covers - I'm already getting the motard transformation ball rolling! It has taking me a lot of adjusting to go from 120HP to 30HP but its a completely different animal(?) It's about momentem and traction and smooth riding - not point and shoot horspower to get me out of (or into) trouble. I am forced to be a better rider to be able to hustle through the twisties. Even with the current knobbie tires, I can see how it will soon be a blast in the tight rough twisties where the R1's fear to go (fast). I'm getting the 17" wheels laced up hopefully next week. Let's see...wheels, tires, pipe, gearing, 320mm rotor, fenders, JE piston, paint, bars... Ya hoo!! Honey, hide the checkbook.

I've ridden fast bikes since 1974 - the last being a 1200ZRX Kawasaki Eddie Lawson Edition. (I'm 52, no clip-ons!) And besides, it's no fun being stopped by California's finest at 140MPH. Ask me how I know.

It's a new thing to me - being able to actually see the (unblurred) scenery as I ride. What a concept. Once you know what the bike is and what it is not, you have fun. I was too worried about impressing my friends and running at "lock-em up" speeds all the time. The XRL won't go 155MPH, but i'm feeling that the grin factor in the twisties will be worth the sacrifice to the god of horsepower and high speeds. Let the Ducatis and R1's and GSXR's blow by me in the straights because I've gone full circle and I am now truly riding again - not scareing myself to death between corners pegging every needle on the dash. - imagine that - all at 48.2MPG!

They may make fun - right up untill the five snakey end to end tight bumpy rough hairpin decreasing radius corners come along - Now who's laughing??!! I may not spank 'em much, but when I do, I spank 'em hard!

Ya Hooo!


Well said.I too have a XRL and a ZX1000.I enjoy the XRL much better.I've put V rated street tires on the stock rims,jetted and homemade Yosh exhaust.I ride 70miles round trip to work almost daily,this includes interstate.I love the bike so much,I wish I had two.I'll put 17 in.wheels and 320mm brake on this winter.

d/w ??

The stock tires that came on my 07 are the trail wings a.k.a death wings

put some Avon Distanzias on that XRL for the twisties, and thank me later. And yes, a 21" tire can indeed work "ok" on the pavement!

jdilpkle, so what happened when you were stopped at 140?? glad you like the pig, i love mine. so much fun to mod and ride!:thumbsup::busted::applause:

5800 street miles is gotta be some easy riding on those tires. The only thing id love to see right next to my L in the garage is a KTM 525 Supermoto!!! Ive never owned a orange beast but i do know they are nice bikes and ill bet a 525 would be a blast in the twisties, the L already is so imagine the handling of the KTM since it has much more updated suspension and the power too.

On the ZRX1200 140MPH pop. The CHP officer even had to go down the freeway a bit to get to turned around. I was on a straight next to the freeway haulin the mail. I didn't make it a habit to run that fast, but when he saw me from the freeway I was tucked in and the speedo was at 140 and pulling hard. What a stupido.

I actually pulled over when I saw him signal me, and waited about 2-3 minutes for him to exit the freeway to say hello to me. I wasn't about to get even more stupid and run. I think he was so suprised that there was a 51 year old geezer standing there that waited for him that he was suprised bigtime.

End result, he wrote me a ticket for 102MPH. Which means no chance of traffic school for me. It could have been MUCH worse. Whew!

At least the XRL can't get me in trouble for those velocities.


atta boy! you got off easy! good thing you pulled off quickly.:busted: :busted: :busted:

Great bike, do the carb mods and ditch the smog pump. They shift rather clunky but that seems to be normal operation.

good luck !

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