Think I'd be dissapointed with an L ?

Hi all, I've been wanting a new DS bike for more years than I'd like to admit. I've been lurking here and on other sites searching for THE bike. I think I've all but settled on an L. My only real concern is of power. I just don't want to be let down by the L(after all the usual mod's of course). I would like to know how the uncorked L would compare to two somewhat similar bikes I have ridden.

First is a old customer/friends heavily modded late nineties plated XR600. I didn't get to ride it all that much but it was not too shabby. I could live with that. The other was a friends brother's early 80's XR500. That thing kicked ass! I don't know what if any mods had been done to it, but that thing had incredible low end torque. I could very slowly ease up on a jump, blip the throttle a bit and it would launch me. I know it's a smaller motor and the 600 should have been much more impressive but it wasn't. Was there something special about those XR500,s? I dunno, but if I can get that type of power out of an L, SOLD!

Little about me. I'm about 6'4"ish 230ish. I'm not looking to cruise down the highway at 100 or take on triples or anything. I just want decent power. I really don't want to hassle with plating an R but will be moving to a state where it is fairly easy. In a nutshell, I like the simplicity of the L but and would like to go that direction but just don't want to be disappointed 6mos down the road.

You'd be my Hero for a week if you could shed some insight on how these bikes compare to a uncorked L and give me an idea as to what I can expect.

Sorry for the long post and thanks much for all the info you have already given me without knowing it.

Take care

oh yeah, also in consideration is a DR650 but I wan't more dirt than street and the XRL seems to fit me better.

The XR600 and 500 are quite different from the 650L. The L has lots of torque, nice tranny, nice and reliable. But the L is heavy, flexy, and has different ergomomics. If you really want to go in the dirt, you will be happier with a plated XRR of any year. Especially at 230lbs. If you just want to play around in the dirt, and L is fun. But if you want to 'ride it like a dirt bike', you might want to look at the older XRR's. Best would be to find a plated XR650R. That's a man's bike.

When I first bought my L I was disappointed with it. Stock they really don't have much power at all. Now that it has been uncorked, rejetted and the smog stuff removed it is a much better bike. I need to have the suspension done to match my weight and I am sure I will like it even more. Where I live you can't plate a R anymore so my choices were kind of limited.

At first, I too was disappointed with the power of the L as delivered. I had been riding a Suzuki DR350 with a few minor mods for about 4 years. It was pretty peppy but didn't have much to offer for the Interstate. I bought an '07 L in December and my first impression was it was about the same as the Suzuki powerwise, with less pep. After I got past the 600 mile service I did the standard mods, (rejet, desnorkle, Uni Filter, desmog, headpipe welds) and it is a much better bike. It is no light weight, about 30 pounds heavier than the Suzuki, but it is more stable on-road. I have jumped this one several times off a mound in the pasture, with 4-5' of air. I wouldn't get much crazier than that.


If you live in Ohio getting an R titled should be a piece of cake. Ohio is one of the easier states to plate a bike.:thumbsup:

From what you are describing a 650R may be in order.

Welcome to TT brother..

First off, if you want more dirt than street the XR650R is the way to go. No doubt. If you want to do some highway miles though, the L is the choice. The R has a stiff seat(not good for doing wheelies with a cup of starbucks). The L can accomodate this.

I agree, stock the L is a miserable, weak pig. Once rejetted(or put on an FCR pumper/eddie pumper), combined with exhaust, air box mods and a cam... Well thats a whole new pig. With those mods you'll gain 10-12 HP, putting you close to a stock R. With an overbore kit, no reason why it shouldnt dance with an R in a STRAIGHT line!:thumbsup:

The drawback is the suspension. The forks have terrible rebound adjustment. The springs are set for a 180(maybe 160 pound) pig rider. Just depends on your exact riding needs.

I am also a big guy, 6'5" 230. Suspension is good for pavement. Offroad, you will bottom out both ends if ridden hard. Then you'll have R guys :rant: as you pick the pig up off of yourself in a deep whooped out trail.:ride:

As far as comparing to a 600 r or 500 r:excuseme:

My two cents.

Thanks for all the input guys. I guess I wasn't all that clear. I'm silly like that. I wasn't really trying to compare all aspects of the 500 and 600, just the power. The most limiting factor on any bike I choose is going to be my weak, abused knees! As Purcell mentioned 4-5 ft of air is plenty for me. And I likely wouldn't do that very often.

I did say I wanted more dirt than street and I guess that was a little misleading. I basically meant that I can live with a dirt bike on the street but not a street bike on the dirt. I don't want a KLR or a VStrom(fine bikes by the way just not my cup of tea).

In all honesty, the bike will likely see more time on pavement than dirt. I won't be driving to Alaska or Mexico or anything. I would like to be able to jump on the highway for short trips here and there so the ability to cruise at 75 or so for a short time would be good. Being able to ride two up for short periods is fairly important as well. As far as the dirt goes, I mainly just want to explore trails and get some mild air time here and there. Oh and I used to be into 4 wheelin in trucks and jeeps and such. It'd be nice to ride along with my buddies who are still into that. Being able to climb a respectable hill would be a huge plus as well.

I want some reserve of power not so that I can race or anything like that. On the street, I drive like everyone is trying to kill me. In high traffic situations I like to drive in a lower gear and have a little power to get out off the way of idiots/blue hair and knuckles/etc. Basically, I don't want to feel like I'm on a glorified moped ya know.

I know my profile says I live in Ohio. I'm actually in Mass right now but am moving back to my original home of Oklahoma(thank gawd). From what I have read and heard, It doesn't get much easier to plate a dirt bike than it is in the Sooner State. Honestly, I'd love to have a plated R. I just don't like the idea of buying a new bike and then have to buy a ds kit and dot tires and then figure out how to set it up for a passenger and all that good stuff.

Thanks for putting up with my long boring post. I'm leaning HEAVILY towards the L but I wanted to run it by the experts. If an R is really the ticket, thats what I'll do. Just seems like overkill and a little to much hassle for a 38 year old "old fart" like me. And then there's those damned TE610's that keep whispering in my ear. LOL. Nah, just dreaming.

Make up my mind for me will ya?

Thanks guys

Based on your description, I think the "L" would be perfect for you. Definitely do the basic mods though. As far as power comparison to the XL500 - I used to ride with a guy who had one, I was on an XT500. Power was just about identical and I remember my XT wouldn't quite to an indicated 90mph. My "L" does an indicated 100.

With bad knees, the L's electric start is a big time bonus. Like said, they dont have much HP stock(they are torquey!). A few easy mods gets em ripping though.

From your posts, my opinion is the L IS your bike. Just dont be surprised at the lack of HP stock. They are WAAAAAAY choked up.

ditto what krannie said...i have a 93' L that i ride on the dirt maybe 20% of the time, and commute with it the rest, i love it for these purposes, but if i were to want more offroad action i would go with the R. And just my .02 but i wouldnt mess around with a bike that is more than 20 years old. i tried that with an 87' kl600 and it about made me pull all my hair out and just about broke the bank and made me pull all my hair out, parts and labor are very expensive on ooooooold bikes!

Good luck

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