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  #1  
Old 07-27-2009, 04:57 PM
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i have been thinking about getting a honda xr600 when i move to AZ to start school.
ill probably use this bike for desert riding and the occasional dual sport ride.

i hear about how great the xr series is, but im curious as to how well it stacks up as a dual sport. like the mpgs, and what mods i should make to the bike to make it a good do-all bike. im not too concerned about performance, i just need something i can take everywhere, and not have to worry about dependability.
any input would be great.
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Old 07-27-2009, 06:16 PM
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As far as reliability, that's hard to say if you're talkin' about a 10 year old bike. I believe 2000 was the last year for those. It was a great bike, some even feel it was better than the 650 that followed....mostly 'coz the 600 was air-cooled.

Myself, I'd recommend a newer XR650L. I have an '08 model that I use mostly for hard trail and I even run it on my mx track...li'l springy, though. I don't do much road with it, 'coz I don't want to wear out my knobbies but it's great for a dually. I added higher bars, the stock ones are way too low and a lowering link, mostly for better handling in the slower, rocky sections. I also dropped the front sprocket to a 13 tooth (stock 15). I do everything mx style so I initially wanted a 650R, intending to put a light kit on it but they quit making them and I couldn't find a leftover. Knowing what I know now, I'm glad I got the L. I've ridden against alot of 650Rs and most all their other big bore counterparts but so far, none have been able to keep up.

The L is the most "dirt" of any of the duallys. As for reliability...I literally beat the crap outa' mine and have had absolutely no problems. Rumor has it that the XR CDIs are prone to failure so I have a spare...never had to use it, though. Out of the box, you're looking at about $300-$350 max for tires, bars, sprocket and lowering link. For what you want to do, the 650L with those minor mods would be prime. Of course, double that if you want long range...you'll need a different tank. In continuous hard and fast riding conditions, I'm only getting about 42 mpg and it's only a 2.6 gallon tank.
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Old 07-27-2009, 06:36 PM
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all right, then. im just looking for that elusive "perfect bike". im not too concerned with performance, but range and reliability are huge, and i hear the xrs are hard to beat.

i have looked a the 'l' model, but it seemed too road oriented. i wont really know till i get there though. the 400 was my first choice, but i also wanted a bike i could take on long distance rides, and the 600 seemed cheap, simple, and low maintenance. and good power.
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Old 07-27-2009, 06:59 PM
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A 400 would be more manageable, I suppose and they have a good rep. Believe me, you don't wanna' bury or drop a 600 or 650. I used to think the same about the L but honestly, it's alot more dirt than it looks. It can be intimidating at first but if you ride it aggressively, it handles really well. It's just not much of a coaster.
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Old 07-27-2009, 07:10 PM
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maybe ill start with the 400 then. i currently ride a cr250, but i'd like something more trail friendly, and able to be ridden on the road.
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