Good to hear you got the bike going again.
If only you had done your research on this bike before you left you could have solved a few issues and maybe avoided problems. (maybe) These bikes were very popular in California in the mid 90's. Everyone had one ... including me. On any weekend in Baja you'd see twenty or thirty of them riding around. But they came and went.
A good after market seat would have solved most of this problem along with bar risers, different bend bars, wider pegs? The stock seat is junk. You should have figured that out in the first 300 miles. Impossible for super long touring. I rode mine on 500 mile days but it nearly killed me.
I've met so many new XR owners who DO NOT know how to properly check the oil on a XR Honda. This is critical and so many riders screw this up.
These bikes react badly to low oil levels. I pitted a cam on an old XL600R (similar motor) in the late 80's in Baja. The dip stick was only half way down from full. These bike DO USE some oil normally when run at high speeds on highways day after day. Nature of beast. Your pre ride research should have turned this up. So keep it full and always check when motor is hot, not just warm. Twice a day is sufficient.
Most owners seem to overfill with oil because they check oil level when bike is not fully HOT (like first thing in the morning), then ADD oil ... and it's too much. This can cause problems too ... like filling air box up with oil, soaking air filter with oil, bike runs crappy after that.
So get the bike fully HOT, shut off and wait one minute. Now check dip stick while parked on level ground, do not screw in dip stick, just insert and pull back out. That is true level.
On this bike high quality synthetic oil will really help everything last longer.
Only use synthetic AFTER motor is broken in using regular mineral oil. (about 3000 miles) Going to synthetic too soon on that Honda will have oil consumption go UP. (indicates rings not seated) Big singles take quite lot of hours to fully break in and stop using oil.
No argument there. I never liked the top heavy feel or handling on my '94 XR-L. I bought one new, did a long Baja ride (1400 miles) ... it did good but really was too tall for me and after racing two strokes for many years, was not for me. But over all it did pretty good. Decent travel bike if set up right. I sold mine after only one year.
This bike is tricky to jet right. The Carb is not a good match for that motor. But once the mods are done they actually run well. Certainly not fast but will keep up with a KLR, DR650, TT600 ... but not a KTM, Husky or Husaberg.
The XR-L Honda's run very hot and really need an oil cooler, IMHO, especially for over landing. If not, then you should try to change oil every 2000 miles or so, and as mentioned, synthetic oil preferred.
But dozens of really good riders around here rode XR-L's for years doing crazy Baja rides at high speeds, so they have been tested and are generally good if taken care of and if you know the tricks to allow the bike to survive.
Biggest problem was battery box breaking off and rear sub frame bending or breaking off from overloading. Do NOT over load rear rack, sub frame will bend or break. I have seen several break off.
The XR650L Honda fell sharply from popularity when better bikes came along. The Suzuki DRZ400E really knocked the XR-L out of the picture along with Honda's XR400, a better bike in every way. Then came Honda's off road only XR650R which is still popular today as a dirt bike, not so much as a travel bike but some have managed to adapt them. Lots of riders did street legal conversion on this bike. No electric start, but a good bike and miles better than the XR-L, IMO.
Safe riding ... Keep it upright!