XR650L – how to
Yes, I talked shit on these, but I had an idea and it’s the only bike that works. Planning on shipping it out west to leave out there, to do trips. Heres the way I thought about it.
- Ultra low compression motor will never break
- Can do a week of highway or a week off-road no prob
- Inexpensive bike
- Honda never changed a nut or bolt since 1993
- Buy one under $5k that didn’t appear abused by a dual sport dad and under 10k mileage
- Just spend a little more to get one that’s solid with low miles and it should run forever if maintained. Do alllll the fluids.
With a couple mods the bike can be not that gay or embarrassing to ride. Mods I did:
- De-smog and de-snorkel
- Uni air filter / DG v2 pipe with 1″ v2 silencer, end cap drilled out 3/4”
- Without the 1″ silencer the DG pipe was insane too loud.
- Dave carb mod. 160/58/2.25/ shim needle
- FritzCo wide front sprocket so countershaft doesn’t get beat up
- Dual sport dad had done Eibach front and rear suspension, bash guard, and 14/46 gearing
- Only decent looking bigger tank is IMS clear tank. Get that one.
- Eventually I added the “Sutton” xr650L oil cooler kit
What I don’t like:
- The years that have black color on top of the seat
- Keeping the turn signals
- Stock tail light
- Low bars, gotta go tall bars
- Non-knobby tires. Dunlop D606 are good.
What I do like:
- More fun to ride than I thought. Plenty of power after de-smog/intake/exhaust
- More capable in woods than I thought
- With all dumb shit removed looks like a normal dirt bike just bigger
- Good gas mileage, motor barely needs service ever, ultra reliable
6 responses to “XR650L – how to”
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Published - Apr 4, 2012
shootin the shit in the shop
shitty iPhone pics…
All dirtbikes are still fun, even if they make you look like a clueless middle aged dude.
Curious to see what it weighs after you take all the dumb stuff off. I was kinda surprised how much weight my KLX retained when I took off all the dumb stuff and replaced things with upgrades that just happened to be lighter.
so does this mean you are finally going to do the pine barrens 500?
Cool. I picked up an ’86 XL600R last year. More or less the same bike, very little changed on these over the decades. Stators are a known weak point, I changed mine for a Rickystator which improved starting and should avoid an unplanned failure. The wide countershaft sprocket is a must. Mine was not terrible but showed some wear, the wide sprocket tightened it right up.
I’m not sure swingarm or fork differences from the 80s to 90s, but for the 80s XLs switching to an XR swingarm and rear shock gives more travel. XL wheel needs to be machined narrowed on the brake side to fit the XR swingarm, for street riding you want the cush drive wheel to save your countershaft. There are many options to increase travel in the front, various model and year XR forks. There was a change in axle diameter that can be resolved by changing bearings or the wheel. I’m still sourcing parts for the XR suspension swap.
How much did you lower it?
We all know you can’t throw those stubby legs over that tall horse.
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