Drag site icon to your taskbar to pin site. Learn More

2008 Honda XR650L Comparo Photo Gallery

Take three big-bore Single thumpers, the Honda XR650L, Kawasaki KLR650 and BMW Xcountry, and you get our 2008 Dual-sport Comparo. See how this bike did in our 2008 Dual-Sport Comparo.

Not the greatest of carrying capacity, but a competent wrencher could stash away enough supplies in this bag for a long off-road journey.
Deep Inside the steel, semi-double-cradle frame, the aluminum finned engine case houses a single piston, gobbling up 100mm x 82mm bore/stroke.
The tires are a fantastic compromise between asphalt adhesion and off-road traction.
2008 Honda XR650L
A more aggressive tire geared for either the road or the dirt would be a wise investment if one wishes to customize the bike for either surface.
Handling front suspension duties is a 43mm Showa cartridge-style fork featuring air-adjustable preload and 16-way compression damping.
After turning on the three-way (on, off, reserve) tank-mounted fuel switch, choking the 42.5mm, diaphragm-type, constant-velocity carburetor via the small plastic lever on the handlebar and thumbing that magical black starter button, the 644cc Single fires to life with an authoritative thump-thump.
Reaching down, the low slung steel handlebars will instantly induce a syntax error as they are positioned awkwardly and more along the lines of a non-knobby-equipped street machine.
The XR engine is a bit coldblooded upon first start, so a quick warm-up is necessary if you want to ensure a hassle-free launch.
The five-speed transmission handles the engine's torquey power and feels very positive. However, the gears aren't spaced as well as they should be, with a large gap between second and third gear.
Hustling thru some dirt before heading home on the freeway? The XR650L can oblige.
Once aboard the XR your butt confirms what your eyes have been telling your brain all along - dirt bike.
When you've kept a bike in circulation for 16 years unchanged, you're either lazy or got a good thing going. In the case of the 2008 Honda XR650L, it's the latter.
Hopping on the big Honda can be somewhat intimidating-especially for someone who doesn't have experience riding dirt bikes.
Although it looks the part of a dirt bike, the 2008 Honda XR650L Showa suspension components handle street riding duties without trouble.
Competence on the dirt should come as no surprise for the Honda XR650L. After all, its non-street-legal sibling owned the Baja 1000 for over a decade.
The Honda motor has decent mid-range, but keep revving and acceleration tapers off in a hurry.
A quick look at the dyno chart courtesy of Mickey Cohen Motorsports reveals that the Honda is already making 90% of its max torque from 3000 rpm.
Another dirt complaint was the unusually low-slung handlebars. Although, they are pretty comfortable while seated, when the trail gets rough and the rider needs to stand up, the low bars become a limiting factor.
The Honda XR650L can get a rider to some great vistas.
At a glance, there's no mistaking the XR. Its tall, aggressive dirt bike stance just begs for some dirt, dust and gravel to tread on.