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  #1  
Old 8 Dec 2003
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xr600/650 differences

Hi all, can anyone tell me if there are any REAL differences between the xr600 and 650? apart from the obvious water cooled thing, is one just a newer version of the old? Is there any real difference or are they just as capable?
Cheers
John
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  #2  
Old 8 Dec 2003
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The XR650R was a totally new bike mate, complete with aluminium frmae (I think?), and highly tuned enduro lump. Ask Wright Bagwell about them.

The XR600R frame kind of lives on in the XR650L, which uses the Dominator (NX650) engine. There are a few threads about the XR/L, if you want to search...
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Old 8 Dec 2003
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Yeah, ive had a nose around and looked at links but not really seen an artical which explains how much better and why the new 650 is better than the 600?
Surly the aircooled lump would be a benefit off the beaten track?
In real world riding is the 650 "better"?
Did honda get rid of the aircooled engine cause of legislation or could it not handle high mileages?
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  #4  
Old 8 Dec 2003
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what's the real world?
I have both the XR650L and XR650R - they are chalk and cheese. Wright may also have both as he was planning on doing more enduros.
as Lewis says, the XR650R is nothing like the XR600R which came out 15 years ago. the XR600 spawned the XR650L which, with significant work, makes a fantastic overlander: I've just done 25,000km around Africa with no probs.

back to that question: what's the real world? if you want the ultimate range off road bike, my XR650L can carry 43+ litres in the Acerbis main tank giving it 900km. and then I can carry heaps more.
if you want to rally, you'd be better off on an XRR as its the next generation and, being a Honda, its fantastically reliable

Trail Bike and Enduro Mag (TBM) - and french mags - did comparatives of the XR600R and XR650R back in 2000. you might still be able to get a back issue.

[This message has been edited by RichLees (edited 08 December 2003).]
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  #5  
Old 9 Dec 2003
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Didn't know you had an XR/R Rich - Xmas present to yourself? For travelling, it's generally agreed that enduro weapons like the XR650R and Yam WR series are a bit too highly strung.

There are also issues of cost, reliability / robustness, fuel use and comfort.

The problem for Honda, as I understand it, is that it's not possible to get that many horsepower-per-cc from an aircooled lump. You only have to look at the power the Husabergs and Huskys of this world are producing to know that for maximum grunt, liquid cooling is king.

That meant that to continue to be competitive in the big-bore classes (and as Dakar privateers, and in the Baja etc) Honda went to liquid cooling....

which if you ask me is just what you DON'T want on an overland bike, espesh if your travels incorporate lots of tricky terrain. One big fall (on or off-road) and you could lose one rad (50% of all cooling) or even both. The simplicity of an air-cooled single is a really strong point.

Having said that, the water-cooled KTMs and BMWs have been doing pretty well in the Dakar, and having seen what Nicky Plumb did to his bike last year the cooling system wasn't the bit that got knocked out, so maybe fears over fragile and exposed rads are outdated and no longer apply.

As Rich says, you need to think about the type of riding you do. When not travelling will you compete off-road? I think Wright knows how hard it is to make an XR/L competitive in a modern enduro field (although it can be done!).
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  #6  
Old 11 Dec 2003
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not a bad present, eh, Lewis?
yup, got back on the 1st and collected the L from LHR and the R from Reading on Friday night. just refurbishing the L, now, before deciding whether to keep or sell.

air-cooled is, as you say, simpler than liquid cooled, but the XRR has been doing fine in the Dakar and Baja. my biggest issue is limited range with only 28 litres of fuel compared with 45 on the L.
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Old 13 Dec 2003
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Hi Rich,

<very jealous>

Can I have a poke around your "L" before you refurbish it, top see what wore / broke / got filthy / you had to bodge? I think that would be really useful for me.

What's the fuel consumption / comfort like on your "R"?

Ha! Only 29L of fuel... for my trip I've decided to stick with the 26L Acerbis tank (lovely comfortable position and still great off-road) and put a 10L plastic jerry in the front bottom crnr of each pannier (my boxes are huge).

Anyway, speak soon.
Do you have my number?

PS > Don't mean to hijack the thread: have we covered the 650R / L and 600R now?
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Old 6 Jan 2004
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Just a couple of points on the XR650R..

1) With the Acerbis larger tank, dropping the bike on the left side (even when stationary) will result in a bent left radiator. A brace that prevents the flimsy radiators being crushed is IMHO essential with any larger tank on this bike. Still, I have had 3 low speed crashes on the left side with mine before realising this issue and had no leaks - but others have leaked.

2) Fuel economy is poor, even compared to other Enduro bikes (such as KTM520) and even modern MX bikes (such as CRF450). I am sorry that I do not have any specific terrain figures as I have not ridden in an economic manner or even sustained conditions. But FWIW I estimated around 230 miles on 26 litres of fuel (Acerbis tank). Maybe this can be extended on easy-going with speeds below 60MPH - Economy is much worse at high speeds/wide throttle opening (IIRC around 40 miles on 12 litres of fuel in the 1st TBM test - flat out on a motorway with a new engine).

