How Much Power Does the 2023 Honda XR650L Make?

Dyno testing Honda’s largest-displacement dual sport for horsepower and torque.

Introduced in 1993, Honda’s XR650L has gained and retained a loyal following in the past three decades. Known for its Baja heritage, bulletproof reliability, and being perennially unchanging, the XR650L is one of three large-displacement single-cylinder motorcycles from Japan (not including the three optional trim levels of Kawasaki’s KLR650) and one of two that’s air-cooled and carbureted (the other being Suzuki’s DR650S).

It didn’t take long after getting our hands on Big Red’s largest-displacement dual sport motorcycle before we strapped it to our in-house Dynojet 250i rear-wheel dynamometer to find out how much horsepower and torque the carbureted air-cooled SOHC four-stroke 644cc single-cylinder engine was capable of sending to its 18-inch rear wheel. After conducting several pulls, we documented peak figures of 34.1 hp at 6,100 rpm and 31.4 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,300 rpm.

For comparison, that’s 1.0 hp and and 0.8 lb.-ft. of torque less than the DR650S, and 0.5 hp and 2.1 lb.-ft. of torque less than the KLR650. So although it doesn’t have a higher engine output than its direct competition, the XR650L is right near them in terms of maximum power. Although they aren’t the most technologically advanced dual sport motorcycles available today, the trio of 650 dual sport models from Japan have stood the test of time, and are capable of finding adventure close to home or in far off lands.

2023 Honda XR650L Dyno ChartRobert Martin

2023 Honda XR650L Engine Specs

Engine Type: SOHC, air-cooled, four-stroke single-cylinder; 4 valves/cyl.
Displacement: 644cc
Bore x Stroke: 100.0 x 82.0mm
Compression Ratio: 8.3:1
Fuel Delivery: 42.5mm diaphragm-type carburetor