A Better Approach? Lighten 650 ?

Am drawn to reliability of XR. Yet 400 would need $ to upgrade power and has no liquid cooling...Why not spend that "would have been" power upgrade $ on 400 and instead buy a 650R and spend that $ on getting performance parts that also reduce the weight at the same time? Could put a smaller front sprocket to get more bottom end and "shorten" the already open country gearing.

XR 400 (257 lbs)

XR 650R (277 lbs)

Granted, would have to deal with 2" longer wheelbase and probably a larger rake angle on the 650R.

I suppose that the other manufactures use light materials or is it the honda just has a more "overbuilt" motor unlike the slender gearing disks on those KTM's?

Any ideas? Places to secure 650R modification list to achieve the aforementioned? Thanks!

The BRP was created to run fast in the wide open spaces for long periods of time. That environment has determined how "overbuilt" it needs to be.

Now - one unique feature that many Honda's have is the ability to hide weight, (ever ride a Gold Wing?).

When the 650R is set up for you the right way it is incredibly capable in the tight woods as well as in the wide open spaces.

There is much satisfaction to be had in the shocked expressions on your riding buddies faces when the booming sound of that big Honda comes up on them in the woods.

Once you get on the fire/logging roads they haven't got a chance.

Now - if this concept appeals to you the BRP may be the right choice. Forget the "loose the weight" idea, you'll spend a lot of money for little gain. If that is so important look into a WR400/426/450.

Dutch is right, the big XR was primarily designed for one thing - running fast in open terrain. Yes, it does have a weight problem, but when you're cruising at freeway speeds in the desert I think the weight is to your advantage. It all depends on what type of riding you do. :)


I ride a 650R in the woods love it but am 6'4" and 255lbs it has great woods power by just replacing 1 or both spockets and because of the major power from the engine you don't have to shift as much in the tight woods as you would on a 400 I have riden 400 with pipes and power up kits they through around great but you have to really pay attention to what gear your in and shift more. I run a 650R with power up kit and 14/50 sprockets and then tried 13/48 with the 14/50 the bike would come out of any turn at a dead stop in second gear and you will get up and go a lot faster the a 400. I would think about buying a KTM 520/525 if I were to do it again.

I ride the tight woods around Vancouver Island with stock gearing, it works just fine, thank you. I ride mine dual sport mind you, that's why I bought the 650R. The bike has an amazing powerband, very very grunty, and revs out well, too. If you apply any throttle at all, it simply chugs up big, twisty, rooted and rocky hills with ease. I don't find the bike tiring to ride is tight woods either. I find it less tiring than a DRZ400S, for example, my last ride. The motor is less frenetic?? and just lopes along. I am very pleased with the bike so far. Does everything well I can throw it at.

BTW I am 5'11", 185 pounds w/o gear.

Forget the woods issue for a moment, the BRP has a lot of weight in the engine, it's huge and heavy. I've looked at the bike, and there's not a lot of weight to get rid of, other then the engine. What can you do? Mag hubs?...Titanium and aluminum bolts? What's that going to cost? :)

One MiiiiiiLLion Dollars!

You gotta say it like Dr. Evil :D

Just get on that Pig and Spank that puppy. You can't impact the weight that much so save your dough and have some FUN! Yee Ha! More Coffee! :)

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