XR650L or DRZ400 for Dualsport?

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XR650L or DRZ400 for Dualsport?

Post by 4Strokes » Tue May 24, 2016 11:23 am

Topic: Should I buy XR650L or DRZ400 for dual sport use?
Author: bridog
Posted: 03/18/2005 4:58:39 PM

Hey gang. I was almost 100% ready to buy my buddy's XR650L. It's a great deal (2001 with 3000 miles for $2800). Then I stopped into a dealer that sells Honda AND Suzuki, and the guy just about convinced me that I HAD to get a Suzuki DRZ400. Now understand that this guy had both bikes on the floor, so he wasn't just trying to sell me what he had. He claims the DRZ is twice the offroader that the XR ever will be.

I plan to ride a significant amount of time on pavement, but I want a fully capable off road machine as well. I live in the northeast, where we have fire roads, powerline trails, technical woods trails, and everything in between. Not too much wide-open fast offroading.

I understand the obvious differences.. the DRZ is lighter and more nimble, and features a full-on MX front fork setup. Also note, I'm a BIG guy - 6'3", 270 lbs. Whadda ya think? -Bridog

Reply by MAINEiac on 03/18/2005 5:37:54 PM
My guess would be the XR650L. Because of your size, you may appreciate the extra grunt of the 650cc motor (after proper re-jetting). The XRL is a heavier bike though (about 40lbs). I am predjudiced toward Honda for the reliability factor. I've never been on a DRZ so can't really compare. Check out my homepage link to see what an XRL can be turned into with a few mods... it may help you. D

Reply by KingTutt on 03/18/2005 5:50:26 PM
After reviewing the manufacturers specs on the 2 bikes, the choice to me is still clear. (I'm only 160 lbs) XR650L ALL THE WAY!!!!! If you're anything like me and most, you'll outgrow the small puppy and wish you had got the "Big Dog". The Honda XR650L isn't the best selling dual sport of all time for no reason. My cousin has 18,000 miles on his and it still screams enough to scare the unprepared.

Reply by bridog on 03/18/2005 6:18:06 PM
Thanks guys. Maineac, your website already has been a big help. Like I said, I was nearl certain I was going to to with the XR, and just today I "second guessed" my decision. I just needed a little reinforcement to stick with the xR. I was already coming around to that point on my own, but now I'm certain. The sales guy was trying to convince me that the 400 had just as much horsepower and torque, and I just have a hard time believing that. I know the XR isn't light, but neither am I, and it's easier to shed pounds from the bike than it is from ME! I also really like the reliability reputation of the Honda. Look for me on a hot XR650L very soon!

Reply by MAINEiac on 03/18/2005 6:31:49 PM
Atta boy!!

Reply by forgeanvil on 03/19/2005 04:04:57 AM
My two cents are that you should go with an XR400. I've had both and I know your salesman is right. The power to weight ratio give the 400 just as much power except at the top end. The added displacement on the 650L adds loads of heat to the engine and that is why everyone has to do all this arcane crap to our carburetors and intake/exhaust system. I have weighed what you do and rode the 400 much more than the 650 because it is much more fun to ride everywhere except where the top end comes into play. Besides that you don't have to tinker endlessly with things that fight all that wasted displacement. I couldn't recommend any Suzuki and the XR400 can't be converted in my state but I would never buy another 650L if I could tag a 400R...the L has been in the shop more than it has been on the road and I bought both of them brand new at the same time. I'll probably get yelled at by all these guys here and if you buy the L be sure you will have to use this forum a whole bunch unless you just tool around on Sunday afternoons. Honda needs to keep making the XR400R and do what KTM does...not put "for off road use only" on their MSO's.

Reply by ev on 03/19/2005 05:01:59 AM
had a DRZ-S, some XR600 and now an XR-L
Originally posted by bridog
I plan to ride a significant amount of time on pavement, but I want a fully capable off road machine as well. Also note, I'm a BIG guy - 6'3", 270 lbs.
no way to have that in one bike, except maybe the CRF450X but it has not yet prooven it's reliability on road at your size, with the leverage you have, the L should be as easy to handle for you as my 250X is for me. if you do not want to get a 2nd bike get a 2nd set of wheels for your L-to be it will require a bit different riding style than most modern bikes, but the fun factor is built into the L and it is capable of long street-rides as well as of tough off-road, as long as you do not want to supercross it - even tho back in time when they were 'hot' we took the XR600 on track and tried to break them - without success the DRZ on road was not much fun, too skinny, too long-legged, too wobbly-plush, the engine not capable for Hotlanta city-traffic ... especially not with 100+lb more rider have not taken my L to the dirt yet (street tires), but got to ride someone elses stock 97, felt more sure footed than any DRZ I got to ride ever did but it is your decission can you get the DRZ and your neighbors L for a test ride? even only chasing it down the road a mile or two will help you make up your mind. good luck

Reply by roadcam on 03/20/2005 10:11:27 AM
when you picked the XR650L, you made the right choice ... I am very supportive of Suzuki, but with guys OUR size, there is no substitute for cubes, and the Honda will be MUCH more comfortable on a longer ride ... and ya cant argue with that logic...

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