The 2020 Honda XR650L is a dual-sport companion with staying power. Case in point: The 644cc air-cooled single was so capable when it debuted in 1992 that Cycle World editors awarded it Best Dual-Purpose Bike. The same can also be said for ’93. Since then, the XR650L hasn’t changed much, retaining its long-travel suspension, traditional off-road styling, and five-speed gearbox. It’s a reliable workhorse that provides a predictable ride on or off the beaten path. Tried-and-true elements like the air-adjustable 43mm fork with 16-position compression damping and the fully adjustable Pro-Link rear suspension, for example, make it amenable to a variety of conditions.
The 2020 XR650L is unchanged from the previous model year. And the year before that, and so on. But the electric-start, dry-sump-lubrication engine, tough steel frame, and sealed battery make for a motorcycle that remains quite capable. In fact, back in 2015, editors compared an XR650L with more modern machinery, and the Honda held its own, even if it showed its age. “It never did anything bad,” one test rider admitted. “It started easily and was a smooth runner. And, for the price, you can’t beat it.”
2020 Honda XR650L Reviews, Comparisons, And Competition