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Torn between the R and L

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Hey guys and gals. I'm new here, and I've done a LOT of research and a LOT of lurking around here and various other forums, and I'm still debating on which bike to get. I understand the completely different design, I understand the XRR is overall a better bike, however I have an XRL completely uncorked, dynojetted, and with a supertrapp exhaust practically sitting in my lap right now ready to be bought from an aquaintence. I've been an avid enduro and trail rider since the age of 5, and have ridden primarily Yamaha, starting from a little DT80 up to a DT250, to a Kawasaki Big Horn 350, then for the last 13 years, a 1981 Yamaha YZ250H. I just sold my YZ to a collector down in southern Ohio and bought a street bike. Needless to say, the parents invited me up to go quadding with them, and awoke the trail beast once again. I'm selling my street bike (1978 Yamaha XS750 Special) to get a BRP since I've not owned a Honda yet.

Now I know for sure that the XRR is a better bike off road, but how good/bad is an uncorked dynojetted supertrapped XRL off road? Though it will be primarily ridden on the street, I plan on doing regular 200 mile trips up north to meet the parents specifically to go trail and enduro riding; mudding and hill climbing (We don't do the fire trail easy-peasy stuff, we're all experienced riders, and even though they're in their 60's, they fly like they're in their 20's). I imagine neither bike will compare to the overbored YZ250H I had (stock 49HP, overbored, geared to climb trees and with a DG Fat Boy expansion chamber) however I'm looking for something that's going to be pretty damn close. I know the XRL is heavier by a long shot, however being that I rode a Big Horn and those old DT's, that shouldn't be a problem. (I weigh only a bit less than the bike.) I've only sat on an XRL, and though it weighed more, it seemed to fit and feel and balance like my old YZ which weighed around 218 according to the manual.

What do you guys think? Buy the XRL that's sitting in my lap or wait for an XRR with a DS kit to come along? I know I'd probably be happier with an XRR, however, what I'm essentially looking for is confirmation that an uncorked and modded XRL will still be well capable off-road, will do roosts and climb hills should I crank the throttle and keep the RPMs high. I don't want to be disappointed off-road, but in the same respect, need it to be a good street bike to do 200 mile trips.

Edited by malignity

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I had two Kawasaki Big Horns, three DT-175's and a YZ-250 (whatever model 1992 was).

I chose an XRL over an XRR for two big reasons. 1) I don't want to find out someday that I can no longer register it because it wasn't originally designed for street use (that happens on occasion in California), and 2) I've had enough kick-start bikes to last a lifetime, the magic starter button is sure nice.

I have no complaints at all about any lack of power on the XR650L. It seems to have enough with only a pipe and some rejetting. It's the weight that is the bigger issue. I haven't weighed mine, but I'm sure it's close to 350 lbs.

I'll soon be trying out some more dirt-oriented tires on it (TKC-80) and see if that improves steering in mud and ruts. With the current IRC GP-110 tires, it tends to find its way into ruts on hill climbs, then with the height of the bike it wants to point the front wheel straight up, so I don't always make it to the top of the difficult climbs. I don't remember generally having a similar problem on the YZ-250 (also with a fat pipe). I loved doing hill climbs on that bike.

But the XR650L is great on the street. It was quite a bit better than I expected it to be, and I was riding Ducatis before buying the Honda. I quite like riding the XRL on twisty roads, at least with the IRC tires, which are very good on the street.

If I spent at least half of my riding miles off road, I would reconsider an XRR, but I prefer to ride to the dirt, ride the dirt, then ride back home, so I'll always put more street miles on the bike than dirt miles. I really don't want to have to own a truck or trailer to go riding.

So there's one opinion/point of view for you.

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Thanks for the first opinion so far. :bonk:

I've done my share of goon backflips on my YZ. Maybe I'm unlucky or just maybe I shouldn't try 55 degree gravel pit hills without a running start. :lol: Kickstarts don't bother me much, but I will say, the XR650L sits at least 3 inches taller than my YZ did. I imagine an R has stiffer suspension, so if I stall between whoops, I might not be able to start it without rolling around some.

