2009 Honda XR650L Adventure Project Update

March 4, 2011
JC Hilderbrand
JC Hilderbrand
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Hilde is holding down the fort at MotoUSA's Southern Oregon HQ. With world-class dirt bike and ATV trails just minutes away, the hardest part is getting him to focus on the keyboard. Two wheels or four, it doesn't matter to our Off-Road Editor so long as it goes like hell in the dirt.

Videos Our Sponsor

See the progress so far on our budget ADV bike in the 2009 Honda XR650L Adventure Bike Project Update Video.

We’ve been slowly chipping away at the 2009 Honda XR650L in an attempt to make it a great budget adventure bike. The XR was brand new when we picked it up, but the carryover model is one of the easiest to find used and has plenty of aftermarket support and hop-up potential. It’s been awhile since our initial 2009 Honda XR650L Project Bike Part 1 so let’s take a quick look around the red machine to see what kind of progress has been made.

First thing on our list was getting the suspension up to grade so the fork and shock were sent to Precision Concepts Racing. Considering their long association with the factory Honda Baja racing effort, PC is widely regarded as one of the top XR suspension gurus in the nation.

Since it was going to ride better, the engine needed to be uncorked as well. We removed the stock smog equipment which tidied up the left side of the engine considerably. Next we installed an FMF Power Up Jet Kit and full-system FMF exhaust. A No Toil Super Flo kit replaces the air filter and cage for better intake. An oversized Clarke fuel tank boosts our range and a set of Giant Loop MoJavi saddlebags and a Pro Moto Billet Rack-It cargo rack provide hauling capacity to match.

The Honda is gaining some credibility as a light-duty adventure touring bike.Pivot Pegz bring new levels of comfort and control.Precision Concepts Racing went through our suspension to help the heavy XR carry itself better.
A Doubletake mirror offers a wide range of movement to stay out of the way when not needed.An FMF Power Up Jet Kit helps clean up the carburetion with our No Toil air filter and cage and FMF exhaust.FMF Q4 exhaust system and Giant Loop saddlebags.

Videos Our Sponsor

Get a quick refresher at our original findings in the 2009 Honda XR650L First Ride Video.

Staying comfortable in the saddle is a top priority when racking up the miles so a set of Fasst Co. Flexx handlebars are mounted with a Slip Streamer windshield attached. Pivot Pegz footpegs make for easy movement while standing and extra comfort when seated. A Doubletake mirror and Lowrance GPS held in a RAM mount tell us where we’re going and what’s behind us.

We’re still piling on the miles for a full review, so stay tuned. Finding the right combination of dual sport tires is another aspect that we’re working on. Check out the video to get a walk-around peek at the project build. 

2009 Honda XR650L Adventure Project Parts List:
Clarke Fuel Tank
FMF Q4 Exhaust 
FMF Power Up Jet Kit

Honda XR650L Dirt Bike Dealer Locator


No Toil Super Flo Kit 
Pro Moto Billet Rack-It Cargo Rack
Slip Streamer Windshield
Pivot Pegz
Giant Loop MoJavi Saddlebags 
Doubletake Mirror 
RAM GPS Mount 
Lowrance GPS 
Flexx Handlebars

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