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Why did you choose an XR?

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Hi guys, I'm thinking this will be an interesting and fun thread. I'll start off by saying that my "L" brings me back over thirty years to fond memories of my childhood. I started off on SLs (70 and 125) and had an absolute blast as a kid. Having had many street :ride:bikes in between, getting on the big XR is about as close to reliving my best childhood memories as it gets!

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I wanted to explore all the rough, unpaved trails that always wonder about as I blow by them on my street bike. I love the dirt!

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Split the cost of a $1200 1996 XR600R with my brother who lives in another state, so when he comes to Utah he has a bike to ride (He's 6'6") and doesn't have to rent a $250/day KTM.

Rode it for about 2,000 miles and it worked flawlessly. Now it's winter, and I'm bored, so I'm in the process of gutting it. New valves, cylinder, piston, rings, new 3rd gear, etc, etc.

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My L reminds me of just that...childhood/teen years on "enduro" bikes.

Growing up in an ag town, we'd find lots of makeshift tracks, jumps, and trails. Skirting the law and riding very illegal bikes on the roads to get to/from riding areas was common. Plating my XR250R, and my L both remind me of riding a dirt bike on the street. 'Cept now, its all legal, insured, and responsible. :moon:

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My L reminds me of just that...childhood/teen years on "enduro" bikes.

Growing up in an ag town, we'd find lots of makeshift tracks, jumps, and trails. Skirting the law and riding very illegal bikes on the roads to get to/from riding areas was common. Plating my XR250R, and my L both remind me of riding a dirt bike on the street. 'Cept now, its all legal, insured, and responsible. :moon:

+1. I started on an SL 70 while most other kids were riding 2 strokes. That thing was unbreakable! Most of the old dirtbikes I see are XRs and even older SLs. Hondas last. I doubt I'll ever replace mine.

Now, riding my plated XR 650R down the freeway makes me feel like I'm getting away with something. Definitely tied to childhood memories, and the dirt's just as fun as it's always been even if I'm not quite as crazy as I was 35 years ago. Has it really been that long?

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From the subject, I was expecting this to be why I chose an XR rather than a DR, DR-Z, KLR, or some other dual sport bike.

I've owned 20 different motorcycles so far, with an even distribution of pure dirt, dual sport (most of them know as "enduros"), and street. I got rid of the motocross bikes a few years back, concentrating only on street riding. But I missed dirt riding. I don't want to own a truck or trailer to haul a dirt bike to areas where I could ride it, so I needed a dual sport.

Since adventure touring has been the big fad lately, I figured that I might as well get a bike that would work for long distance riding as well as dirt riding, so that narrowed it down to the three Japanese 650 dual sports. I wanted the one known for being the best in the dirt, so I decided on the XR. I seriously considered an XR650R, but I don't want any registration hassles in the future with any bikes not originally designed to be street legal, and I've really had enough of kick start bikes, so it had to be electric start.

Once settled on an XR650L, I just needed to find the right deal on one. My goal was to keep the total purchase price under $4000 including taxes and fees, and anything that I would need to update on the bike to get it just right. A year ago I was looking for the right bike for a couple of months, looking at several that weren't quite what I was looking for. Then right about Christmas time I found the right one and picked it up the day after Christmas.

It's exactly what I was looking for and I consider it to be even better on the street than I had imagined it might be. It's a bit more difficult to ride in the dirt on narrow rough trails than other dirt bikes that I've owned, but that might be partly because I haven't tried true dirt tires on it.

In any case, I'm happy with my XR650L and am glad that I bought it.

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I had an XR600R but I wanted a plated bike for obvious reasons.

So I got a 650L for the following:

1) it's a Honda. The company product line has a great reputation.

2) It fit. I'm big, the L is big. I looked at other bikes, they seemed small.

I'm quite happy with the balance of power/performance and reliability. I'll keep riding it until my skill level improves and I need better performance. I don't see it happening anytime soon. The biggest limitation is lack of experience.

So, while I get more seat time, I'm quite happy on the nice wide cushy seat of a Honda.

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I had previously owned a '94 XR250L and it was great, but I wanted more power. From there I got a CR250 and it was great too, but more as a racer and not a trail bike. Being 6'4", I also dwarfed the thing. I decided to go back to a four-stroke, but one with lots of grunt and go. I went looking strictly for a Honda because I didn't like the Kawis or Zooks and Yamaha didn't offer a big dirt thumper. If they had sold the XT600 Ténéré in the U.S. all these years, I may have ended up with one of those...

