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ADV NewsHonda’s Iconic XR650L Gets Fresh New Look for 2022

Honda’s Iconic XR650L Gets Fresh New Look for 2022

The beloved dual sport from Big Red is still going strong after three decades.

Published on 03.31.2022

Very few motorcycles have had the successful run the XR650L has enjoyed. This workhorse from Honda has proven its reliability for three decades now, continuing to be a popular choice among dual sport riders and considered one of the most iconic dual sport bikes by many. While the XR line has basked in the glory of several Baja victories over the years, not much has changed in the spec sheet since the XR650L was first introduced. But as the saying goes, why fix what isn’t broken? 

Diehard fans of the model will attest to its ruggedness, simplicity and reliable nature of its 644cc air-cooled engine, steel frame and long-travel suspension. Roomy enough to carry a passenger, riders also appreciate the convenience of its electric start and go-anywhere capablity. 

2022 Honda XR650L dual sport motorcycle

And while the 2022 XR650L is still the same tried-and-true machine, for the new year Honda is giving the popular dual sport a styling facelift. White-on-white bodywork gives the 2022 model a fresh look and the big XR throwback tank graphic pays tribute to its heritage. The styling package is completed with black rims that match the black seat, tool bag, and fork gaiters.

Black rims, tool bag and seat complement the white-on-white bodywork while the throwback tank graphics pay tribute to the XR heritage.


The 2022 XR650L will start hitting dealer floors in April with an MSRP of $6,999 USD. 


  • Bulletproof 644 cc SOHC four-stroke engine produces power and torque ideally suited for both on- and off-road riding.
  • Radial Four-Valve Combustion Chamber (RFVC) allows good combustion efficiency and high power output.
  • 42.5mm constant-velocity (CV) carburetor offers crisp throttle response, excellent rideability and maximum power.
  • Reliable electric starter system allows easy push-button starting.
  • Gear-driven counterbalancer minimizes bothersome and tiring vibration.
  • Free-flowing, 2-into-1 exhaust system with quiet, USDA-qualified spark arrester/muffler.
  • Maintenance-free automatic cam-chain tensioner and maintenance-free CD ignition with electronic advance keep you out of the shop and on the road.
  • Dry-sump engine maximizes power by minimizing crankshaft windage and engine temperature.
  • Durable five-speed transmission offers a gear for every on- or off-road situation.
  • Heavy-duty, multi-plate clutch.
  • Heavy-duty, low-maintenance #520 O-ring-sealed drive chain.


  • Honda Racing-inspired colors and graphics.
  • Semi-double-cradle steel frame is lightweight, strong and offers precise handling manners.
  • 43 mm Showa cartridge fork features 16-position compression damping adjustability and superb off-road performance.
  • Pro-Link® rear suspension.
  • Lightweight, strong and durable aluminum box-section swingarm with quick-detach rear wheel.
  • Front and rear disc brakes offer superb stopping power.
  • Lightweight yet super-strong wheels.
  • Frame-mounted passenger footrests for two-up riding capability.
  • 18-inch rear wheel for greater tire selection.
  • Lightweight rims and hubs feature straight-pull spokes.
  • Combination headlight/number plate and dual airflow shrouds direct cool air to the engine.
  • Enduro-style headlight features high/low beams.
  • Motocross-style seat is comfortable and allows maximum rider movement.
  • Large, durable fenders keep debris off the rider.
  • Lightweight tubular engine guard.
  • Wide-section, folding, cleated foot pegs are comfortable and self-cleaning.
  • Flex-mounted turn signals resist breakage.
  • Compact speedometer features tripmeter/odometer, a neutral light as well as high-beam, turn-signal and side-stand indicators.
  • High-quality controls include comfortable grips and brush guards.

2022 Honda XR650L Specs

2022 Honda XR650L

Author: ADV Pulse Staff

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42 thoughts on “Honda’s Iconic XR650L Gets Fresh New Look for 2022

    • Did Honda fix the upper engine problems? No oil cooling, not so good upper engine lubrication,rapid wear of the cam, valve lift mechanism and finger followers?

      • I mean it wasn’t all bad, it will last a while, however hardly deserves the moniker “bulletproof” the upper engine of my 1988 650 NX was all worn out after ~ 25K miles ( and no off-road…) Highlighting the shortcomings of this air cooled “only” design…..

        • 25 thousand miles before anything broke, and to you thats not bulletproof? Guaranteed your old lady, if you have one, fakes it a lot to keep from hurting your feelings because you obviously have unrealistic ideas about how long something should last. Complaining that something isn’t bulletproof cause it only lasted 25 thousand miles lol damn dude lol.

          • @Meh, 25000 miles on a motorcycle is absolutely nothing. I typically ride 15000 miles / year (on scramblers, my DR650, africa Twin, etc. For those of us who ride their bikes on a regular basis, 25000 miles on most bikes, would be barely broken in. Oil change every 2k miles and valve check every 4k miles, is pretty embarrassing for a dual sport bike, more so on a 2022 model. The bike looks great, and specs are still decent for what it is. But when a Ducati multistrada has a valve check schedule of 40k miles…and oil change every 10k miles…makes you wonder, why Honda didn’t improve on it since they initially launched it. Such a simple bike, shouldn’t be so high maintenance.

    • Why no Fuel Injection ? Would not affect price by much, and a 6th speed for highway jaunts ? Might as well grab a Suzuki DR 650 for 1/2 the cost !!!

