The XL600 thread

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

  1. bearcat1

    bearcat1 Been here awhile

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    I'll second that! Plan on dropping the carb bowls numerous times (unless you have the XR bowls with the easy access bowl caps). Naturally get the float levels right and baseline your jets from factory settings per your altitude and go from there with trial and error. One adjustment at a time. I had a brand new aftermarket coil breaking down under heat which complicated matters. My "fuel stumbling" issue under low throttle settings was actually an electrical issue. With all new electrical components it couldn't possibly be that, must be a fueling issue, wrong! I have the fixed needle clip for the XL and ended up shimming with washers, hence going with the XR needles is nicer. It's doable with the carbs installed. Double and triple check everything before installing them, it's a pain removing and reinstalling the carbs, several times...don't ask me how I know. The dual carbs are unique but not so much as this isn't the Space Shuttle. I built up a lot of confidence going through this process and davek181 was a big encouragement.
  2. BeemerNut

    BeemerNut Adventurer

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    Great information and replies bearcat and davek181, must also add mcma111 who lives under 20 miles away from me.
    Dealing with a 49 state 84 XL600A bike with 30mm carbs, factory 120/120 mains, #65 slow jet.
    In my collection of parts I robbed the spare set of XR350 carbs bowls that was for the 85 XL350 but will instead be assembled original and sold, the bowls now on the XL600 carbs.
    Yesterday eBay purchased a 86 XR600 primary slide piston with needle hence a XR pri. needle. I will order genuine Keihin jets from jets-R-us a pair of 118, 122, 125 and 128, better to have than none waiting.

    With the reply above of rockymountainatv $38.25 pri. & sec. needles, are they still available for the XR600 in pri. and sec.? I only need a sec. needle unless the eBay pri. needle is worn away? Paid $11.50 for the pri. needle. Seller looking for the sec. needle. Oh please find it, name your price.
    Between a heap of advice given and XR needles I can begin assembly the bike.
    Presently waiting for o-rings then assemble the 88 XR600 shock going in the bike.

    The O-Ring Store LLC in Clarkston Washington State has every o-ring in standard and metric that was used on Honda's including any "special NLA" o-rings by Honda. Sure with minimum order some o-rings of four to twelve minimum only slightly above the price of one by Honda or Partzilla or Chaparral (two to three weeks later delivered by Chaparral) only 380 miles away same state really sucks.
    My bad I mentioned "oringswest" the go to company, I was told to use and posted. They deal with business to business only not the public so check out The O-Ring Store LLC instead you will be impressed what is available.
    https://www.theoringstore.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=368_12

    The XR350 shock reservoir will be mounted horizontally just above the clutch lever above the engine case and between the cylinder and the air/oil separator, yes a tight fit but will work. The 9" long hose just fits between the carbs, it's gonna work. Replacement shock piston ring with oversize snubber arrived from Oz. the other day. Shock piston ring o-ring to expand the ring is on the way.

    Question, shock eye ends the manual mentioned to use a high concentration moly paste grease. Any suggestion what is available to use?

    This forum site sure blows ThumperTalk forum away with active members and good given advice. I started with TT forum then found AR. Is still chat friends by PM on TT as a lot of good as well smart people are on TT forum also over here on AR.
    Thanks everyone, slowly making progress......~~=o&o>......
  3. davek181

    davek181 Long timer

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    Moly paste grease is used in lots of applications. Often times especially with factory brake pads from Honda cars you get a packet of the grease with the pad set. It is a high content of Moly additive and is dryer feeling than the regular black moly grease. I think the standard moly grease is not as friendly to rubber parts from my experience, but otherwise similar. I think some of the newer synthetic based greases may be a better deal than the moly grease which was the best back when that manual was printed. It just needs something to give it a little lube without attracting dirt. I bet even graphite could be used.

    I have heard that early XL carbs were larger, but have never had a set to compare. If so your slide you got may not fit, but the needle would probably work just fine. Needle wear is not a huge issue for me as I believe they are too lean anyway, even the XRs. I drilled the needle jets in my carbs to make them pass a little more fuel, but that is another story for the hardcore jetting purists. You might find a 62 primary jet, or maybe smaller, works better for warm restart

    Where are you at, and how did you find the o-ring store? I am in Lewiston Id which is just across the Snake river from Clarkston Wa. It is two towns all forming one community with a river between them and belonging to different states. Border towns they are called and there are a few near here Like Moscow ID and Pullman WA, Spokane WA, Couer d' Alene ID. It is amazing what the o-ring store can get or make and they do know their stuff.
  4. bearcat1

    bearcat1 Been here awhile

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    Beemernut, Rockymountainatv is pretty good about keeping their database accurate with OEM parts availability. The XR needles have a 7 -10 delay per their website. I can't confirm but with covid supply chain shortages your guess is as good as mine. They were true to their word when I ordered a 10 day delayed OEM pulse generator for a mid nineties XR600R.
  5. BeemerNut

