Indecision: XR650L! Comments!

After months of deciding, wavering, and questions I was all set to go down and pick up my new KLX400SR this weekend. Then I did a silly thing! Sat on the XR650L. OMG what a comfy ride! So now I'm thinking; get the XRL. But first I wanted to get some comments from current XRL riders.

1) Air Cooling; summers around Sacramento get between 90-100 FH. Problem?

2) Power; I haven's seen stats, but I'm assuming XRL is down on HP from KLX-S/DRZ-S. However, I'm sure the torque makes up for it. Comments?

3) Out the door price; What did you pay for yours new OTD? They don't seem to be willing to deal on the Honda's like the Kawi's. I offered one dealer $6K cash OTD to test the waters, and he wouldn't bite! That would get me the KLX-S for sure.

4) Stock tires; noticed some come with Bridgestones, some with Dunlops, how are they!

5) Replacement tires and sizes; what have you used and in what sizes. Preferably street biased. I'm guessing (3.0 x 21) = (90/90 x 21) and (4.6 x 18) = (120/80 x 18)

BTW; I'd dual-sport the XRR, but, I need passenger accommodations to take my wife on short jaunts and picnics to the lake. The XRR's sub-frame does not appear to be built to handle a second passenger.


I own a 1993 XR650L, and I love it.

I ride in El Paso Texas, and southern New Mexico. I've never overheated it that I know of.

Power. Hmm.... I've sunk alot of mods into mine, and I've never ridden it stock, so I don't know how it compares to the KLX stock. Frankly, I can't complain about the power. The quad goofballs around here give me a run for my money in the dunes, but on the fireroads and open stretches, I dust them. I've broken the triple digit once or twice, but that's not an area I often vist. It goes without saying that you'll have to uncork it as you did your 650R.

Price. Can't help you there. I bought mine used for 2100.

Again, can't help you. I run Pirelli's. MT-21s. I also ride primarily in the dirt. I have no idea what came stock on it.

As far as passenger support, I carry my kids (one at a time of course) around, and my wife once. It does pretty good, but obviously, you can't go crazy with a passenger. It keeps up in traffic fine, though. I haven't seen the KLX, so I don't know how it would compare. Personally, I'd go for the Honda. You get what you pay for, and all that. Anyway, I hope you enjoy whichever bike you get.

i had an xr650l when i was in college and liked it a lot. it was my only mode of transportation. i didn't ride it offroad and basically kept the offroad world out of my mind untill i got out of school and could afford other bikes.

however, i did a lot of touring with the bike. rode it once from washington to colorado and back as well as a fair amount of fire road rides. it's laughable as a dirt bike but if you go into it with the mindset that your'e doing "offroad touring" you will be better off.

the air cooling isn't a problem. i suggest cutting the front fender back a bit to allow more air to get to the engine. however, the xr is built with california and baja in mind. you have nothing to worry about. just don't let it sit with the engine running too long.

power is plenty. i foun myself mistakenly on several interstates during some of my tours and could maintain 80-90mph without a problem. it was also had enough tourqe to make it somewhat fun coming out of corners be it on a fire road or in a cul de sac.

your'e right about the xr r. i'm racing one right now and thought i would be able to turn it into an adventure bike once i'm done with it. however one look at the sub frame tells me i might be SOL in that camp.

the subframe on the 650l is plenty. i've carried tons of gear on the subframe and even carried skis on the back when i was living in colorado.

as far as the price goes, it's a honda. you get what you will pay for it. the kawi is priced, well, like a kawi.

you may want to look into buying a used xrl. the prices are a little easier on the eyes and really this bike has not changed in a very long time.


My heavily modified DRZ400S with an FCR carb, high compression, cam, pipe, etc. Would barely out run an only slightly modified XR650L. They 650L had a pipe, carb jetted right, and an aftermarket filter. He would pull me down low EASY but my bike had more top-end HP and would walk away eventually. His XR650L was WAAYY more comfy and felt more stable, and it felt like it was made better somehow...HONDA!

Now I own a Honda XR650R and am not looking back!

I have 2003 XR650L that I got back in July of last year. Don't quote me on the Stock HPower but I think is like 32?

My comments..

1) Uncork the bike (I'm waiting on my FMF PowerCoreIV to arrive)

2) Get the DynoJet KIt for the needle, jet's, and spring

3) I've see the two different types of tires on two different tire patterns. Unfortunately my bike came with what I deam as the sucky ones, the ones with more of a street tread vs. the other which has a knobby on it. My tire is great on the street that's for sure but it sucks in the mud and on loose sand. I'm like the guy above I'm getting ready to by the MT-21's as they have been reported to be the best DUAL-Sport tire of all times.

