Upgrade my XR600R or get an XR650R ?

In my search for the perfect dual sport bike I bought a stock '95 XR600R with a Baja Designs kit. I live in So. Oregon and ride the pavement long enough to get to my favorite logging roads. The motor has some miles on it and is a little flat, but still seems to have fairly good compression.

I'm a little disappointed that it only lifts the front wheel in 1st and 2nd gear, and 3rd - if I snap the throttle on and pull on the bars with all my might, and that's with 13-48 gearing. I'm considering buying one of the quiet performance mufflers (FMF Powercore Q or Super Trapp IDS2 Quiet Series), a Uni or K&N air fliter, and jetting accordingly. If that didn't give it the snap I want I'm faced with a top-end rebuild, at the least, or a big-bore kit, at the most. All that would cost $500 - $1,000.

I wonder if that would be a good investment, or if I should just sell it and buy an XR650R. I checked about 30 pages of postings and could not find any comparisons between the 2 bikes so I'm asking for your comments and advice.

In what ways is the 650 better or worse than my 600 for mostly dirt road dual sport riding?

I would like a comfortable DS bike that will easily lift the front wheel over a rise in 3rd or 4th gear. Does an unplugged 650 have more punch for wheelies than a fresh 600 with improved breathing?

Is the 650 chassis wheelie-friendly or is it a tire spinner?

Thanks for the benefit of your experience.

Does your current 600 have and jetting changes in it. I rode with a fella with a 600r and he would whoop up on me almost anywhere. Of course he has lower gear and transmission ratios than me. I still drool over the 650R though. But one would have to consider the options. Your 600 already has a dualsport kit on it, that alone saves you about$500.00 or so. Also being air cooled the 600 is far easier to maintain. I.E. valve adjustment. And I'm sure it's cheaper than a new 650R. That being said, I would love to have an "R" in my stable. But here in Iowa we can't convert them without writing multiple letters to the state and still getting nowwhere.

Here's my thoughts. I too ride a 95 XR600. I am waiting until they put the magic e button on the XR650R. Then I will upgrade. :)

I'm with the Beav... waiting for Honda to puts the magic button on the BRP. Until then I'll stick with my aging Baja kitted XR600R which is dialed in pretty good so I'm happy enough. But whenever I ride my buddies 650R, I'm browsing cycletrader the next day.

If you're running stock exhaust, filter & jet setup, you might consider an exhaust insert for the stock cans, uni's and dial in the jets. That will go a loooong ways to making the bike run better at minimal cost. The key is the exhaust insert instead of the full slip ons. Not as light or good looking, but very cheap and just as effective IMO.

Ride a 650R before you decide.

It is light years better than your 600.

It feel as light as a XR400 when riding it,

it has way more power than a modified 600,

and it has much better suspension.

Don't spend money trying to fix your 600 up. Spend it on a 650.

Just move your dual sport kit from the 600 to the 650.

As far as power, the 650 will lift the front wheel easily in first,

second, and third gears with just a twist of the wrist.

A slight tug will bring it up in fourth, and a bigger tug for fifth.

(Make sure the 650 you try out is uncorked ($19 investment)

or it will only be as fast as an xr400...)

had a 600, loved it. Put a 628 kit in it and it was a hoot! Too bad the motor only lastest 1000 miles. When back to stock and was disapointed with the decrease in performance.

Bought a BRP and I'm back hooting it up. I was sorry to see the 600 go, but it was a nastolgia thing and I got over it. I'll never let my BRP go. I'll still be riding the thing at the old farts home in 30 years provided I can find someone to start it for me.

"Hey there sonny-boy, when your done wiping my arsh, could you start my Pig? Where's my teeth, anyway?"

I came off a modified 95 XR600 to a stock but uncorked 00 XR650R w/ triple clamps and Pro Tapers. The modifications I had to the 600 were fresh motor (due to sucking sand), porting/polish, repaired tranny (bad shifting fork and worn gears), baja designs street legal kit, FMF Power Core IV (also had supertrap and first I had the insert, the insert and jetting made a big diff.), suspension done, 200 watt stator, and different gearing depending on were I was riding. The stock 650 is way better in every aspect except for the plush seat the 600 has. My first riding impressions were that the 650 did not turn at speed well but I later found that it likes to turn w/ the throttle on. Also it seemed to handle well even going real slow and pulled harder and longer than the 600. Another thing I noticed was that there was a hill that I could never make on the 600, one of those loose ones w/ turns and some rocky ledges at the top. The first try on the 650 I climbed the hill shooting rocks and stuff all over the place and was pretty impressed.

If you have the money and can get the 650 street legal then I would say go for it, sell the dinosaur 600. But I would also say that some of best rides and fun I had were on my 600 and sometimes I miss it a little because it was customized to my likings and had character w/ the loud but good sounding pipe.

I have a 2001 XR650R uncorked and today went riding with a guy who has a 95xr600 with a big bore kit to a 640, So I rode his 640 for 10 miles or so. Only reason I wanted to ride fast was to get my bike back. Huge difference, These are not only my findings but the guy who had the 95 640. 650 more power by far, suspension on the 650 was way better, handled braking bumps, sharp jolts and large woops much better, ergos on the 650 were better, the 640 felt like you were sitting on a chopper way low in the saddle, 650 brakes much better, all controls easier and more comfortable, 650 starts very easy, the 650 felt like a competition bike where as the 640 felt like a powerful play bike, if you pushed it it wasn't comfortable, If you have the means sell your 600 and buy a 650 everyone, there was a huge difference. You would only waste money upgrading, the bike I rode today is what you are talking about doing and it fell miles short of the 650 also the 650 felt much lighter than the 640. Im happy I own the BRP, you will also, dont get me wrong I love all XR's and have owned many and any if in the right hands will rip however the 650 makes it much much easier. I think it is one of the best bikes ever made!!! :)

Get the xr650r, way better investment than upgrading your 600. Most of us 650r owners had to make this decision, to sell our trusty 600s. I dont think you will be disappointed.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now