Honda XR650R SM - Road to Redemption
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Thread: Honda XR650R SM - Road to Redemption

  1. #1
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    Default Honda XR650R SM - Road to Redemption

    Hi all,

    A year ago, I bought a fairly stock 2001 Honda XR650R, with the intentions of riding it on the street and taking it to the desert once in a while. In other words, use it as a dual sport. My buddy had the same bike so we went riding a few times together, which was a blast, since we could share each other's knowledge on the bikes.

    Let's travel back in time...I discovered SM about 7 years ago, when a class mate of mine in University in The Netherlands (that's where I'm from) had a Husky with 17's. The first time I saw it, honestly I thought it looked ridiculous on a dirt bike since it made the bike look a lot smaller...If I even knew back then what I know now.
    I did LOVE the thumper sound though!

    So back to the XR...I read a bunch on the Internet about this bike, and discovered that it was a very good base to do an SM conversion. Yes, it's a pig, but a pig with some power up the a$$.
    I didn't think twice and sort of let the dual sport behind me and started doing the SM conversion. I bought Excel/Talon 17's, brakes, hand guards, some protectors here and there and voila...an SM was born. I never touched my suspension which was always bugging me, up to last week. When I finally tore down the forks and rear shock. I will have these revalved and reprung for my weight.

    One big glitch in the whole conversion happened when I tried to adjust my chain slack...yes, one of the adjusters broke flush with the swingarm..Nice one... The other adjuster was frozen as well. The guy I bought it from must have never adjusted these. :
    I've been like that for the last year, although it wasn't very safe.

    Last week I finally took off the swingarm when I took off the suspension parts as well...AND THAT'S WHEN IT STARTED!

    Anybody heard of those 'while you're in there' projects?

    I made the decision to tear down the whole bike and rebuild the whole thing, including powder coating the frame, swingarm, engine and other misc stuff.

    I will use this topic to show my progress to you including pictures of course. Also, it helps to keep me going, although I'm having a blast doing it. I can't wait till it's done!!!

    Feel free to give any advice on color scheme or other useful tips! I will probably be asking you all for advice on a lot of different things anyway.

    This is how I bought the bike.


    Here is it in SM trim and how I rode it for the last year.


    The teardown begins...






    An XR frame next to my buddy's VTX1800, what a size difference. He's just compensating...


    3 Afternoons and a six pack of Heinekens later...
    2001 Honda XR650R SM >>> FOR SALE $4700
    2003 Suzuki GSX-R600 (Sold)
    1987 Honda VF750C Supermagna (Sold)
    1986 Suzuki LS650 Savage (Starter bike - Sold)

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    Good luck with the project

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    I'm planning doing minor engine work, probably only a Stage 1 cam. Then I might buy a pumper carb and make my own air intake system.

    It'll be a beast, that's for sure!
    2001 Honda XR650R SM >>> FOR SALE $4700
    2003 Suzuki GSX-R600 (Sold)
    1987 Honda VF750C Supermagna (Sold)
    1986 Suzuki LS650 Savage (Starter bike - Sold)

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    For riding on the street, go with a stage 2 cam, moves the power up in the rpm range, which is wear we ride!
    2008 Ducati Hypermotard
    2001 XR650R supermoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by xr650supermoto View Post
    For riding on the street, go with a stage 2 cam, moves the power up in the rpm range, which is wear we ride!
    Hmmm

    Need to think about that one...I don't want to lose too much on the bottom end. Maybe I'm just thinking there is this HUGE dip in the power curve, but that in reality it's not nearly as bad.
    2001 Honda XR650R SM >>> FOR SALE $4700
    2003 Suzuki GSX-R600 (Sold)
    1987 Honda VF750C Supermagna (Sold)
    1986 Suzuki LS650 Savage (Starter bike - Sold)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Exige View Post
    Hmmm

    Need to think about that one...I don't want to lose too much on the bottom end. Maybe I'm just thinking there is this HUGE dip in the power curve, but that in reality it's not nearly as bad.
    It dosn't lose power, just moves the peak power up. The bike will pull up to the rev limiter. If you put in a 1 point higher piston, you will keep all the bottom end and gain some. High lift cams drop compression due to intake valve overlap, which you might feel in low end hit. But they pull in a lot more air to burn at high rpms, which adds peak hp. The added compression from a high comp piston, builds back the compression loss, and keep the low end torque. If you do get a piston, buy a JE forged. Another thing to do is a good header system. I have a Big Gun full system, but I don't know what is the best system out now. I do know that I gained a LOT of power with the bigger head pipes.
    2008 Ducati Hypermotard
    2001 XR650R supermoto
    2005 CRF450X supermoto
    2005 BBR 125 supermoto

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    if you're digging into the motor to put a piston in to match a cam for high RPM, put in a good con-rod, as well.
    Frustra fit per plura quod potest fieri per pauciora

    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.

