Honda XR650L: Lightweight Adventurer

Christian P.

Expedition Leader
Staff member
Christian taking the new ExPo Honda out for a spin.
Phil thanks for posting this. I should be back in Prescott in a couple weeks, maybe we can go on another ride?

The XR was one of my first real bikes. it was (and still is) too tall for me but I still have very fond memories of riding all over Northern Quebec with it.

That was before Expo....no camera, no gps, just some basic maps...

I remember one long weekend, we were supposed to be back by lunch on Monday so my friend can meet his gf for her birthday after riding 1000 miles....
That never happened, it started snowing so bad we had to stop and sleep in some remote fishing camp - in July!!!!! it was getting very late and the stock headlight is not very helpful.
 

Snafu

Adventurer
I love that video posted! Is that his horn I'm hearing??!!

I've been torn between one of these or a KLR...not sure where to go but this really really looks slimmed down and more capable in the tough stuff
 
Phil thanks for posting this. I should be back in Prescott in a couple weeks, maybe we can go on another ride?
I would love that, but I was laid off two days ago. It looks like I will be bumming around Phoenix for a bit looking for a full-time job and a place to live. I wish I could stay in Prescott, but got to go where I can find work.

When you get back though let me know and maybe we can work something out.
 
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Hltoppr

El Gringo Spectacular!
My first bike was an XRL....excellent choice. I kept it light. Clarke tank was a must. Number plate bag in place of a tank bag, which I always found annoying when off road. Small, soft panniers and a small pelican case bolted to the rear rack for secure storage. Good enough for Baja, Mainland Mexico and back...

-H-

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watrboy

Observer
BRP or "Big Red Pig"

I spent quite alot of comparison shopping before settling on a BRP. I can't remember having so much fun with so little invested. I am partial to Honda and owned a SL100 as my 1st. Several XL sizes later and a number of cruisers left me wanting for an explorer bike.
If your inseam fits, the BRP will chase down a fire road and still put some serious pavement miles down. I have done the usual tweaks.
de-Smog
TCI Skidplate
tail rack and bag
Wolfman Enduro Tank Bag
2" Rox Risers
TCI Windscreen
I will re-jet soon
I like the magic button and the dead simple engine. Dependable and plenty powerful for me.
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Enjoy
 

Ray Hyland

Expedition Leader
I really like the way you set that up. Especially the risers. The risers we ordered are very stable and nicely machined, but still a little low. The Rox risers look like a very nice design.

I am looking into the Rally Raid UK windscreen/fairing though. I like that look and I hear it is quite good in windy highway conditions since it is frame mounted.
 

watrboy

Observer
The Rally Raid looks like a good option. The windscreen I have did help settle the bike down when making time at 60 to 70 mph. I did a 110 mile loop on Sunday in some 40 mph winds, both head and cross. Never felt unsettled. The windscreen cured a problem of cross winds at 65 mph. I will install a Clarke 4.7 gallon tank in the next few weeks. It is scheduled to arrive next week. I have maxxis knobbies now and trying to decide on the next set of tires. Maybe try Mefo. Barkbusters are coming in next also. I hope to have it done and ride to the expo in May in Flagstaff.
 

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mhiscox

Expedition Leader
I didn't know about the Rallye Raid screen, but I did make something like it, and considerably improve the wind protection on my XR, by clamping a Touratech windscreen spoiler to the top of the Baja Designs headlamp plastic. (It's a little hard to see, what with being transparent and all . . . )

P4261214--screen highlight.jpg

P4261221.jpg

windscreen.jpg

As with most things Touratech, it seems a little expensive for what it is, but at my 5"10" height, the added screen does a good job of taking the wind off my midsection while leaving my head in clear air and I'm glad I have it.

The link is here: http://www.touratech-usa.com/Store/PN-040-1390/Windscreen-Spoiler-Universal-Clamp-on
 

mhiscox

Expedition Leader
Mike: Your bike looks awesome! I really like the racing stripes.
Thanks. I don't get much credit; the PO who did the build up had it done. But I like it a lot. In a sea of XRs with red and natural plastic tanks, having a steel tank with the old-school paint job is worth losing some fuel capacity. (And the 2.8 gallon capacity is almost always enough.)
 

mhiscox

Expedition Leader
Were those plastics painted or are they molded black?
All molded black from the git-go. Probably just as well, at least in my case, as my Giant Loop MoJavi bags are sitting right across the top of the side panels and have already scuffed the plastic significantly.
 

watrboy

Observer
Cool, how does the information readout work?
Does it have a tach in there?
The 2.8 is almost always not quite enough for me, reserve is used a lot for me and I get nervous. I have a Clarke in the mail coming now.
I envy your Jeep, lots of nice toys there.
 

mhiscox

Expedition Leader
Cool, how does the information readout work? Does it have a tach in there?
Funny that you should mention it, as the unit is starting to lose contrast and I therefore bought a Trailtech Vapor Unit which does all of the things this one did plus some others. Plus it has an available holder that is also slicker. http://www.trailtech.net/vapor

The 2.8 is almost always not quite enough for me, reserve is used a lot for me and I get nervous. I have a Clarke in the mail coming now.
I see the point, but I'm unlikely to be on a long trip in the wild without a support vehicle with some fuel on it. If I was really adventure touring instead of play biking, I'd pretty much have to break down and get a bigger one.

I envy your Jeep, lots of nice toys there.
Thanks. There are plans to carry the XR on the back occasionally using my Joe Hauler carrier. I think it will work OK on smooth roads; the Jeep's rear bumper is attached pretty well.
 
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