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Hi, Moses!  I fell across this website recently while researching some pieces of aftermarket hardware that are on the 2002 plated BRP I purchased here in Bend, OR recently. Saw the bike on Craigslist and thought it looked like fun on the road! I also have a 2001 BRP that I purchased in 2002 which has been lovingly flogged for 12 years now. Reading your blog and many others, It appears the XR650R is a cult classic...Guess I was not aware how good of a bike I had!


I too am a graduate from the Univ. of Oregon, 1985. In 1983 I bought a new XR500R for commuting Eugene to home in Florence on the weekends. I had this brilliant idea to take a dirt bike and convert it to some highway fun. Found a motorcycle wrecking yard in Springfield and put all the necessary used parts on the bike to make it street legal and get it through DMV for a license plate. Ran everything off the magneto and used my rear brake as a way to dim the head light for oncoming cars at night. Crude but it worked! I was the terror of campus and nothing was off limits...The girls loved it!  3rd floor dorm (Tingle) I used for parking when it was time for maintenance. Had fun for almost 2 years until "the terror of campus" was stolen.


Since then I have had numerous bikes (including a new '87 XR600R owned until the 2001 XR650R), but always wanted more fun with a road worthy XR. So when I saw this converted 2002 BRP, I knew I had to have it. And what fun to re-live old college memories and make new ones. This bike HAULS BUTT on the road and satisfies this mid-life crises. Absolutely the most fun OTR (on the road!) I have ever had.

Thanks for the XR650R review for racks, rebuild, and tires. I will be following your BRP experiences. BTW, cold start procedures are a one-kick affair, and if I lift my rear off the seat to do this than I'm trying too hard!


S. Ellson

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Scott...I so much enjoyed your reminiscing about the U of O and the Oregon towns!  I graduated Winter '80.  Wife Donna and I escaped married student housing (Westmoreland) on rare occasions, and with the kids well cared for by married student friends, we headed to Bend, Florence or Portland. 


Bend was still a sleepy Central Oregon town. Portland meant Powell's Book Store and Rose's Deli.  Florence was "the coast", and I steelhead fished the Siuslaw and Lake Creek with a native Oregonian...Lots of memories.

We returned for an Oregon stint from 1990-94. I wrote books and did freelance work from Oakridge, including magazine journalism and the weekly "Drive Time" column for the Oregonian.  Spent the limited spare time I had as a volunteer with the Lane County SAR and local Jeep 4WD club.


Still have many friends and family at Eugene-Springfield and Portland, including the Warn staff at Clackamas.  Chad at Warn has a BRP, he was one of the voices that encouraged my purchase of the 2000 XR650R.

Though home is the greater Reno Area these days, our compass has a strong pull NW.  Let's keep the BRP and Oregon momentum going at the forums! 


On the BRP starting note, I just did an Acerbis 6.3 gallon Sahara tank install and caught one of those one-kick-only starts on video.  Expect a short video clip post at the forums shortly.


Thanks for your participation and comments, Scott.  Looking forward to our discussion at these forums!



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Moses, thanks for the warm welcome. I have always wanted to put my 2001 BRP on the road but you know how difficult it is to get a plate for dirt bikes in Oregon. I wasn't really looking for a second bike but came across it while keying thru Bend's Craigslist (pretty much a daily ritual and has turned into a BAD habit!). Anytime I can buy a clean low mile toy, play with it for a while, and when it's time to sell I can still get what I paid, I usually jump on it. This bike had so little use I knew it would be a fun adventure. Now I'm in trouble though...can't imagine selling it!

I have two sons (21 and 25) who are also nuts for 2 wheels (actually anything with an engine) and we are considering going to Washington to convert the other BRP or the WR250 2 stroke the oldest owns. I have to be careful as I really don't want them on the road with traffic, so we may re-direct the "dirt BRP" to a sand specific machine. Growing up in Florence and riding the dunes for years (starting in the 70's), I think a BRP "fatty tire" paddle conversion is in order. We ride at Christmas Valley a lot and that would be fun out there too. Put a 10 paddle on an XR650R and there is no place you can't go...it hooks up like you're riding on pavement!

The big Honda is such an incredible machine. We ride dunes, desert, and woods, but my favorite is hill climbing. You probably have enough experience riding to know these big thumpers are a secret weapon when riding with others. The torque makes it so tractable, and if you can maneuver the weight by helping steer with the rear brake, they really are an easy bike to ride. I tell my friends I'm cheating by riding the BRP...they just can't get over the weight issue to give it a try. I'm 5ft 8in 185lbs and its one of the easiest bikes I have ever ridden.

Great to talk with you and I look forward to your adventures!


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Scott...Familiar ring. I went on a quest for the XR650R and found mine at the right price with the isolated top end engine damage from poor air filtration. Everything else was spot on, including low mileage. The bike's title reflected a street-legal Texas dual-sport conversion with Baja Designs equipment. Nevada interpreted this as highway legal in the title transfer and registration. Simple...

The previous owner was an F15 pilot stationed at Texas. He knew how to fly and ride, that's about it. I did the catch-up maintenance, though his claim of "1000 or less original miles" was likely true. Ultimately, despite delayed gratification around riding the cycle, I was very happy addressing the top-end needs. This demystified the engine's condition and made the cycle ultra reliable. The top end rebuild HD video how-to rental at Vimeo On Demand has gained traction, so there's even that satisfaction.

We have three sons and a daughter, each reasonably mature. One is my "riding partner", the youngest at 33. He just acquired the ultimate XR400R find, a 2003 model with 134 actual miles. It looks showroom, and at Nevada, it's OHV stickered. (Possible candidate for a dual-sport conversion at some point, not sure whether he'll go down this road.) I'm anxious to ride with Jacob, we did a considerable amount of riding together on his XR200R and my XR350R at the local high desert, visualize 'hare-and-hound' scrambles terrain. I've stubbornly kept the '84 XR350R, now titled and permitted as an OHV, the '83 XR200R went down the road with considerable reluctance when Jacob went to UNR to study engineering. I acquired an '84 XR500R project from son Jacob when he discovered it needs engine work. The bike is wholly restorable. Time permitting, that could happen on my watch.

Funny you mention the WR250, I have a close friend who lives at Brownsville, OR. He picked up his mid-life WR250R four-stroke, Oregon legal for the highway, and really likes it. The XR650R, by contrast, has the strongest roll-on throttle of any thumper I've ever ridden, I'd gather that's your opinion, too.

Categorically agree about the XR650R's forgiving nature. I had minor trepidations about riding a "Johnny Campbell Baja 1000 class" motorcycle in the dirt after watching the "Dust to Glory" motorcycle segments a dozen times. Five minutes of riding were enough to dispel any concerns. Like you, Scott, I'm a seasoned rider at a variety of venues, both on- and off-pavement. We always adjust to what's beneath the saddle. The XR650R was among the easiest transitions, the "throttle steer" and trail braking get an immediate response. There is absolutely no dead area in the engine's entire rpm range, incredible torque as you know and appreciate! I'm estimating 55 horsepower and 49 lb-ft torque at the current build and tune.

Likely we're all "addicted" to the BRPs but justifiably. Unless you're closed course motocross or stadium racing, what better way to ride open space enduro terrain—or sand and hill climbs, for sure...

Looking forward to your Oregon adventures as well, Scott! Friend Kirk from Brownsville knows Christmas Valley well for both bikes and his Jeep Wrangler TJ Rubicon...Please post your topics and photos, I'll reply...Others will jump into this, the BRP community at the forums continues growing!


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