    BeemerNut Adventurer

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    Not to come off as a wise ass.
    After several days not hours & minutes "fingering out" a location for the XR350 reservoir the only place with room was were it's at now. Already fabricated, welded and painted the reservoir mounting bracket ready for assembly. Wasn't going to have is hanging off the side of the frame looking like a ugly plan gone wrong. I'll deal with it besides the 88 XR600 shock only has a 9" hose and to have a custom one made to gain a 1" to 1 1/2" was $140 to $150 starting fee, no thanks.
    The 350 reservoir also a better fit being smaller OD diameter than the XR600 reservoir OD body, 49mm vs 56mm diameter. Same 36mm shock piston diameters 350 vs 600 so not an issue installing the smaller reservoir. The XR600 shock now has a shorter piston stroke and oil displacement than used in either the 350 or 600 shock body hence plenty of reservoir fluid flow displacement not an issue.
    Making a longer back of engine mounting bolt allowing for mounting bracket maintaining Honda's hollow bolt head to look factory required shortening bolt behind the threads into the shank then welding a shorter bolt together. Deep beveled butted ends then Tig welded just to gain 3/16" in bolt length. Carb needles, o-rings then assembly time shock and carbs, airbox and swingarm reassembly time.....~~=o&o>.......
  6. BeemerNut

    BeemerNut Adventurer

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    I agree, 36 years later better tech with greases these days.
    With disc brake pads and all sliding contact areas sanded bright metal smooth including removing sharp sheared or stamped edges of metal pad backings the apply CRC Synthetic Brake & Caliper Grease.
    Contains Moly, PTFE & Graphite the best of all materials mixed in one thick black paste.

    With the XR600 pri needle with slide, all I want is the needle as the slide should be 28mm vs 30mm on the XL600.
    I hear ya, 83 was not my first choice with the reed valve BS that can fail vs 84 with the passage pri. to sec. port plus this 84 is a 49 state, 30mm carbs and larger head ports. 83-87 Honda Service manual has the the 30mm carbs at 1.2 sq/in of area vs 28mm carbs of 1.1 sq.in area. Hummm, larger head ports and carbs as well 49 state vs Nazi Kalif. later years with 28mm carbs only plus evap crap added, leaned out worse than 49 states, which one would you pick? Granted the yellow added with orange red mix color frame on the 85 XL350 I have thinking an 85 XL600 to match, nope had to jump on this 84 in red instead. I have grown to like the 84's red not looking like Bozo the clown with added yellow like the 85 besides a low mileage street only past life vs a high mileage beater to restore. Money ahead I keep telling the wifey covering my butt with added expenses like the XR shock, shorter Eibach spring, machining spacers, rejetting mission going on since March 19, 2021. A project bike apart from being transported home. She thought assemble, gas and go, nope stored for years tar and varnish carbs as a start. Forks still apart replacing top (outer bushings) making then like new tightness being 0.0016" max out of round front to rear due to brake pulling the slider leg. Then the fork and shock spacers machined.
    Rear brake shaft and cam cleaned and greased along with brake lever new seals and lubed. Into details wanting smooth operation. Darn clutch and brake levers must be shimmed and bushed for zero levers flopping up and down one of my pet peeves on every bike I own.....~~=o&o>.......
  7. BeemerNut

    BeemerNut Adventurer

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    I'm in the S.F. Bay area, Alameda the small island in the bay, east bay where we used to have the Almeda Naval Air Station the aircraft overhaul facility. Big time jumping during Nam era, finally closed down back in 97.
    Political BS, aircraft carriers couldn't dock in Washington state but got the facility from Calif. Presently building Cracker Jack housing.

    Hot summer nights we hear side shows along with gunfire at random times all night long coming from Oakland. It made Cops the TV show a few years ago, go figure?
    Yes next to good old Oakland but separated by an estuary saving us from the nice people of Oakland.

    My bad presenting the other o-ring company above also in Washington state instead of ----The O-Ring Store LLC.----They are cool people, fast orders filled and sent. You can get lost in their metric o-ring section or standard in inches. I chose 70 vs 90 durometer hardness, ask the wife I'm a 5 durometer.....

