I have had the opportunity to ride my 29 yrs old xr200r in a desert enduro this summer... I agree, the xr200r is _NOT_ a desert bike, but having said that, it's bullet proof and did pretty well, considering. I never had any doubts whether I was going to be able to finish the course or not, just not very fast.
in general, the XR line is bullet proof, and only lack modern suspension and high output motors. the xr400r and xr650r have the most modern stock suspension, out of that line, but the xr650r kind of deviates from the XR philosophy and seems more like a crf than a xr to me.
Originally Posted by AndyCap
The one time I went riding in the desert, (Barstow, CA), I rode an XR200, bored to 230. That sucked because it was too small for me. I am 6' 3" 230 lbs. However, my friend also has an XR400, and I rode that as well. It was a dream to ride. He lives out there and swears by the whole XR line for desert riding. Bullet proof reliability, and plenty of power to get you to Funzville.