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I am familiar with the difference. I have even been on both bikes as well highly modded XRR’s (at HU mettings). My question is: Do you feel taking a high strung race bike RTW is smart when you can make it around on a XRL?
I am leaning to the XRR for the following reasons. It is easier to add things to the XRR (that comes so stripped down) over stripping down the XRL of its excess crap. Kick start (if you want an E-start, it is easier to add than adding a kick start to a XRL (not even going into the debate of falling in luv with the color orange either.) Lighter weight. Water cooled. Could go on and on.
BUT, is it smart to ride off into the sunset on a XRR when there are XRL out there? Yea you can run a 15/45 but it still pulls and was built to race. The XRL on the other hand…..
I could go on and on.
Richlees, I know you have both, just speak up and tell me all is fine and XRR will be as well. PLZ
Everyone here's heard "you can do it on any bike you want" before. It's still true obviously, but my opinion is that the L is the better bike for rugged travel.
We chose L's for Aussie because:
- They are simpler
- it's easier to weld stuff to a steel frame
- when you're riding with a full compliment of touring luggage, it's not like you can scramble up a hill on either bike. The extra power of the R is kind of redundant.
- They are cheaper, both initially and to get parts.
Being cheaper than the R was probably one of the main reasons we went for the L, and I think that's the answer to your question. Well, it's another question really. Can you afford to maintain a high strung race bike on an RTW?
Scoobie, after reading my last post if comes off a little abrasive/short, sorry about that. Thanks for taking the time out to help out others with your post.
Matt, some good points:
“Can you afford to maintain a high strung race bike on an RTW” I guess that is the best possible way to look at it. But I am also asking, will it need to be maintained any more than the XRL?
“The extra power of the R is kind of redundant.” SO SO TRUE. This may come down to being the biggest deciding point.
As for, “They are simpler” Simpler? I guess it depends on how you look at it. Yes and No. I knida like the XRR. I has so little going on and you add what you want instead of stripping down the XRL. I felt like the XRL had excess wiring. (like the wiring to the kickstand!) Anything you want on the XRR you add instead of taking things off the XRL.
As for the MON$Y. XRL will be cheaper in the long run by FAR. I will be selling everything before I go to fund the trip. So in a sense I have money, but would I rather have money in the bike or in miles and months. Something to think about.
XR650L with 43 litre tank (ideal, but no longer available) + Touratech hard luggage on custom racks + kick start + all the usual stuff cost £6500 and weighed 240kg fully fuelled with 10 litres of water. 17-22kpl and 150kmh off road (without the luggage). once got 13kpl into 30mph headwind and again at 100kmh in super-soft sand. storming bike! 800-900km range.
XR650R with 28 litre IMS tank and custom rear tanks for fuel (13 litres) and water (11 litres) + rear sub-frame + luggage racks front and rear with ~ 40 litres soft luggage + usual stuff cost £7000 and weighed 250kg+ fully fuelled. 16-22kpl and 150+kmh, but why bother. cos its fun! :-)
the XRR engine is MUCH nicer. the handling is better than the XRL even after the comprehensive mods I made to the XRL at the MX track - damping and springing rates and a bit of geometry.
they use chains and sprockets and tyres and oil at the same rate. both are easy enough to work on except for the ally frame on the XRR. that said, none of us had any bother on the XRRs. the brazed pillion foot rest threads pulled out on the XRL. both have crap seats that are uncomfortable and too high so you need decent bars and pegs so you can ride stood up all day - much nicer off-road, too.
if forced to choose, I'd take another XRR. I'd fit the 45 litre alloy tank that I saw on a swiss website and have the alloy SUB-frame remade in steel. plus I'd use soft luggage on the front mudguard and rear. my "issue" with the XRL is that the biggest tank is only about 22 litres and I find that restrictive.
both are GREAT bikes. both are more durable than the riders. Tim's XRR had 30,000km and two oil changes when we left Cape Town to ride back to Europe in 6 weeks. we were both knackered, but the bikes were fine.
you've got an XRR so you're more than half way there! enjoy the ride!
OK, I was going to start a new thread but this one seems to lead into my topic. First though, I'll add my opinion.
I have an XRR, I've done 40,000kms on it around Australia. I've raced it three times, and half the time I've been off road with it I've been riding as hard as if I was racing. Not to metion some brilliant twisty bitumen. Turn back the clock and I wouldn't choose anything else. Not at all. Nothing is as perfectly compromised, if you get what I mean. Any better or more comfortable would be not so good off road, and anything lighter or more dediacated to racing would be too tempramental. What ever else thet might slip through those criteria doesn't have a good enough dealer network. KTM for example, while I'm deffinatley a fan, you'd be stuffed if you needed an oil filter in the middle of the Kimberlies in Western Australia.
