Looking for an honest comparison of CR500 vs XR650R

I guess it all comes down to how much coin you got,to get both bikes.

Well if it comes down to getting both bikes, which one will be harder to find in 2 years?

Plus there is that ever so tempting TRX700XX motor that just came out with FI and the magic button. Wonder if that swap is going to be possible with the XR650R? I think I might have to hold out for that and then maybe do the magic forced induction. Hmmmm... the wheels are turning.

Your best bet is to "test" ride one and decide for yourself. As stated by someone they do buzz, and steel frames seem more comfortable. Most who ride my 500R HATE the clutch pull. It does have springs and kevlar clutch. It is hard to pull, but you can ride around and shift less than other two strokes. Put er in second, and nail it, then shift 3rd, nail it. You will feel a difference compared to a 4 stroker. Much more abrupt unsmooth power on mine than my other bikes. My 500 has a bigger piston,pro circuit pipe, reeds, jets and carb. This motor (87) has also been bulletproof. Other than a coolant meltdown and standard two stroke maintenance, it has taken some hard dice runs, sand drags, hillclimbs and more. Ive had it 12 years now, and I never regret buying it!! Good luck-Ride red

I have a XR600 and a CR500. The 500 wins hands down for twist-n-grin factor but the XR makes me smile as it's a great motor in a decent chassis. I'm thinking the 650 as even better. I've had 7 CR500 and currently own a Service Honda AF. The conversion rocks and works well everywhenre. The XR is a better high speed stable bike, but not by a lot.

Engine maintenance on the 500 is simple and it's reliable as a hammer and cheap to overhaul.

A supermoto 500 is great but the engine isn't made for going down the road at steady throttle - the XR is by far better for that.

I hope the opinions help you.

Thanks for all the input.

Do the transmissions/gearbox regularly wear out?

Is dune running extremely hard on CR500 vs hard pack desert riding?

What should I look for or avoid in farkles/upgraded parts?

I can't really afford it, but you only live once.

What are realistic prices for a 1997 to 2001 CR500 stock/modified?



Well I made my choice. Got me a street plated XR650R! Guess I will never have to deal with premix on the road.

I will have to let you all know how it stands up to my clapped out 650L after the weekend.

I gave my $0.02 on this topic HERE.

this might have already been said but i think to find out which one would actually win in diffornt racing situations, is to gear them almost identically. Either gear the 500 way up, or the 650 down.

I had a 95 CR500 that I dual sported and was CA licensed. Yes, ladies CA legal!

It sucked on the street, FUN but with stock gearing. . . uhhh no! Change the gearing, and you've got somthing!

You have to carry oil with you on the street obviously. and its WAY COOL running down to the local In-&-Out and getting lunch, or running thru the California Big Bear Single Track and end up in Big Bear for lunch. . . and they cant do a thing! LOL

I sold it to get a KTM 525EXC CA Plated. . . and I LOVE IT. It doesnt have the pull your arms out of the sockets power that the CR had, but it pulls SO FREAKING hard everywhere. . . its not a comparison. The XR equals PORK. . . ie PIG ie you cant compare them. I can moto my KTM as well as the CR. . . I wouldnt even wast my time on an XR.

Having the KTM is the bomb though. Especially from an old school 2 smoker!

good luck!

Big Dave

Just got a tweaked built non stock ex Baja 650R this year. BIG difference than the other stocker. Compared to the CR, it is close-oh so close. Only thing I don't like with the CR plated is no engine braking when SM'ing. The new 650R pulls all the way to 100mph- no prob. Much better than my 650L with the big build to it. As for the 07 525 plated we run, it is a fun bike. Good all around AND has a kick start and button. As for reliability, not so good. I've seen my old 00 650R, flip multiple times, crash trees, wheelie over, collision's etc. Never was it down for the count. The 525 on the other hand, while a better MX'er, went wheelie over through the woops. Damage report of sub frame, mid pipe, and can. OOPS that cost 750$. Great bike the KTM's, but just don't hold up to crashes that well IMO.

Foward two weeks ago. Two buddies run 450 SM track only. One bike $25,000 for the factory race-NO VINS- track only. OOPS motor went on final lap while in 1st place. Lost race, lost motor, lost interest. Next day, the other bike went by-by. Unknown motor issue. Now those bikes were sic, and were consistant winners, but they just didn't hold up to the engine builds. I'm not knocking KTM's as I'm looking for the 950SE for untamed fire road blasting. I know other people that have had better luck with KTM's. They do come full of goodies, and full of power-ready to stomp most machines. I just have seen the Hondas come out of some major crashes and still get me home!!!!:doh:

I have had both, and currently have a DS 650RR uncorked. The CR is a blast on the track but requires strength/endurance to ride. The 96 CR is the last year changed getting a better fork, the latter just BNG. For a Dual Sport it would be a handful but super fun if you can get past a little surging. CRF450's make more power across the board and are more tractable, just not as "holy $hit" type of fun. On the street, some 17's on the CR and you will be doing wheelies after every stop light.

Krannie said it best! My handle is from my long ago CR days because it was.

nothing like a 500cc oil burner for shits & grins, and if you like hill climbs, get one.

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