    *We* are the music makers... and *we* are the dreamers of dreams.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carlsoti View Post
    if you're digging into the motor to put a piston in to match a cam for high RPM, put in a good con-rod, as well.
    Good call! I have a Falicon rod, but a Carrillo rod would be good too!
    2008 Ducati Hypermotard
    2001 XR650R supermoto
    2005 CRF450X supermoto
    2005 BBR 125 supermoto

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    Quote Originally Posted by carlsoti View Post
    if you're digging into the motor to put a piston in to match a cam for high RPM, put in a good con-rod, as well.
    +10.

    The only thing that will kill these engines is sustained high RPMs.

    Make sure you replace the timing chain and tensioner while you're

    in there. When I get around to building mine (I'm not gonna bother till something breaks)

    I'm going for LOTS or bottom end torque. Mine will only go to the track once or

    twice a year, so I want instant hit on the bottom for the street. Plus, me and the

    guys I ride with get in the dirt a lot (with 17s), I like being able to run

    tall gearing, and still have the ability to lug it off road.

    I've read posts by a lot of people on ADV rider that built their XRs for

    top end. They regretted it when they found they had lost that great

    bottom end, which is what they needed in the woods and on the street.

    When I "build" mine, I'm just going to put a stage 1 cam in, edelbrock carb and a more open exhaust.

    my .02
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    The big question here is, will this bike be used for the street, or the dirt? My bike has tons of low end hit, and way too much high end power to keep traction on dirt. I would never try to ride it on single track tight trails with the motor it has now. But after riding it with the current motor, I would never want the stock power that it had before the internal motor mods. I lost my motor due to lower rod failure last year trying to do a speed run, tried to pull 120, and was at 119 for about 12 miles. I had to build a motor, and am damn happy with the motor I built! I have a crf450x to ride off road.
    2008 Ducati Hypermotard
    2001 XR650R supermoto
    2005 CRF450X supermoto
    2005 BBR 125 supermoto

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    I'll be riding this bike 99% street, and I do like the large bottom end torque. Originally, I was planning on the EXACT same mods as Svmango described, so I'm really still undecided how far I want to take this project. I could spend $1000+ on engine work and still not be satisfied, knowing me...

    Yes, I would LOVE to put in a:
    Stage 2 cam $190
    11:1 Piston, stock bore $180
    Falicon rod $300
    Cam chain + Tensioner $120
    Misc gaskets $60

    That totals to $850...But I do have an awesome engine then...
    2001 Honda XR650R SM >>> FOR SALE $4700
    2003 Suzuki GSX-R600 (Sold)
    1987 Honda VF750C Supermagna (Sold)
    1986 Suzuki LS650 Savage (Starter bike - Sold)

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    what kind of power/torque differences can be had by working the internals with all that? because it sure sounds like a better spend 850 than on an exhaust

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    From what I've read it's possible to get around 65 on the rear wheel with all these mods.

    I dyno'd @ 47.83 hp and 42.40 ft-lbs on the rear wheel. Only mods I have are uncorked and a K&N replacement filter in the stock air box. I do not have my side panels cut. Reason for that is that the bike runs very nice with a very flat torque curve and I didn't want to mess things up.
    Just for the heck of it we dyno'd without an air filter and hp went to 50.60 hp and torque to 43.65 ft-lbs, but there was a huge dip in the bottom end. Obviously that was with the current jetting.

    But things might change soon...I just have never worked on the internals of an engine (as in piston, rod, etc.) so I feel like I should leave this to a pro...
    2001 Honda XR650R SM >>> FOR SALE $4700
    2003 Suzuki GSX-R600 (Sold)
    1987 Honda VF750C Supermagna (Sold)
    1986 Suzuki LS650 Savage (Starter bike - Sold)

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    hoe much power did it make?
    David
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  17. #15
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    Sounds cool....ik ga dit project zeker blijven volgen
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    Keep us up to date on the build! I am in the process of my build. It is still a dirt bike for this summer, but after that...it's all street.

    The guy I bought my bike from already had a 10.5 piston, stage 2 hotcam, port and polished head and pumper carb in the bike. I bought a Staintune exhaust and that should be about it for the engine. I will do a complete rewire this winter along with the precious wheel purchase (Woody's). Next spring it will be on!

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    These are interesting reads:

    http://borynack.com/XR650R/HorsePowerMods.htm
    http://borynack.com/XR650R/dynocharts.htm

    It looks like on conservative dynos, an uncorked XR650R gets 42-44whp. On these dynos, it seems pretty much impossible to get 60whp and stay reasonably reliable. His is a 680 with big cam, big carb and big exhaust and he is high 50s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Exige View Post
    I'll be riding this bike 99% street, and I do like the large bottom end torque. Originally, I was planning on the EXACT same mods as Svmango described, so I'm really still undecided how far I want to take this project. I could spend $1000+ on engine work and still not be satisfied, knowing me...

