XR650R vs XR650L maintenance - how demanding?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Sycamore, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. Sycamore

    Sycamore d00b

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    XR owners...
    Because the XR650R is more 'race bred' than the 650L, I assume it needs more maintenance for it to stay happy - more frequent oil changes, service intervals, etc?

    If so, would this also apply if the 650R is used for non-race usage? Just putting around, city riding, gentle trails, etc?
    Would she still be more demanding on maintenance than the XRL with similar usage?

    Sorry about all these XRR/XRL/DR questions, I'm trying to figure something out here....
    #1
  2. Dirtgrain

    Dirtgrain Been here awhile

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    One tricky thing is to determine if you will really ride it easy--or if the throttle will be too tempting. I ride a Yamaha FZ1, and the throttle is too tempting for me, every time. I'll just be tootling down a country road, and I I just have to roll on and roll off and roll on and roll off.

    I've read from many that you have to change the oil in an XR650R every 1000 miles. Recently, I did read from one guy that he changed his every 1500-2000 miles for his XR650R.

    I think the XR650L is more like every 3000-4000 miles for an oil change.

    I don't remember what others have said about valve check frequency.
    #2
  3. Teeds

    Teeds Don Quixote

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    Well, I have had my R only about 2 years so I may not be the best to answer, but here goes ...

    Valves, adjusted once since I have owned the bike. Just before our recent trip to Mexico.

    Oil, every now and again, about every third ride. It takes me longer to move stuff and get the bike out to warm it up than do the oil change.

    Air filters are a pain IMHO, but I use filter skins to keep the work down.

    I even washed it a while back.

    I should mention that I ride the bike about 90% off road and manage to accumulate 5K ~ 6K in miles per year. Sorry to sound vague, but my GPS is my only source of an ODO.

    I have a buddy that has over 30K on his '00 and at least 10K on his '04 and his experiences mirror mine except he manages to wash his more often.
    #3
  4. onaXR

    onaXR Druid

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    The L oil change is every 1500 miles, 2 qts only protect for so long.
    Nothing on either bike is hard to do.
    #4
  5. 2WheelTad

    2WheelTad 2WheelTad

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    Good question! I'm wondering the same thing. bump...
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  6. husky123

    husky123 Long timer

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    I've had both and they are typical Honda's. As long as you keep oil in them they'll run forever! Valves are easy (threaded adjusters). The L holds a little bit more oil. They are both great machines for their intended purpose.
    #6
  7. blackbirdzach

    blackbirdzach Daily Adventurer

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    '
    Mine's usually about out of oil at 2k miles. :lol3
    #7
  8. katbeanz

    katbeanz earthbound misfit, I

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    apples and oranges, the R is liquid cooled and a higher compression ratio. The L is air cooled and lean jetted to meet emissions so it tends to run hot if you haven't rejetted.
    I usually change the oil in my L around 800 to 1000 miles but my engine is bumped up a bit and I run a K&N mostly offroad. The oil stays pretty clean until 600 miles or so then it starts getting dirty looking. :puke1
    #8
  9. McLeod

    McLeod Been here awhile

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    Honda manual XR650L oil change is 2k, filter every 4K.
    Valves are 100 hrs.
    I use synthetic and change my filter every 2k on my L it doesn't take any longer and I feel better doing it. A dealer recommended that I check the valves every 6 months.
    I spend 90% street and 10% dirt sadly to say.
    #9
  10. Sycamore

    Sycamore d00b

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    Anyone got the manual recommendations for the 650R?
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  11. Rogue_Ryder

    Rogue_Ryder

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    It's 600miles for R, 2000 for L
    #11
  12. wickedsprint

    wickedsprint Banned

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    As far as the oil capacity, I suspect the L needs more oil since air cooled motors tend to run a bit hotter in the slow going, The 600 mile schedule of the R model is based off not being used on the street, be interesting to see what they say for the 600R...I bet it is not that far off the 650R, I could be wrong.
    #12
  13. Cat0020

    Cat0020 El cheapo

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    Maintenance of a machine is highly depended on the usage.

