Honda didn't believe in the maxim ""one size fits all"" when it came to its XR line of dirt bikes. At one time, the Japanese manufacturer made the Enduro/off-road motorcycle in ten engine sizes, ranging from 50 cc to 650 cc, but most have been discontinued or replaced by Honda’s CRF dirt bike model, at least in the United States. The 50 cc and 70 cc came with semi-automatic transmissions as they were small bikes designed for youngsters just learning to ride. All the others had manual transmissions. By 2005, only the XR 650 remained on sale in the United States, though other engine sizes could be found in other countries. The 2005 XR 650 came in two models: 650 L and 650 R. The major difference between the two is that the XR 650 L was street-legal, with headlights, mirrors, street tires, and turn signals, while the XR 650 R was strictly an off-road motorcycle. None of the models were made to race on motocross tracks, but did well on off-road trails and cross-country racing. The XR 650 R was especially popular for riding in Baja California.
The XR 50 had been around since 1968 when it was known as the Trail 50. The XR 650 R was introduced in 2000. It is only available in red, Honda’s standard color for trail bikes. The XR 650 L is capable of freeway speeds. The XR 650 R is a bulky bike, which makes it difficult to handle if the rider does not have a lot of trail experience.