The XL600 thread

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Gregster, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. RFVC600R

    RFVC600R No sand here :'(

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    I'm taking my bike out the sands tomorrow, gonna smoke weed with my pops and wake up the XL, run the lake bed in Joshua Tree and dust the new machines. I got a new brake master cylinder, and I'm doing a super delayed oil change, and I gotta dump this old gas back in my truck and get some freshness in there. Pics to follow, been a hot minute since I been out.

    I'm coming to a close on my Abarth and Ram as far as upgrades go, the XL is going on the rotation for work next. I put FOX 2.5 Racing coil overs and 2.0 shocks on the rear, and I can drive that truck so goddamn fast in the rough. I reeeeaaaalllyyy feel like the bike needs something similar... REWORKED SUSPENSION! Reservoir. fork swap, more travel, better wheels too. Make riding effortless like my truck is driving. A few years ago when I was a lil younger and in great shape, I didn't mind wrestling it around, now it seems like a chore. Lol
  2. RFVC600R

    RFVC600R No sand here :'(

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    I BROKE IT! Oil was literally pouring out the left side of the cylnder head. Damn it!
    20201225_132549.jpg

    Attached Files:

  3. sh0rtlife

    sh0rtlife Long timer

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    some time back i picked up a 84xr 250 to go with my 83 xl6, and promptly realized its impossible to get a xl6 "nimble" or the kind of nimble we think of....theres just only so much we can do

    3 things come to mind as the only things you can really do with them,

    XR swingarm as the length and shock angle geometry change does wonders out back..so much so i couldnt find a good reason to even change over to the resevior shock...tho i did play with the adjustments a bit and found a sweet spot

    fork oil....deep clean the insides, and just start playing with oil weights till you find whats right for how you want to ride...again i did this specificly because i couldnt find xr forks at the time for a price i could aford, by the time i was done i was 30$ into oil but got the xl performing BETTER than the xr250, its about finding the weight that works right for your weight and what you want to do

    bars..find the widest bars your comfortable with so YOU have more leverage against the bike

    i have no doubt the xr's "could" be an improvement but even with a set on the shelf i cant justify it after getting the front end perfect

    the only thing id still consider an improvment for mine anyway would be a disc brake rear on a crush drive on a long swingarm.....maybe one from the new twin?

    if you do a swingarm swap and axe the cush drive i want it!
    dixda likes this.
  4. dixda

    dixda Been here awhile Supporter

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    Funny most of the XL600Rs did wonders out of the box! In their era they were what others weren't.
  5. sh0rtlife

    sh0rtlife Long timer

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    oh sure they did wonders out of the box, but 30+ years of abuse, wear and neglect..they need things.....and imo the factory fork oil was garbage, and i still think if the factory had thought about it even slightly they would have made a few tiny tweaks....longer swingarm IE xr length as well as an 18, keep the crush drive and big drum, its the single thing i feel the factory "overlooked", tho the 17 ment more "street" tire options at the time and the short arm ment for better onroad manners "slightly", but i think the compromise here was minimal
    dixda and RFVC600R like this.
  6. RFVC600R

    RFVC600R No sand here :'(

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    I bought my brake master like two years ago, just now put it on the other day. IIRC it was actually a XR650L part. WAY bigger reservoir and bigger piston. It helped ALOT!!
    These bikes just need modernization.
  7. sh0rtlife

    sh0rtlife Long timer

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    i dunno about modernization, just some minor tweaks the factory overlooked from their own stash, i think the late 80s xrs had said bigger master as well....i know that the one on mine is an old XR and bigger than the OE xl unit

    its kinda like the whole fork brace thing...i honestly have never experienced or found a need to get one, maybe its the fork oil combo im running?..or the fact my forks are in really good shape?, ive got a set of street rubber on another set of EO wheels for that "supermoto" experiance and have done some serious carving (ditch weeds smacking the helmet)

    i figure a steering damper is probably good for sand? shrug..again another modern dohichy that i dont think they need

    im not going to say they are perfect, but of the other bikes ive riden were "worse" box stock...the XT seems the closest but just feels "off" by comparision ..and still cant put my finger on the how/why..dont get me started on the sherpa's..ugh
  8. 2strokemonster

    2strokemonster Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2013
    Oddometer:
    73
    I have a question for the brain trust regarding a strange pinging sound:

    My 1985 xl600r seems to run very well. Plenty of power, no issues with any of the gears (although the 1st to second shift is very much an agressive engagement even with the clutch pulled in, but it never misses the shift), the timing chain and valves are good as per visual inspection after pulling the covers. However, I am getting a strange pinging sound when I am at certain RPMs. I would guess between 2500 and 3500 based on the sound of the engine. The sound is loud, and sounds like a single pebble in a tin can, or someone flicking a piece of 1/4 steel. Its a hollow TING or PING, and it happens at somewhat uneven cadence and probably 3 to 6 times a second (not rapid fire). Almost like someone tied a tin can to the bike and I am dragging it down the road. It seems to happen more when under load, and once you are above or below those RPMs the sound goes away.