Here's something interesting I heard today when I went to the Honda Dealership to get their opinion... He had said that I should get a DR400 cause they're liquid cooled and have more HP than a 650L. He also went on to say that the Supertrapp exhaust doesn't have a spark arrestor, and that I won't be able to use it on Michigan trails. For some reason, I highly doubt a $400 exhaust would lack a spark arrestor, so I'm not sure I can trust a damn word he has to say; including the DR400 quote. I haven't even checked into the Zooks, so for now, it's probably likely out of the question.

Edited by malignity

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I love my 650l I ride mine out to Barstow , el mirage dry like bed play and ride home. It's cruises 70-75 no problem and is a couch. And with 50k+ before my first tear down I can't complain .

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I believe the supertrapp disc style exhaust is considered to be a spark arrestor by design, no additional arrestor needed. I bought my L because I love the versatility and I occasionally take my wife along as a passenger, The L is better suited for 2-up riding.

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Your last dirt bike was a 81 YZ 250?? I'd stick with a L. Think of the R as a three times the power as your old bike. ...REALLY. It's a bit much.

But that 's why i like mine..

Your old YZ might top out at 60 mph MAX, My 650R has hit 91 on my GPS with stock gearing.Now it's geared for 110 or so and could do more.

Edited by scalejockey

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Don't be hating on my old YZ. :lol: It may have been old, but stock has more HP than the XRR and weighs 50lbs less. Mine was overbored with a Weisco racer in it and a DG fat boy pipe. Keep in mind as well, the 81 was the first year the energy induction unit was installed on dirt bikes. I've never had any issues keeping up with any new bike or even CR500s. Mine was geared low for trails and top speed was a little low, but the climbing that baby did was ridiculous and it could wheelie in gears 1-3 even with my 300lb fat ass on it. :bonk: I used to enduro with it, so it was a trail bike through and through, and it did it very very well.

I have no problem handling powerful bikes, and that's exactly what I'm looking for... Something where I crank the throttle and let the bike do its thing while I just hold on and pray. Does the XRL have that kind of capability modified, or will I be disappointed?

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Iv'e owned over 43 dirt and street bikes in about the same amount of years, starting in the 70s' and have worked on hundreds of others,believe me. You need to ride a Non corked up or "not stock" 650R. If you like silly grunt power,you'll love it.

You will be disapointed with a stock L.

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You can go to YouTube and type in Ivan tedesco xr650l than decide for yourself.

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I've had my L for about 3 years now (I've been riding for 42 years). It was bone-stock when I bought it (with 400 miles), and has undergone a lot of changes since then.

I commute 36 miles roundtrip - weather permitting - and go to my local ORV park on the weekends. It handles both areas well.

On the road, it handles exceptionally well - depending on your tires. I've ridden 400 miles one day - cruising between 70 - 80 mph - and reached a little over 100 mph just on a whim.

Off road, it's tall and heavy but it goes where you point it and it won't stop for anything.

Power is meager in it's stock form, but re-jetting and a pipe really help wake it up. I'm now running a Wiseco 102.4mm 10.5:1 piston, ported head, cam, and a Mikuni pumper and it's all the power I need.

The suspension is okay, but I did a USD conversion and got proper springs and valving and can now handle the big hits without sending my tires through the fenders.

Verses the R: I like that the L is air cooled, and has been produced for nearly 20 years without any big changes, so parts are cheap and easily accessible. It can also be registered easily in any state. Truth be told... I would like to have an R also. But, since I could only choose one, I chose the L.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOQOvDPp_aU

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Iv'e owned over 43 dirt and street bikes in about the same amount of years, starting in the 70s' and have worked on hundreds of others,believe me. You need to ride a Non corked up or "not stock" 650R. If you like silly grunt power,you'll love it.

You will be disapointed with a stock L.

The L i'm looking to get is uncorked, dynojetted, and has a supertrapp exhaust. Hopefully that'll make it a bit more ballzy?

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You can go to YouTube and type in Ivan tedesco xr650l than decide for yourself.

I saw that video... was laughing my ass off when he was using the turn signals and the horn the whole time. :bonk: I will say however, Ivan is a beast. Any great rider can make a bike look good, even if it's semi-sub par. :lol: I hope it's 50% rider, 50% bike in the video, not 90% rider, 10% bike.

