The combination of the Honda XR600R chassis and the Honda NX650 Dominator engine led to the introduction of the Honda XR 650 enduro in 1992. For 18 years, the manufacturer did not make any changes to the model, which, however, did not affect its popularity in any way and competitiveness: against the background of modern classmates, the XR 650 looks amazing, attracting attention with its merits.
The Honda XR 650 is perfectly described in one word that characterizes the bike and explains its popularity - "reliability". The design of the engine is primitive: an air-cooled system and no overheating even under severe operating conditions. Many motorists assume that the XR 650 power unit, given its venerable age, should be significantly inferior to modern counterparts, but in practice the opposite is true: no one produces similar motors with an air cooling system and an identical volume today. The only competitorThe Honda XR 650, which remains in service to this day, is the Suzuki DR650 - no less curious motorcycle. Of course, the XR 650 engine also has its weak points related to the carburetor power system and environmental requirements. Owners of used models immediately after purchase, as a rule, remove the air system, replacing it with modern analogues that do not contradict environmental requirements.
Specifications Honda XR 650L
The motorcycle is equipped with an engine with a displacement of 644 cubic centimeters. The ignition system is represented by an electric starter, the power system - by a carburetor. For 100 kilometers, the engine consumes 5.5 liters, the full volume of the fuel tank is 10.6 liters with a reserve of 2.3 liters, which ensures sufficient enduro autonomy and the ability to travel long distances. The transmission is a five-speed, mechanical type, hydraulic disc brake system with high efficiency and fast response. The stiffness of the motorcycle suspension is adjustable. The rear suspension is monoshock with 279 millimeters of full travel.
The Honda XR 650 has a wheelbase of 1455 millimeters and a curb weight of 157 kilograms. Reliable chassis allows you to operate the motorcycle in difficult conditions.
A unique characteristic of the Honda XR 650 is the power unit equipped with a four-valve radial combustion chamber. The design feature is confirmed by placed on the engineRFVC stands for Radial Four-Valve Combustion. The four-valve architecture of the power unit provides it with excellent low revs and traction retention at medium revs. Among the features of the engine, many owners of the Honda RX 650L note a dry sump lubrication system and a hydraulic camshaft chain tensioner. The dry sump system completely eliminates engine oil starvation and overheating, the hydraulic tensioner eliminates the need for the motorist to adjust the chain tension.
Compared to modern powertrains, the Honda XR 650 engine has a low compression ratio of 8.3:1, thanks to which the motorcycle can run perfectly on any type of gasoline, including AI-80.
The XR 650 is ideal for long trips, thanks to the large fuel tank and low fuel consumption.
The manufacturer tried to install the NX650 Dominator engine on several other motorcycle models, but unfortunately all projects were unsuccessful. In Munich in 2005, the Honda FMX 650 concept motorcycle was demonstrated, featuring an overly aggressive design and a derated 650 cubic centimeter engine. The power unit, which previously did not have decent power, was cut down to 37 horsepower in the FMX 650 version. Interest in the model was fueled for several years, after which it sank into oblivion.
In 1997, the Honda SLR 650 debuted with a similar powertrain. The road bike combined enduro performance with a 39-horsepower engine. Technically, hewas a heavily deformed Dominator, which was very critically received by experts and motorists. Sales of the model began to plummet, which forced the company to release the road-oriented Honda FX 650 Vigor motorcycle in 1999, which, unfortunately, suffered the fate of its predecessor: interest in it lasted only two years, after which the bike was discontinued in 2001 and virtually forgotten by fans of the Japanese motorcycle company.
Despite its excellent performance, the Honda XR 650 has its drawbacks. For example, for motorists of small stature, the landing is very uncomfortable due to the 940 mm seat height, but it also provides an impressive ground clearance of 330 millimeters. Some owners complain about gears that are too short, which is easily fixed by replacing the stars. The design of the rear subframe is too weak and unreliable, it easily breaks under a load of even a small weight. Many owners of the Honda XR 650 in the reviews advise to reinforce the subframe with stretch marks using a welding machine.
It's hard to call a motorcycle a two-seater, but it's quite possible to ride it with a passenger. The maximum speed of the XR 650 is 170 km / h, on the track the bike easily adheres to 120-130 km / h. Despite the dynamism, the enduro is poorly suited for a calm and measured, albeit high-speed, driving on an asph alt track - it feels much better on a gravel road or off-road. For serious off-road, the model is too heavy, for high-speed asph alt canvases itnot enough power.
Honda XR 650 is not distinguished by the presence of a decorative body kit or an elegant exterior: the appearance of the motorcycle is classic for all enduro, which, however, does not detract from its attractiveness. The original optics leave much to be desired, and therefore many motorists resort to replacing it immediately after buying a motorcycle. The disadvantage is insignificant, easily and quickly eliminated with the necessary budget and certain skills.
Compared to classmates, the Honda XR 650 is equipped with a reliable transmission with smooth and precise gear changes. Many motorists consider its only drawback to be the difficult search for the neutral position of the lever, which requires certain skills from the pilot. The minus is eliminated by regular replacement of gear oil, and it is desirable to use high-quality original grease.
The high seat is somewhat uncomfortable when riding at minimum speed, but greatly improves the handling of the motorcycle on sandy tracks, provided that the appropriate rubber is used. The high ground clearance prevents the bike from landing on its belly in mud or sand.
In terms of nit-picking and malfunctions, the transmission has no complaints: it does not suffer from congenital diseases, during maintenance it only requires replacing the lining on the pendulum, the working life of which is 5 thousand kilometers.
Features andThe suspension features are fully justified given the class affiliation of the Honda XR 650: stiffness is enough to overcome bumps in the roads at high speed and ensure perfect handling of the motorcycle. The range of rebound and preload settings for both the front and rear suspensions is quite wide. It is almost impossible to “break through” the original suspension: in terms of its reliability, it is practically not inferior to the XR 650 engine.
Despite all its advantages, the suspension is still not suitable for hard use: the front fork springs are rather soft, the wheel bearings are too weak and quickly fail. When operating a motorcycle in mud and sand, the hinges of the suspension linkages are subject to accelerated wear, and therefore it is advisable to diagnose them when buying a motorcycle.
Motorcycle brakes easily cope with the potential of the engine. You can increase the sensitivity of the system by installing discs of a larger diameter, which is often resorted to by motorists. In general, the braking system does not cause any complaints: highly efficient and reliable, it provides fast and perfect deceleration at any speed.
During the entire existence of the model, several modifications of the motorcycle were produced, differing from each other in minor changes in the technical component and body colors. Especially for the Japanese domestic market, a road version of the XR 650 was produced, equipped with universal rubber,direction indicators and electric starter. Similar models came out in a limited series and were quickly sold out by motorists.
The main two modifications of the motorcycle are considered:
- Introduced in 1992, the road version of the XR 650 L. It has a steel frame, an air-cooled engine, Showa brand suspensions, an electric starter and an 11 liter fuel tank. The curb weight of the model is 157 kilograms.
- Produced from 2000 to 2007, the sports version of the Honda XR 650 R. It was completed with an aluminum frame, a liquid-cooled engine (appeared in 2005), a ten-liter fuel tank, Kayaba suspensions and a kick starter. Curb weight ranged from 142 to 144 kilograms.
From 2012 to the present, only the modification of the Honda XR 650 L has been produced and officially sold specifically for the US markets. Models with mileage in Russia can be purchased on the secondary market for at least 170 thousand rubles.