One of my goals for Big Red (my Honda XR650L) was to get a little more power out of the engine and to improve the transmission. When I bought the bike it was pretty slow – probably from 22,000 miles of engine wear leading to loss of compression. In the transmission the gap between 1st and 2nd gear was too wide for serious dirt riding and a higher 5th gear would be better for adventure riding. Luckily, solutions to both issues were readily available.
I took the bike to Erik Marquez and had him install a big bore kit, bringing total displacement to 675cc, and a higher compression piston. He also installed a lower 2nd gear and a higher 5th gear.
The final performance mod was a 3 tooth larger rear sprocket.
The final verdict – I now own a hot rod Honda. Sweet!