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Do you want a Cadillac or a sports car? We can't tell you which you want.

While Jonr3's video's are great, that's not the bike you are looking at buying. It looks awesome and if you want to do some work you could ride something similar.

My XRR is LITERALLY a bike I point at a hill and hang on. I tell all my friends the bike will climb anything, so long as I can stay on it. Generally I put it in second gear and ride all day. From Bap...Bap...Bap... at less than walking pace on single track to BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPPPPP! up anything or along anything slightly wider. I start getting a little scared if I shift to 3rd cause I know I'm going 40-50 mph at that point (stock Gearing).

If you are 300 lbs and looking for a rip-your-arms-off dirt bike, you need the XRR. If you are looking for a street bike that can be a blast in the dirt, get the XRL. If your friend's are offering you a great deal, get the XRL, and then if you want more get both! I'm 230 and need springs so you are looking at re-springing both.

I'm never going to get a letter from the DMV asking for my plate back. After putting a http://seatconcepts.com/ seat on mine I can ride all day in cushy comfort, yet still have a small profile seat that lets me move forward and stand in comfort for relatively cheap.

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Do you want a Cadillac or a sports car? We can't tell you which you want.

While Jonr3's video's are great, that's not the bike you are looking at buying. It looks awesome and if you want to do some work you could ride something similar.

My XRR is LITERALLY a bike I point at a hill and hang on. I tell all my friends the bike will climb anything, so long as I can stay on it. Generally I put it in second gear and ride all day. From Bap...Bap...Bap... at less than walking pace on single track to BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPPPPP! up anything or along anything slightly wider. I start getting a little scared if I shift to 3rd cause I know I'm going 40-50 mph at that point (stock Gearing).

If you are 300 lbs and looking for a rip-your-arms-off dirt bike, you need the XRR. If you are looking for a street bike that can be a blast in the dirt, get the XRL. If your friend's are offering you a great deal, get the XRL, and then if you want more get both! I'm 230 and need springs so you are looking at re-springing both.

I'm never going to get a letter from the DMV asking for my plate back. After putting a http://seatconcepts.com/ seat on mine I can ride all day in cushy comfort, yet still have a small profile seat that lets me move forward and stand in comfort for relatively cheap.

Is a modded XRL capable of ripping your arms off hill climber as well? I guess that's more or less what I'm looking at. Youtube videos can only tell me so much, and though they seem fairly capable off road, i haven't seen them on technical trails, whoops or hill climbs. I don't want to make a $2900 mistake is all and be disappointed. The weight I can handle, but if I rip my throttle, I need that sucker to roost and wheelie, and being that I've never test driven either, i don't know what the capability of them are. My 81' YZ would eat anything I threw at it, including Michigans biggest hill in the lower peninsula (most of the time) even with my fat ass on it. :bonk:

Edited by malignity

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Try the xr650l you'll like it, and if you don't, their easy to sell and if you get one for a good price, you'll end up making money. I came off a cr500 and hardly ride it anymore, just to easy to hop on the xrl and drive to the trails, and you learn to love that starter button and the off idle low end grunt.

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I think ill probably end up with the XRL. :bonk: I'm not sure what you mean by the off idle low end grunt though. I'm a two stroke guy, so ground rumblers are new to me. i know the power bands act quite a bit differently. I guess ill just have to wait and see. :lol:

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I'm not sure what you mean by the off idle low end grunt though. I'm a two stroke guy, so ground rumblers are new to me.

Even off idle, almost dieing in 2nd, when you hit the throttle it tries to rip your arms out. No need to stab the clutch or wait for the rpms to hit the powerband. Just a good hard yank on your hands :bonk:

Edited by basalt

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The XRL is capable of that? Well sir, i believe you just answered my question if that is the case. Now if only I could sell my truck, I'd be sitting with my BRP in the garage. I'm about to put her up on craigslist today. Putting it on other less trafficked sites isn't hacking it. Some nibbles but no go.

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How good the XRL is off road depends on how good the rider is off road?

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Never ridden an R so I can't speak to that, but my L is way better off road than I ever imagined it would be. I love it, well worth the $2500 I spent for it.

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