    If you ride a XR650L aggressively, it would probably require more maintenance than a mildly ridden XR650R.
    #13
  14. dwrads

    dwrads Right Wristed

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    Both are good bikes. I own a 00 R with about 35,000 miles on it. Had the motor torn down and rebuilt at 18,000 miles. Nothing was broken just thought it was time. According to the folks at Precision Concepts who did the work the only thing it really needed was a intake vavle job and rings. Most of my riding had been aggressive off road in dusty conditions. One problem with the R is that the air filter will be dirty in just one days riding if it's dusty, even when riding alone. It's mandetory to change filters often. I've beaten the living hell out of mine and it's never let me down. Ridden in the same way I would want to maintain an L in the same way as my R. IMHO the maintainence effort is very similar with the exception of the air filter.

    DW
    #14
  15. Sycamore

    Sycamore d00b

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    Dang, that's a big difference in oil change intervals. Makes the R seem really fragile.
    They probably did have 600 competition miles in mind though....?
    #15
  16. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

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    like others, I can only speak for the R..... it just doesn't change much. if my two years so far are any indicator, the thing will outlast my willingness to flog it. it just doesn't show wear much, even when ridden hard, fast, wide open, over rocks.... man do we have rocks. even the stock rims are pretty good, and the suspension is one you would pay a lot of money for if retrofitting say a DR or other bike....
    it does burn a bit of oil, and you can change the oil and clean filters and ride it around the block and it looks like tar...:rofl but she keeps going and going and going and going and...
    #16
  17. kellyk7

    kellyk7 Who knows

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    ZApp maybe I am not flogging my bike hard enough, so far since june I have not had to add oil or had mine turn black, no oil change and only about 800 newby miles so I may not be the best comparison.

    I will say this, I have built and owned all kinds of motor powered things, and maintenance is what you make of it plus a little vodoo, I have known guys who never change oil, and never have a problem with thier cars or trucks. and I know guys who fuss over every detail and thier car or truck is a giant POS.

    I would say on this issue buy the bike that seems more like your needs and wants, then maintenance it not by the recomendation but by the actuall way you use it. If you feel like your style is riding long days of dirt roads and back lanes, and your smooth on the throttle, you know one of those guys that is just happy being out there, then get the XR-L and maintenance it like a street bike. if you do start thrashing it now and then during those times that you thrash it change your maintenance methods to more like a race bike.

    If you a wide open rider who always seems to be on the throttle stops and your wanting to see what it will do, get the XR-R and maintenance it like a race bike, during those spring and fall seasons when your doing more back lanes, you can change your maintenance to more street bike like..

    either way both bikes seem reliable and ride well OR so I'm told - so buy the one that apeals to you most,,
    #17
  18. wickedsprint

    wickedsprint Banned

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    The 650R is everything but fragile.
    #18
  19. Red_Chili

    Red_Chili Fresh Ground

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    For identical usage the oil change interval should be identical. I would NEVER go 4K miles between oil filter changes though, I don't care whose manual says to do it. Frankly, I change the oil on ALL my bikes every 1500 miles tops.

    The R sees fresh Honda synthetic every 600-800 or so, cuz I love my baby and can't bear for the oil to go dark. Very easy to do, she ain't no KTM.:lol3

    I don't even like taking the Buell or the Beemer over 1500 miles between changes. Long road trips excluded.
    #19
  20. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

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    i think kellyk nailed it....

    Your bigger issue, I think, is how comfortable you are with your electrical skills and standard wrenching skills.
    To get the XRR where it is a viable ROAD bike [we're talking DUAL sporting here..... not just playtime in the mud] is frankly a lot of work. having done mine in the minimalist/incrementalist fashion, that's the WRONG thing to do. Look at how Gaspipe and other clever souls have done their XRR's... strip that thing to the bones and do it RIGHT the first time, no matter what it costs. if you don't you will not be happy with the roadworthiness.

    and don't expect a cushy ride.... just a lot of grins to ease the pain
    #20