What Is the Difference Between a Honda XL600R & XL600?

Written by elizabeth punke
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What Is the Difference Between a Honda XL600R & XL600?
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Honda is an internationally renowned motorcycle maker, which began making the XL series in the 1980s. The XL series 600 and 600R are quite similar, yet certain differences are worth noting, especially when making repairs. Both types of bikes are designed to for heavy use, including dirt bike use, so repairs are inevitable.

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The Honda XL 600 is a motorcycle made for rough yet leisurely riding. The shape of the frame reflects the tough style of the 600R, however, it is set lower and more comfortably than the 600R. The 600R is elongated compared to the 600, with handle bars that sit further out, rather than up and in like on the 600. The 600R is also presented in a bare manner, with much of the engine and other inner workings displayed proudly. The 600, on the other hand, has a more concealed engine.


The Honda XL 600R is designed for more adventurous riding with an engine capable of 45 horsepower at 6500rpm, while the 600 delivers 32 horsepower at 6500rpm. Both vehicles have air-cooled, four-cylinder engines that run on a five-speed manual transmission. The front brakes differ in size and muscle power, with the 600 having a 140mm drum brake and the 600R using a 240mm single disc.


The Honda XL 600 replaced the iconic XL 500 in the mid 1980s. Keeping nearly the same frame and a few properties, the XL 600 brought with it more power while remaining about 136 Kilogram. The XL 600R is an offshoot of the 600, therefore the 500 is its predecessor as well. Honda brought out the 500 and 600 series within the 1980s while dirt bikes and off-road trekking were gaining popularity.

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