The Honda XL (and other vintage singles) thread!

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

  1. Yokomo

    Yokomo Gorilla Adventurer

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    Sorry I can't help. I don't know.
  2. jitterymonkey

    jitterymonkey Been here awhile

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    Nov 18, 2010
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    Canton Ohio
    I'd just keep looking for a '72-'73 XL tach. Don't know about Australia,
    but, good used ones aren't to hard to find here in the U.S.
  3. orangebear

    orangebear Long timer

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    dumfrie scotland
    on my old xl i just had a cheap speedo off ebay and just had to make sure the cable size is right.
  4. craig10

    craig10 n00b

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    Jan 4, 2013
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    Scotland
    Here's mine, a 1976 XL125k2

    [​IMG]
  5. MoMan

    MoMan PigPen

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    Sep 16, 2003
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    666
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    [​IMG]

    finally got most of the NOS & other stuff I can think of to start the tear down, but have been unemployed for too many months and I fear opening up this beauty if I can't afford to get any other parts I might need (can of worms)

  6. OLDschool1

    OLDschool1 Adventurer

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    Riverbank, Ca.

    A set of the xl250 on ebay for $36 free shipping http://www.ebay.com/itm/H-00313-Hon...Parts_Accessories&hash=item27bc1133ea&vxp=mtr

    Granted they are not in the best shape but with a little paint they will look good... If you don't like em patience is your friend. These bike are old and sometime take a while a for part to show up. I waited 6 months from my box wire case for my XL500R before one came up.Good luck...
  7. greybeard50

    greybeard50 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
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    37
    Location:
    Peru, IN aka "the flats"
    Broken motor in my 1974 XL 125...Rebuild to larger nets ~150cc @ $5-600 cost.

    Has anyone swapped in an already larger motor? XR 200? XL 175??

    The Lifan pushrod 200 fits into a XL 100 frame & so I assume the 125 frame also, but I'm trying to stay with the "General".

    Anyone have experience?
  8. pommie john

    pommie john Long timer

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    Brisvegas, Australia
    Thanks for the heads up.
    I ordered one of these a week ago :

    [​IMG]

    Turned the motor over and it took 7 turns of the crank to turn the tacho cable once, so I'm hoping that means the 7:1 tacho ratio is correct .
  9. craig10

    craig10 n00b

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    The xl185 motor goes straight in with a minor mod to the frame to clear the lump at the back of the kickstart, and taking the bolt holes out to 10mm. I'm currently working on putting a 185 barrel on a 125 six speed bottom end with a 185 crank and a one-off 125k2 cyl head converted to roller bearings on the cam.

    There's a lot of info around on the net if you look for it.
  10. 78_XL125

    78_XL125 Adventurer

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    Jul 23, 2012
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    Location:
    (Northern/GB) Wisconsin
    Anyone know where I can find information on stiffer fork springs and suspension mods for a 1978 Honda XL125? I am 165lbs and I bottom the front wheel out (wheel to fender) every time i go over a rut or big tree root. The front suspension has probably never been serviced. I would assume it needs new oil and seals, but I wanted to know where I would be able to find stiffer springs if i'm tearing into it. I'm not planning on taking it over motocross jumps, but i would like a little improvement. I have yet to find a place that sells stiffer fork springs for the XL125, would springs from a newer bike work? On the road it does just fine besides the usual front dipping under hard braking force. Any enlightenment would be greatly appreciated.
  11. skorpioskorpio

    skorpioskorpio Been here awhile

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    Well a couple things you can do, first off if there isn't any oil in the forks they will probably bottom out, second it was typical back then to use ATF as fork oil, it's even the recommended oil in the Honda service manuals. Now we have varying weight fork oils (ATF is effectively <5W). You may try using a heavier fork oil, say 15-20W, this will give you more resistive damping in the forks while maintaining the same spring rate. You can preload the forks by putting a spacer between the caps and the springs, this will stiffen the effective spring rate but the springs will bind sooner. Lastly you can look for either new replacement springs or progressive springs. I'm not absolutely sure on the 125, but there is probably 3 springs in each fork, a very short one at the bottom (the rebound spring) and 2 stacked springs with a spacer between them which provide dual rate loading. Progressive springs will replace both of those stacked springs and will compress harder the more they are compressed. Springs are sized by diameter and uncompressed length plus a rate.