    Sorry I split an hr., spilled 15 oz. water across the HP laptop keypad, Mr. HP went nuts then blank dead. Hair drier an hr. later it's alive!
    .....~~=o&o>......
  8. BeemerNut

    BeemerNut Adventurer

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    Everyone is great on this forum and XR/XL thread. I must add member "mcma111" a brilliant mechanic. Best part he lives 14-16 miles away, don't tell him that LOL!
    Wow great backup spare parts. Yup i'm late but had to ask, did you install the XR600 shock with that 9" x 2.25" x 600 lbs/in spring on your XL and hod it felt in spring firmness? Your weight to compare the 600 lb/in spring? Reason asking i'm installing a 88 XR600 shock with a 800 or 8" long spring with the same 2.25" x 600 lb/in rate. I'm 188 lbs wt. and the 8" spring because lowering the bike 2" at both ends.

    The buyer was a fool for not taking the spare parts. Mr. Speedo this around?
    Old thread this what In found out going into the forks on a 84 XL600 of under 6K highway miles.
    The lower they call "inner" bushings have a 39mm ID x 43mm OD (2mm wall thickness) x 50mm long. They last a long time if the oil was changed and no dirt entered grinding everything up piston ring included then not sealing properly.
    The upper or "outer" bushings have the same 39mm ID x 43 mm OD x 15mm long or 3.33 x less surfce area to wear away than the lower bushings
    The uppers will wear away a lot faster than the lowers with the left twice as much or more due to the increased torque action caused by braking under increased side forces front to rear, add up and down forks compressed under braking and while ober bumps on the brakes. Left slider seal will leak before the right slider seal due to increased bushing wear.
    I purchased off eBay three different sellers, the fourth twice ordered bushings ending up with the wrong top bushings everytime, one at 37 mm ID, two 41mm ID and a repeated one of 41mm ID with only 1mm wall thickness, one set from England. Part cost, got screwed the $21.50 USD shipping fee. They refunded the $13.00 bushing cost, BFD! All sellers telling me their bushings will fit. Must be that new math for idiots?

    Finally the correct top bushings of 39mm ID x 43mm OD x 15mm long with 2mm wall thickness sold by eBay seller Powersport Superstore, Inc.
    Drag Specialties PT # DS-222028 exact replacement top bushings. Other eBay seller sold the same part mumber with different wrong size bushings inside then they blame me when the listing mentions fits 83-87 XL600 39mm forks.

    I was thinking should the lower bushings ever need replacing, "why not" install four 15mm bushings for the bottom now at 60mm long vs 50, shorten the plastic spacer 10mm, install the top 15mm bushing and be done? My case the long bottom bushings were tight and round not enlongated like the tops by 0.0014 right side and 0.0018" left side front to rear vs left to right measurements recorded no side force wear.
    Was thinking to save the thin walled spacer to lathe cut one bushing into two 5mm wide rings with three 15mm for your 50mm factory length bushings.
    The large eBay blind hole bearing and bushing removal slide hammer set is the way to go with the slide hammer shank with bolt secured to the bushing installing disc.
    Installing the top bushing with a stepped 3/8" thick aluminum disc app 0.005" to 0.006" smaller OD than the fork tube with the larger step as a stop so the bushing ends up flush with the slider bore step the seal seats against on assembly.

    Machined aluminum spacers with fluid vent holes installed between the piston rod piston and the full fork extension damper springs lower the front of the bike 2.00". Replace the 2.700" spacer under the fork caps with one 0.385" long (9.77mm) still allowing for 6mm of preload spacer plus or minus for proper sag. Thinking 10 wt. or 15 wt. fork oil being street only vs way too soft for jumping landings.
    Machined a longer version of the external Zeta shock extension limiter for 2.00" lowered at the axle. That took more planning and measuring compensating for the mono link's mechanical advantage ratio, shock travel vs axle travel. Replaced throwaway XL shock with a rebuildable XR shock also allowing more adjustment control with the reservoir knob.

    Nobody in the world had those lower 50mm bushings, only Drag Specialties DS-222028 the top bushings I found available, stacking them if in a bind for lowers?
    Sorry long novel i'll shut up now.....~~=o&o>......
  9. 12120

    12120 Unwittingly Domesticated Supporter

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    Sorry parts all went to another member here. I don’t remember off hand what spring rate I got. It was an xr350 shock cause that’s what I had. I remember I was on the line between rates and went softer. Still felt to soft, but sucked up the stuff at speed well so….
  10. 12120

    12120 Unwittingly Domesticated Supporter

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    Found it.
  11. sh0rtlife

    sh0rtlife Long timer

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    you missed my intention.....see if you can make it easily swung out of the way for carb access that youll need
  12. sh0rtlife

    sh0rtlife Long timer

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    raises paw
  13. bork

    bork Been here awhile

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    :scratch:lol2
  14. BeemerNut

    BeemerNut Adventurer

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    Same 36mm bore and stroke XR350 shock vs XR600 shock internals, same pt. no. ring and backup o-ring, seal head, bushing and seals identical. Smaller reservoir on the 350, with 600 shock body a better fit for clearances plus the 600 cylinder bore looks brand new vs 350 with deep scratches.

