Posts tagged Tips

Differences Between Years

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The Honda XR650R was produced for seven years. There are virtually no mechanical differences between these years of production. The only significant mechanical change during that time was:

In late 2001 the clutch bushing was updated with venting holes and a thin galley way to improve oil flow and prevent binding and sticking, particular when the bike has been left sitting. This is a very minor change and is a very simple and cheap fix if you happen to have one of the early models.

The original bushing part number was #22116-MBN-670

The replacement bushing is part number #22116-MBN-671

If this part hasn’t been replaced on your bike it is a good idea to do it before it fails. Failure of the bushing under stressful conditions can damage both the clutch basket and the shaft, so better safe than sorry.

The only other changes to the bike over those years were to aesthetics. The seat cover and tank graphics changed a couple times during production of the bike, but of course that has no effect on performance.

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.

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!

Starting the XR650R

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If you’re new to the Honda XR650R you may be finding yours difficult to start. An XR650R can be hard to start for a variety of reasons:

  • Improper jetting
  • Incorrect fuel mixture screw setting
  • Incorrect idle adjustment
  • Valves clearances out of adjustment
  • Clogged or damaged air filter

If you believe any of those reasons to be the problem there is plenty of information available on this site about how to remedy them.

BUT – If everything is ok, there is a common procedure for starting the Big Pig. If you don’t follow this procedure you may have trouble. Every bike is setup a little different, and the environment will play a role to a certain extent (temperature, humidity, elevation). However, below is the starting procedure that I recommend, and is recommended by many other owners as well.

It sounds like a lot but it will become second nature. Using this procedure an XR650R should start up 1st kick every single time.

CONDITION: COLD ENGINE (COLD START)

  • Turn on the fuel and put the bike in neutral
  • Turn on the choke (lift the choke lever up)
  • Pull in the manual compression release lever (left hand, on clutch perch)
  • Pull out the kickstarter and kick the motor through briskly 3-5 times
  • Release the manual compression release lever
  • ** Slowly and gently kick the motor until you reach Top Dead Center (kick starter has strong resistance)
  • Pull in the manual compression release lever
  • Slowly and gently push the kickstarter a couple inches to push the piston past TDC
  • Release the manual compression release lever
  • Return the kickstarter to the top of it’s stroke
  • Give one good solid kick making sure to follow through all the way to the end of the stroke
  • If the engine doesn’t start repeat starting at (**)

CONDITION: WARM ENGINE (HOT START)

  • Pull in the manual compression release lever (left hand, on clutch perch)
  • Hold the throttle completely open (full throttle)
  • Pull out the kickstarter and kick the motor through briskly 3-5 times
  • Release the manual compression release lever
  • Close the throttle completely
  • ** Slowly and gently kick the motor until you reach Top Dead Center (kick starter has strong resistance)
  • Pull in the manual compression release lever
  • Slowly and gently push the kickstarter a couple inches to push the piston past TDC
  • Release the manual compression release lever
  • Return the kickstarter to the top of it’s stroke
  • Give one good solid kick making sure to follow through all the way to the end of the stroke
  • If the engine doesn’t start repeat starting at (**)

My bike fires right up – does yours!?


Starting the XR650R with sandals:

Starting the XR650R with bare feet:

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