    I cannot for the life of me figure it out. It doesn't feel low on power, and it has such a resonant ring I can't think its detonation (unless its the fins acting like a tuning fork?). Tank seems well mounted, and I disconnected the auto-decomp lever in case that was causing something weird and the sound stayed. I don't *think* its anything on the exhaust but that's one of the last things I can think of that would make the ringing sound. Does anyone have any ideas where I start? I know its a weird, open ended question but since it runs well I can't think of what it could be. Are there any internal shafts that could have suffered a failure and something is centrifugally swinging out to rap against the case?
  9. sh0rtlife

    sh0rtlife Long timer

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    do yourself a favor and run a couple tests, flat land rpm see if you can find it in every gear..or if its just the "higher" gears or low speeds in higher speed gears
    check again in the same manner up hill

    this needs to be done with smooth throttle

    if you can only get it in the higher gears as i suspect and its "worse" on a hill..its most likely a lean condition at that specific throttle point..so either a jet setting or needle setting..mine does it only on the hottest of days on the steepest of hills when im really bogging it down...ive honestly dialed it out so much so that i dont dare try and chase that last little bit as ill probably end up chasing my tail

    which also lends another test..up hill wrong gear going slow..try it..see if you can replicate it IE 5th gear doing say 30 and you try and accel
  10. benspilk09

    benspilk09 Adventurer

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    Well, I got mine all buttoned up after the top end job. It fired right up, no smoke, no weird noises, and I was happy.

    BUT after riding it for about 20 minutes, the damn thing has developed a clatter in the top end. It sounds like the camchain slapping. I put a new OEM tensioner and spring in. Has anyone gotten a defective one before?

    The old one was fine, I guess I should have left it alone...

    When you look at the tensioner shaft while it is running, it is rocking back and forth slightly. Is that normal?
  11. bork

    bork Been here awhile

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    709
    I hope you remembered to put the pin back in. (depends on year, later uses a thread-in pin.) Maybe carefully try pulling out the shaft or rotating, with vise grips? to verify pin is installed? You verify oil flow? valves tolerances out of range?
  12. benspilk09

    benspilk09 Adventurer

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    The cam sprocket bolts had backed out. Do you guys use loctite those? I swear I remember torquing them.

    I was beyond happy throwing this thing back together. It started up so easy and the head had oil flow right away. I guess something had to go wrong. thank god nothing catastrophic happened, I'm glad I didn't venture far from home.
    RFVC600R likes this.
  13. RFVC600R

    RFVC600R No sand here :'(

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    just torque those bad boys. Is your tool accurate?

    I got a bunch of broken shit in my life. The bike pisses oil out the head, my Abarth is in a million pieces halfway through a complete drivetrain rebuild, my Focus is going off to the junk yard and my truck just started leaking out the rear pinion, and my dad gave me a 2000 Lincoln Town Car in excellent condition but needing some deferred maintenance taken care of. TOO MUCH WRENCHING TO DO AND NOT ENOUGH TIME!!!

    Sometimes I just send everything off to the horizon, but its not realistic. I almost bought an Africa Twin last year. I was saddened at the thought of not riding the XL anymore ans getting rid of it, but now its broken. Damn!!

    For real though, I need a rebuild, I don;t have a machinist, everything costs and arm and leg. There's engine builders a couple doors down from my house, they said they can't get a motorcycle head on their valve guide machine. I told them how the dude I worked for did it, on a pneumatic machine from the 50s!!! with machinist parallels and some bits and the dude literally laughed at me like I was crazy. "Lol no way I'm trying that."

    After all the running around I did on projects out here, I've come to the conclusion, city folk don't wanna work, and when they do, it's only big jobs to pay that fat mortgage, toy hauler full of shit payment and feed the kids.
  14. sh0rtlife

    sh0rtlife Long timer

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    ive been trying to get some roll cage tubes bent for a car i didnt want to put a cage into...EVERY shop has blown me off on BENDING them because..its TOO SMALL OF A JOB as i only need a handfull of bends

    so i feel the pain

    if you need the head done you might just have to travel for it.....or send it off, doesnt xr's do stuff like that still?...my machinist packed up and retired just before the world ended....or id offer for you to ship it up here to me and id go drop it off...im on a hunt for a new machinist

    pinion seals are easy, the lincoln being a panther platform is CHEEP as its basicly a long wheelbase police cruiser
  15. benspilk09

    benspilk09 Adventurer

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    I was using a craftsman 3/8 torque wrench, I assume it is accurate. I may have had a brain fart and forgot them, who knows. A dab of blue loctite won't hurt next time. Unfortunately I'm waiting on parts again since the cam gear and bolts are a little fubar'd.

    I guess the up side is that I'm pretty good at wrestling this engine in and out of the frame now!
  16. FlatlandKSBrett

    FlatlandKSBrett Been here awhile

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    705
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    Salina, ks
    Good afternoon everyone. I need to do a top end rebuild on my nephews 1984 xl600r. What is the choice of piston everyone likes around here? I'm not building a hot rod, just reliable.

    I like Pro X and JE, but I'm having a hard time finding a 0.5mm over bore. Or even a 101 mm bore with stock compression.

    Thanks in advance.
    Brett
  17. sh0rtlife

    sh0rtlife Long timer

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    yeah good luck there, i was in the same boat and just had to bite the bullet and go with more compression...its just the way it is

    i "think" there was an italian company with a very expensive slug that was stock comp but the price would have basicly rebuilt the engine 3-4 times over
  18. FlatlandKSBrett

    FlatlandKSBrett Been here awhile

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    Any issues with too much heat with the 11:1 piston?
  19. sh0rtlife

    sh0rtlife Long timer

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    nope none, had to spend some SERIOUS time with getting the jetting and needle settings "just right" as well as switch to premium..but its been 100% heat and issue free for atleast 4000 miles...everything from on the beach to up at 3500ft

    to get the jetting right your going to want to use a sharpie to mark your throttle grip and a piece of tape on the controls next to it..with view of the carbs opening mark the tape at 1/4, 1/2 3/4 open as well as make a mark for secondary carb 1/4 1/2 3/4, it will help you find every lil spot that you have issues so you can know EXACTLY what you need to tweak, but more importantly youll go in knowing which carb needs what instead of shotgunning jets and needle settings at it
  20. FlatlandKSBrett

    FlatlandKSBrett Been here awhile

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    Do you recall what jet sizes you are running? I'm at 2k feet.

    Thanks