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Old 04-07-2012, 08:43 PM   #1
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First Ride, XR650R, Hidden Falls

Today was the first day I got to actually ride my new (to me) XR650R, taking it to Hidden Falls ATV park just outside of Marble Falls, TX.

Here is my thread on the bike, where I am undergoing apprentice farkle-fu, and getting my do-jo on...
http://ridedualsport.com/forum/index.php?topic=2748.0


Thanks to my bro, KosmicKLR, for coming along, on his wife’s DRZ400! Its always real cool when the two of us get to check out a new bike, and can hand it off to my bro to try out. Its like when we were dirt biking in WA state in the 1980s! On the way out we ran by UlyBrad’s to BS and show off the XRR, and him his KTM, which I had not seen. Electric start KTM? Ha! Even if his KTM has electric start, I still respect him. UlyBrad is an ex-submariner, a cowboy poet, and a great rider!

Beautiful day at Hidden Falls, first ride on 2000 XR650R. Still has original tires…..





My bro, KosmicKLR, only not on his KosmicKLR



Starting out on some climbs, but we took the by passes since this was a more relaxed ride to get to make friends with the XRR, and not have it buck me off right soon.





So, I am coming of a DR650, and of course it’s a monumental change. The power of the XR650R is intense, hitting you in the back side like a sledge hammer on every power pulse! The first thing I learned is, I don’t know how to ride this bike! What I mean is, yes I have dirt skills, from years of mountain biking and dual sport riding. What I don’t have, is lots of specific techniques needed to ride this bike like it was born to do! So, will be a learning curve. Need to practice that “attack position.” Next thing I learned, is I’m not in shape to handle what this bike can throw at you….Im all wore out! So, getting some level of fitness and strength back, plus taking some dirt lessons from my good buddy, and MSF instructor, UlyBrad is imperative!

Pondering the drop and taking the easier one!




Hidden Falls was not too dusty, our recent heavy rains actually produced a Spring in Texas, how rare! Creeks were running and wildflowers were blooming. My favorite part was at the end of the day, we his some nice 1-ft wide flowing single track! On a couple of trails we ventured into some very tight motorcycle trails, but then came up on some very hard rocky climbs and steep drops. So, we back tracked out because we don’t know these trails, and I have no farkle-fu protection on my side cases or radiators….so decking the bike on some big boulders on my first outing were no on the menu!

Finding some sweet single track, with wildflowers. We crushed those pansy flowers between our knobs and spit them out like used chewing tobaccy! Just kidding, we stayed on the trail and made sure to stop and smell them.





The stock bars on the XR650R have to go, first up are some 1 inch risers and new bar with better bend. I was not able to “take the DS position” very well with the stock bars. How much rise I can get before the cables get too tight, remains to be seen.



We also did some tweaks to the suspension settings. I set everything to the stock settings (even on the soft side of stock), but the ride was too choppy (likely because of my lower speeds!) So we backed off the compression damping by three more clicks, and added a tad more rebound. This made a big difference, smoothing out the suspension. But, its still got stock fork oil, I need to change that out.
When trading out bikes, I managed to get KosmickKLR’s wife’s DRZ stuck in the mud…..dont let her see this. We washed it at my place. I learned to slow down, and look for an alternate line.



So how was that kickstart? Was I huffing and puffing, turning red, and puking in my helmet trying to kick her over? NOPE! Just out of the truck, some choke and fired up on first kick! After that 1-2 kicks and were in business!

The power of the XR650R is immediate and addicting! On any climbs a small blip of the throttle calls in the reserves and your up, and over! I rode mostly in 2nd gear, and only hit 3rd on some small straights, where the bike is just coming on to some intense power! Quickly the scenery blurs and trouble can happen real fast!
Fun day of riding, and I’m looking forward to more….maybe AUDS when its street legal (if you have to ask, well……)

Thanks to KosmicKLR for coming along, some good brotherly bonding, its such a kick to hand off the bike and let him try it out! Who knows, he might get the "Red Fever"!



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Old 04-07-2012, 08:54 PM   #2
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Re: First Ride, XR650R, Hidden Falls

Looks like you had a good time!
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:58 PM   #3
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Re: First Ride, XR650R, Hidden Falls

Congrat's on the new bike, that's a lucky find. The Big XR is my favorite Honda of all time, such a shame they're no longer made...
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:41 PM   #4
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Re: First Ride, XR650R, Hidden Falls

Welcome to the darkside.
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Old 04-07-2012, 11:33 PM   #5
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Re: First Ride, XR650R, Hidden Falls

I remember the first time I rode an XRR... I looked down and realized I was bombing down a narrow dirt road at over 70mph and it didn't even feel like it because it was just so smooooth... Then I thought, "WHOA! I could really hurt myself on this thing!!" At the time, my ride was the portly R1150GS. Talk about a WORLD of difference!!

I eventually got a KLR 650 and have enjoyed it immensely. Then I got the orange fever. The switch from the KLR to the KTM 530 was much like you describe. Great suspension. LOADS of power. And the bike can take FAR MORE than what I could ever hope to give it. Rsquared helped me get the suspension sorted and what a difference!! The XRR was on my short list, but with my knees, I have to have the magic button
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:56 AM   #6
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Re: First Ride, XR650R, Hidden Falls

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Congrat's on the new bike, that's a lucky find. The Big XR is my favorite Honda of all time, such a shame they're no longer made...
Yeah Honda really pulled a boner on that decision. Instead of killing it they should have added an electric starter and they would own the market today and be outselling anything in its class.

