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Old 06-12-2017, 10:44 PM   #1
Chuck B
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Default Honda XR...problem fixed

So, about 8yrs ago I picked up an old XR to restore. I was feeling nostalgic as I've owned many XR's through the yrs beginning with the first XL600 back in 1983. During the 80's I owned several XR's and XL's. Raced an XR, took one XL to South America, took another to AK etc. Lots of memories.

Ran across this 95 that was a total beater. Multiple owners, beaten to death multiple times, spray painted multiple colors, cracked rims, leaking oil, missing plastics etc etc. After a couple months working on it at night I got it completed. Here it is!




I really enjoyed the process and thats how I ended up with a KLR...I wanted another project and found an old beaten down KLR and restored it. Still have both bikes but rarely ride the XR. First few years I rode it enough to keep the carb clean and oil circulated. I ended up letting my cousin borrow it...for nearly 2yrs. Got it back and went thru it...he racked up quite a few miles on street and dirt roads. It remained parked mostly for another 3=4yrs. Well, about a year ago I had a friend come in out of town and he wanted to borrow it for a ride. When he returned he said it had an occasional misfire. I rode it and it was very occasional...like once every 10-15 min. I put the bike away. Pulled it out some time later and misfire was still there but it was worse.

I worked on that bike a doz or more times over the past year and never could figure out the misfire. Last weekend I pulled it out again and decided the heck with it I'm going for a ride. I got maybe a mile down the road and the bike just died. FINALLY!!! Yes, this is good news. Pushed the bike back home and started tearing into it, taking measurements etc. Found it within an hour....

When I rebuilt the bike I wanted to make it street legal and it was a whole lot easier to just install an XL wire harness than to convert the dirt only XR harness. Here in AZ you can make a riding lawn mower street legal but I wanted a few street features beyond what was required. That said I found one of the factory plugs was coming apart and allowing two spade connectors to touch...killing ignition.

Made the repair. Rode the bike to make sure it was fixed...it was then pulled it into the garage, drained the fuel, threw my cover over it and marked the date it was last ridden. I'll pull it out again some time this fall. It was a good day!
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Old 06-13-2017, 11:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: Honda XR...problem fixed

Nice work I love those big XR's; surprisingly capable for their heft (talking dirt bikes, not dual sports here!)

I've actually caught myself looking at the odd XRL for sale locally, but I've never done that much "in depth" work on any of the XR's I've owned and I'm getting kinda lazy to deal with a new learning curve.

Glad you worked out your "bug".....intermittent electrical problems are the things nightmares are made of (for me, anyhow).


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Old 06-13-2017, 12:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: Honda XR...problem fixed

What a sweet ride that XR is!
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Old 06-16-2017, 03:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: Honda XR...problem fixed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck B View Post
So, about 8yrs ago I picked up an old XR to restore. I was feeling nostalgic as I've owned many XR's through the yrs beginning with the first XL600 back in 1983. During the 80's I owned several XR's and XL's. Raced an XR, took one XL to South America, took another to AK etc. Lots of memories.

Ran across this 95 that was a total beater. Multiple owners, beaten to death multiple times, spray painted multiple colors, cracked rims, leaking oil, missing plastics etc etc. After a couple months working on it at night I got it completed. Here it is!




I really enjoyed the process and thats how I ended up with a KLR...I wanted another project and found an old beaten down KLR and restored it. Still have both bikes but rarely ride the XR. First few years I rode it enough to keep the carb clean and oil circulated. I ended up letting my cousin borrow it...for nearly 2yrs. Got it back and went thru it...he racked up quite a few miles on street and dirt roads. It remained parked mostly for another 3=4yrs. Well, about a year ago I had a friend come in out of town and he wanted to borrow it for a ride. When he returned he said it had an occasional misfire. I rode it and it was very occasional...like once every 10-15 min. I put the bike away. Pulled it out some time later and misfire was still there but it was worse.

I worked on that bike a doz or more times over the past year and never could figure out the misfire. Last weekend I pulled it out again and decided the heck with it I'm going for a ride. I got maybe a mile down the road and the bike just died. FINALLY!!! Yes, this is good news. Pushed the bike back home and started tearing into it, taking measurements etc. Found it within an hour....

When I rebuilt the bike I wanted to make it street legal and it was a whole lot easier to just install an XL wire harness than to convert the dirt only XR harness. Here in AZ you can make a riding lawn mower street legal but I wanted a few street features beyond what was required. That said I found one of the factory plugs was coming apart and allowing two spade connectors to touch...killing ignition.

Made the repair. Rode the bike to make sure it was fixed...it was then pulled it into the garage, drained the fuel, threw my cover over it and marked the date it was last ridden. I'll pull it out again some time this fall. It was a good day!
Is your XR a little hard to start? I had a xr400 and a Xlr 500 both were temperamental,Piston top dead center, choke just right , released compression
most of the time they would start right up but if you missed it It felt like your leg was going to fall off kicking it so many times .If it kicked back and they usually would especially the 500 it felt like s mule kick ,Fond memories , that XR400 was one of the most fun bikes I ever had.
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Old 06-16-2017, 10:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Honda XR...problem fixed

Quote:
Originally Posted by donA View Post
Is your XR a little hard to start? I had a xr400 and a Xlr 500 both were temperamental,Piston top dead center, choke just right , released compression
most of the time they would start right up but if you missed it It felt like your leg was going to fall off kicking it so many times .If it kicked back and they usually would especially the 500 it felt like s mule kick ,Fond memories , that XR400 was one of the most fun bikes I ever had.
The early XR's were finicky about starting...both when cold and when hot and had been laying on its side. I cut my teeth jetting these early bikes and the dual carbs made sure to point out if you were any good. If you weren't you'd grow to hate these XR's. When Honda switched to single carb (87?) it became much easier to dial them in. Granted, many thumpers you'd need to learn the individual bikes characteristics but for the most part a good mechanic and an owner with some experience rarely had issues starting cold or hot (flooded). I'm proud to say this XR is a one kick starter.... Kick back...yeah, you never attempted to start those early XR's and CR's without boots on.

The XR400 never appealed to me. The 600 was only 20-30lbs more and well worth it imho. I now have a GB500 and very much appreciate the advantages of these smaller displacement XR engines.

Dave...I've always wanted to build up an XRR. That watercooled beast is/can be an amazing versatile bike.
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Old 06-23-2017, 07:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Honda XR...problem fixed

I think my brother has an XR. Kickstart only. A real bitch to get running. I'd like to bring it home and see if I can get it back to starting easily. He doesn't much care for it. Maybe he'll give it to me in exchange for fixing his BMW R90/6, which I've been working on to get it ready for the interstate.

My current bike is a DR350, which in my somewhat compromised state, I almost think I could pick it up and load it without a ramp. I just got it running again after letting it sit for almost a year. I found a Mikuni pumper that was stock for the dirt version, on Ebay for about $200. All set up, from a DR350 for the dirt. Awesome what it does for my dual sport 350.

My 04 KLR should be here next friday. Probably gonna sell all the farkles before I flip it. Need to see how it reacts to our SW heat!
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Old 06-23-2017, 07:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: Honda XR...problem fixed

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Pretty!
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