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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 2 Oct 2005
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Please help me XR-R or XR-L

Please help me
I am going crazy I can't decide which bike to buy for my south America trip I have narrowed it down to two

Option 1: Honda XR650R pros are light, strong, durable and fun to ride cons: no electric start, sub frame needs some word for luggage, expensive,

Option 2: Honda XR650L pros are electric start, street legal needs very little modifications, sub frame can handle luggage, extremely durable and very dependable, price
Cons: heavy, heavy, not pretty like the R and heavy

I am planning to go a lot off-road

So if you know both bikes please let me know what you think
Thanks a lot

Amicam
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  #2  
Old 2 Oct 2005
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I don’t own a bike today I had the XRL in 2000 for about a year,
I know Both bikes will need seat and gas attention before riding to the sunset
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  #3  
Old 3 Oct 2005
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Plenty of discussion on the honda board about L vs R. I've personally chosen the L for my world tour, starting next year with Aussie and then South America.

I decided the L has it where it counts - cost, reliability, easily repaired, and the extra power of the R is not that much use with a heavy load anyway. More highly tuned just means closer maintenance intervals to me.

Either bike would make for a great trip however. Will see you on the road!

Matt
(my website)
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  #4  
Old 3 Oct 2005
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Just to add my opinion, I think you would only notice the weight benefit of the 'R' if you are travelling extremely light in terms of baggage.

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  #5  
Old 3 Oct 2005
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I did big trips incl trans-Africa on each. I'm not sure whether I'd use either again. I'd also consider the Adventure and the F650GS Dakar. there's no "right" bike as there's no benchmark for how you ride or where you want to go ...

I ride quite hard, don't care much about the seat cos I stand up a lot, but I really do care about range and endurance: by the time you have 45 litres of fuel, 15 litres of water plus tent and gear, they both weigh 250kg. the XRR still had more power, but no real benefit and no real problems! they both do 20+ kpl. the L is only 5-10% more frugal, but BMW can be 20-25% better!
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  #6  
Old 4 Oct 2005
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Amicam
Why you say that the L is heavy?I ride one since 94 and it is very comfortable to ride!
Imagine a Africa Twin or the GS 1150 fully loaded in a muddy road!
Then you will miss the L.
http://community.webshots.com/user/bck_973
here you can see mine in RTW mode.
KH
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  #7  
Old 4 Oct 2005
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I was thinking a little more about the two bikes again. if I was going for a sandy route, I'd take the R. even though we geared them up 20%, the bike is so much nicer to ride in sand. I had to ride 1000+km with a dislocated collarbone ie effectively one handed and I doubt I could have done that on the L!
service intervals are similar for overlanding: change the oil every 3,000-4,000 miles or when you find stuff worth putting in it! they are Hondas and, hence, ultra-reliable
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  #8  
Old 5 Oct 2005
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wow
thank you all for the help, if i will meet on the road pepole like here i am sure my trip will be a good one
amicam
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  #9  
Old 6 Oct 2005
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I've pitted the Mighty KLR against both on the dirt and street.
I like em both, very good bikes.
The L, watch out for the counter shaft, and the R, get that thousand dollar magic button and the street legal kit, and jump through your butt to make it street legal.
I've had to chase both in the dirt with all the shtuff I have packed on the KLR.
Course, neither beat me in a Dragrace.
Hell, even the 640 KTM only beat me by .4seconds!
Rod,,,lovin this 14tooth sprocket
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  #10  
Old 6 Oct 2005
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what's that about the countershaft? I replaced mine with one from an '89 model in order to fit a kick-start.

its years since I had a KLR650 so my recollections may not be entirely fair, but I remember it as v.powerful, as you say, and OK on loose stuff, but heavy and short of suspension travel when I took it off a 6 foot jump at the local MX park. it was the fastest single I've had. I recall seeing 115mph on the clock, but it was weaving mildly by then.
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  #11  
Old 25 Oct 2005
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I prefer the R.. Kickstart will always be favourite for me, Nothing worse than a flat battery miles from anywhere. Ever tried clearing a flooded cylinder with a pitiful MX battery ??
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  #12  
Old 26 Oct 2005
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yeah, but the XRL comes with a kick-butt Yuasa battery which should never be confused with any other type of battery at all ever and without a shadow of doubt.

there's a very good reason why Yuasa cost £70 and others cost £20. oh, and nuts to Hawker, too. never downsize from Yuasa to Hawker unless you want that sinking feeling of having made a Really Bad Decision (TM).

I like kick-start, too, but its not much fun with water in the engine etc. mind you, its not much fun trying to tow-start an XRR with another XRR along the creek in which one of them got drowned, but when needs must, eh?
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  #13  
Old 27 Oct 2005
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Rich
You are wrigth with Yuasa!Mine is from year 2000 and using allmost every day.Unbeatable battery!I must remenber my BMW original crap battery......changing every season for a new one!My bike starts 100% all the time under all conitions.94 XR 650 L.
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