    On my 250s I use 15W oil, about 3/4 inch of preload (and I have adjustable caps to add more if I want) and progressive springs that are about 1/2 longer than the proper size. My setup would probably be too stiff for much jumping but then again I'm starting to drift into "old guy" territory so I'm really not looking for jumps. This setup plus a fork brace and Works Shocks spec'd for more street than dirt (custom made, you tell them how you want them... not cheap, but a bargain compared to Ohlins) on the back and the bikes have become quite sticky on the street. Before the bikes felt like they bounced around almost unrelated to the surface and felt a bit weightless over bumps, now it feels like the tires are always being shoved into the ground, like the bike is really attached and not just kind of flowing over the surface.
  12. 78_XL125

    78_XL125 Adventurer

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    Jul 23, 2012
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    Location:
    (Northern/GB) Wisconsin
    Thanks for the info! Where did you get the adjustable fork caps? Are they a standard size made for newer models? What material do you use for the fork spring spacer? Thanks again!
  13. skorpioskorpio

    skorpioskorpio Been here awhile

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    The fork caps on early XL250s and 350s are the same as CB750s, the caps add about 3/4" of preload over stock caps. The caps are a custom milled CNC item from ttr400.com in South Africa. The springs I use are S&W progressive springs for a 74-75 XL350 but I use them in a 72 XL fork tube which is about a half an inch shorter than the 350 tubes. But again this is not necessarily relevant to the 125. I also use taper bearings in the steering head, and a modular fork brace from Tarozzi. As far as a simple preload spacer, there is a whole host of materials you could make them from, aluminum rod, black iron pipe, brass or bronze rod. Black iron pipe is probably the cheapest and easiest, bronze probably the best as it will saturate with the fork oil and let the spring spin easier when it compresses, especially if it happens to bind. Rod is just about any material is available from McMaster.com under RawMaterials/Metals.
  14. Yokomo

    Yokomo Gorilla Adventurer

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    I've used PVC pipe for spacers.
  15. cvd6262

    cvd6262 n00by-est

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    Jan 26, 2013
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    Location:
    Utah
    Hey all,

    I'm totally new to the board, and I only joined because this thread is the best source of vintage XL info I've found during hours of scouring the interwebs.

    I'm just getting into riding, and I needed something cheap and reliable, so I bought my neighbor's 1981 XL185s. I want to commute on it (10 miles each way) when the weather is good, and ride fire roads when I go camping/hunting. I'm a little guy (150lbs), so the 185 seems to have all the power this newbie needs.

    The bike runs and shifts great, but there are a few things I need to fix before it will be street legal. I'm drooling over the full XL restores some of the inmates have done, and I wish I had the time/money for that. Alas, I'm just trying to get going, so vintage, stock, prettiness, etc., is not what I'm aiming for (yet).

    Here's what I have to do before I can use this bike as a daily putt-putt:

    1. One of the rear turn signals is falling off. It's that rubber piece that's hard to find now. I plan on fabbing one out of an old flip-flop.

    2. The blinkers don't flash, so I guess I need a new 6-volt flasher unit.

    3. The headlight case was smashed up. I took it off (man, what a rat's nest of cables behind it) and epoxied it back together. There is a chunk missing along the front (about 1"x2"), so now I need some Quick Steel to fill that in (unless you can recommend something better).

    <img src="http://i1247.photobucket.com/albums/gg621/cvd6262/IMG439_zps020ded98.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG439_zps020ded98.jpg"/>

    <img src="http://i1247.photobucket.com/albums/gg621/cvd6262/IMG440_zps9a1fcdfd.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG440_zps9a1fcdfd.jpg"/>

    4. The battery is dead, so the horn only works on the power from the stator. At idle it's a low raspy tone, but it sounds nice revved up. I'm not sure if it will pass safety inspection like that.

    I would like to upgrade the lights at some point, and I've seen some helpful posts here on that topic. It will take me a while to read through all 80+ pages of posts, but I intend on it.

    One more question: Which shop manual is best for XLs? Clyburn or the Honda? The more clear the pictures and directions, the better for me.
  16. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

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    As far as manuals, by far the factory Honda service manuals are the better choice.
    Good luck with your build. Those are tough little bikes.
  17. redprimo

    redprimo Been here awhile

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    I have a clymer manual for my xl500 and it has all the important stuff you need for any major task. That said It can aso be a bit confusing because it also covers the early wet sump dsign the later dry sump design as well as the later 600 along with all the other changes that went along with changing from a twin shock drum brake bike to a mono shock twin disc bike. It is easy to get confused but all the correct info is still all there. On the strong plus side is that it was written in english. I have a honda manual for my ct90 and it was obviously translated and it has a few Engrish oddities.
  18. skorpioskorpio

    skorpioskorpio Been here awhile

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    May 28, 2010
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    los Angeles, CA
    That is the problem with the Clymer manuals, they are very generic and tend to muddle all the models covered all together. I think the Haynes and Honda Service manuals are worlds more useful. The Clymers are generic to the point that you could get one for a model not covered in the manual and it would be about the same as one that is.
  19. bigtoe

    bigtoe n00b

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    Sep 12, 2008
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    1
    Hi, I put xr200 fork tubes and springs on my 74 xl125,they fit the original sliders and triple clamps, they are much longer, also I run 20 weight oil in them, helps a lot
  20. AppState

    AppState n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
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    1
    Location:
    QC
    Hey all.. New here so I hope I am posting correctly.

    Going to look at (hopefully buy) a 1983 xl 200r with sub 2k miles. The guy I am buying it from says it has been in a heated garage, never stored outside and still runs great. Since I am new to this bike what are the general items you all would inspect for a 30 yr old xl? Any words of wisdom to help a newbie out is appreciated.