A second chance for a neglected XR200R

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by ganshert, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. ganshert

    ganshert not sleeping

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    I was all set to spend my Christmas money on a new air compressor until I found this on Craigslist for $375.

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    It is one of those "it ran when we parked it 3 years ago" bikes that was only missing a couple of parts and came with a box of "we took this stuff off" parts.

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    I had been looking for a fun project bike. Something my wife wouldn't be afraid to ride and that I could have some fun on too. So I jumped on this opportunity.

    First step would be to make sure it runs. Then I could take it completely apart.

    Yesterday I tore down the carb. It was only slightly gummed up so I dunked the parts in carb cleaner for a little bit and cleaned them. The oil was pretty nasty so I pulled the drain and let it drain as much out as possible overnight.

    This morning I finished cleaning the carb and put it back together. The pilot jet was hard to get cleaned out. That is one tiny little hole. I pulled a single piece of copper wire from a length of 18 gauge stranded wire and pushed it through. Bingo I could see light through it now.

    I don't think I've ever seen a simpler carb. It is jetted for sea level so I will have to get a smaller main jet but I figured without the air box and filter it ought to at least run for me.

    I put a quart of oil in, put the choke on, stole half a gallon of gas out of my XR650R and crossed my fingers.

    It was kind of weird kicking over this little bike. I thought it was odd that the kick starter had such a short throw. I'm used to the big XR I guess.

    The first kick didn't offer up any promising sounds. That was the first time I thought it might not start. On the second kick it tried to fire up!!! which reminded me that it is an XR after all!

    On the third kick it ran :clap

    I ran it for about 10 minutes listening to the engine and looking for problems. Sounded great so I shut of the petcock and let it burn up all the gas in the float bowl.

    Now came the fun part. Tearing it down to see what is servicable and what needs to be replaced.

    First the front end ...

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    then the back end ...

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    Then the engine

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    Good; looks like the steering head bearings are still good, brake shoes have plenty of life left, chain slider still servicable, etc...

    Bad; chain and sprockets, tires and tubes, one rear suspension bushing and bolt are missing, fork boots are rotted, and the fork oil and dust seals need to be replaced.

    I'll replace the wheel and swingarm pivot bearings and dust seals because they are so cheap.

    The plastics all look like, well, 24 year old plastic. I'll do the front fender now and the rest as I feel like spending money to make her look good.

    For now the engine has a new temporary home

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    and the pile of parts is bigger

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    I need to decide whether I'm going to sandblast and paint or sandblast and powder coat the frame. But for now I'll get parts on order and see you guys in a couple of weeks! This project needs to last me the rest of the winter so I won't be rushing it.
    #1
  2. pookiebear

    pookiebear Long timer

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    I just sold one of these I did the rebuild on had the 230 kit. Had all the stuff done. Biggest thing on the engine is the timing chain adjuster. Make sure you keep it set and the plug can go one hotter.. Keep the valves adjusted. This engine will run forever for sure. You can pod filter it but it likes the back pressure of the airbox. If you want it to rev fast put on a megaphone type of muffler but that will be louds! xrsonly has a muffler for it. The front brake needs some tricks to make it stop good but if you keep the rear sprocket large you can engine brake it most of the way. Do not spend money on an o-ring chain the 520 standard chains were made for this bike and 20 bucks well spent. Ditch the front light to save some watts or put on a switch for it. They are fun little bikes but the front forks need work for anyone over 120 lbs. Kickstart gear chews itself so kick it proper.Decompression lever likes to be loose so don't tighten the screw that holds the top of the cable.
    #2
  3. pookiebear

    pookiebear Long timer

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    I recovered my seat with leather from an old leather jacket to keep it cheap. Looked cool I thought. I miss mine now.... keep us posted. Here is some other info on small bikes pitbikes
    #3
  4. G-Force Junkie

    G-Force Junkie Long timer

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    Nice fine. I had an '82 XR200 and a '83 XL200 back in the day, great bike, ran forever. I did have to split the cases on one of them once, a burr built up on the shift drum that make it difficult to shift out to 2nd gear.
    #4
  5. familyman

    familyman I have bad ideas

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    I picked up an 83 just like that one a few months ago and am having a great time with it. It needs a kick start gear and the end popped off the decompression cable on my last ride but it's been a blast. I'll be following this build with interest as I probably need to take mine down to the frame and do all the things you're doing.
    Take lots of pictures. :evil
    #5
  6. ere109

    ere109 Ride On!

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    Awesome work. I just finished rebuilding my XR600. Those mid-80's XR's are a blast, and yours looks beautiful. Clean it up and get it ready to ride next year. Keep posting pics. I love staring at Monza Red on the web.
    #6
  7. Speaker

    Speaker Been here awhile

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    I love these kinds of threads. Keep us posted :clap
    #7
  8. bitterjoe

    bitterjoe killing the fatted calf

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    :lurk

    Good deal man. :thumb
    #8
  9. HighwayChile

    HighwayChile greetings from Wa state

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    great bike !
    dont forget to clean out the centrifigal oil filter under the r engine side cover
    #9
  10. ganshert

    ganshert not sleeping

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    huh?

