xr650l vs 2008 Ninja 250r

I am debated wether to get a new 2008 Ninja 250r or a used xr650l. They both weigh about the same and have about the same power. The ninja looks to have better wind protection and a 6-speed and is $3,499 msrp. For that price I would have to get a used xr650l.The only difference I see is the xr would have more torque. The 250r looks to make power very high rpm. [21.7 Nm {2.21 Kgf/m} 16.0 lb-ft @ 10,000 rpm] I already have a 400ex and a yz426f so I just wanted a commuter bike. The new Ninja looks very nice.


I want a low maintence, good mpg bike that I can cruise in the highway if I have to. Where I live there's a lot of back roads, but just in case I would need to ride in the highway.

Which one would make a better commuter bike?

I think I would still go with the "L" it's just so bullet proof and versatile. it's tall seat height seems to be its only minor complaint from shorter people.

It will go literally anywhere from single track to highway no problem. It's the most used bike in my garage .. 2nd the WR450 ..3rd Kawasaki concours.

It's just so addictive to ride a "dirt bike" anywhere you want..:cool:

I personally would be a bit aprehensive of taking something that small on the highway.. But not the XRL.

That little ninja does seem nice for the price.

Ultimately it's all in what makes YOU happy.. :applause:

How long is your highway drive?

Those 250 ninjas are real buzzy

For what you willing to spend on a new 250 ninja Id find myself a proven lower milage full sized street bike for commuting purposes. Anything with Hoda'a proven V4 motor is excellent....that and shaft drive for no maintenance. IMO your best solution for most effective proven reliable commuter. Now if you must choose between XR650L and 250 Ninja I would say get the 650 used...it wont loose as much value compared toa new Ninja once driven off the dealer lot dropping in value at least $500-1000.

It really depends on what you are trying to do.If you are a big guy forget it the Ninja is pretty small. The Ninja also doesn't last too long since you have to keep it at 10,000+ rpm to get some juice out of it. The red line is a screaming 14,000. A few love the little Ninja, but most do not. Many get one as a first bike and then sell it after 6 months or a year. If you keep an eye out you can get a good deal on a almost new used one. The plus side is up to 70 mpg if you are easy on the throttle. It will go on the super slab, but it doesn't have the passing power of a larger street bike.

They do not have the same power. The Ninja is all top end and the 650L is all about low end grunt. In stock form the Ninja has a higher top speed at right around 100.

The 650L can go up curbs and other obstacles a lot better than the Ninja. That can save you in a bad situation.

For what it's worth, I save my plated XR600 for the dirt. In nice weather I commute to work on an 80 CM400 that I picked up for $200. It doesn't have the bling or performance of the Ninja, but it gets the job done. It only costs about $50/yr for insurance. Can't get much cheaper than that.

XRL all the way. That Ninja will bore you in 6 months. The XRL can save you in bad situations onroad as CL said.

Heres a brain twister not compare the L to a honda CBR600??? i have both and prolly wouldnt put a nija 250 vs a 650L

I'm 5'9" 180lbs. I've driven dirtbikes most of my life. The only time I've driven a bike on the street is when I go to baja. I found a 1993 xr650l at a local bike shop for $1,600. That's probably be the one I'll get. Thanks for the responses. I usually take the back roads to work so 55mph. Do they have passing power. I drive a Nissan Titan, and I know the xr650l is quicker 0-60, but would it have the same passing power?



It'll pass almost anything that you NEED to pass. Especially if rejetted and piped. If it isnt, that should be the FIRST thing you do to the pig.:cool:

for 60mph and less your fine, there just not the same as say my 600rr at 75mph. But youll be fine, youll be on here asking bout tweaks and HP upgrades prolly in a week or 2 Not a bad price $1600.

like comparing apples to oranges...

Ninja would seem to be a bit shakey in highway traffic, but prob. a smoother ride on the minor highway flat-top.

But the L is a great commuter, good mileage if you can keep your hand out of it...

And you have the option of tearing up any dirt road or trail you may come across..

I'd vote the L for the versitility..

As far as price, I've seen several good used L's, w/ the right mods, and maitenence, going for less that 3K.. Can't beat that...

The XRL will pull better wheelies!!!


Buy the XRL and buy my spare F4i engine. Put it in the XRL and you'll have and enduro with passing power. Might lose 50cc, but how about gaining 65hp? :applause:


I dunno, I don't really like Kawasaki products, but I think a street bike would be better based on what you want to do and what you already have. I would be looking more for a used CBR600 If I had $3500 to sink on a bike.

Can you put an 18 rear and 21 front on the ninja? If so, go ninja off-rosd


Yeah, offroad would be fun.....


That picture had my jaw hitting the ground!:cool:


That is something you found on the net?

The only thing that could be better about that pic,could be a xr650l roosting right on by that YZF.GET THE L over the little ninja!!

That picture had my jaw hitting the ground!:cool:


That is something you found on the net?

Yeah, on some random picture site. I'm amazed the rider got that far before sinking it.

Yeah, offroad would be fun.....


That picture had my jaw hitting the ground!:cool:


That is something you found on the net?

Heres the full story on that bike and the guy who rode it.. :applause: check out links to the dozen or so videos of him at the bottom of this home page link http://www.sjaaklucassen.nl/eng.html

Enjoy:thumbsup: you'll certainly have some opinions of this after you review it ..

The Ninja won't bunny-hop a curb, climb a ditch, and get you out of a traffic jam. :applause: I've done it on my 650L several times. :cool:

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