About the XR650R
The Honda XR650R, commonly referred to as the BRP (Big Red Pig) was produced by Honda starting in model year 2000 and ending in 2007. The XR650R was produced as a desert racing bike with the factory goal of maintaining victory in the Baja 1000 race.
The air cooled XR600R was retired after it’s final production year of 2000, the same year the XR650R was introduced. It was a long time coming as the XR600 was certainly behind the times in terms of technology, both performance and manufacturing. Honda’s Baja race team was still using the 600 through 1999 and it just didn’t have the mechanical advantage it used to. The outdated 600 was performing well in the races during the mid and late nineties only because Kawasaki had pulled it’s support from Baja and was no longer racing the KX500, which trounced the XR600’s earlier in the decade.
In any case, the 600’s were no longer competitive desert racers compared with the competition and were long overdue for an update.
The resulting bike is the Honda XR650R. A liquid cooled, stout aluminum framed, desert race machine. It was a step up from it’s predecessor in every way.
Honda first introduced aluminum frames to it’s CR series of bikes in 1997. The XR650R frame took the same path and has a very robust design with thick tubing and shared engine and swingarm mounts. The bike has a rigid feel and lost nearly all the frame flex found in the steel tubed series.
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