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Honda XR


									In the midle of 2011,we're only five months into 2011 and already manufacturers are
whetting appetites with new model line-ups for 2012. Honda announced a wide array of
bikes (and quads) this week, among them, the 2012 XR650L.

The new XR650L is born from its existing legend, having garnered some serious tortuous
miles in Baja over the years since it first came on the scene. Not a bad pedigree for a
dual-sport machine.

The 650 is a street legal, multi-purpose bike, capable of handling demanding off-road
routes, single-track, winding fire roads, paved roads, highways and freeways. As the
press material states, "The XR650L serves as the key that opens the door to riding
adventures and good times."

The XR650L is a classic stalwart Honda, a bike you can pound relentlessly and not have
to worry about breaking. Just keep the chain lubed and adjusted and the air filter clean,
and you can pretty much embark on as far flung an adventure as you can dream up. This
is why the 650 has earned such a devoted following over the years. We can only guess at
how many memorable moments have come courtesy of this machine.

Bold new graphics for 2012 are wrapped around the 644cc air-cooled, single-cylinder,
four-valve SOHC four-stroke engine (bore & stroke: 100mm X 82mm). Carburetion is
42.5mm diaphragm-type CV. Five-speed transmission feeds power to the rear wheel via a
#520 O-ring sealed chain.

Suspension, following with Honda tradition, is all Showa; 43mm air-adjustable leading
axle cartridge forks (with 16-position compression damping adjustability for 11.6-inches
of travel) on the front, and a Pro-Link Showa single shock on the rear (20-position
compression and 20-position rebound damping adjustability) for 11.0-inches of rear
wheel travel.

Single disc rotors front and rear with a twin-piston caliper on the front provide braking
(front wheel; 3.00-21", rear wheel; 4.60-18").

The 650 has a 57.3-inch wheelbase and seat height-for the in-seam challenged-is a
relatively tall 37.0-inches. Ground clearance is a healthy 13.0-inches to keep the
underside safe. The XR650L weighs in at 346 pounds fully ready to ride, with a full tank
of petrol (2.8 gallons, which includes a 0.6-gallong reserve).

Honda helped invent the realm of dual-sport, specifically with this model and they've
managed to build on the legend with steady improvements over the years. The 2012
XR650L represents the zenith of the bike's evolution. Check out the features that make
the XR650L such a competent machine on both the street and in the dirt: Semi-double-
cradle steel frame. 43mm Showa cartridge fork with 16-position compression damping
adjustability. Lightweight aluminum box-section swingarm with quick-detach rear wheel.
Items like that make it a great dirt bike, while front and rear disc brakes, push-button
electric starter, and a compact speedometer, steel fuel tank, and superior fuel economy
make it an excellent street machine

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