Despite the reality that the 2021 Honda XR650L is a rolling vintage motorcycle with roots dating back to the 1985 Honda XR600R, it remains an entirely credible and usable dual sport bike that is attractively priced under $7k. For those who are suspicious of modern technology, the XR650L has little of it. The air-cooled motor is fed by a 42.5mm CV carburetor, for instance. It does have electric starting, so it’s not wholly a mount from the 1900s.
Given all that, the 2021 Honda XR650L still has its place in the dual sport world. The 644cc motor will take it over 100 mph, making it an enjoyable freeway mount that can make serious time on desert dirt roads. The dated Showa suspension units still offer over 11 inches of travel at both ends, and will satisfy most dual sport riders.
Although it is single-track capable with 13 inches of ground clearance, the 37-inch seat height, and 346-pound curb weight will let themselves be known. The Bridgestone tires are indisputably a compromise, and not the best off-road when traction is at a premium.
Annually, the Honda XR650L returns, and every year we are glad to see it back. Yes, we’d like to see it freshened up as the Kawasaki KLR650 has been this year. Until that happens, we will continue to savor its company.
2021 Honda XR650L Specs
- Type: Single-cylinder four-stroke
- Displacement: 644cc
- Bore x stroke: 100 x 82mm
- Compression ratio: 8.3:1
- Valvetrain: SOHC; 4 valves
- Cooling: Air
- Lubrication: Dry sump
- Fuel: 42.5mm diaphragm-type CV carburetor
- Transmission: 5-speed
- Final drive: 520 O-ring chain
- Front suspension; travel: Air- and compression-damping adjustable Showa 43mm cartridge fork; 11.6 inches
- Rear suspension; travel: Linkage-assisted fully adjustable Showa shock; 11.0 inches
- Front tire: 3.00 x 21; Bridgestone TW-301
- Rear tire: 4.60 x 18; Bridgestone Trail Wing 52
- Front brake: 256mm disc w/ 2-piston caliper
- Rear brake: 220mm disc w/ single-piston caliper
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 57.3 inches
- Rake: 27.0 degrees
- Trail: 4.0 inches
- Seat height: 37.0 inches
- Ground clearance: 13.0 inches
- Curb weight: 346 pounds
- Fuel capacity: 2.8 gallons
- Estimated fuel consumption: 52 mpg
- Color: Red
2021 Honda XR650LPrice: $6999 MSRP