‘81 Honda XL185s - Input and Suggestions (just purchased)

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by gpack, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. gpack

    gpack Yamaha-er

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    180
    All I can say is I am smiling typing this. Just finished a 4 mile ride around my neighborhood streets up to 4th gear. I finally got around to the carburetor issue yesterday. Seemed the float spacing was greater than needed and it was burning fuel faster than it could take it in. Resulting in it not filling quick enough to keep the engine running.

    Additionally, I located a perfect pre-owned Clarke fuel tank that fits the XL185s and added some Honda decals (original white outlined would look nicer). I had to relocate the signal flasher, but that was all. The original lined tank was just too nice to take off road and risk denting/essentially destroying.

    All that remains:
    - rear taillight assembly will likely be changed out again or return to stock. It is just far too dim and small (size affecting the brightness essentially).

    - the missing side cover I have will be repaired and reinstalled.

    - Nelson Rigg dry side bags will be installed soon.

    - seat will be cut down a bit to get my feet a little more firm on the ground.

    - new tire for the rear to install.

    All to say, and you guys know who you are, thank you for your help getting this bike reassembled and up and running. Here are some updated (large) photos:

    6A31E8D2-0DA7-4362-B236-1E7EDEB49111.jpeg 11B87FA7-43AA-4E83-87EA-D13AB4539FE5.jpeg BC138D17-1861-4654-8790-7BBC7484CB47.jpeg 8E8E5492-3226-4DC5-A31C-BCC55EDD20D2.jpeg 32A5A8B7-BFD8-4BE5-AE1E-EC9FE5133CBB.jpeg
    #61
    Navin, severely, iatethepeach and 2 others like this.
  2. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    5,758
    Location:
    The South
    Congrats! That Clarke tank look perfect on there. I really like these old XL's. They are such neat bikes.
    #62
  3. gpack

    gpack Yamaha-er

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    180
    Thanks!
    #63
  4. gpack

    gpack Yamaha-er

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    180
    Is the spline play shown in the video normal?
    Does it appear the sprocket spline grooves are worn or the shaft splines are worn? I know I should take a photo of the two to compare, but just wanted some input prior to disassembly.

    #64
  5. CMS

    CMS Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    642
    Location:
    Southern,OHIO
    Great job, excellent bike for your needs, I prefer the smaller cc bikes, they are just plain fun to ride. That's a keeper. cms
    #65
  6. gpack

    gpack Yamaha-er

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    180
    Very kind. Thanks!


    Anyone have an idea about the sprocket play?
    #66
  7. Chadzu

    Chadzu Lost In Space

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2017
    Oddometer:
    900
    Location:
    Utah
    Looks to be about the same all of my little Hondas have. That two bolt Honda clip allows for the CS sprocket to move around quite a bit. Combine that with the fairly narrow sprocket and its going to wiggle around.
    #67
  8. gpack

    gpack Yamaha-er

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    180
    Thanks for this input. I went for another ride yesterday after adjusting the carburetor. Upon returning, I was wiping excess chain oil from the frame and noticed the slack when wiping inside the sprocket cover. Good to know!
    #68
  9. gpack

    gpack Yamaha-er

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    180
    Any suggestions on a side bag heat shield that will not damage the exhaust can finish (riser straps ) or am I too hopeful? Clearance, positions, and ideal attachment points in photos.

    Here is the side bag setup as well the ‘new’ taillight. Much more visible and brighter than the XR style as well a bit more streamline compared to the original...not much though.

    Rear tire is simmering before going back on. Took two tries since the first attempt last night resulted in a bit tube and a flat tire this morning. Waiting to see if second attempt holds air this time.

    99B60BB7-A069-4BED-9CBB-787D8A0ADBA6.jpeg FD94BD06-0A08-41D1-BBA8-7AB353DDB751.jpeg 96376C55-9442-40D8-A7D2-A01907B81678.jpeg 086CDA29-35AD-496F-99B1-C1E55F416738.jpeg 8675206D-9B1A-448A-8261-BBDA891AEAAA.jpeg
    #69
  10. gpack

    gpack Yamaha-er

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    180
    Also, I had rear brakes before taking the tire off. Now, I have no bite on the rear and did not mess with the brake system. The brake system seems very simple and difficult to mess up with assembling.

    Any advice? The shoes looked fine. I assembled in reverse making no alterations to any adjustments. Clymer manual is no help.
    #70
  11. gpack

    gpack Yamaha-er

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    180
    START AT THE TWO THREADS ABOVE THIS ONE...

    I have brakes now on the rear, but had to tremendously increase the brake pedal rod adjustment to bite. You can see the original position (dirty vs clean threads) that functioned yesterday and now the new position...quite an adjustment. I only pulled the rear apart, pulled out the brake drum to change the tire, then went in reverse and made a crazy adjustment to the rear brake pedal. I am thinking new brake shoes are in its future perhaps. Wear thickness (0.08”) was not reached yet, but must be right at the cusp. Not accustomed to moto brake shoes :(
    image.jpg
    #71
  12. Norty01

    Norty01 RIDERCOACH (RETIRED!)

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2014
    Oddometer:
    2,533
    Location:
    CARLSBAD, CA, USA
    Since this is a “new bike to you,” you’re going to want to perform an in depth service, anyway. Changing out brake pads/shoes should be on your list...
    #72
  13. gpack

    gpack Yamaha-er

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    180
    This is about the only thing, and the most important, I did not do yet. :)

    Thanks for the input. After this little issue, new pads are on order.

