XR650R, 400R or WR?

Hi guys!

Ok, I have to confess I haven't own a honda since 1992 ( '85 XL80s ) :). I hope you will agree to give advices to a WR426F owner. My partner is riding a XR400R since 1999 and he is planning to buy a XR650R next year to get more power. (He his a real torque lover :D). He wants to convert it with a dual sport lightning kit and mostly ride off road with it. He tried my WR and loved it (he kinda liked the torque) but he just feels he cannot quit Honda bikes because he has been more than satisfied with his 400R.

I think that my WR has enough low end power for anything we do. I also think that my WR is a good bike for wide open trails and a better bike for tight woods and mountain riding than the 650R.

Why would he choose a 650R over a 426F like mine? Is this torque obsession (did I mentioned he loves torque?) common among 650R riders :D? Why did you guys chose to ride that bike over a 426F or a XR400R?

Thank you very much to all of you


I ride an 01 650R, and my riding buddies have a WR400, and a YZ426. We ride 100% trail with no track or dual sport miles. I picked the XR over the Yamahas mostly because of the AWSOME deal the Honda dealer gave me on a leftover 01 in the box in March of 02, there was a $1K savings over the WR426 and the DRZ400E.

I chose the XR650 over the XR400 because of the water cooling (will last longer in my view) and potential for power upgrades. (Hop a 400 up too much and things break)

I like my XR over the WR because the seat/tank thing does not feel right to me on the WR. My buddies YZ426 with 3.4 Gal IMS is MUCH better. With the XR you do not need to learn the Yamaha starting routine. Both the XR & WR start in 1 kick once you know the drill, the XR drill is just keep the throttle closed, kick and go. When it comes to wrenching on the bikes, both are similar except it seems like Honda made everything easier to get to with the exception of shock spring preload.

On the trail the XR seems to be a bit more work in tight single track, but if the trail is wide enough for an ATV the differences become minimal. I am a big guy 6'4" 220, and tossing either bike around is not a problem.

In the end I like my XR because it saved me money, does not have the pagan starting ritual, and the seat/tank feels better when you slide forward. It sounds like Yamaha has done away with the pagan ritual, and fixed the seat on the new WR450 and tossed in a magic E-button for grins. Might be worth a look.

As far as the torque thing goes, yes it is nice to know I could pull my truck out of the ditch with my bike if I needed to. :D

That is my story and I am sticking with it :)

Thank you for your time Big D :).

Actually we are not as tall as you are: I'm 6'1 and my partner is about 5'8 both at something like 175lbs but my partner has enough experience, I think, to ride the big bike. Just wanna make sure he is doing the right thing.

Math :D


I think you are comparing different type of bikes. XRs are great bikes, but for trails and long rides. They are ok for tight stuff, but WRs are much better. WRs are racing bikes. They are also ok on tracks. just my $0.02

I've always had in mind that XR600R and 650R riders are big guys :). Maybe I'm just stocked with souvenirs of that Scott Summer picture holding his big 600R in his arms by the frame. (I'm never gonna be able to do such a thing :D).

My partner is quite strong at 5'8 but there are some situations where the combination of size and (muscle) weight provide some advantages.

Are you 600R and 650R riders big? Is it a real advantage to be over 200 pounds to ride your big red beast?

Thanks again


I think weight is disadvantage. I have seen very small guys doing miracles on their xr6...

I've always had in mind that XR600R and 650R riders are big guys . Maybe I'm just stocked with souvenirs of that Scott Summer picture holding his big 600R in his arms by the frame. (I'm never gonna be able to do such a thing ).

Scott Summers is strong but he is not the giant everyone makes him out to be. He is about 6'1" and 175-180lbs. In his day he threw that 600 around like a mini and was nearly unbeatable. Size might help to some extent but it really comes down to your riding style as to what will work best for you. If your friend wants to dualsport the bike and loves lots of torque then he is not going to go wrong with the 650R.

Ok, so I guess I was a little bit away from the reality with my idea that xr6 riders are giants. It's just that I've never ride with somebody riding a XR600r or 650r so it was tough to make my own idea.

