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Honda XR650R Review

The Honda XR650R is a renowned dirt bike that any dirt bike or dual-sport enthusiast will consider. This legendary dirt bike is on par with other off-road greats like the Honda NR. It comes with several nicknames, such as Big Red Pig and Dominator, all emerging from its wins in the Baja 1000 event.

Thanks to its strong aluminum frame, off-roading capabilities, powerful liquid-cooled engine, and race-ready suspension, this dirt bike is the undisputed king of the desert. Thanks to the support of the racing community, daily commuters and enthusiasts can enjoy the strengths of the Honda XR650R.

About Honda XR650R

The Honda XR650R is the 17th of the 19 XR series bikes produced from 2000 to 2007. The XR650R had triumphed over many GNCC and desert races. Besides its Baja record, the Honda XR650R was popular for its potential and reliability. The great shift from air to liquid cooling was a clever move that gave this dirt bike better heat elimination capability and made it bulletproof.

The invention of the Honda XR650R was led by Bruce Ogilvie, one person in Honda’s new bike development team. These bikes were powerful and never broke down; even today, you’ll find them on the road. It’s definitely a legacy bike and usually held by guys who don’t want to give up the keys to this Mastercraft.

Although it appears more of a dual-sport or adventure bike and not a bike you can use on the local trails, the XR650R is designed to handle anything thrown at it.

Why Did Honda XR650R Production Stop?

Honda produced the XR650R dirt bike for seven years with massive fanfare. Seeing this bike win the Baja 1000, a position held by Kawasaki for years, was quite refreshing for Honda fans. Most of them wanted this bike for that element alone.

Due to the advancement in technology of the big bores, the Honda XR650R was overpowered by more robust and powerful engines of the same or less capacity.

Honda XR650R Specs & Features


The Honda XR650R is powered by a four-stroke, liquid-cooled single-cylinder OHV engine with a piston-valve 42 mm Keihin carburetor. This compact and lightweight engine, weighing only 88 lbs, Nikasil cylinder lining, and dry-sump oiling system combined with an in-chassis oil tank give a better-revving engine.

It has a bore-stroke ratio of 100×82.6, a compression ratio of 10:0:1, and a displacement of 649 cubic centimeters. Additionally, the engine has dual aluminum radiators and an engine design that offers maximum performance and optimum cooling.


This dirt bike comes with solid-state Capacitor Discharge Ignition (CDI). It has a maximum power of 61.2 hp and maximum torque of 64 Nm.


The XR650R uses the 3.00-21 51/ 80/100-21 front tire and 4.50-18 70P/ 110/100-18 rear tire. There’s very little change when comparing the tires of both XR650R and XR650L. However, stock tires are 20% dirt and 80% road. If you want to get serious with your ride, you can replace the rear tire with a 140 and 2.5 rear rim.


The Honda XR650R has a five-speed constant mesh transmission and a wet, multi-plate, cable-operated clutch. This makes the dirt bike ideal for road use and tough terrains.


This bike has high-quality front and rear brakes that provide excellent stopping power. It has a single disc, 240 mm, 2-piston caliper front brake, and a single disc, 240 mm, 1-piston caliper rear brake.


The suspension in this dirt bike results in shorter travel in the front and longer travel at the rear. In addition, the removable subframe and mainframe were designed with new-generation aluminum, which guarantees balance, rigidity, and strength.

The tapered roller bearings maintained precise steering and durability. The XR650R has a 46 mm Kayaba telescopic fork front suspension and Swingarm Pro-link mono-shock Kayaabe rear suspension.


The Honda XR650R comes with an Enduro-style headlight and taillight that provide sufficient light distribution. If you want to make your dirt bike street-legal, you can get a new stator to help power your brake lights, turn signals, headlight, and taillights. You can choose from the LED, halogen, or HID styles. However, the headlight should have a high and low beam function.

Weight capacity

This dirt bike has a dry weight of 293 lbs/133kgs and a curb weight of 313 lbs/142kgs.


Is the Honda XR650R street legal?

Honda XR650R Review

The Honda XR650R isn’t street-legal, but you can register it to be one. Ensure that you adhere to all state-specific regulations. It’s also advisable to take the bike for road inspection.

When did Honda stop making XR650R?

The final production year for the Honda XR650R was in 2007, but the manufacturer had announced its exit in 2004. However, Honda still produces other XR series models to date.


Although this XR650R only lasted for seven years, it is still one of the most reliable open class, Enduro bikes available. This is undeniably one of the greatest motorcycles that any biking enthusiast should own.