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XR400r vs XR650r

Discussion in 'Adventure/Enduro' started by patR1, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. Just wondering who had the pleasure of riding both and how do they compare.
    Im an owner of a Xr400r and sometimes love to get more power been thinking of a xr650r - one of the best enduro bikes ever produced.
    What worries me it might be a handful in the tight single trail. While a beast on open fire roads.

    Anyone ride the xr650r single trail ? does the 10kG difference make it a night and day in the technical trails.? Im a tall rider so high diff don’t worry me.
    All i been reading is reviews of the xr650r mainly used in deserts, wide open areas not much reviews how they behave on single trails...
  2. from my experience in the bush, the tighter and more technical the trails, the more nimble the bike needs to be. i use to notice a 10kg difference when swapping from my bike to a mate's. the lighter ones were always more fun and easier to ride.

    i've not ridden an XR400R or XR650R back to back, so i cant help you anymore than what i've already said.

    good luck with your decision.... but if it was me, keep the 400.... hotcam stage 1 cam, clean up the head, new higher comp piston, and a nice carb (with jet kit) would go along way with the old air/oil cooled donk!
  3. Yeah been thinking either xr650 or a full engine rebuild on the XR400, got a bit of work then to get the juice out of this tractor .

    And buying a 650R for more power and weight might be a disappointment looking at their age and how rare they are (4-5 in nsw selling) i probably pick up a high mileage one which needs the work my xr400 begs in the first place...

    Im not sure if high compression piston would be good when riding in hot summer temp. But this idea def on the table.
    The 400 been jetted but have not opened the carb in 5 years, and i think the cam chain needs to be done as hear it slap a bit ...
  4. The XR650R is also a higher spec engine, designed and built with racing in mind. It is a lot more service intensive compared to the older, lower tech, RVFC donks.

    That said, the older motors are a cinch to work on, and reliable as hell.... provided they have oil in them!
  5. get an earlier model if you can (90-95) (xr600) iv seen 50,000k's on in without touching the engine.
  6. anyone had trouble removing the swingarm bolt? on the xr's love to hear your story
  7. did i hear angle grinder? :D jokes.
  8. Go all out on the sucker and throw an oil cooler at it, along with the new piston and carb. If you then put a mild upspec cam in it it'd be a hoot to ride.

    That's what I'd do if it were mine, anyway.

    Cheers - boingk
  9. ill take the xr4 :D
  10. id take the xr400.
    Its a good comprimise between tight technical trails and open area use.
    The xr600's weight and size would play against it in the tight stuff
    depends reallyon what your intentions are
  11. my old mans got one and he's tried most things on it. he did the finke desert race on it and got about 60th, was the first xr rider and got 2nd fastest time overall in the prologue.

    they aren't a bad bike but i don't like them. they need work to be able to be ridden properly. for starters, you will boil the front brake on any sort of downhill run. my old man upgraded to the xr400m front disc, caliper adaptor and a braided front brake line.

    next is the riding position. the standard bars are too low so he upgraded to higher bend bars so it was in a better position to ride standing up. but the reach to the bars is too short, the only way to fix that is to get a different offset top triple clamp. its hard to weight the front end of the bike without one, but you can ride around it if you think carefully.

    standard suspension is a joke, but teknik in NSW know what they're doing when it comes to xr650r's, which is where my old man got his done. it is awesome now and you can launch it pretty well but it is a tad stiff on the smaller rocks etc. they have a mod that extends the rear shock shaft, so there is more downwards wheel travel. it is a worthwhile mod for desert racing as it gets the bike to be more compliant but raises problems on regular trails. when braking downhill, the increased downtravel allows the rear of the bike to come right up without the back wheel leaving the ground. it makes the steering angle at the time pretty scary and when you jump it has a large tendancy to nosedive compared with the standard length.

    you can fit a steering dampner but it only really helps in desert racing situations.

