XR650R Common Tips and Ideas

Replacing Stock Handguards on the XR650R

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Most people with an XR650R will at some point replace the stock handguards and put on something more robust, like bark busters. When this is done the bolts and rubbers which attach the stock handguards to the perches will be slightly too long. They will function fine as is, but some people will want to replace those parts with something slightly shorter so there is no play in the parts and they fit together as if it was designed that way originally. The following Honda Parts will allow you to do this job.
1. Brake Lever Bolt – part #90114-166-006

2. Brake Lever Boot – part #53176-ML3-791

3. Clutch Lever Bolt – part #90114-428-870

4. Clutch Lever Boot – part #53177-430-000

You’ll also need on nut for each bolt.

Oil Sight Tube for XR650R

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Oil site tubes are a popular modification that allow you to see at a quick glance what the oil level is. It involves drilling a couple holes in the oil tank and connecting them with a small tube.

Honda XR650R Oil Sight Tube

The kits are provided by Animal House, Barnums Pro, and Baja Designs. I think XR’s Only has them as well.

Or you can make your own. The fitting part number is SS-400-202 from Swagelok for stainless or B-400-2-2 for brass.

Quarter inch hose can be had from nearly any supplier. McMaster Carr, Grainer, even an auto parts store. You’ll also need the drill bit, a tap, and some┬áteflon tape.

Empty your oil, drill a pilot hole, a slightly undersized hole and tap in small increments (to see where your fitting stops rotating) . Presurize the frame resevoir with a compressor or by having a friend blow on a hose duct taped to the oil fill port (this way most chips will fall outwards).

Lean the bike to the right and pour a little oil. It will drive some chips that stayed on the inside of the reservoir down towards the opening at the bottom.

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

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.

XR650R Lower Chain Roller Guide

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One fiddly bit of the XR650R is that the lower chain roller is not easy to remove and replace. If you are attempting to do it and having trouble – you’ll want to remove the swingarm. While your at it grease up the swing arm pivot and bolt real well, it needs it!

Clever Storage for Extra XR650R Brake and Clutch Levers

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If you run a Utah Sports skid plate you can zip tie your spare levers to it. Great idea!

XR650R Front Wheel Bearing Size

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The front wheel bearings on the XR650R are size: ?

The part number is: 6003-2RS

The kits can be purchased from standard vendors like All-Balls. But if you want to go cheap just contact your local bearing shop or Applied Bearings with the part number above and you can get the unbranded part real cheap! ­čÖé

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