    I found the screen behind the drain plug but didn't know there was any other type of filter.

    I have a factory shop manual on the way so will be learing alot about this bike but thanks for the heads up.

    Any other model specific info out there? :ear
    #10
  11. Hondo

    Hondo **********

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    Looking forward to your progress reports-:lurk
    #11
  12. G-Force Junkie

    G-Force Junkie Long timer

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    Its under the right case cover IIRC. Its a disc held on with 3 philips head screws, it spins and the oil is pushed through it and particles get trapped along the edge of the disc. Occationaly, pull it off and scrub it with solvent and a toothbrush. Other than that, keep the ignition trigger that is run off the cam shaft gapped properly, keep the valves gapped (.002 intake and .003 exhause IIRC) and change the oil occationaly. Not much to these motors.
    #12
  13. ganshert

    ganshert not sleeping

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    Thanks Highway and G-Force, I'll make sure to clean it out.

    I'm looking forward to reading the shop manual. Nothing better than fine tuning a motorcycle no matter what kind it is.

    I'm going to spend the next few evenings cleaning up the old plastics. I scraped the oxidized plastic off of the side covers today and I think with a little elbow grease and the proper chemicals I might be able to salvage them all, we'll see.

    I found a place in Tulsa that will put on a proper blue seat cover for $50 including shipping. I would try to do my own (I have done some sewing in my day) but I want the "XR" and "Honda" logos on it. And I can't even buy just the cover for $50 so I think the seat will get shipped off to OK for some TLC.

    I got a new sandblaster today. I have one of the siphon ones but decided to put up the 79.99 for the harbor freight pressurized one. The siphon one worked great but the pressurized ones are supposed to work much better. I'll let you know Saturday after I get the frame and swingarm stripped down to bare metal.

    The local coatings shop said it would be around $75 - $100 to powder coat the frame and swingarm. I'll do that if they can match the fighting red color close enough. If they can't match it I'll have to come up with a plan B that doesn't involve a professional painter and the $$$$ associated with their time.

    more to come...
    #13
  14. sireland67

    sireland67 Been here awhile

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    My local PPG paint store has a digital camera to take photos of paint pigments, you may want to have that done before sandblasting the frame.

    Just polish the frame in about a 2" area that is flat and let them take the photo.

    The color match will be the same as OEM.
    #14
  15. ganshert

    ganshert not sleeping

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    I'll just have them match it to the tank.
    #15
  16. sireland67

    sireland67 Been here awhile

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    That will take care of your paint match problems.
    They may even have an OEM listing for that bike.
    #16
  17. sireland67

    sireland67 Been here awhile

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    I think that they even have paint for your plastics, so you could spray everything to match.

    But you still need to buy an air compressor and gun.:evil

    If you want to go cheap, I sprayed my 6 year old boys 81 Z50 with rustolem thinned with mineral spirits, and it is holding up real good on the metal tank and plastics.

    Me and him had a blast rebuilding it about a year ago.
    I did not think that a little boy would be so interested in doing a frame up build up, but he was so I never turned a wrench unless he was there.:clap

    He was most likely the only one in his kindergarden class to know where the piston went, what a timing chain was and how lap valves to make an engine run properly.
    #17
  18. ganshert

    ganshert not sleeping

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    That's cool that you got to do that with your kid.

    I already have a compressor and paint gun. I've done quite a bit of painting but won't do it in my garage and don't know anyone here that would let me have booth time. On top of that reds are the most expensive paints and powder coating holds up so much better. No rattle can jobs. :deal So painting it myself isn't really an option. If I really want the right color I will pay somebody to shoot it.

    Yes you can add elastisizers to automotive paint so it would remain flexible but getting it to stick to 24 year old plastic is another story. Bottom line is that the plastics aren't worth painting. It would cost me less to replace them not to mention my time. Krylon fusion isn't an option either because neither "sun dried tomato" not "red pepper" are close enought to fighting red :lol3

    So the powder coat color would have to clash something awful for me to not do it.

    I'm not going to be entering it in any shows. I'm going for function over form so might even go with black, silver, or even white on the frame if I'm not happy with the oranges and reds they can do.
    #18
  19. sireland67

    sireland67 Been here awhile

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    The plastics on his bike, fenders and number plates was real bad, somebody spray bombed them.
    We just sanded them smooth with 400 wet paper and sprayed them.
    After one year of abuse they still look good and the paint is holding up well there is no cracking or chipping.

    I hope that he will rebuild this same bike for his kids one day.

    Shawn
    #19
  20. LoriKTM

    LoriKTM Wrecking Ball

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    Need/want a Clymer's manuar for that XR? I have one lying around, for a 200 that I sold many years ago. :wink:
    #20