    Too late that's AKA as late or "retarded" in ther dictionary. With the 600 lb/in spring selected I have the option of a 625, 650, 675 & 700 lb/in springs if I messed up. Traded a NIB 700 lb/in 12.5 kg/mm spring straight across for the 600 10.7 kg/mm after being told 10.5 to 12.5 rate range spring to install. Street and highway only not jumping also not wanting a bone pounding ride. Replacement springs can be had 43 miles away at $74 to $76 each. Saw Eibach springs listed in Oz. at $229 AUD ($168 USD) before shipping from Oz. OUCH, where I purchased the shock piston rings (two, one spare) with a larger snubber to be machined down to my needs matching old XL600 shock fully compressed. No tyre into fender issues. From Oz. being the only piston ring available in the world including by Race Tech told by Matt as NLA. There has to be a lot of XR 250's 350's 500's and 600's running around needing a piston ring? I bet shocks sent in to Race Tech having their rebuilds? Simple rebuilding shocks as well forks. ('ex licensed A&P mechanic worked at United Airlines, hydraulics landing gear besides engine shops years ago). I did receive from Matt a seal head bushing and two seals after asking Matt the availability for them, next thing I knew "parts were shipped and on their way". They must hold my credit card numbers from past shock parts purchase. Moving forward is all that counts. .....~~=o&o>......
  15. 12120

    12120 Unwittingly Domesticated Supporter

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    10.7 would be fine for street, highway use. I wasn’t jumping mine necessarily, just pounding down fire roads sailing over water bars etc…
  16. BeemerNut

    BeemerNut Adventurer

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    Thanks, I feel better now with the swap from a 700 lb/in (12.5 kg/mm) spring to a 600. I weigh 188-190 lbs, the rear rack I recall of 3 lb 4 oz.
    Anything added on the rack would be a small travel bag with warm vest for under the riding jacket, long johns, socke and a light wicking sports shirt. I travel light, not gonna have a backpack hanging on me. Basic tools just in case. Been told seveal times to use 15 wt. fork oil even after told the fork springs with their specs sent to Matt at Race Tech told they were .51 kg/mm vs .39 to .41 or .42 kg/mm factory. Front on the ground control but not blurred vision firmness the goal. The 85 XL350 after a short test ride then ride home a total of four miles felt like the forks only had air only and no oil dampening action, talk about way too soft with a ton of dive with light braking. Not even close to Norton forks in firmness which is at my comfort limit having the tyres planted to the road.
    Same with 70's era BMW's with that plush ride, nope Progressive springs with 7 1/2 wt and 10 wt. mix 50/50 vs 5 wt. ending with perfect firmness.
    I prefer to keep the front tyre planted on the road vs a sawhorse ride.
    Now if I can find a used 85 to 87 XR600 secondary slide needle i'm golden then assembly time ....~~=o&o>......
  17. davek181

    davek181 Long timer

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    I run a 11.5kg spring on the rear, 200lb rider, 5 pounds on rack, no backpack. It is a good choice for me. Prior to spring and revalve I was bottoming on water bars and other places if hit too fast. Now with 11.5kg 7.5wt oil and 150lb nitrogen it just cushes through where it used to bottom. .51kg front 7.5wt oil and revalve is near perfect for me, though they are way different forks than you have. I like the wheels front and rear to follow the terrain rather than bounce along aimlessly. The ride feels lots less jarring than stock, in fact amazingly compliant but controlled. I was worried on paper about the stiffer spring rates but not at all after riding.

    The secondary needle is not as picky as the primary, though you do want the XR version. I tried running a primary needle in the secondary and it did not work as well. I tried many different combinations of needles and slides and emulsion tubes in the secondary and found that mostly stock XR was best on the secondary. Without the primary jet the leaner needle and slide are necessary. I like to set the carbs to open as close to the same as possible. They do lose their synch as they open further but that does not matter.
  18. 12120

    12120 Unwittingly Domesticated Supporter

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    I did .49 front springs I think. Xr 600 forks the early versions. ‘85 I believe the larger diameter forks where the best thing I ever did. Felt a little harsh on the smaller bumps, but great on bigger hits. I think drilling the first bleed hole in the damper rod out would have helped that. Sold the bike before I fiddled anymore.
  19. gkam

    gkam Been here awhile

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    Does anyone know what is the tightening torque of the screws of the head of XL 600 1985?
  20. bearcat1

    bearcat1 Been here awhile

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    Go back to the Olds Cool thread that you just posted on. I posted the torque specs there.