Ian
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Old 10 Jan 2004
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fuel consumption is not about power or gearing, but about engine efficiency and that's related to running the engine at the revs that give peak torque: above or below this, the efficiency drops and the throttle has to open further and more fuel goes out unburnt. if you thrape or any engine, it'll guzzle. the XRR has a 200 main cf 145 on the XRL, but, in the right gear for the speed, you get the same consumption from L and R: Martin and I got 16-17kpl blasting around Algeria at 100-110kmh off road on the 2 bikes.

strolling through Africa, I got 21kpl on tar, up to 23kpl on gravel and down to 15kpl in deep, soft sand at 90-100kmh in 4th.
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Old 12 Jan 2004
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The great thing about the 'R' is the flat torque curve, on the dyno charts I've seen, 90% or more of peak torque is available from 3000 to 6500 rpm. I have a rev. counter fitted and can see that (with or without a tachometer) riding outside this rev range would be difficult, as it's harsh. NB this gives a road speed range of 40 - 80MPH in 5th with standard gearing.

Standard main jet on unrestricted Rs is 175, I've heard of some running bigger mains, either with airbox cover mods (but filter gets dirty quicker) or with the HRC power up kit fitted (but higher octane fuel is required), these are often 180s. I've not heard of anyone running a 200 before, I'd be interested to hear what your modifications are, especially if proven in the desert.

I'm a little surprised, but accept, that the R drank no more fuel than the L when ridden at the same pace, I've never ridden with one and can only compare to the more efficient competition Enduro and MX bikes that I've ridden with. NB I've not found a more thirsty bike amongst my group of 20 or so riding companions.

I'm glad my fuel range estimate was accurate, it was needed in case my support vehicle broke down, but happily wasn't proven. NB my estimated 230mi/26 litres is almost identical to your 15kpl on fast sandy going.

Another point worth raising about the R is that some suffer more than others from losing fuel from the carb overflow pipes when bouncing around on bumps. Something worth checking for before a remote trip.

Regards,

Ian

[This message has been edited by Ian Bradshaw (edited 12 January 2004).]
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Old 13 Jan 2004
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my mistake on the 200 main. I'd heard that its that big, but you're better informed: I only just got mine and haven't fiddled with it (yet!).
thanks for the tip on the overflow. how did you notice? fuel on the tyre etc?
Rich
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Old 14 Jan 2004
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I didn't have the overflow problem myself but read about it several times, riders have reported rough running & very poor fuel economy. Although to put this in context it's been a serious problem a few times in around 2000 bikes.

Regards,

Ian
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Old 19 Jan 2004
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Carb problems with the R plague the bike. The float bowl issue is diffucult to correct (bogging on dips and landing from jumps, dumping fuel when the bike's not level), they can be finicky at altitude, and the bog you get from snapping the throttle is impossible to cure. The latter can be avoided by just not snapping the throttle, which isn't really needed often on a bike this type, but I tried for months to get the float issue corrected and gave up.

What I did was install an Edelbrock carb from www.barnumspro.com, and it cured every carburetion problem I had. It runs perfetly now, never stalls when on tight trails from flooding, doesn't dump fuel, doesn't bog, and doesn't seem to be as affected by altitude as the stock carb. I can't figure out why one carb would be more or less affected by another, but in my case it's much better.

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Old 19 Jan 2004
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... And to respond to the original question - the 600R and 650R are very similar bikes from a performance or functional perspective. They're both designed to do the exact same thing: go really fast off-road on open trails, reliably.

As for the technical differences: again, the new one has an aluminum frame and watercooling, And as it's a newer design, it performs a little better all around.

But as for an adventure bike, it has one big new advantage and one count against it. The advantage of this bike in my eyes is that you can get a 40L fuel carrying capacity from an easily available and well-tested source - Acerbis makes this setup for rally riders. The downside of this bike is that it's watercooled and it's not difficult to damage the radiators. You could probably make some decent radiator guards to prevent damage.

Aside from that, it's not particularly comfy and not the most fuel efficient bike around, but keeping it stock (but adjusting the jetting to correct the lean state it's in from teh factory) can help prevent too much fuel usage, and one can always have a windscreen and custom seat made for comfort.

Wright

[This message has been edited by wbagwell (edited 18 January 2004).]
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  #15  
Old 21 Jan 2004
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Wright,

Could you just confirm what you mean by 'leave it stock' as there seems to be 3 standard settings for this bike; 1 for Aus, 1 for the Americas and 1 for Europe (sorry. i don't know about the rest of world).

Do you mean run standard Americas jetting, corrected for a lean condition, or run the 'uncorked' Americas jetting (having removed the stock Americas/Aus inlet and exhaust restrictors) == Europe stock jetting (& Europe unrestricted as stock).

Thanks,

Ian

[This message has been edited by Ian Bradshaw (edited 21 January 2004).]
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