When it gets cold and the rain comes there are only four things to do; look at my motorcycles, work on my motorcycles, buy more motorcycles, and eat Cheetos. The other day I was looking at my Honda XR650L and thought to myself that it looked like it needed a renovation. I love my XRL and have enjoyed many fun and adventurous miles on it. I would never want it to think that I didn’t love it the way it was, but after riding this last fall with KLRs, BMWs, KTMs, Suzuki dual spots, I realized I was riding the plainest bike of all of them.
When I first got the XRL it was too tall for me. Every time I would put my foot down and the ground sloped down and away, I fell over. It was embarrassing and kind of tough on the bike and ego. So to remedy the situation I bought a lowering kit. When you lower the back you are suppose to lower the front too. I didn’t do that. Lowering the back was enough to keep me from tipping over, but the bike still was a little tallish. As part of the renovation I finally lowered the front too and wow, what a difference. The bike is so much easier to get on and off and it doesn’t seem so top heavy.
The next thing i wanted was a little more power. A few years ago I changed the front sprocket from a 15 tooth to a 14 tooth to give me more low end grunt on the trails, but I wanted still more power and I wanted it for free. One of the things that a gas motor needs to run is oxygen. After a little study I found that some people opened up the air box by removing the top, or snorkel. I did that and the increase in power was noticeable.
The stock bike colors were purple, red and white. That’s right, purple. I quickly painted the purple black.
The bike comes stock with something like a 2.5 gallon tank. When you are up in the woods you like a little more range that 100 miles. I found a 5 gallon tank on Craigslist for cheap and switched tanks. The original tank comes with graphics, very cool graphics. The 5 gallon tank came with nothing. it’s just a big ol’ white plastic tank.
So I thought it was time to dress it up with some color. and when I say “color,” I mean lime green and some more black. I also added some Japanese writing. Guess what it says?