Archive for March, 2010

Swapping the KX500 Radiator Cap onto the XR650R

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Many owners will swap the 1.1 Bar rated radiator cap that comes stock on the XR650R for an aftermarket unit. The goal is the prevent the radiators from boiling over as easily. It’s a somewhat debated topic in that using a higher pressure cap will increase the strain throughout the entire system. Most have positive experiences with switching radiator caps. Personally, I prefer to keep mine stock.

The 1992-1996 Kawasaki KX500 Radiator cap is 1.8 Bar and can be swapped directly onto the XR650R. The Kawasaki part number is: 49085-1059

There is also a SRC 1.6 Radiator Cap for the XR650R available new. As well as a Stant Manufacturing Radiator cap for the XR650R.

SRC High Pressure Radiator Cap for the XR650R

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Many owners will swap the 1.1 Bar rated radiator cap that comes stock on the XR650R for an aftermarket unit. The goal is the prevent the radiators from boiling over as easily. It’s a somewhat debated topic in that using a higher pressure cap will increase the strain throughout the entire system. Most have positive experiences with switching radiator caps. Personally, I prefer to keep mine stock.

The SRC (Scott Summers Racing Components) unit is rated at 1.6 Bar and is part number 1672. It looks like this:

You can also swap the radiator cap from a KX500 onto the XR650R. As well as a Stant Manufacturing Radiator cap for the XR650R.

Procom CDI for the XR650R

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One of the lesser known CDI units for the XR650R is the Procom part number PE-C-MH650-A. They claim the following:

  • Improved Timing curves
  • Higher Rev Limit
  • Overrides for full performance at all times (who knows what that means)
  • Increased Spark Energy
  • Improved Throttle Response
  • Easier Starting
  • Plug-in Module Replacement (just means it’s plug-n-play)

Another option – and potentially cheaper is swapping an XR400R CDI into the XR650R.

There is also a Big Gun CDI for the XR650R.

Big Gun CDI Unit for the XR650R

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There are several CDI units which can be swapped onto the XR650R for improved performance. Big Gun makes one for around $120 called the Over Rev. Like the others it advances the timing slightly and raises the rev limiter.

Another option – and potentially cheaper is swapping an XR400R CDI into the XR650R.

There is also a Procom CDI for the XR650R.

Enlarging the Bolts on the XR650R Subframe

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The subframe on the XR650R is one of the biggest weaknesses when being considered by dualsport riders. Having a lot of weight far back on the bike will eventually cause the subframe to break. There are a variety of upgrades which can be done to improve the strength of the subframe. One of those upgrades is increasing the size of the mounting bolts from 8mm to 10mm.

The stock subframe mounting bolts are 8mm with a 1.25 thread pitch. You can drill these out to 10mm and tap them. The mounting points will be significantly strong and the bolts will be less likely to become over stressed when carrying a load.

It’s not an end-all fix – it’s just one step in strengthening the rear of the bike. There is more information about this topic on the site.

Prepping a New XR650R For Riding

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Any new XR650R needs to have several things done to it before hitting the trail.

  • Uncorking/rejetting – Uncorking is optional, but nice.
  • Replace the thermostat
  • flush and replace fork fluid – more about this on this site
  • drop and grease/replace all the bearings – linkage and shock bearings are generally dry from the factory
  • Check the valves, especially the left exhaust.
  • Check and tighten left footpeg bolts
  • Buy an additional clutch plate and add it when it starts to slip
  • Wrap a couple additional wraps of tape around the spark plug wire.
  • do not check oil level unless the engine has been running – make sure not to overfill
  • make sure the engine vent hose isn’t pinched

Great Honda XR650R Videos

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There a LOTS and LOTS of great XR650R videos out there on Youtube, Vimeo, etc. I’ll try to post a bunch of them here. If you have a recommendation just add it to the comments and I’ll put it on the page.

Lots more to come….

Changing XR650R Stock Fork Oil

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There probably aren’t too many XR650R’s running around with their stock fork oil anymore. But, if your bike still is, you should change it. The XR650R oil was known to be low quality from the factory and in some cases as been shown to cause corrosion and rust on internal components.

If you still have the stock fork fluid – drain it – flush it – replace it!

Reinstalling the XR650R Oil Dipstick

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A common issue for new XR650R owners is threading the dipstick back into the frame after checking the oil level. The shape of the dipstick makes it very tricky to line up the threads properly, and many new owners will cross-thread the dipstick.

One tip is to make sure the dipstick is angled slightly towards the right side of the frame when dropping it into the frame. This will help quite a bit.

Another option is to trim and inch off of the bottom of the dipstick. This will prevent it from interfering with anything inside the frame when inserting the dipstick.

Destroyed XR650R Piston and Valves

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The top end of the Honda XR650R is very robust and long living. However, if you push it too hard you can eventually hit a wall. The pictures below are from a motor that was running a stage 2 cam. This cam puts the valves VERY close to the piston when fully open. When the cam chain stretches a bit then Kablammo!

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