Which brings me to my problem (not spelling, the other one). I keep damaging the radiators. Bloomin pain in the arse it is. I plan to get them re-cored and fabricate some sort of brace to stop my 24 litre Acerbis tank bending them when I drop the bike. Does anyone out there have a solution? Any pictures on the web? Is re-coring the way forward or are there aftermarket rads that would be stronger? Genuine Honda are too expensive I believe.
Rich, we spoke (on the Hubb) about fuel economy. I've made some significant improvements, I'm getting 18-19kms per litre. Thats open road at 90-95kmh. I've shifted my wiring out of the way and moved the main jet one notch down. Thanks for your tips.
glad to hear your fuel burn has improved! radiators ... we had our IMS tanks braced so that the load went back to the frame. a) it stops the rads being squashed in a fall and b) it stops the two sides pulling apart at high speed.
our braces were good, but not good enough. the lower rad mount was also bolted to the brace and that damaged the rad because the mount was rigid compared with the rubber rad mounts on the frame. so, don't bolt the rad to the brace. the lower rad hole is only there to position the original plastics - not to support the rad.
I have an XR650R here in the UAE and have done rides all over here in the desert. Awesome bike , as Richlees has said , it will handle better offroad than the L. I ride with the Acerbis Sahara Tank and soft panniers from Dirt Bagz . Also I have fender and number plate bags as well. On top of that I strap a sleeping bag abd tent onto the seat/fender behind me. Probably not as much luggage as some would take with them but enough to live comfortably. The bike is mechanically is extremely reliable and simple. If you are looking for good radiator guards check out www.unabiker.com
They attach around the frame and stop the side compression when you fall.
I have fallen down some serious dunes numerous times fully loaded and no problems yet. Not sure how a fall on hard pack would affect the luggage system though...... the secret don't fall!!
I have the XR 650L and think that it is a better choice. I like the fast that it is air cooled and street legal to start with. Just my 2 cents but I have ridden mine over 2000 miles of gravel in 5 days up in Alaska.
Your questions in regards to radiators I THINK IT is best answered in Ibarra’s(Gerardo’s) thread. I say this only because I remember him having problems after crash/lay down in Mexico on the way to Creel for the HU meeting last year. He ended up trailering the bike out.
But all of the threads answer them in a different way. I totally agree with the fact that radiators will be the number one problem if not squared away before leaving. My plan was to upgrade the radiators to Fluidynes are much beefier in construction, with a much thicker core. Then I plan to brace the hell out of them. I want to over kill the construction here. I am also planning on mounting a KTM hyper cooling device (aka a fan) for times when locked up in traffic.
Now you want to hear the funniest thing yet? Since the post I have been thinking of downgrading the power of the bike.
“”“The extra power of the R is kind of redundant.” SO SO TRUE. This may come down to being the biggest deciding point.””
I have been thinking of the DRZ400S (here in the states we have the S and E which is different than most DRZ’s). This is because of the power mainly. I also think it is possible to turn the DRZ into a lightweight KTM Adv LC4 in a small package. The DRZ400S project RTW bike will be E and kick start. It is also easier to lower than the XRR. All this will be easier for the lady friend that will be joining me RTW.
I hope this helps some.
With the new thoughts and questions this almost belongs more in “which bike “ than Honda tech.
For the couples who travel, non-2up, and on the same bike I have a question for you. My significant other is VERY new to bikes and riding. Does it really matter on what bike we take after 6months on the bike. I mean by then no matter the bike, (power mainly) want she be use to it? DRZ400 or XR650R ….hummmmmmm?
I'm not convinced that the rads are such a big drama. I was worried at first and put it as a big black mark compared to air cooled, but was wrong. sure, we didn't get the tank brace design quite right, but I'd have absolutely no hesitation in using the stock rads with the Kawasaki pressure cap (so you don't know its overheating!) and a tank brace that didn't also try to restrain the rad - guess where the rad cracked. I also wouldn't ride at 50kmh on corrugations again, but my mate was having a bad day and couldn't get his act together :-(
the guys who use the XRR to go to dakar keep the stock rads and take a little rad-weld along. that said, africans can't buy rads so they fix stuff - it took a little gang of them to fix mine in 30 mins in Addis Ababa.
Radiators vrs air-cooled is not my problem. My problem is being that I can name nearly a dozen people who had “problems” with their radiators. I also fell the radiator is not the problem as much as a large tank pressing on the radiators in area that it was not designed for impacted. The fix for me is to construct a support brace of some kind that will protect the radiators as much as possible.
The only problems I hear of XRR is in regards to, damage done to the radiators, because of this I do all I can to prevent this from happening.
Where can I get Fluidynes rads from? I'm in Oz so I'm guessing I'll have to import. My rads are buggared, they're all bent and only just working so it's either a re-core at $270 x 2 or Fluidynes because Honda want something like $700 each. Any ideas on rough costs?
You can stick a 450 kit in the DRZ, I don't think it'll compamise reliability. But I'd go for something bigger for the miles. XRL would be lower than the R or a DR650 would be good also.
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