The Honda XL (and other vintage singles) thread!

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by dorkpunch, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. plumber mike

    plumber mike Highdive Deepened

    Joined:
    May 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,480
    Location:
    Right here, right now
    It's now sporting an 81 XR200 front end.

    My bikes engine number starts with SL too. I wonder what kind of frankenhonda I have? :huh
  2. loggers-road

    loggers-road n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Muskoka, Ontario, Canada
    Im going to look at a 1985 xl250r this week, from the pictures it is in really nice shape. I was wondering if there was anything model specific that I should be looking for on these bikes. Im a fairly tall guy ( 6'3 240lbs ) is the 250 going to be on the small side for me? I will be riding it 80% off road on some really tight logging roads and paths, any input would be great!
  3. skorpioskorpio

    skorpioskorpio Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    534
    Location:
    los Angeles, CA
    If the engine number starts with "SL" then it is a 1972-73 K0 engine, it'll have no fins on the timing chain side of the cylinder head. 1975s on have small cooling fins there. Top end gaskets (and bolt pattern) are unique to the 72-73 engines, so good bit to know if you ever plan on tearing down the top end, especially if the "bike" is a "75" ...ish.
  4. apex

    apex /////

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    323
    Location:
    Hazzard County
    Ive been meaning to post up some photos here.. better late than never so here are some of the XLs Ive owned and still own. I dont have a photos of most of the XLs Ive had or my first one, a '74 XL175 my Dad got new then handed it down to me.

    83 & 85 100s I used to have, I rode the red one from key largo to key west and back one time.
    [​IMG]

    '85 80S that restarted the pitbike craze for me
    [​IMG]

    82 125S Ive owned the longest of them all.
    [​IMG]

    87 600R
    [​IMG]

    85 250R durring resto mod phase
    [​IMG]

    the carb set on the 250R now which consist of an XL350R primary, XR350R secondary,
    w/XR500R float bowls.
    [​IMG]

    85 250R
    [​IMG]

    87 XLR80R rare, grey market (Japan Only edition) 4sale BTW
    [​IMG]


    Custom XRL80SR mini adv I built from an 80S and 80R
    since the XLR80R is so rare I didnt want to mod it out so I made this one.
    [​IMG]

    now If I can find a nice 85 350R I'll be all set..
  5. dorkpunch

    dorkpunch Oops...

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,384
    Location:
    Blackfoot, ID
    Find and dandy, but we're missing some pics of that 250 in action!!! :deal
  6. rpet

    rpet Awesometown

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    820
    Location:
    Brooklyn, California
    Thanks for the offer - I think I have a solution now... and for the record, my '76 XL with the Progressives needs 10mm x 16mm x 19mm sleeves.
  7. wallster

    wallster n00b

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    I love these old XL's. This is my second one, I had a 1980 a few years ago but ended up selling it. I picked this bike up this past Spring and have been riding it all summer. It needed a cam chain plus a whole bunch of other misc. parts. Here's a pic of the finished bike. Runs great and is a blast to ride. No title so I'm using it as an off-road rider. I would have loved to have this bike when I was a teenager but then again it would have been new. :D

    Wally

    [​IMG]
  8. Wadester

    Wadester Rides a dirty bike

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,123
    Location:
    'Cruces
    I am soon to be the proud fixer-uper of a 79 XL100S. It's been well used over the years, has dings in the gas tank/damage to right side cover.

    My question to you all is: will the tank and side panels for 79 100 fit anything else? Or rather, what is the range of years/models I could take parts from to fix what I've got.

    More specifically, I'd love to put a larger capacity plastic tank on in place of the dented steel. I see Clarke makes tanks for XL/XR's in that year range, but not XL100's
  9. pommie john

    pommie john Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,492
    Location:
    Brisvegas, Australia
    Ok knowledgeable people.. I just bought a real ratty xl250, the older 72-74 version with the side inlet port. I'm going to to a big resto job on it and turn it into a road racing vintage motard ( if that makes sense).

    There's plenty to do, but the first major thing I've found is some play in the crank. There's a few thou of end float but the worry is there is a bit of radial play too. just enough so you can feel it.

