The XL600 thread

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Gregster, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. Gregster

    Gregster Been here awhile

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    Apr 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    991
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    The mighty and worthy XL600R.
    [​IMG]

    These bikes are between 20 and 25 years old now, but will give an XR650L, DR650, KLR650, and so on, a run for their money.
    As near as I can tell here's how they compare:

    XL600R:
    Seat height 33.9 in
    Dry weight 295 lb
    Horsepower 43 bhp

    XR650L:
    Seat height 37.0 in
    Dry weight 324 lb
    Horsepower 43 bhp

    DR650:
    Seat height 33.0 – 34.8 in
    Dry weight 324 lb
    Horsepower 43 bhp

    It seems that the old XL's have a 29 lb weight advantage over the newer XR's.
    If you aren't much of a thrasher in the woods or taking huge air the older Showa suspension on the XL's will do just fine, but that seems to be their biggest disadvantage.
    But if you're like me and not racing anyone, they're just fine.

    [​IMG]

    Let's see some more XL's
    #1
  2. KellyC

    KellyC TimeKeeper

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    I'd love to find an 80s XL600 in some old lady's shed. Problem in Ca. is everybody with a street legal dirt bike thinks it was dipped in gold.

    The new stret legal offerings from KTM and Husky are starting to help deflate prices. But I'm also noticing that the 80s XRs and XLs are starting to reach "collectable" status.
    #2
  3. skeptic

    skeptic Been here awhile

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    #3
  4. bearcat1

    bearcat1 Been here awhile

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    Yea they are pretty cool bikes. I had a '84 XR500 back in the eighties, if memory serves me correct it had twin carbs. I think the term "dual purpose" was the name the older XLs used to be called. It is neat to see them on the road, although not very often anymore. Most of them are probably in the scrap heap or in various states of decay leaning against a pile of stuff.

    Nice bike Gregster, cool thread and lets see some more pics all you XL owners!

    Edit: I just realized that I was looking at a brochure pic, but I have seen a few pics of your bike on other threads! Very cool nonetheless.
    #4
  5. MotoMind

    MotoMind Long timer

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    FYI, the best comparison would be to the XT600, where they'd be about even. Most of the weight advantage in these bikes is in the lack of electric start, which can be good or bad depending on how healthy your knees are.
    #5
  6. JohnBG

    JohnBG Slow Moving Three Wheeler

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    Nov 29, 2005
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    Deltona, FL
    I still got a few parts for them left (like a lower end of the motor) if anybody needs them.
    #6
  7. honcho

    honcho Barley Adventurer

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    Jun 8, 2006
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    911
    Location:
    Viginia Mountains
    XLs are great machines... i ride an xr650, but was inspired to go honda by a buddy of mine who rides an old xl500s. it's an extremely capable bike... he's never had trouble keeping up with the KLRs, DRs or XRs we've ridden with. I'd love to see more pics of the old hondas
    #7
  8. CBAT

    CBAT occasional wanderer

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    Oct 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    838
    Location:
    Central Texas
    Here's mine. Not a beauty queen but she keeps up with the 650 just fine. The only thing I would like to have outside of this platform is electric starter. Most of the time it only takes a couple of kicks when cold but there are times when you need to start and the spot is not very freindly. A quick hit on a button would come in handy.
    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. Tankboy

    Tankboy Now older and fatter!

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    Boise, ID
    Indeed they did. I had an 84 XR500 also, one of the finest motorcycles I've ever owned. I still kick myself for selling it.
    #9
  10. gswanna

    gswanna Been here awhile

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    i just picked up twins ---2 xl 600's 1 has the lights still intact and clean title (shes going on the road) the other stripped of the street gear ,no title 1 top ends' guides and seals are bad, the other the case are leaking --so i'm doing some surgery --get 1 on the road and have plenty of spare parts next year --but in the mean time -i've been riding the smoker in some trails ,and "seasonal" roads --i'm used to riding my 1995 cr250 so i have been tossing it around --but sure notice the extra weight after fun bike plenty of torque, and plenty capable for any trail rider -
    #10
  11. Gregster

    Gregster Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. BikerDave

    BikerDave Greybeard Rider

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    335
    Location:
    midstate Vermont
    My mighty 1982 XL500R......still can handle adventure touring duties quite well!!

    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. WestRider

    WestRider Been here awhile

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    787
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    Back in Idaho!!!
    [​IMG]

    sorry...I'm in Alaska right now in the middle of no where and can't get a better pic...but the 500s is a fun bike too!!! Yeah...I know it didn't come black but it's different. This was the first night back on the road after 14 years in storage...very abused when I got it....
    #13
  14. dman

    dman Been here awhile

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    Santa Cruz, CA
    Here's my '83 XL at New Idria in California, just after I bought it in 1984

    Attached Files:

    #14
  15. dman

    dman Been here awhile

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    And here it is 3 years later in the Hollywood Hills ...

    Attached Files:

    #15
  16. knutestoner

    knutestoner Adventurer

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    Location:
    southcentral Pa
    '85 XL600R with 19,000 miles on it. I believe it was the only year for the flash red, blue and yellow combination. Added 4 teeth to the rear sprocket (47) and still get 55 to 65 mpg. Highway to single track it's a blast......
    [​IMG]

    Working it's way through the woods....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. cyclewizard

    cyclewizard Long timer

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    Norway/Michigan.
    That bike looks darn good for having 19k on her. Is it for sale?:deal
    #17
  18. knutestoner

    knutestoner Adventurer

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    southcentral Pa
    Sorry Cyclewizard, not for sale but I've seen several XL's which looked in great original condition in the past year go up for sale. I think these bikes are still a great bargain but they do seem to be heading up in price.
    #18
  19. gswanna

    gswanna Been here awhile

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    Westchester county New York
    i've been taking apart my 2 xl600's trying to make 1 street legal and running good i took off the forks and was wondering if there are any inverted front forks that i could fit on the bike -anyone have any possibilities/suggestions ?
    #19
  20. daltonzach

    daltonzach Been here awhile

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    wish i have a pic but my camera is on the fritz. I just purchased a 1986 XL600 with 8124 miles on the ticker. it is in excellent shape. I went through it over the first week i had it and went on a 330 mile ride with a v-strom, klr650 and beleive it or not an xt225. didn't miss a lick and looks great too. i'll try to get some pics.
    #20