XR650R as a tourer?

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XR650R as a tourer?

Post  Zoro on Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:04 am

Hi all, new member here requesting some information..
I'm looking to do a mix of both road and trail, looking at heading around Australia and taking the trails off to different parts as i see fit.

I would like to know how the 650 would suit general touring?
My questions would be-
Would it be comfortable enough to sit on for 8hrs per day? If not, how could i improve it?
What is the fuel economy for these machines with a 50/50 mix of road and trail? I know it depends alot on the right wrist but something approximate would do.
Where would i find touring accessories that i might need on a long trip like this? Looking at doing about 40,000Klms in total-approx.

Does anyone else use theirs for long distance touring and would you consider any other bikes for this purpose?
I've had XR's forever and i would find it hard to trust another brand with my life...

Zoro
XRR Jockey

Joined : 2011-07-08

Posts : 122
Location : Darwin, Australia
XR650R Year : 2004

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Re: XR650R as a tourer?

Post  BuRP on Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:22 pm

Zoro,

the subframe of the Pig is weak, especially when it is a Cal-spec bike. Those which come with pillion footrests have a subframe which improves things, but loading up with hard luggage (panniers etc) is a bad idea. I therefore suggest you look at Giant Loop products, the Coyote is the minimum you may get away with, however you'll need to leave the kitchen sink at home.
For your continent's remote places I'd suggest you get a large tank, biggest is best here - IMS 7 gallon for instance. Also, keep the bike simple, no huge lights etc, and decide for yourself if you will need a battery.
The R drinks more than the L, simply because it performs more. Also altitude plays a role, plus of course - what mod's will you have? Fuel consumption is not over the top, especially when you ease it, but the figures you may get here will vary wildly because of the riding styles. Of course, in sand - outback - you'll see the worst consumption, and you'll be quite literally on your own here.
But "touring"? Not really, but if you're prepared to rough it a bit then it will do.
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BuRP
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Joined : 2010-10-18

Posts : 1580
Location : Pretoria Souf Efrika
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Re: XR650R as a tourer?

Post  AtomicXRer on Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:19 am

For touring, the KLR is probably a better 50/50 bike...I can't believe I am saying this. BUT, for mainly off road, and for stints of up to an oversized tank range (150-200 miles) the XRR wins hands down. Much lighter, better suspension, etc.
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AtomicXRer
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Re: XR650R as a tourer?

Post  Zoro on Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:57 am

Looks as though Honda have missed the dual sport train??
What ever happened to the XR's, there is nothing on their site, only CRF's and I really dont like them for my application, i have ridden a 450X and whilst it was fun i would not like to be on that for too long...

AtomicXRer, I too think the KLR or something similar would be better suited for what i want to do, you're on the right track there. Might have to do some research on these. They seem to have the fuel carrying capacity i will need, frame strength and touring ergonomics, for which it was built for. I just dont like the look of them..

A Super Tenere or something like that would be an even better option if money were no issue but just cant see myself on anything other than a Honda.
Guess its time for a change.

BuRP, thank you for your honest and informative reply, much appreciated. Some very valid points obviously gained through experience, i would however like to carry a few mod cons with me and i doubt the XR would have the carrying capacity to do this comfortably/ safely. Last thing i need is for the frame/ subframe to start cracking due to hrs of corrugated dirt road riding.

I guess the best thing the Honda has is resale value, they seem to hold their value longer than the other brands.

Zoro
XRR Jockey

Joined : 2011-07-08

Posts : 122
Location : Darwin, Australia
XR650R Year : 2004

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Re: XR650R as a tourer?

Post  BuRP on Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:51 am

Zoro,

"Looks as though Honda have missed the dual sport train"
Ab-so-lu-te-ly spot on, they have just about fargall!!!!
They had a good 'un, the Africa twin, and ditched it.... replaced it with the Varadero & Transalp. Good onroad, but hardly suited for real offroad.
You want Honda, but I honestly think the R is the wrong choice for your application. Shorter trips Yes, affirmative, it's what I will use it for - but long hauls alone, or without backup vehicle (Cruiser) won't do too well.

The L isn't though, it is purrrrrrfect even - this is the bike which will do precisely what you intend doing. Bulletproof, aircooled, very reasonable on gas, plenty of thingies for sale to add (tanker included) so you'll get what you need, and it will go there where the R goes, just not as hasty.
Strong as a mule, so also load the kitchen sink, microwave & satellite dish if you feel like it. Yeah, it is heavier, but I just take it you don't want to race through the Outback. Oh, battery comes standard, so add a compressor to your kit, lights for your middelofnowhere camping, and charging your phone and GPS is a doddle. Hell, put a 2W-radio on it, call your flying doctors Smile)
Point is, it will do all you want, in the most reliable way.

Oh, 1 thing: really stay away from hard luggage, on any offroad bike that is. These solid lumps, through ditches, whoops and why, tend to break anything, simply due to their concentrated inertia. Soft luggage 'gives', this is what you should look at, hence my suggestion to look at GL's products. You'll get used to packing these shapes which only seem odd, but after the 2nd day you know your way in/with them. Bogroll in the top, tent & sleeping bag strapped on top, and get a front'fende bag for your (light, titanium!) tyre tools.
Have fun, it is just a pity that you guys don't have some large predators there ;-)

(Edit: on your 'mod cons', for your long trip I'd get the correct springs. Sort your kit & tank, load & fill all including yourself, and measure sag - and get springs accordingly. This will save your ass through bulldust and other crap, but also of course yer bum. XR Only have lotsa stuff, worth windowshopping there. I'd stay away from big-bore kits, but a better (lighter!) silencer and maybe headers will simply pay off, after all you shouldn't forget the fun part.)
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