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Honda XR650R Parts, Service, and Repair | Cheap Upgrades

Posts tagged Cheap Upgrades

Enlarging the Bolts on the XR650R Subframe


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.

Losing Weight: Put the XR650R on a Diet


The United States XR650R bikes came from the factory weighing 288 pounds with all fluids but no gas. The Australian XR650R bikes weigh 300 pounds from the factory.

If you’re anal about the weight of your bike there are lots of places to trim a little fat off the BRP.

Here are a few ideas – this list is very incomplete.

  • Remove the coolant overflow bottle
  • Remove thermostat
  • Remove odometer / cable / drive unit
  • Install a CRF USD Front End Swap (discussed elsewhere on this site)
  • Replace the stock exhaust with aftermarket
  • Use lots of Titanium!

The lightest XR650R I’ve heard of is a measured 275 pounds. Pretty freakin’ light!

Upgraded Fuel Petcock by Clarke


The stock petcocks on the XR650R gas tanks are decent and work fine. But if you’re one of those guys who wants to upgrade everything possible you may want to check out the billet petcocks and filters produced by Clarke. The should mount right up to all the tanks for the BRP. Pretty slick.

Simple XR650R Cooling Fan Install


The XR650R cooling system is quite adequate in most situations. However, in hot climates when riding slow steep trails, or being stuck in traffic, the BRP can get too hot and overheat. Many will try to band-aid the situation with a high pressure radiator cap (which can be read more about elsewhere on this site). But the best fix is to install a fan on the radiator attached to either a temperature controlled switch, or a manual switch on the handlebars.

A cheap route to go is using a SPAL 4″ Paddle Blade Fan built for a 12v system. This will of course require your bike to be producing 12v, so a regulator is needed, and ideally a small battery. This upgrade is optimal for bikes already dual sported. It can however be achieved with just a regulator and small capacitor.

The above mentioned fan is part number VA32-A101-62A and is similar to the fans found on a stock KTM 4 banger. The KTM fan can be used as well, but it is more expensive.

KTM Fan from all their RFS motors looks like this:

KTM Fan Installed:

With a little bending and trimming the SPAL fan can be mounted to the existing tabs on the right radiator of the XR650, then a simple handlebar switch can be installed. The fan doesn’t use much power 124 cfm @ 1.9amps but I always run a 3 amp switch to things just to but super safe. The mounting holes are 3.23″ apart, and the fan thickness is 2.36″. It can be found from vendors on eBay, or through industrial supply companies.

It can also be installed a little more gracefully with a custom bracket made up.

The fans have been confirmed to fit with the Stock gas tank, the Acerbis 6.3 gallon tank, and the IMS 4 gallon tanks. It does NOT fit with the Clarke 4.3 tank.

There are of course other fans of similar size that can work. CMP Racing out of Michigan carries a fan of similar size – though I do not have specific details on it. Looks like this:


4Strokes .com did a Cooling fan writeup a while back that included dimensions for building a mounting plate for the fan. Here is the PDF: Honda_XR650R_Cooling_Fan_Install_With_Custom_Frame

Swapping an XR400R CDI into the XR650R


The CDI from a 1996-1997 XR400R can be fitted to the XR650R. The XR400R CDI is known to produce a noticeable difference in higher revs on the XR650R. It is said to run cleaner and peak slightly higher. It does this by advancing the timing a few degrees and extending the rev limiter. (Part number 2650, NOT part number 2740).

The CDI is made by Denso and the Denso part number is 070000-2650.

The CDI can also be purchased through Honda with the Honda Part number 30410-KCY-671 or 30410-KCY-761.

The female pigtail connector on a Honda XR650R CDI looks like this:

ONLY the 1996-1997 XR400 CDI will work. Other models are incorrect.

There is also a Big Gun CDI for the XR650R. As well as a Procom CDI for the XR650R.

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