    • I love my 09, still going strong at 9500 miles 1 new battery,1 tune up and 2 oil changes. That’s it. I have 9 other bikes and it and the CRF230 are the most dependable lowest maintenance easy to ride anywhere bikes I own. 1190R is great but expensive to maintain. RMZ450 is a blast and a wheelie monster but I have problems with the brakes and wheel bearings.

    • Owned a 2014 model. Really wanted to love it but just could not. Gearing is bad, 1st too tall and 5th too short. So sadly sprocket gearing cannot fix this. Furthermore too tall and top heavy. Fuel tank too small. Eventually traded it on a BMW G650GS.

    • This bike has been grand fathered thru the EPA emissions regulations, meaning it cannot change in any way or it will have to undergo emissions testing. This is why the older model carburetor bikes have not changed in years. Better to have the model the way it is than have it discontinued.

  1. I wonder if honda knows there is like 30 years of inventory of slightly used xr650ls on craigslist for sale at a deep discount?

    • *******! You can’t find any model dual sport anywhere for sale…especially at $7000….once in a great while someone on Craigslist will post a crappy bike…sells that day! With gas prices at 6 to 7 $/gallon! Furthermore who took care of the bikes you say are out there…non mechanics? Statement like yours hold no water whatsoever! You want a Husky…or a KTM …go ahead $15000!

  2. Who is even still buying these? I haven’t seen a new one in years.

    These days dual sport riders all seem to want lighter, more modern small-displacement bikes, and people who want single-cylinder ADV bikes mostly go for a KLR, which can go a hell of a lot farther on a tank of gas, or a KTM 690 Enduro, which makes almost twice the power while weighing less than the XR.

    It’s time for Honda to put this bike to bed and develop something new and modern. Who in their right mind is still spending $7000 on a 30-year-old bike with archaic suspension, terrible fueling from the factory to meet emissions (which most owners immediately fix by uncorking it), and a motor that doesn’t stack up to modern reliability expectations (top-end oiling issues and 4000-mile valve adjustments)?

    I actually wondered for a moment whether this post was an April Fool’s joke…!

    • I have had 2 xl500s 2 xl 600 these engine and the rest out live the kawaskis suzukis yamahas had one each only the honda survived at the end the rest took a s**t yes might be old school but the honda will out last them all you will get a bad one once and while but over all honda is the leader i beat the s**t out my hondas they died because of ultra high mileage

    • And Honda cannot maintain the XR on the showroom floor. Customers lay down deposits months in advance. I know, I just purchased one.

    • Absolutely. I love them. Maintained properly they get good life and motor is real world power. Not revvy like most Adventure bikes. I prefer to call them big dirties you can ride on the road. And I own a 701 !!!

  3. The first thing that a lot of owners do is get a desert tank. Why they don’t make that single improvement is beyond me, and suspect many other as well. I do like the new graphics and color. Just disappointed in not changing this single “want” from so many riders.

  4. Its odd that this is not for sale in Canada. I could see this selling well in Canada.
    I guess Honda is happy to let Kawasaki and Suzuki take these sales

  5. Surely reading that features description is a bit of an April Fools joke. This thing is a dinosaur, albeit a serviceable bike. Honda should be embarrassed to keep flogging this thing after so much time instead of putting in some actual effort to develop a better off-road version of something like the CB500X.

    • the XR650L does what most people want and need, it is simple, no electronic nannys, air cooling works every time, carbs are tunable and work reliably. Each new technology adaptation can be nice, but not when it doesn’t work, in the middle of nowhere. 40 plus horsepower is plenty and the torque!! Sure there are faster, quicker designs, but if you aren’t racing, it doesn’t matter. The bike runs forever without constant attention, most newer designs don’t. It gets pretty good fuel economy, (own one) 38-62 mpg, 13″ of clearance costs something. The transmission can modded if you want different gearing, try that with anything else. If you are realistic and honest about what you need, it’s pretty much all there. Racing is what it is, although in the right hands, skill set, it’s no slouch.

  6. Pingback: Honda’s Iconic XR650L Gets Fresh New Look for 2022 – Alex Auto Blog

  7. As a former DRZ400 owner I accept your argument and fully justifies anyones decision to buy one or keep one for their adventure rides. I can’t accept it from a Manufacturer that is trying to sell it as something modern and fresh, it just isn’t. It is insulting to potential customers to slap lipstick on a pig and sell it as a supermodel. Manufacturers should be striving to innovate and improve to build modern bikes better than 25 year old ones. I have ridded modern bikes in the middle of nowhere in plus 100 degree heat and they have been reliable. even when I drop them and break something they have still got me home, warning light or not. We saw the Japanese innovate the British bike industry out of business in nthe 70’s and the way the Japanese manufacurers are going, India and China (even European’s for those with deeper pockets) will innovate the Japanese out of the business in the next decade. Forever forward!

  8. Who you ask? I can’t remember all their names, but I know that they make up group of people that buys more xr650l’s than any other dual sport bike. Has to be or the Honda XR650L wouldn’t be the most selling street and trail bike in the history of street and trail bikes. Its actually hard to find a dealer with last yrs model cause they always sell out of them. Its an awesome bike with dinosaur tech, but also one of the most modable bikes at the same time and the reason why ppl love them. So who buys them you ask? Smart ppl that dont want to pay up to twice as much for something that won’t last a fraction as long is who. Or just ppl that like passing sport bikes in the curves on a dirt bike that only does 75 mph before it starts getting a bit scary

  9. Agree. I own 6 other bikes, including a very high tech BMW. For around the world travel reliability and repairability, which bike would I select? My 2022 XR without a second thought.


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