Posts tagged Oil System

Oil Sight Tube for XR650R


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.

Oil Flow of the XR650R


The Honda XR650R is a dry sump motor just like all the other Honda XR’s. The majority of oil is stored in the oil tank above the motor. By having the oil tank high up it means that the oil pressure pump will always have a good stream of oil from which to pull. Oil is pulled (so to speak) by the pressure pump down through the oil strainer on the front of the frame. Oil is circulated through the top end of the motor, across the crank, and into the transmission. It is then sucked up out of the sump through a screen by the scavenging pump and pushed back up into the tank in the frame through the plumbing on the right side of the frame. It’s a very simple system which is reliable and simple to monitor.

Honda XR650R lubrication system and oil flow

XR650R Oil Change


The factory recommended change interval is every 600 miles. This is assuming fairly aggressive dirt only use. For those dual sporting or otherwise running their XR650R gently the distance can be extended quite a bit.

Factory capacity is 1.7 quarts with an oil filter change, 2.1 quarts with engine disassembly, 1.5 quarts with a simple oil drain.

Here is the procedure.

  • Make sure the bike is warm so the oil will drain out well.
  • Remove the dipstick/fill-plug on the top of the frame
  • Remove the oil tank drain bolt on the front lower portion of the frame. This will drain the oil out of the frame. It can be helpful to use a rolled piece of rolled paper to direct the oil into your drain pan without it running down the front of the frame.
  • Remove the engine oil drain bolt from the bottom left side of the motor. This will drain the oil out of the bottom end of the engine. Again it can be helpful to use a piece of rolled paper to direct the oil into your drain pan without making a mess.
  • Remove the oil filter from the right side of the engine by removing the 8mm bolts which hold on the cover. Gently pry off the oil filter cover if it does not pop out on it’s own.
  • Note the orientation of the oil filter so you put the new one in the same way.
  • Wipe out any residual oil from the oil filter housing with a rag.
  • ** I like to give the bike half a dozen kicks through to squirt out as much left over oil as possible from the oil filter housing. If you do this just be aware it will squirt out everywhere. Also make sure your kill switch is activated. You do NOT want the bike starting. ***
  • Put in the new filter and tighten down the cover. These bolts do not need to be very tight. Just snug. 9 ft-lbs is spec.
  • Put in the engine drain bolt and frame drain bolt. Again, don’t strip these bolts, just make them snug.
  • Pour 1.7 quarts of oil into the frame and put the plug dipstick back in place.
  • Kick the bike through half a dozen times to circulate the oil a bit.
  • Start the bike and go for a short ride.
  • Check the oil level and top up as necessary

(This post could use some photos. Anyone have some to contribute?)

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