    I had an XL many years ago and my vague memory is telling me that I did this before, (changed the bearings) and it made no difference and I think it turned out to be the bearing moving in the crankcase ( they are pegged in place, not an interference fit). I think it would have been better to locktite them in place.

    So what's the consensus, is it normal for the crank to move a little when you grab the flywheel?

    This is the first of many questions
  10. Snr Moment

    Snr Moment Unafarkler

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    Nov 10, 2008
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    2,212
    Location:
    Billings, MT
  11. pckopp

    pckopp Aged Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,312
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I serviced my forks a couple of years ago and between then and now moved to South Carolina and back. Somewhere in the boxes is my XL250 manual, but I have not discovered it yet.

    So a couple of questions: What is the recommended amount of fork oil, and what weight?

    I am sure I followed the book correctly, but the forks are really stiff. They almost feel rigid, but they dive under braking and are not bound up in any way. I suspect I used ATF for fluid as what I poured out looks exactly like a partial jug of ATF on my shelf. The seals are good and the insides are clean.

    Are there some common mods for making them better?

    It is this bike, btw. http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=398283

    Thanks!
  12. jitterymonkey

    jitterymonkey Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    406
    Location:
    Canton Ohio
    Got stock springs?
    My '72 manual says 165cc if it's dry & 145cc since 20cc will still be inside.
    I was told to try 10wt in mine, 20 if I liked a stiffer ride.
  13. pckopp

    pckopp Aged Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,312
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Stock springs. I pulled mine completely apart yesterday and cleaned them thoroughly. You definitely need some "special tools" to get all the grunge out. I reassembled them this afternoon and will install them on the bike in the morning. My front end was really stiff, so I am trying some 5wt oil to see what I get.

    Thanks for the help! I'll report back.
  14. pckopp

    pckopp Aged Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,312
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Well, I finally found my manual and realized the forks I have been working on may not be the correct ones. First, there is no damper rod spring. and the holes in the damper rod do not match either parts layout I have. Was there ever a set of forks lile this that didn't have damper springs? Very odd.

    So I pulled the spare set apart this morning. They look correct and have all the parts. They also have lots of grunge, but I can deal with that. The spare set of forks is now clean with fresh oil ready to be installed.

    The saga continues.
  15. pckopp

    pckopp Aged Adventurer

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    Feb 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,312
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    The saga is over. Spare forks are rebuilt and installed and they were never better. Not bad for nearly 40 years old.

    Now on to other things.
  16. PIC

    PIC What

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Smythesdale, Victoria, Australia
    I have an old XL250 with the grey tank and was wondering if an XL500 motor of the same vintage would fit in the frame?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Regards Phil.
  17. jitterymonkey

    jitterymonkey Been here awhile

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    Nov 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    406
    Location:
    Canton Ohio
    Grey tank?.... 1972-73 like mine?
    http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh130/jitterymonkee/XL250/P4090097.jpg
    I don't think a 500 would fit, but you might be able to squeeze in a 350.
  18. skorpioskorpio

    skorpioskorpio Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    534
    Location:
    los Angeles, CA
    I think he's talking late 1978-80 Aussie gray tank 250. They were red in the states. A 500 motor may fit but not sure.

    As for the 1972-73 250, my understanding is that a 74-75 350 motor fit just fine and can be bored and stroked to nearly 500.
  19. dorkpunch

    dorkpunch Oops...

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,384
    Location:
    Blackfoot, ID
    1st gen ('72-'75) 250's and 350s interchange, 2nd gen ('76-'78) 250's and 350's interchange with the exception of the '78 250- it was the first "S" model, 3rd gen ('78-'82) "S" models 250 and 500 should all interchange as well. after that, not sure if the 4th gen / RFVC engines are interchangable or not.

    Interchanging engines between generations is definitely NOT an easy drop in project...
  20. WheeeStrom

    WheeeStrom Sheik Yerbouti

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Northeast FL
    I have two complete 78 XR75s that I've been fiddling with for a while now and just don't have the patience for any more... Anyone looking for specific parts PM me and let me know. I'm getting photos and the whole list together for the classifieds, but thought I'd give a shout out here first.