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Honda XR650R

Honda XR650R

5.0 from 3 reviews

Fantastic Bike

I own the US version of this beast of a bike, no frills mean machine. Very reliable and buckets of torque in all gears.
No brake lights, horn or ignition but who needs these when riding the lanes enjoying the sunshine ? Easy to start and maintain and wouldn't sell her ever.

Date PurchasedOct 2009

versatility with muscle

owned 2 of these great bikes. first one t-boned a car at night. she had no headlights on.
configured mine for commuting and serious off road riding. changed tyres regulary. road tyres for road (not dual purpose tyres) and off road tyres for offroad.
16.4L ims tank. narrow n tall tank. worked great all situations.
stock exhaust works fine b+b baffle. rejet to suit.
all aluminium protectors. fiddled with suspension. upgraded headlight to a klx halogen.
no can see n be seen much better.
15/45 gearing.
bike has done 75 000km since new. change oil evert 1500km. half that when riding off road only. got a full rebuild at 75000. valves wearing but not worn. crank ok but starting wear bearings. cam and chain worn. used original piston. got cylinder recoated. replaced some gearbox components.
mechanic (good mechanic) that did the work was astounded at the excellent condition of engine internals. prob would have made it too 100 000km.
so this bike is bulletproof if looked after.
great commuter after seat softens up. also used it on long off road trips. from fast fire trails to constant 3rd gear winding 4wd tracks to single track it never skipped a beat or felt overwelming. just glorious n confident n forgiving. all that while carrying 16L fuel tools sleeping bag tent clothes some basic spare parts water food grog n maps first aid kit. b+b carry rack fitted n worked perfect. bike would average 260km till reserve. never broke a wheel bearing. never had oil leaks. no fork leaks. no seized linkages. upgrade your tail light it is weak n tiny n prone to eating lightbulbs. devol radiator guards support radiator and tank. never used oil even when i did a 530km road ride (kept 15/48 gearing) in 6hrs both ways. handles wind buffeting well up to 120km/hr. top speed with this gearing ( plus a full carry rack with a 5L fuel cell n smallbag plus wearing small back pack) measured by friends car travelling with me was 187KM/H !!!
had this bike 17yrs.
after engine rebuild converted it from go everwhere do everything perfect ( for me) all roads spectacular piece of machinery to a stripped down naked road legal (ish) supermotard with machined rgv 250 rims. custom rear subframe custom brake rotors twin piston nissin front brake. custom swingarm/ rear tyre hugger which mounted number plate n light.
gpx250 belly pan which i reshaped. no airbox. pod filter on back caby. custom exhaust exiting left side under seat at 45° angle.

so...the good
1. versatility
2. mechanicaly simple
3. unbreakable
4. excellent platform to build whatever u want.
5. quality long travel suspension.
6. light ( motard was down to about 112kg)
7. fast engine. loads of torque ( 13.8sec quarter mile at drag strip in commuter configuration with 62 000km on clock)
8. smooth not much vibration.

not so good....
1. small standard tank 10L
2. kick start only no ignition.
3. ugly useless headlight.
3. useless tiny brake light.
4. ugly wobbly front mud guard.
5. front brakes too weak for road use. ( make a bracket for caliper n use drz400 master cylinder n caliper. braided lines.
thats about it.

haved owned over 12 bikes dual purpose, off-road only and also road bikes.
the mighty xr650r is the most diverse and remarkable motorcycle ive ever owned.

Date PurchasedFeb 2001

My review on the Honda 650R

the 650r is water cooled and kick start; its a great bike for mainly off road riding its good around town but its not built for short people.If you wanted a bike to commute or ride round town i think the 650L would be a better option, its air cooled and has electric start but its not as quick
goes like the clappers, very responsive,sounds great excellent bike
only has about 120kms range, fuel tank too small.

2 comments
Yep awesome bike , I got one too , i got a 650L air cooled job , goes hard , bit heavy on the front end , but i love it , heaps end heaps of power , i geared mine down a bit to give it a slower 1st gear , but it still winds out to 140klm /hr up a 14degree hill with me on its back , and i weigh 140 kg , Awesome bikes. Ive had 2 x xr600's and 1 x xr650 over the years. Very reliable bikes and you don't need to be a mechanic on a race team to maintain them. They are not as quick as some of the new rockets out there but mine never let me down in some very remote areas. Pitty Honda doesn't make the 650R anymore.....

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