I feel more convinced now that the 650R will be a good bike for my partner

Math :)

Math, I don't think your friend will go wrong with either the XR or WR. It's just a matter of him looking at what he wants to do with the bike. If he is looking at dual sporting the bike of his choice, I believe the XR650R is the better bike to do such. Honda's big bore off-road bikes are nearly bullet proof. Even though I own a Yamaha, if I were to buy a new bike to dual sport I would definitely go with the XR. Another option might be a KTM LC4. I've thrown a leg over one and I have to say I was quite impressed. It's alot more money but you also get high dollar parts (no need to buy any aftermarket parts), already comes with lights, signals, etc. Even has the e-button. Down side is that it weighs more than the XR (about 42lbs. more going by the listed specs). Overall, I think your friend can't go wrong with the XR if he "only" plans on using it as a dual sport.

My .02 cents worth.

Hi guy's, I've got a 00 XR650r converted to D/S and realy like it.

If your buddy is looking for more XR type power he's looking in the right place. Before I converted the 650 to D/S I actualy raced some harescrambles on it, got 1st place in the 4stroke class twice.

The only time I felt the extra weight (in my experience it's about 18lbs heavier than a XR400) was a disadvantage was when I was picking it up after a fall. Don't get me wrong it's a heavy bike, butt the extra power and better suspention are a definite advantage over the XR400.

I don't know if your buddy has ever riden a WR400 or a XR650r, butt I have and I would chose the XR.

This is just my opinion :) I've been riding 4 strokes since 1996 (XR400's, XR650r, 520exc, 400exc) and currently race a 02 400exc.

Thanks to you all for sharing your experiences.

Keep on posting if you wish... I'm still reading

Math :)

I rode a xr650r for two years, not much trail riding, mostly hare n hound type races or riding in the dunes. I am selling the XR and have already have picked up a WR400. For me and the type of riding I do, the WR is a better choice. After 1&1/2 hours of racing the XR through the desert I'm pooped (46 years old)(I tried an enduro on the XR one time), with the lighter weight of the WR I will be able to ride harder longer (my plan any way :)) and try the enduro thing again.

How much heavier is a 650 than an air cooled 600 ? Than a 400?


XR400R Dry Weight 257 Pounds

XR600R Dry Weight 271 pounds

XR650R Dry Weight 277 Pounds


I'm 5'9", 150lbs and actually enjoy riding my '01 650R the most. I mainly ride in Gorman(single track), Lucerne Valley, Barstow, Red Rock, and enjoy it overall. There a little more work-out on tight technical single track, but heck, it's the funnest form of excercise I've experienced.

I had a YZ400F, and as much as I enjoyed riding "blue", I just feel that a Honda is a little more reliable in the long run.

Hope this helps.

Hard to beat a 650R. Unless your in Michigan,on a tight single line. The XR400 will run and hide from a BRP in the tight stuff. The 650 gets revenge on the two-track.

The new Yamaha WR450 may be the best of both worlds??? :)

You know guys, over on the WR450 side,a comment like "an XR400 will run and hide from a 650R on a tight trail.." would get at least a few responses.

How about this. The XR650R is way too heavy,steers like a dump truck,and worst of all,it will last forever and you'll never be able to sell it!!! :)

Maybe 650R guys want to keep the fact that they own a BRP a secret? WR guys have posted 68000 plus times to the 650Rs weak 6000. Whats up with that? Maybe it has something to do with RPMs or power to weight??? :):D

The XR650R is way too heavy,steers like a dump truck,and worst of all,it will last forever and you'll never be able to sell it!!!

It's heavy, but it still dominates all the Baja races and has done so since it was introduced. It will probably last forever and day and I don't think I'll ever be able to sell it, but only because I don't want to sell it :). Heck...I've still got my 1974 Yamaha 250MX and a whole slew of bikes in between that time period (YZ's, IT's, CR's, XR's, TM's, RM's, Husky's, etc) that I don't want to part with :D

WR guys have posted 68000 plus times to the 650Rs weak 6000. Whats up with that?

It's all pretty simple. The XR650R guys are out riding while others are benchracing on TT :D

As for the Bajas, so with the UAE Desert Challenge. 2400km+ in 4 days over a mix of high dunes, trails and fast gatch roads. KTM 660s were the only bike to beat the 650R.

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