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  #1  
Old 30 May 2002
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Why XR650L and not XR600R or S ?

Hi,
I saw a lot of comments about the XR650L being "the machine" for desert and other off road travel and little mention to the XR600R or XR600RN (this last one is a XR600R with small turn lights, horn,lights,speedo).
Is this for any special reason or just because the 600 is not any more in production?
(Is Morrocon police that tough to ask for blinkers, stop light etc.?)

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 30 May 2002
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The 600R is a fine bike, but there are a few things that make the L a little nicer for touring (I don't know much about the RN):

-Lower compression ratio and higher tolerance for poor quality gas
-Electric start
-Battery, so wiring up a GPS, etc is easier.
-Nice bright headlight out of the box (but riding at night is definitely not recommended)

These are the main selling points of the L beyond this, the differences between the bikes are numerous but not terribly important after the bike's been loaded down for a long trip.
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  #3  
Old 7 Feb 2003
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I just got a primo used XR650l, that I'm taking to South America. Both my friends will be on XR600's. Right now I am very jealous of them. We are all primarily dirt riders- not street. The XR600 is a heavy beast to us, but the XRL is an absolute PIG. I've seen better weight minimization on Mack trucks. To me, there is WAY too much wiring, too. Far better to add a beter headlight and a brake light to the XR6. The XR600 aso has much more power. I also fear the lack of a kickstarter. I'm hoping the 650L will be better on the pavement, because it will not be off road (we hope to ride a LOT of off road).
I will have a much better informed opinion at the end of the trip, of course.
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  #4  
Old 7 Feb 2003
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I bought an L last year and my first trip was 4 weeks in algeria with all the gear. I, too, yearned for the 600 at first, but came to really appreciate the suspension, electric start etc. it took a lot to get it good and I've yet more to do.

it IS more powerful, but that's cos the L is restricted as much as cos its more docile so I've derestricted it and there's less in it. it IS heavier, so its worth throwing away everything you don't need. I, too, yearn for a kick-start and have just acquired the parts from a dominator: I'll see if I can fit it this weekend.

that said: I love it and look forward to exploring Africa on it from June '03 to Feb '04. the KTM is the closest to being right straight from the crate, but the L is a very good basis.
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  #5  
Old 10 Feb 2003
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having spent the weekend trying to fit the kick-start (need some more bits!) and de-restrict the exhaust (making it dog-rough, right now) ... I have to admit the XR6 is probably better starting point and I can no longer recall why I stubbornly bought the XRL, but I bet I've had more fun getting this far building my own!
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  #6  
Old 15 Feb 2003
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I currently own an XR600R and I am starting to prepare for my trip through africa. I have / had pretty much decided to get an XR650L for the trip but now a little doubt has crept in reading the above posts. How important is the lower compression for the poor fuel and the battery for the GPS and adaptor, can a battery be fitted to the XR600R quite easily? Quite a few people say the electric start is excellent but I worry that it konks out too and then no kick starter? Any advice please?

Mark
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  #7  
Old 15 Feb 2003
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I think I was just feeling grumpy when I said the 600 might be better. its different and has its own strengths and weaknesses.
are you still in London? if so, you're welcome to come and see my bike (XR650L) and see what you reckon. all being well, I'll be fitting the kickstart from an old Dominator tonight - I finally got all the bits together! at the very least, it'll tell you if you hate the bike!
which route are you going? I'm shipping my bike to SA in June and riding back up to Algeria before heading for Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South America.
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  #8  
Old 18 Feb 2003
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Hi Rich

It would be awesome if I could come check out your bike let me know if you are cool with me e-mailing you.

Mark
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  #9  
Old 8 Mar 2003
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I've never used an XR6 although one came on my tour once. The reason for getting XRLs was a 'tame' motor in a good dirt chassis with only a KTM Adv as an alternative here in the UK.
Our reasons are outlines at www.desert-riders.co uk.

I think the XRL was the right choice in the end. A low stressed / low comp engine is always a good idea for long RTW - it will outlast an XR6 I have read. Our machines didnt notice low octane fuel in Africa. They were slow either way!
My XRL trip report (and Rich Lees' too) on AMW.

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  #10  
Old 7 Jan 2008
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XR650L Kick start

Rich, I've been loking for someone that's done the kick start add-on to the XR650L, did you manage to get anywhere with it?
What parts did you take from the Dommie, and were there any problems fitting?

Any advice appreciated, and any chance you'll be at the 2008 HU meet?
Cheers
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  #11  
Old 8 Jan 2008
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yes, I fitted the kick-start parts and it worked fine without a manual decompressor. I used the steel kicker instead of the lighter aluminium one which has a reputation for snapping.

fitting the kick-start meant splitting the crank-cases to install the appropriate output shaft. the alternator cover needed a hole drilled/milled for the kick-shaft and its seals. I used a mix of second-hand and new parts for the 1989 Dominator.

I doubt I'll be at the Hubb and no longer have the XRL to show you, but feel free to email me on hotmail-dot-com: rich_rtw
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  #12  
Old 11 Jan 2008
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I've heard the best mix between the two is to take the XR600 camshaft and carburettor and install into the XR650L. Haven't done this myself so can't offer more than a vague idea.

I found my L to have plenty of power for what I was doing so I don't know if I'd bother doing the above anyway.
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