eennee mmeennee mmiinnee...600 or 650?

Just about saved up for a used bike...Want an xr that is fun from single track to fire roads, adventure riding, maybe even dual sport. Very much like the simplicity of non-water cooled, reliable, little maintenance....there is beauty in simplicity...I rode 2 strokes for many years along tight trails many years that the 4 strokes will be more forgiving. I am 6'3", 200lbs.

Torn between clean, late model 600 and early 2000 650 plated. Don't like the idea of a rigid aluminum frame and radiators to break while far from home :> or are the latest radiator guards enough for good peace of mind?

thanks for any input:ride:

XR600, but I'm prejudiced because I have one. :excuseme: I think they have a better torque curve for trail riding, which is what you'll be doing. YMMV :confused:

I say if your going to put up with the weight of a 600+ cc XR Id definatly go for the one with the power. Im just a noob though so.... lol.

I have no experience with the 600 personally, but having read many of the threads from the 600 owners, vs. those with the 650L, it sounds like the 600 is more along the lines of what you are after. I have an '07 L. Stock, it is a dog. The 600's are a little lighter and more powerful feeling out of the box, from what I have read here.


i know the L is a big heavy pig, but this thing is so much fun, it is like you are breaking the law. i grew up riding dirt bikes -mostly on the road from gravel pit to gravel pit to do my dirt riding. i never trailered a bike anywhere. when i was 17, my Z-28 wiped a cam lobe, and i rode a buddy of mine's XR200 EVERYWHERE for about 6 months. I rode it after school in the dirt, i rode it to parties, i even rode it to school a few times!!! those were the days! anyway, ever since college, i have been riding crotch rockets. but last week, i got an XR650L, and i have not ridden my R1 at all since! i would go with the street legal piece and just chip away at mods to make it lighter and more powerful. every time i ride this thing, i am looking around for cops. it really feels like breaking the law!!! it is just like being a kid again.

there are a million modifications and a million great guys on here to help you out. what ever you do, good luck with it!

i wouldnt buy either for tight trails...for bigger trails the 650R owns:worthy:

you would have to do some pritty rough riding to hurt those radiators...+ it will run cooler and longer in the summer on those hot days.

Im sure the XR650R doesnt weight any more than a XR600R, and it will have a ton more power...

Thanks so much for your insight...the best to you! Joe

Its a guess, but my guess would be in tight trails the 600 would have a slight advantage.

What would match your riding style better is a more important question.


thanks for your insight, joe

I doubt there's more than 10% of riders who ever got stranded for a water cooling failure. If you crash hard enough to demolish a radiator, count yourself lucky to be able to ride out.

I doubt there's more than 10% of riders who ever got stranded for a water cooling failure. If you crash hard enough to demolish a radiator, count yourself lucky to be able to ride out.

i am a huge fan of keeping it simple. less stuff to break out in the desert gives much more piece of mind for me.

that said, i would say less than 5% of riders have ever been stranded by a water cooling failure.

i've seen more problems on radiators from low speed falls than high speed get-offs.

I have both and have spent many hours riding them, It comes down to this Where are you going to ride?

Desert or more wide open spaces or fire roads xr650r way smoother and better.

Single track, mountain riding or billy goating the xr600 is better, as it is a bit smaller and easier to manuver.

Power wise between the two, not really an issue in my mine.

( meaning both are set up correctly )

both are great but again where are you going to ride?

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