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Discussion Starter #1
It never ceases to amaze me how a few hours of time can turn a factory turd into a legitimate piece of off road equipment. A friend of mine is just getting into trail riding and I helped him pick out a clean '03 XR250R. It looked bone stock and appeared to have very little time on it so we grabbed it up. Even though it seemed a little weak on the test ride and was hard to start, it had great bottom end and a little reading convinced me that the suspension was in a different league than a lot of 225-250 class trail bikes, a good combination for a fresh trail rider. After a little more reading, I discovered that the hard starting seemed to be another factory fumble, easily fixed by the recommended uncorking mods.

While waiting on the air filter and jets to arrive, I had time to pull the powdered factory filter and snorkel as well as address the crazy ass welds that the factory leaves in the headers.

xr1.jpg xr2.jpg xr3.jpg

And the exhaust baffle is laughable so it had to go. Why do factories do this to bikes that aren't even marketed as street bikes? Yes it's nice to have a spark control device but there was no way in hell the "removable" baffle was coming out without cutting the spark screen off and knocking it out with a hammer.

xr4.jpg

After installing the UNI filter, new jets, removing the snorkel, grinding the header welds and pulling the baffle, the bike has gone from a nearly silent granny class bike, albeit a tall granny, to a very capable trail machine with a much better sound, for what that's worth. ;) What a difference a few hours can make. I highly recommend doing these mods or having your local mechanic do them for you. This applies to many street bikes as well. The factory almost always leaves a little performance somewhere for the customer to tap into.
 

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Did roughly the same thing to my nephew's TTR125 a few years ago. Transformed the bike performance-wise besides making it start and idle so much better than stock.
 

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I did this to my XR650L before I sold it although I made a true megaphone with super trapp cap + an 40mm FCR off a crf450r The carb made a day and night difference in the bikes performance and attitude. Twits to wheelie in first and second. Just sold the XRL as it was really too tall for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My first dirt bike was a late 90's XR650L. Great bike but the guys I was riding with were way too fast to keep up with on a bike that heavy, at least at my skill level. The single track we ride is very tight and the elevation changes can get very aggressive. The last thing I want to be thinking about when deciding whether or not to attempt the hard line is how much more damage that extra 100 lbs is going to do when it comes crashing down on me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Did roughly the same thing to my nephew's TTR125 a few years ago. Transformed the bike performance-wise besides making it start and idle so much better than stock.
I was on the fence as to whether or not the 250 had enough balls to make a decent amateur trail bike for a 300 pounder but all doubts were removed after the mods. Add a little suspension work and I'd be really happy with one for myself in place of the "yanking arms out of socket" power and ride of my KX. Granted, after spending another $1500 or so on suspension valving and top end work on my 2 stroke, I'd probably lean back towards preferring it, but that's still almost a couple of grand away.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I give the XRL a little more off road credit than that. I just don't fancy the idea of hour long rides full of whipping it around tight corners or having it fall on me. The 650R is definitely more trail friendly but even that PIG is more at home on high speed off road terrain, as opposed to the enduro style riding we do.
 

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I have done a hare and hound on a XRL...
its a tiring tool to pick up over and over in a traffic jammed uphill mess. Bought a yamaha very prepped wr426 after that race. It was too much bike for me to be honest.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hare scrambles are the usual type of event around here. TORCS is the local organization but I don't race because I know I'd end up in the ER just to gain one more position. LOL
 

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It never ceases to amaze me how a few hours of time can turn a factory turd into a legitimate piece of off road equipment. A friend of mine is just getting into trail riding and I helped him pick out a clean '03 XR250R. It looked bone stock and appeared to have very little time on it so we grabbed it up. Even though it seemed a little weak on the test ride and was hard to start, it had great bottom end and a little reading convinced me that the suspension was in a different league than a lot of 225-250 class trail bikes, a good combination for a fresh trail rider. After a little more reading, I discovered that the hard starting seemed to be another factory fumble, easily fixed by the recommended uncorking mods.

While waiting on the air filter and jets to arrive, I had time to pull the powdered factory filter and snorkel as well as address the crazy ass welds that the factory leaves in the headers.

View attachment 7466 View attachment 7467 View attachment 7468

And the exhaust baffle is laughable so it had to go. Why do factories do this to bikes that aren't even marketed as street bikes? Yes it's nice to have a spark control device but there was no way in hell the "removable" baffle was coming out without cutting the spark screen off and knocking it out with a hammer.

View attachment 7469

After installing the UNI filter, new jets, removing the snorkel, grinding the header welds and pulling the baffle, the bike has gone from a nearly silent granny class bike, albeit a tall granny, to a very capable trail machine with a much better sound, for what that's worth. ;) What a difference a few hours can make. I highly recommend doing these mods or having your local mechanic do them for you. This applies to many street bikes as well. The factory almost always leaves a little performance somewhere for the customer to tap into.
XRs are sold for road legal use in many countries. That explains restrictors and such. They were never a pure race bike like a CR.
 
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