    New tire tube went on fine this go around without pinching the tube. That tire lock was a booger to deal with the first time around as I have never seen one before. I discovered the process the second time of how to easily dismount/mount tire with the lock.
    #73
  14. gpack

    gpack Yamaha-er

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    180
    New brake shoes and springs installed on the rear. A bit of improvement and a bit less travel on the brake pedal now.
    #74
  15. gpack

    gpack Yamaha-er

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    180
    Heat shield complete. 16ga steel sheet cut/bent, bed liner sprayed, and door edge guard to bottom for bag contact. Shape was awkwardly chosen (best fit) since using a narrow rectangular sheet from Home Depot. Works well and stays fairly cool, but a little warmer at the forward mount though not a problem since no contact to bag happens there.
    9CD2961E-4C72-4288-8F7C-9414E155417B.jpeg AE4556BD-7A8C-4B31-8483-5ED09CCC472A.jpeg 45B0E018-BFDA-4EC8-8414-15B8C9965509.jpeg C585EAC3-4D68-4C28-82D2-8DA940F5FAD1.jpeg
    #75
  16. gpack

    gpack Yamaha-er

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    180
    Items to note regarding performance:

    - sooty spark plug (running rich? excessive idle? valves? too much of neighborhood road riding <30mph?)
    - extremely faint bluish smoke seen at idle and high rev (not in motion) (can only be seen against a dark background - i.e. truck or car parked behind bike)
    - carb adjusted and responds much better right now, though still sooty plug
    - compression reading at 155psi consistently
    - leak down test shown in photo (cylinder appeared to be top dead center for test). I did not want to keep going to 90psi, so I stopped at the numbers seen
    - exhaust, crankcase vent, and crankcase (not relevant) seemed air tight
    - air very much leaking from air intake box as pictured as well slightly from the hose on the carb
    - no valve tapping noises at all

    From the OTC box instructions, this points to faulty intake valves (or misadjusted). I have not checked or adjusted valve clearance to date.

    I have done this on a rear engine Briggs mower and could not seem to do it right. This single cylinder moto engine will be a new experience for me. I have a feeler gauge to use with the proper .002” measurement (per Clymer).

    Any suggestions? I have the Clymer manual also.


    UPDATE 7/2/19

    Before the referenced trip in the next post, I performed a valve adjustment just for maintenance and developed a tapping after. I then went for a second adjustment finally achieving the correct valve lash with no noise upon startup. I ran compression and was seeing a value of 180psi cold (not pictured). The leak test seemed to fault due to not truly being at TDC. I did not bother checking it again though.

    A5192430-B1A6-4646-9A87-497F506E3B84.jpeg 7553C953-AB13-48B9-9526-757FDA446E4B.jpeg BAD778B7-4418-4EE5-981C-EA1918F76456.jpeg 5BCD48F8-9192-4DEC-B54A-ADC81A8668BE.jpeg E4CA100C-CFC4-4863-A91A-2943DB3D6EA0.jpeg
    #76
  17. gpack

    gpack Yamaha-er

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    180
    First trip out this weekend to Snake Creek at RJD State Forest in SE MN. Terrible weekend after the rain and the trails there were torn up by ATV/side-by-sides. 100 yards into the muddy trail and two bike drops later, I turned around and rode the gravel side roads. Camp sites were essentially the parking lot, so I did not moto-camp as hoped. Next time.

    It was nice to run the motor at higher RPM and MPH to stretch its legs a bit being the cylinder has a good bit of carbon buildup and I have never made it to 4th/5th gear til this trip. Added about 3oz of Chevron Techron concentrate fuel system cleaner and burned about 3/4 tank of fuel during the trip (50 miles). Hopefully it did the systems some good running it hot, a little heavy on accelerations, and most of the tank spent.

    Scratched the corner of the rear rack a touch on rocks, scuffed the hand guards a bit, and broke a side view mirror. Otherwise, bike and myself were unscathed without an injury/discomfort to speak of. 90*, post-rain, muddy trails, humid day, dewy night, bugs galore...not the best first trip.

    However, some beautiful scenes along the road in the valleys. Next trip...not sure yet. Definitely want to find a super easy, non-90* day, and not crazy muddy trail where I can camp and ride with ease.

    Anywho, you guys helped me make it to this first trip getting this bike up and going and for that, I am thankful.

    (two deer top left corner of field)
    43B2F313-8504-419B-AE05-C68746E8A23C.jpeg
    FF3090D2-A657-495D-930B-E0B799ED3A51.jpeg 0F142B36-D4A4-4EC0-B190-F3754B3A40F2.jpeg 4501B13E-ED8B-4BDA-A865-73897989C414.jpeg
    #77
    Lutz likes this.
  18. gpack

    gpack Yamaha-er

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    180
    B49240F7-82F9-4B4D-B565-D6CD59E4B377.jpeg

    Great bike, great experience semi-restoring, but had to sell it to cover an unfortunate landscaping expense at our house. Not bad timing considering MN winter is near and it would just be idle.

    Plus side, I want to get something a little newer that I do not have to worry about on the trails if it gets damaged. Soon enough and it will be a Yamaha (can’t afford the newer Honda’s).
    #78