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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 9 Jul 2000
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XR650L

I'm thinking of travelling from Buenos Aires, through Patagonia, up Chile, Peru and flying home (the UK) from Equador. I haven't bought the bike yet and am a bit lost in a quagmire of 'X's, 'T's, 'K' and 'E's. I amd looking a possibly getting an XR650L because they are strong but have heard they are a pain because of their weight. Is this the case? When I'm not travelling I'll also want to use it at weekends in the UK for 'Green Laning'. Any advice?
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Old 9 Jul 2000
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Because of their weight ??
Yes, for "real dirt riding" they are a hefty bike - compared to say a nice 125 or 250 two-stroke!
For the kind of riding you are talking about, a mix of paved and dirt roads, with occasional stretch of rough dirt or mud, an XR650L would do just fine.

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Old 10 May 2012
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I just bought my 2012 XR 2 fridays ago and I am very happy with my purchase.....I ride about 150km of highways and paved roads to get to the trails and dirt roads I like and some of them are quite difficult and I never have a problem with maneuvering the bike through the trees and trails here in Ontario.
I haven't noticed anything about the weight....it is what it is.......it's a little of a tall bike and maybe that is why people think that it's heavy but, I like the additional height....gives a better perspective of the road and trails ahead.
I road 400km's on the last saturday and 300km's on the sunday and loved it!!

Hope you enjoy a XR soon too!!
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Old 10 May 2012
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Having recently bought a Honda basket case I'm now quite well informed on all the X's T' and R's !

Note that the XR650L was a model sold only in the US and from what I can gather for a limited period of time only. Parts availability probably isn't great for this bike in south america, so you may want to consider this when you go through the pros and cons. I think the XR 600/650 (both R and 'non R') models may be more popular, but they can suffer top end problems, so reliability would possibly be more of an issue.

Hope that helps rather than confuses things
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Old 10 May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garmei View Post
Having recently bought a Honda basket case I'm now quite well informed on all the X's T' and R's !

Note that the XR650L was a model sold only in the US and from what I can gather for a limited period of time only. Parts availability probably isn't great for this bike in south america, so you may want to consider this when you go through the pros and cons. I think the XR 600/650 (both R and 'non R') models may be more popular, but they can suffer top end problems, so reliability would possibly be more of an issue.

Hope that helps rather than confuses things
The XR650L is still a current model in Hondas lineup in the US.
The XR600R and the XR650L are actually very similar and can share quite a number of engine parts unlike the watercooled and discontinued XR650R.
NX650 Dominator shares the same engine as does the Vigor, FMX and SLR some of which may have been sold in the South American market.
These are strong engines if serviced, its not unknown to see bikes with mileage north of 70k miles if looked after, there was one sold recently with over 100k on the clock that was still running fine.
One big thing is to rejet from the superlean jetting for better performance and a cooler running engine while also removing the smog octopus.
Chris Scott on here bought a few for a run down to the Sahara a few years back the writeup is on his AMH site.
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