4) I got my bike a (Motorcycle factory in Virginia)for $5,400.00 OTD. I didn't pay shipping, assembly, setup. I got the best deal from them. I was looking at a place called Motorcycle World out of Michigan I think, they had good deals where the guy whould deliver the bike in a create to your door for their price I think they where like $5,600.00 or $5,700.00 But at the last minute I went with the Motorcycle factory.

5.) The bike isn't as fast as my buddies 03 xr650r but It can go up to 107 MPH. Who needs to go any faster I ask you?

6.) My bike is more comfortable then my buddies on the longer rides and I think all around.

7.) The bike can handle up to 330lbs, which gives you room for a passanger without the worries of breaking something.

8.) The air cooled motor comes from the xr400 & xr600's of the 1990's, so it's tried and true.

9.) But there is no mistake it's a BRP (Big Pig) it's heavy.

I love my bike!

Good luck with yours.

There were problems with rear frames breaking under the rear fender back in the early to mid 90's, don't know if Honda even acknowledged the problem, but it was common amongst those who rode them very hard.

If you spend sometime with a socket set removing all the heavy crud and replacing it with lighter stuff as mentioned in the above posts, Oh, and take care of the pipe, jetting and airbox. Maybe a HRC 628 cam and big fin head. Then they are actually a quite civilized way to get around. aalthough, you better be over 6' 2".

I'm on my third 650L.They are a compromise bike.There are better dirt bikes and better street bikes,but no better factory dual-sport bikes(the DR-Z is the only comparable bike).They are tall,heavy(for a dirt bike)but they will go ANYWHERE!Hi-speed freeway,tight singletrack(the "new snowy trail"thank you)and everywhere in between.I paid 5700 o.t.d. for my '03 in LA.Stock tire geat on street,suck in dirt.Stock power marginal,uncorked awesome.Best thing going at the moment.I'm waiting for honda to build a 260 lb.e-start,liquid cooled factory dual-sport............till then i'll stick with the "L" :)

Stock,, the 650L make Zero power!!! You MUST properly uncork/rejet the bike to make that thing run right. Otherwise, it's slow, heavy, and no fun at all. I say this because I have a 650R, which is uncorked, and it's a freakin' beast in the power department. Ungodly amount of power, scary fast like a CR500 (well almost).

Anyway, since it's a Honda, then get a good, clean used one with low miles.. Easy to find at cycle trader or ebay for under 4k. And then uncork it, jet it, and have fun on it! the 650L's run really strong when uncorked correctly.

Stock, the torque does NOT make up for HP. It's lame stock!! Very Lame! Uncork it right and it will smoke all the others (but not a 650R, because those are beastly).

You don't need to worry about overheating your bike, because it's based on the XR600R engine, which was designed for Baja racing. It's durable and it can handle the heat no problem. Just don't let it sit there and idle like a car. Trash all the smog junk, it's garbage. Get a good smog block-off kit. And basically, and good name brand D.O.T. tire will work well for ya. Have fun!


I prefer my XRL over the DRZ-KLX for street use if you plan on hauling a pasenger around that makes it even better.#1 Temps get pretty hot here to and I've seen no heating problems. I have heard people say that the air cooled bikes tend to use alittle oil due to high cyl.head temps?. #2 I've put on the Baja Designs smog block of and jetting kit,uni air filter,air box mods, IDS Supertrapp tuneable exaust, plenty of power, geared 16/45,1rst 2nd 3rd gear wheelies no problem 100 plus without working the motor.#3 You'll have to shop around but 55 to 5800 seems about normal. Note; Honda has'nt changed the bike for years so see if you can find a leftover.I've used mine for D/S so I have no idea on street tires.Good luck :)

im looking to buy axr650l if anybody is selling one please let me know ,i live in albuquerque nm ijust became a member at thumper talk my name is pops48 so if any one knos of one for sale please let me kno thanhs

im looking to buy axr650l if anybody is selling one please let me know ,i live in albuquerque nm ijust became a member at thumper talk my name is pops48 so if any one knos of one for sale please let me kno thanhs

Nice first post.... :ride: Did you see this is a 9 year old dead thread???? :devil:

Nice first post.... :ride: Did you see this is a 9 year old dead thread???? :devil:

Really, so what? It worked, I now know that Pops48 is looking for an L and the thread reaffirmed my love for my bike. Works for me, and its no cost to anyone, anyway

Don't try this site's classifieds or anything, pops. And stay away from ebay and craigslist too.

I kid! I kid! :devil: It's just that posting a "wanted" ad in a 9 year old decision thread is not the typical way to go about finding one.

I would start by looking at craigslist. Here is the link to Albuquerque's That way you can see what's around you first. Search is also good for quickly searching neighboring cities and states. In my opinion, the best option when buying a used bike is to be able to do it in person and examine the bike before purchase.

If this isn't possible then look at this forum's For Sale section and ebay. Lot's of deals on quality rides are out there. Good luck!

Buy Jon's! It's already tricked out... No need to mod

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