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Honda XR650L vs XR650R Engine Longevity/Reliablity

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Boxuta, Aug 17, 2018.

  1. Boxuta

    Boxuta Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2018
    Oddometer:
    82
    Location:
    USA
    Morning guys and gals,

    First post, long time lurker. I have a simple question that I can't seem to find a straight answer to. With all things being equal, which engine last longer and be most reliable? I am aware of the maintenance intervals and it will depend on how the bike will be used. No racing just general commuting and trail riding is the intended use.

    Thank you in advance for your help.
    #1
  2. gtbensley

    gtbensley Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    293
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    New Hampshire
    I dont have experiance with either....but I would bet the L would last longer. More simple, less stress.......But I bet both will last a very very very long time.
    #2
  3. AZ TOM

    AZ TOM Long timer Supporter

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    7,737
    Location:
    Prescott AZ
    Equal maintenance, equal use similar longevity.
    #3
    mylsmkj likes this.
  4. Boxuta

    Boxuta Adventurer

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    I would tend to agree, I am leaning toward the R model. Seems to have more "rally" support, meaning fairings and what not. I am not going to do rally racing I just like the look lol. However reliability is most important since it will be more of an adventure like theme.
    #4
  5. Boxuta

    Boxuta Adventurer

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    Thank you. If not racing do you think the oil really needs to be changed ever 500 miles?
    #5
  6. AZ TOM

    AZ TOM Long timer Supporter

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    Oct 21, 2008
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    Prescott AZ
    Change oil in my bikes normal riding every 500 miles. Cheap insurance.
    #6
  7. gtbensley

    gtbensley Been here awhile

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    Jul 31, 2010
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    Location:
    New Hampshire
    The R will be more bike...and maintenance. Nah I would imagine you could run it 1k before changes and not have any problems.
    #7
    Boxuta likes this.
  8. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    27,755
    Location:
    Über Alles,California
    650L has cooling issues, I won't own one.

    I've had a couple of 650R's. 2500 mile oil changes, check the valves at the same time and throw in a fresh air filter.
    #8
  9. MotoChris521

    MotoChris521 motominded

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,370
    Location:
    south west
    Agree . RFVC motors run hot under load , I would see 300 degrees on my oil dipstick gauge under certain conditions . Probably should add a fan to the R for low speed trail work ,but then neither bike is made for that .
    Just look at a stock L . There is a reason they come with huge air scoops and vented headlight cowl and it's not for styling . images (8)xr650.jpg
    #9
    Boxuta likes this.
  10. Boxuta

    Boxuta Adventurer

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    I assume I can find guide on how to check valves somewhere?
    #10
  11. Boxuta

    Boxuta Adventurer

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    Makes sense.
    #11
  12. Fredthemexican

    Fredthemexican Adventurer

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    Mar 9, 2017
    Oddometer:
    54
    [​IMG] I have an L that thinks it’s an R. I love it. She is a 96 model with 32000 km I have never had a problem over heating. I like the simplicity and the magic button. If cooling becomes an issue there is an oil cooler you can install. I believe the dualsport would be more reliable. But the race bike would be more fun!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #12
    AZ TOM likes this.
  13. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    Yeah, it's as easy as it gets on that engine.
    #13
    Boxuta likes this.
  14. Boxuta

    Boxuta Adventurer

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    From what I am reading, the R is what I'll end up with. I am sure finding one that hasn't been ragged out will be hard.:jack
    #14
    larryboy likes this.
  15. Fredthemexican

    Fredthemexican Adventurer

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    Mar 9, 2017
    Oddometer:
    54
    The R is not street legal but it can be converted.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #15
  16. Boxuta

    Boxuta Adventurer

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    Right, most of the ones around here have been converted.
    #16
    Fredthemexican likes this.
  17. enduro16

    enduro16 Long timer

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    Location:
    The woods of northern IL.
    the biggest difference between them,the R is water cooled and kick-start, the L air-cooled and electric start, I've owned them both they're both good bike for what they are, just depends on what you want...
    #17
  18. Boxuta

    Boxuta Adventurer

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    Of the two model, I am after the one that is most reliable.
    #18
  19. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    The biggest difference is one burns oil and seizes, the other wins the Baja 1000.
    #19
  20. Boxuta

    Boxuta Adventurer

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    Well then, clearly I want the oil burning one! :rofl
    #20
    nacho squatcho, AZ TOM and larryboy like this.