Reviving my new (used) '83 Honda XL600R

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Zombie_Stomp, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. Reposado1800

    Reposado1800 Juicy J fan!

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    Very cool report. I agree the motor is a tractor! Just point and shoot.
  2. Zombie_Stomp

    Zombie_Stomp Aspiring human

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    I finally had to learn how to upload and imbed videos onto stuff for my mini ride report on the ADVrider dinner in Charlotte this past weekend, viewable on the link in my signature, page 69.
    So, here's a couple boring vids of me toodling around town. I'll try to make some more action-packed ones in the future. (gotta practice those wheelies to make that happen...)
    <object height="355" width="425">

    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/JLJQpGMtBoA&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" height="355" width="425"></object>
    <object height="355" width="425">

    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/6DWx0BrhsIE&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" height="355" width="425"></object>
    BTW, the Charlotte dinnner ride was the first long distance trip I mae on this bike, and it did very well, holding up to 65mph+ for extended periods (hours) and for a round trip distance of over 350 miles. One thing I realized while pondering the engine bugs is that using a thin gasket paper, even a paper gasket from an aftermarket gasket set on the rocker box, is not acceptable. The Honda gasket is a thick 3-layer embossed aluminum, and the thickness is important because the rocker box has to clamp down tight enough on the cam bearings and the gasket surface, and if the gasket is thin, it will clamp down on the bearings and still leave a gap at the gasket faces. So I'm definetly buying a stock Honda rocker box gasket. Anyone who's had their rocker box off their XL should be able to dig this information. What kind of gasket are you all using on yours?
    Oh yeah, I almost forgot to add, I set a new personal top speed on the XL: 90mph.
  3. Gregster

    Gregster Been here awhile

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    90mph :nod :thumb
    Toldja these were great bikes.

    I had developed a bit of an oil leak from my decompression shaft seal in the rocker box as well as a bit of a weep in the front of the rocker box gasket right above the spark plug area. Anyway, I just got back from the local Honda store this afternoon with the new seal and $43 gasket. :eek1 That's one expensive gasket, but this time I'll take extra care to make sure it goes together right and all the bolts get torqued correctly.

    Other than that, nice vids. Work on those wheelies. It will be rack fabricating time soon.
  4. Reposado1800

    Reposado1800 Juicy J fan!

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    I have reused that metal rocker cover gasket with copper spray as a sealer and have had no problems.
  5. Zombie_Stomp

    Zombie_Stomp Aspiring human

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    Yeah I might just reuse the metal one I had originally on the head with my spray on copper coat too rather than pay $30+ ofr a new one.

    Greg, that's the same area I got a leak on mine both times I've had it together and running. Because it's the exact same area for the both of us, I think it's intrinsic to the fiber gasket being used instead of a Honda aluminum gasket. This time around, I'm using thinner material too. I think it has to be thicker than the gasket paper in order to be clamped on those two bearings and still have enough sandwiching on the gasket faces, you know? If the cover is tightened down onto those bearings, and it's not hitting gasket because it's too thin, it would cause a leak, and the gasket were too thick, it would cause the cam bearings to be loose. What do you think of this evaluation, Greg, and what kind of gasket material were you using before?

    Looking forward to rack time. I worked on my Pannier boxes a little, cleaning up the insides and killing mold with bleach. I'll get you some more details about the design, I can't wait!
  6. ere109

    ere109 Ride On!

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    Yeah, I'm still excited about those racks, too. Good luck finishing all your university stuff, Greg.
  7. Zombie_Stomp

    Zombie_Stomp Aspiring human

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    So we are all ready to design-a-rack using these template illustrations I made. So if anyone's got a design bug, they can take one of these. You can PM me if you want the fullsize file of these e-mailed to you. I just took a pic of the side of the bike, converted it to greyscale, bumped the contrast, and traced it right off the computer screen. I'm sure you whizzes out there have a much better and more effficient way. The design I'm visualizing but haven't drawn yet is one with two components. The first: a rack, similar to Gregster's but a bit smaller, lower, and not extending as far back. Second, a Pannier "yoke" of sorts (panniers remvable from it as well), that I can attach to the rack with its own braces that swoop forward and down to the frame, levering some of that additional weight off of the lower frame near where the two tubes meet at a "v", probably requiring welding a bolting point to the frame. Check out post #19 on page two of this thread to see the design that inspired me to take this approach. That thread has some great rack designs in it.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  8. BrandonR

    BrandonR Been here awhile

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    <a href="http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=333910"> Garage Crosspost </a>
  9. Reposado1800

    Reposado1800 Juicy J fan!

