Honda XR650L as a street bike.

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by oldhippie1, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. oldhippie1

    oldhippie1 Been here awhile

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    I'd like to ask all you 650L guys a question. I like thumpers and my dealer has a new 2012 XR650L for $6150 out the door. He'd swap the tires for street ones. How would this bike be for street rideing with a possible occassional ride down a firm dirt trail like if I happened to be passing thru Colorado. I like the simplicity of the bike and figure its damn near indestructable. I might want to cruise all day at 65 mph. How would it do? Thanks
    #1
  2. LexLeroy

    LexLeroy Chief Mansplainer

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    You'll probably get about 1000 replies to this, but let me be the first - if most of your riding will be street riding and you want an inexpensive thumper, then look at a Suzuki DR650SE or a Kawasaki KLR650. I currently own a 2009 XR650L that I've "tinkered with" a bit, and I love it for Kentucky's unpaved roads and National Forest Service roads. Years ago I owned a DR650SE that I rode across country - it was a bit more street-able, heavier than the XR and not as dirt-worthy, but it was as reliable as a claw hammer. Many of my friends ride KLRs, swear by their reliability after making a few obligatory fixes, and even do some outrageous off-road stuff that the big heavy KLR ought not to be able to do.
    #2
  3. oldhippie1

    oldhippie1 Been here awhile

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    I just like the Honda 650L best.
    #3
  4. kubiak

    kubiak Long timer

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    yea the 650l would do fine for street, the only thing i would do is rejet it and put a oil cooler on it if you are going to run it at long street rides. they run pretty hot when stock on long freeway rides in the hot weather.
    #4
  5. LexLeroy

    LexLeroy Chief Mansplainer

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    Kinda like this -

    [​IMG]

    But then you'l gear it down, replace the tank and seat, put the disk from an Africa Twin on it to get better braking, mount a Michelin knobby on the rear, change out the bars and mirrors and start looking for mud holes to play in.

    You've been warned... don't buy it. No good will come of it. :D
    #5
  6. ReferJohn

    ReferJohn 3RD Generation Rider

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    Lex is right......don't buy ONE................:huh
    Mine [​IMG]
    stay tuned here... gonna put 17"s on .
    #6
  7. Alaskajeff

    Alaskajeff Long timer

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    Like already said, the L will be a decent 80% street / 20% dirt bike. You could do better, but if you are set on an XR it will be fine with a few upgrades. OR search Craigslist for a used one already modded. :D Just hide your credit cards:roflYou will find a TON of mods/upgrades to make it fit your riding style! Heck you can even make a Classic kick start only 1988 XR600 road worthy like I did, logging over 7,000 miles THIS SUMMER alone!
    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. LexLeroy

    LexLeroy Chief Mansplainer

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    All kidding aside go to the "XRL Owners Sign In" thread for a pretty realistic view of what these bikes can do and can be made to do. Pay particular attention to Kubiak's posts... you'll either be inspired or you'll quit bikes entirely because of how high he's set the bar.
    #8
  9. Bluffskier

    Bluffskier Been here awhile

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    Here is mine when I got it.
    [​IMG]

    Looks the same now, but I have an FCR MX. Instant throttle response, 100+ mph, oh yea NO CV LAG!! woot woot!
    I will not be doing any other performance mods... The FCR is that good. The instant response is great. Can't say enough about it.
    [​IMG]

    Now I run GP-1 tires, Tusk bark busters, skid plate, XR400 oil cooler, and that's about it. I had the Clark tank on, but going back to the cycle trails this month and they are some fun tough trails.

    If you plan on doing dirt bike type stuff like jumping, or getting off the ground somewhat, dropping your bike, riding though brush, mud, creeks, and big spiders, then the XRL is your ticket. But if you plan on just hitting the occasional dirt road or staying in places accessible by vehicles then maybe an ADV bike would be better. I ride 99% roads in flat, nowhere to ride off road, fat ass lazy South South Texas, but I do get to ride off road sometimes and I want the capability. I had a Tiger for about 5 years, but I feel better on an XRL, way better. I feel about the same on my XRL after 200 miles in the saddle as I did on my Tiger after a Saddle Sore 1000. But the XRL is a fun bike.
    #9
  10. kubiak

    kubiak Long timer

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    awww shucks thanks LexLeroy!
    #10
  11. plugeye

    plugeye mc caregiver

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    you'll need a bigger tank.
    keep it stock if you want any range/ mpg out of it.
    #11
  12. mcma111

    mcma111 Long timer

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    Nope. Don't get one.






    Get two...


    [​IMG]

    Mine and my daughters.
    #12
  13. Walterxr650l

    Walterxr650l Long timer

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    [​IMG]

    They do the job just fine. They need a bigger tank. The bigger the better in my opinion. An oil cooler or big fin head is a good idea, to keep engine temps under control when running at 65 all day long. But most important Check your oil often. I recommend every 500 miles. Street tire should last a little longer. I've gotten 10 to 12K out of the street tires I've run (Dunlop K491 and Cont Tour), The Dunlop is no longer made.

    Walter
    #13