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Old 04-08-2012, 09:07 AM   #7
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Re: First Ride, XR650R, Hidden Falls

Looks like a good time was had - won't take long to get used to it, just keep riding! I gave some thought to a 650r when replacing the DR, but decided to go smaller. I agree that Honda messed up getting rid of their XR's, (250, 400, and 650- if there were more XR400's available, and a little newer, I'd have one of those now).
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:08 AM   #8
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Re: First Ride, XR650R, Hidden Falls

The XR650R is a ton of fun, and I am only starting to enjoy its potential. When I learn how to loft the front wheel on purpose, instead of accident, will be even better!

The KTMs are incredible bikes of course, and I was seriously thinking of pulling the trigger on a 690 Enduro. The XRR came up, and what sold me was its barely used. On bikes that old (2000) they can be thur several owners and very trashed. So, for the money its a great bargain. With two kids to raise, $$ is short, so I could pay cash for it, then take my time to dual sport it.

I've had riders on several forums tell me they are going on 15-20K miles without opening the top end. Oil changes can go about 1,000 miles and regular valve checks needed. Of course this is all for not riding it like an enduro racing bike, but more like a dual sport bike.

I also like the design heritage behind the bike (built by Honda to win the Baja 1000), and now its a bit old-school looking which I like too.

Looking forward to sharing some more ride reports as I get to know the bike. If you see a good example out there, I would say jump on it!
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:50 PM   #9
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Re: First Ride, XR650R, Hidden Falls

Congratulations on the new bike. I have a friend that just sold one of those while on a D/S ride. Another rider walked up to him and had to have it. I agree that Honda need to pull there head out and see what is up.

I was out there Sat. working on the trials. Riding a white 2 stroke KTM. We were widening and taking the large rocks out of some of those climbs. We need alot more work, the rain is allowing the rocks to swim to the surface. Stay on the 2 track till you get more accustom to the bike. You can easily do 50 to 75 miles of dirt out there and not touch the single track. But the valley area is alot of fun. Hope to see you out there. Sam
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:19 PM   #10
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Re: First Ride, XR650R, Hidden Falls

Sam, sorry I missed the work day would have much rather been moving rocks than assembling a blast room

The XRR is a cool bike I love my 400 and wish I had a 650R as well.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:54 AM   #11
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Re: First Ride, XR650R, Hidden Falls

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I was out there Sat. working on the trials. Riding a white 2 stroke KTM. We were widening and taking the large rocks out of some of those climbs. We need alot more work, the rain is allowing the rocks to swim to the surface. Stay on the 2 track till you get more accustom to the bike. You can easily do 50 to 75 miles of dirt out there and not touch the single track. But the valley area is alot of fun. Hope to see you out there. Sam
Thanks for all your work making HF more bike friendly! I did notice it seemed a lot looser in areas than I remembered. Yes, we ventured into some of the MC single track, but quickly got in over our heads, so we backed out. I will have to up my game with XRR, but looking forward to it. We may run into you there sometime, I want to make it out with my buddy Brad (KTM) who teaches his dirt riding class out there.
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:53 PM   #12
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Re: First Ride, XR650R, Hidden Falls

Bud, we would have had alot more fun with you there. But there is still lots more to do. We closed the bypass on the first hard climb on the North loop. We widened the original climb and took the tree out on the left. Much better. Let me know when you can go out again and I will try to meet you.
But now lets return to the XRR discussion.

Sam
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:11 PM   #13
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Re: First Ride, XR650R, Hidden Falls

Ever take it off any sweet jumps ?
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:03 AM   #14
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Re: First Ride, XR650R, Hidden Falls

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Ever take it off any sweet jumps ?
Not yet, but I'm sure I will the bike is so addictive! I'm taking it easy and will work on my riding skills since I'm coming off a DR650, and like to see my kid graduate highschool!

I'm looking forward to working on things like suspension set up, first have to flush the forks and put in good oil, then work on sag and rebound/compression settings.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:07 AM   #15
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Re: First Ride, XR650R, Hidden Falls

So, DoctorXR?
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:31 AM   #16
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Re: First Ride, XR650R, Hidden Falls

You need to get it street legal and come hits some gravel with us.
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:24 PM   #17
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Re: First Ride, XR650R, Hidden Falls

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You need to get it street legal and come hits some gravel with us.

Thanks to TWT to changing my moniker! I think it will stay the same for a long time...

Im working on the street legal part, will do a Baja Designs kit on it.

How's your XR650R set up? How's it holding up for you? Pics?

Thx!
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:48 PM   #18
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Re: First Ride, XR650R, Hidden Falls

Wow, I guess you are committed now! Kind of like having her name tattooed on your...
Sam
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:05 PM   #19
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Re: First Ride, XR650R, Hidden Falls

The Baja Designs kit is nice. I also have their rewound stator. Don`t know if i need it but I have it . I am really liking my bike. It runs pretty good for the factory carb. I also bought some stronger foot peg bolts. I should have some pics on here of my bike , I will try to find some links . Search for JMZ in (xr650l owners) in General dirtiness
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:04 PM   #20
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Re: First Ride, XR650R, Hidden Falls

whatzzz up DoctorXRR, welcome to the big pig. We are gonna have to get together and do some riding here pretty soon. I make the trip up to round rock a couple of times a year to ride with DrMike (another XRR fan). you need to give him a call and y'all can hook up. He's always looking for someone to ride with. You can go with about 2" of rise on the bars before you have to get longer cables. I have a CRF USD set up on mine and the cables are right at the limit. I ended up going with cr high bend bars to bring the bars up a little...made a big difference. I've ended up changing some stuff on my bike, so if you need any parts or help, let me know. I'm not an expert, but i had to basically rebuild my bike when i bought it due to the PO running it hard. Now the bike is great. Like I tell DrMike....when in doubt...give it more gas
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