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I bought an "L". I had been riding street, and wanted to go back to my roots. I grew riding dirt...and havent done so in many years. I wanted a bike with the option to ride on streets. Plating a motocrosser in NC is almost impossible. And I did not fee like buying one from several states over. I did some research and reading, and talked to some people. I decided the XRL was probably the bike I wanted and could afford. My budget was about $2000...so that left out those spiffy new KTM 530s, Husky TE610s, etc that I've been drooling over. I found a '93 XRL with low mileage and knobbies already installed. I've only had it a few months, but really enjoy it so far. It's big, and kinda heavy, but I'm a really big guy and feel right at home on it. Sure, I still wonder what a 250# Husky feels like. And I might buy one down the road some time. But for now, a low maintenance air cooled Honda was what I really wanted.

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Childhood days.

Honda's bullit proof age old motor and bike.

Built like a brick.

Affordable maintance/repairs

Not much to break when it falls.

Being able to go anywhere at anytime.

Did I mention it was my all time favorite motorcycle of all times??

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I chose the XR because it is what best matches what I grew up riding. My first motorcycle was a Yamaha CT175 enduro. After that I had an XT-200, then a XL350R. I got stupid when I was stationed at MCAS El Toro and sold the XL350R because the only place I could find to ride in the mid-80's was on the highway.

After I moved to Yuma, AZ the bug bit me again and I bought a 1990 DR350S. That one was stolen five months after I bought it and I went without until 2003. I picked up a used 1998 DR350SE and found that it really was a little taxed to hold more than 75 on the highway. I sold it and the wife bought me the 2007 XR650L that I rode until this summer. It was stolen and I decided to go with the XR650R instead.

I'm in Oklahoma now, and there is not a lot of open area to ride. Every so often, I go back to Arizona, where I grew up, and ride the trails through the desert and mountains, which is what I really love. Of all of the bikes I have owned over the years, I believe the Hondas have been the best. The XL350R was the 1985 model with dual carbs and a dry-sump oil system. It was perfect for my 127# butt and had a very nice suspension with loads of power.

The XR650L was heavy, but solid at highway speed. It tractored along nicely the few times I took it off road, but I never got to take it to Arizona to see its full potential. I've only had the R since July and have only added about 2,000 miles to the odometer. I really want to take this one to Arizona for some proper trail riding.

-Joe

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It's a return to my younger years...........My first dirt bike was an XR500 ........ and that was 3 decades ago....

So the modern, lighter, stronger and much funner XRR fits my idea of a killer dual sport.

Easy to plate here in Utard and a big group of like minded riders here.

The XRR rules the desert and rockymountains from my view.......:moon:

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I've been Honda from the get go.

I've had the odd ring in as well but i'm a Honda dude.

I ride alone miles from nowhere is why the big XRR is the goods for me.

They never let me down.

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Basically the same as everyone else. Started on an SL125 about 35yrs ago. Owned a few 2Strokes in between (DT360,WR250) but I've had practically the whole range of Honda 4 stroke dirt bikes. I know them well and their reliability is second to none, thats why I like them. Plus I'm still a big kid really and love the exhaust note of a suitable Muffler on a big Honda...(I liken it to throwing the Jake brake on an older Mack/Kenworth while careering down a hill with 30 tons in the back).. the roar just turns me on..I'll never grow up.

Edited by Horri

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Had an XR 80 at age 11...

had an XR 200 at age 15...

didn't ride for 20 years....

so I bought an XR650L for mainly dirt. I didn't have a truck at the time, so I needed a dual sport. Plus I'm 6'5" and it felt right when I sat on it.

May get a lighter bike soon, but wouldn't get rid of the XR, it does everything I need.

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Good reading. I see a clear pattern here! I should add to my reasons the fact that it was one of the less expensive bikes I've owned, which also makes it one of the few I've had paid off. Without having too much money tied up, I'm not too bugged when it has to sit for a while while I take care of life's responsibilities.

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I wanted a 650 cause I need the extra displacement to make up for my tiny pee pee:moon::moon:

But seriously it was because I wanted a no compromise Dual-sport, with the ability to keep up with most bikes in the woods and still be able to rip 90 down the highway for awhile. That and i'm tall so it seems to fit me better than most bikes.

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at 19 I got my first bike a xt550 1983 great bike, bad brakes. I rode it for years and got good on it. after that I got a cr500 1988 and a xr500 1983 with a xr600 87 engine and looks. that thing was so bad it was low and you could go around a corner give it the gas, burn out till you lean back and it would rip into a wheelie like nothing. then cr250 1989,cr500 1991. but I liked that old xr better then any of the bikes.

1 the big XR rocks with 280 lbs 50 rwhp

2 big smile on my face ever time I ride it.

3 to pass the sport bikes in the twisties

Edited by bigredpig

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MXJunky bought an XR-L because he wanted an indestructable dual sport.

Coincidentally, MXJunky's first bike was a '93 XR250R, after having ridden a little ATC125M for a couple of years. Since 1993 MXJunky has had a myriad of sickles but the XR's seem to be the most reliable.

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Cause it's a Honda.

And it's a legendary XR series bike.

The 650R was a dream bike to me for years and i'm happy i got my self a new one, just before the time they stopped importing them here in Greece.

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