    ground clearance is a huge issue with the xr650r's. when the rear shock bottoms out completely, the bike actually hits the ground. 12 inches of ground clearance with 12.1 inches of rear wheel travel. as it will ground out on even a perfectly flat piece of ground, you really have to be careful where you land, if you land with some rocks between the front and rear wheels it gets real ugly. a strong bash plate is a necessity!

    engine wise, they are pretty good. it does have a tendency to stall when you crack open the throttle when in the downhill stuff, and its a challenge to sort it out. many companies have power up bits for xr's and you can really get the big girls going. i know of one xr650r with over 65 rwhp. if you are going an exhaust, do not buy a staintune. they are all junk and in the case of the xr650 they increase the header diameter. sure it flows more but you lose a rediculous amount of bottom and mid range. more than you gain in the top. proper exhaust manufacturers stick with the standard header pipe diameter but change the design. works much better. when you start going serious with the engine (high comp piston and agressive cams) the bike is strongly affected by a change in altitude. more so than a standard bike. if you dont have a huge change in elevation where you will be riding its not so bad but it doesnt take much more than a 500m change to take a 1/3 of your power away in the modified motor, and the higher you go the worse it gets. when up high, the standard engine just leaves the modded one for dead until you get down where the air is thicker, when the modded one leaves the stocker eating dust. the engines will last for many kilometres, but do require work. checking valves is easy as pie, takes around 20 minutes and it can be done on the side of a bush track with minimal tools.

    xr650r's dont have the best airbox design, and benefit with some extra holes in the airbox so it can breathe properly. the clutches are a constant issue. when they were raced in the thumpernats, the factory honda bikes got new clutch plates, basket and springs after every race! upgraded springs are a minimum for any rider on these bikes, but it makes it harder to pull the lever (obviously). clutch maintenance is a common thing.

    the did rims that come standard on xr650r's are too soft, you cannot keep them straight if you ride with any sort of pace and the best bet is to lace up some excel rims to the standard hubs. they will still get beaten up, but are worlds ahead of the standard gear. its to be expected with such a heavy bike though.

    forks and swing arms can be bent in serious crashes, with a huge stack in the desert leaving my old man with a twisted swing arm and bent upper fork legs (conventional forks remember). the swing arm was able to be straightened, but the upper fork legs had to be replaced.

    these bikes were designed for open riding, so single track is a chore. the agressive steering head angle lets them turn ok but the weight isn't fun. if you think carefully about each action in the tight stuff they can work, but you cant turn your brain off otherwise it wont end nicely.

    thats about all i can think of at the moment :) hope it gave you some things to think about. its not that these bikes are crap (they arent) but you have to think about where you will be riding. will be light years in front of any xr 400 though. just when a bike gets to be quite heavy, theres other things that you have to keep in mind when looking around.
  12. Now that's what I call a f@cken forum post. Well done that man.
  13. pretty comprehensive jimmy, great work mate.
  14. never owned an xr650 but read some contradicting info regarding their gearboxes apparently bulletproof to what i have read on may american forums, designed specially for hardcore desert racing to withstand all conditions. Xr650 went through many prototypes which were extensibly tested. When released won the Dakar 1st and 2nd places.
    Air delivery in the carb must be in tip top condition - you see night and day performance with a clean and dirty air filter on those carbs! now i know why a lot of xr650r photos have holes in their airbox cover ;-)

    Definitely the power of the xr650r would be a joy to pull 1,2,3 wheels but then its not california here instead plenty of single trails where sometimes the xr400 is a handful. Keeping the xr400r i invest in some stiffer front springs later down the line, but the stock satisfies me as this bike is used not to do mx style jumps but to combat tough terrain where the tractor low end torque has even put some KTM's to shame, but now after many years of rock hoping need to fix my leaking rear suspension , and with recent news of rego changes makes me want to keep her even more as it be the top reliable air cooled woods weapon !

    thanks for the above write up definitely clear some things up!

    you mentioned you dont like them, just wondering what is your choice of a reliable woods weapon?

    is this the place you talking about ? http://www.teknikracing.com/ i give them a buzz