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    I did a 150 mile round trip on my 600 Sunday. I was mostly going 65mph touching 70 once in a while. With 15/50 gears I got 53mpg. I have to sit waaay back on the seat to get it to ride stable at the highway speeds. Sitting close to the tank will produce some intermittant headshake.
  10. BrandonR

    BrandonR Been here awhile

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    Are your tires balanced? Mine was pretty rough at 65 until I put dynabeads in the tubes, now it's rock solid up to 70 or so and starts getting unstable above that.
  11. Zombie_Stomp

    Zombie_Stomp Aspiring human

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    News: I've done my first draft of the rack and pannier rack. They will be separate racks so pannis are removable. This rack is going to be fabricated by Gregster starting soon, assuming he's still up to it. I give him artistic license to deviate from the drawing, and am giving several other models which served as my inspiration as to how I should go about the design. I will be having my frame welded with tabs to mount the pannier rack's lower support bars to.
    Key notes to Greg:
    Please build so that:
    -top surface is at least level or slightly slanted forward when bike is loaded with rider weight (160#) and ~40# cargo.
    -seat may be removed easily with racks in place or at least with top rack in place.
    -center of gravity as low as possible
    -No paint or final grinding neccesary, as I have grinder with various discs and flap wheel, and acess to a blasting cabinet, so I can do the final stuff.
    [​IMG]
    Here's a nice pannier bolt mounting system:
    [​IMG]
    Here's my inspiration for the panniers and it has an offset to the lower support bars which may need to be replicated. I don't mind whether flat or tube stock, or whatever kind of stock is used for that part.
    [​IMG]
    And finally, please look at the post your pics of xr650 L racks and bags thread, which has my favorite rack designs, the noteworthy ones are posts # 19, 32, and 34. Thanks!
  12. gswanna

    gswanna Been here awhile

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    the motor , mine makes the same whiney noise i guess thats normal -
  13. Zombie_Stomp

    Zombie_Stomp Aspiring human

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    Greg, hold up on the rack... I just found a fellow ADVer locally who has a shop we can use, so I may end up fabbing it here... I think ERE109 still wants one soon, I will post with updates on if this works out.
  14. Sniper X

    Sniper X De Oppresso Liber

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    That's about thru a XL600s life for total long ride possibly end up in the middle of noehwere type reliability. So, at the very least, Id rebuild the top end and carbs and install a new cam and cam chain and tensioners. At leas then, you'd know where you stand. I see XR,XL600s go to 60K but that's rare without a top end or at least a new cam chian and tensioners. The cam chain and tensioners and the pulser coil and ignitor on the stator were problems on the XL600R....
  15. ere109

    ere109 Ride On!

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    Yeah, I'm still interested in a rack, so keep us posted.
  16. Reposado1800

    Reposado1800 Juicy J fan!

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    There was a guy on the XL600 yahoo groups who was waaay hardcore over the XL600. He got over 100,000 miles on his before calling it quits.
    The overall design is very hardy. Given it has a good stator and doesn't run out of oil these things will run nearly forever. They just begin to clatter and smoke worse and worse as time goes by.
    Most die from neglect not overuse.
    I am going to be loaning my XL600 to a friend who is going to ride it all over America after June 1st. 53mpg should do him ok. Heres hoping it runs just as good when he's done the trip!
  17. Mercury264

    Mercury264 Once you go Triple...

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    Heat will kill it - it did my XRL. Heat caused it to drop a valve seat - still got me home though banging and clanking like nobody's business. Just make sure you don't overheat the bike.
  18. Zombie_Stomp

    Zombie_Stomp Aspiring human

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    Yeah- I was hoping to find someone who knew where I could find some sort of temp gauge made for air cooled engines so I could tell if it was getting a bit too hot and slow down or stop for a while. I will especially need to know this when going through New Mexico and Arizona in the middle of July. My engine came with a dropped valve seat as well. I'm getting a sound when fully warmed up at idle coming from the clutch area sounding like a piece of metal floating around or something- kind of a light tapping, floating clunking around. Not tappets, I know that sound. I remember that my clutch pushrod, which is aluminum with steel ends, had one end tip that was loose from the aluminum rod, and I used it because the replacement was ridiculously expensive. But I think it goes away with the clutch applied.
    I've got a rebuildable spare coming from KTA, (adv'er) so I may just do a full rebuild excepting my current rebuilt head on my engine.

    New top speed- very close to 100! I dared not look at the speedo very long though- it felt like I was hovering on the road on a layer of air, vibrating on the verge of spontaneous explosion, so I didn't hold it very long. In order to make higher speeds smoother, I will need:
    -wheels trued
    -wheels balanced with Dynabeads in the tubes
    -new tires
    -windshield
    -wheel aligned in a straight(er) line
    -fully rebuilt engine will have less vibration
    -taller gearing will have less vibration due to lowered rpms of engine
  19. Mercury264

    Mercury264 Once you go Triple...

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    Joel - I have the XRs only dipstick thermometer and it seems to work well. Obviously it's not a scientific instrument but it will at least give you an indication of the temp of your oil. I have found that if my temp gets above 250, time to either stop and let it cool down or (and I think this may be better - love to hear what other people think :ear) just slow down to allow the engine to cool down.
  20. Zombie_Stomp

    Zombie_Stomp Aspiring human

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    Great- thanks for the tip on the thermometer. I'm reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintinance, and when he's narrating the ride they're taking, he slows down to let it cool- I think that makes more sense to me than stopping, because air is still circulating, granted, not as fast, but the explosions are getting smaller, creating less heat. I think at a point the speed of air circulation reaches a plateau in terms of cooling ability because it is so turbulent. I'd like to hear some real physics on that, though, especially in terms of the limitations of the way the fins on the cylinder and head are shaped. Speaking of which, XRSonly also welds additional fin extensions on the head if you send it in- I will get these if I can afford it before I leave.