new to 650R - Questions

I'm about ready to close the deal on a leftover 02 650R. I plan on keeping it stock for a few months during break-in and while I am getting used to the bike. Then, I'm going to uncork and dualsport it. Anyway, are there any common problems I need to watch out for, special maintenance to perform, or anything else someone new to this bike needs to know? Does it run hot because of being too lean? Is it hard to start before uncorking? Any advice or experiences would be greatly apreciated.

Buy the bike, bring it home, uncork it, then start it.

Operating this bike muzzled up is harder on it than uncorked. It is way too lean which means heat and that is the worst thing to show a new motor. Do a search on the details for uncorking, (a simple job done in one evening), and ride it that way.

Do as Dutch said. Don't even waste your time riding it stock. If you don't understand what I mean. Try eating dinner with only one chop stick. :):D

ok, uncork then ride... going to grease the linkage right away as well.

Also...I am wondering about the steering - it seems everybody adds a stabilizer. is the stock steering unstable or does it kick back alot or something? Currently have found no need for a stabilizer on the xr4 or xrl.

thanks for the advice, I appreciate it.

Stabilizer...for hitting square-edged rocks at 100mph...

Actually I would love to try one (I ride in the woods) to see if it had much effect. The 650R's a desert bike mainly - most of those have stabilizers.

You might have fun riding the bike around for a day or so before you uncork it, just so you have a baseline. In stock form, it's sorta like an XR250 that just keeps on going faster. Uncorked, with a 13/50 setup for the woods, it's like an F-16. with two wheels.

Portland, I guess you're saying it steers / handles well w/o the stabilizer? no problems deflecting off bumps? I notice it has more rake/trail than the xr4 so I know it will be a little slower steering (xr4 is super nimble) but I hope I don't need a stabilizer to keep it going straight over the rough stuff. I won't be going 100!


Definately uncork everything before breakin, I did. You may want to consider having the dealer dual sport your bike before you take it home because I know they have less problems registering a dirtbike that is dual sported rather than you doing it and then walking in yourself to the DMV. When the dealer sends all the new registration paperwork in it will already be written up as a street legal bike. Much easier. I guess it all depends on how strict your state is, ask your dealer what they think.

I've had my XR650R since April of '00, and it's a great bike, never had a problem with it. But you have to uncork it before you use it. The reason is because it's way too lean, causing it to run too hot, boil over at low speeds, and difficult to start, hot or cold. Also, it's boring stock. Not much faster than an XR400 I didn't think.

You must uncork it properly, and by the book, no other way will work right. Purchase the 40mm exhaust tip. Remove air box snorkel and baffle plate. Replace intake boot with the 40mm unit. Rejet with 175 main, and use the competition jet needle set to 3rd position. OR, use the stock needle and set to 4th position.

The 650R is not just "fast" uncorked, it's "brutally fast". Acceleration is very, very abrupt. Even at 70mph, whacking it open will propel you to 100 before you realize it. The pull is incredible.

Stock, it's a smooth cadillac. Uncorked, it's a Vette on steriods. No joke, try it out.

People use the steering stabilizers for sustained high speed desert work over rough terrain, where they are a must, not just for this bike, but for any bike. Under normal use, the bike is incredibly stable, far more so than any other dirt bike I have ridden in the past. It has no tendency to headshake or get out of line (like the CR500). Unless you plan to race high speed desert, you probably won't need a stabilizer, unless you just want to have one. They do help, but keep in mind this bike is very stable as is.

P.S. Just remember, when the bike is uncorked, throttle response is very, very touchy. So hang on and enjoy!



The 650R steers and handles fine without a stabilizer. As long as you keep the bike moving along the handling is very similar to an XR400. It is much better than the XR4 through the rocks. A stabilizer can save you from a high speed encounter with a rock or something but the 650R is just fine without one.

thanks for all the information, everybody, I really appreciate it.

I would like to keep the spark arrestor in the exhaust. My understanding is that the power up ex. tip has no arrestor. Any idea what jetting I should go to with just the intake mods? Thanks.

"My understanding is that the power up ex. tip has no arrestor."

The Power Up exhaust tip has a spark arrestor. The older versions did not have the stamp of approval embossed on the face. From what I have heard the new ones do.

I too have not pruchased a steering stabilizer and have found the BRP very controlable. It handles well in ruts and whoops by simply soaking up the punishment. In sand all you have to do it get on the gas and there is plenty of power for that. Even deadstop starts are easy, the BRP can plow a field with the right tires. :)

The "no cost" trick with the stock muffler is to use a two inch hole saw and take the end of the pipe out. The spark arrestor in still there and the sound is very mellow.

Welcome to the club Radar Ridr, You're gonna have a lotta fun with yer new scoot. I mainly ride desert, but love hitting the single track trails with the BRP. I rode my Pig for about 8 mos. before putting on the stabilzer. I too felt that stock, the bike is very secure. The stabilzer is like adding warp overdrive when it comes to straffing at high velocity over questionable terrain. The other benefit is actually when you are going slower in rocks and deep sand. It helps the Big Rig keep the right attitude. Bang for the buck wise, I would really look hard at the GPR Stabilizers. Great products (check out their latest stabilizer) and great customer service. :)

My buddy has had great luck with his. I'd say the uncorking is mandatory in my opinion.

He had troubles with the following:

Subframe bolt backing out until he used loctite.

Foot peg bolt backing out until he used loctite.

Changed the radiator cap to a higher pressure unit.

That's about it and he rides it hard and it's fast. Much less maintenance than my WR. :)

Certainly uncork it ASAP. I suggest having your suspension setup to your weight & ability before purchasing a stabilizer... In my opinion, the suspension is a better bang for your buck; however, I wouldn't ride w/o the Scotts. I also highly suggest throwing away the stock bars before your 1st ride. The bars are too low and set too far back - really reduces your leverage and control. I moved mine up 9mm and use a CR High bend... I'm 5'11 & 190lbs with gear... Good luck. :)

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