    Yes, I would LOVE to put in a:
    Stage 2 cam $190
    11:1 Piston, stock bore $180
    Falicon rod $300
    Cam chain + Tensioner $120
    Misc gaskets $60

    That totals to $850...But I do have an awesome engine then...
    Let us know how the 11:1 piston is, im intested in bumping my compression, but im not sure how much

    Quote Originally Posted by RRM View Post
    Keep us up to date on the build! I am in the process of my build. It is still a dirt bike for this summer, but after that...it's all street.

    The guy I bought my bike from already had a 10.5 piston, stage 2 hotcam, port and polished head and pumper carb in the bike. I bought a Staintune exhaust and that should be about it for the engine. I will do a complete rewire this winter along with the precious wheel purchase (Woody's). Next spring it will be on!
    What gas do you run in it, 93 should be fine for 10:5 right
    07 XR650R Street Legal SuMo Sold
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    Quote Originally Posted by xr650r_sm View Post
    These are interesting reads:

    http://borynack.com/XR650R/HorsePowerMods.htm
    http://borynack.com/XR650R/dynocharts.htm

    It looks like on conservative dynos, an uncorked XR650R gets 42-44whp. On these dynos, it seems pretty much impossible to get 60whp and stay reasonably reliable. His is a 680 with big cam, big carb and big exhaust and he is high 50s.
    Interesting links. Thanks! I did read the 2nd one, but never saw the 1st one.
    I really would like to stay reliable, so I'm not going to push it too far. I've been reading quite a bit especially on connecting rods and if I should replace them. Sure, it's nice to have a completely fresh engine, but I don't have a money tree either. It seems I can get away with the stock rod if I don't pin it on the freeway for miles and miles, which I don't do (I actually try to avoid freeways). That would save me $300+ right there.

    So for now I'm thinking a High comp piston and stage 2 (or 1 ?!...sigh!) cam should do the job.
    2001 Honda XR650R SM >>> FOR SALE $4700
    2003 Suzuki GSX-R600 (Sold)
    1987 Honda VF750C Supermagna (Sold)
    1986 Suzuki LS650 Savage (Starter bike - Sold)

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    I am scared of the stage 2 cam, lots of posts about losing bottom end power with it. I had a too big pilot jet in (needed 68s, had 70s in) and riding around with a huge loss of bottom end was depressing. I am putting a stage 1 cam in next week and hopefully dynoing before and after.

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    Better to make it bullet proof&reliable! Spend the extra $300 on the internals. Better safe than sorry. You can always go for exehaust and carb mods later in the build or even next year but if you blow the motor...........

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    If you're not gonna put a new rod in it, go with the stage 1 cam. I have a feeling that the stage 2 will make you WANT to wind it out more often.
    Frustra fit per plura quod potest fieri per pauciora

    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.

    *We* are the music makers... and *we* are the dreamers of dreams.

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    With a HD piston ,go for the stage 2 cam. I have both and it's a very nice combo for SM use.

    But don't forget the most important on a big power XR: a nice pumper carb like a Keihin FCR 41. The best thing that you can ad to a XR.


    I had mine bored oval to 43mm . With all my other mods it' scary fast and reliable,even with the stock rod (with 12000 to 15000 km on it), a light flywheel,high rev CDI (Stock XR400 one -> rev limiter @ 9500) OS intake valves etc ....


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    That's one Bada$$ bike with the CRF plastics Manu!

    I decided to go for a HC 11:1 JE piston, a Stage 1 cam and the stock conn rod. An Edelbrock pumper is used to spit out the fuel. An FMF Powerbomb header icw my current WB E-Series end pipe will blow out the exhaust fumes.
    I decided to NOT go for a new connecting rod since:

    1. I don't have a money tree and serious high cash flow at the moment.
    2. I just putt around through the city and road trips through the canyons. Sure, It would have been nice to get all fresh internals, but it's very expensive (I would have to have somebody do it) and unnecessary at the moment.

    I also decided to powder coat the frame, engine cases, valve cover and triple clamps. I won't do the swingarm after looking at a bunch of pictures of other bikes. I kind of like the contrast of a black frame and a blank alu swingarm.
    The fork legs and radiator louvers will be painted black as well.

    I will order a CRF rear fender and try to make it fit on the XR subframe.

    Tonight I cleaned (read: degreased) the frame and subframe. I'm planning on rewelding the subframe and cutting the number plates like the Vancouver SM bike. I really like the look of the large open rear wheel.

    I'm expecting to get everything cleaned up and ready for powder coat by Saturday.

    To be continued.
    2001 Honda XR650R SM >>> FOR SALE $4700
    2003 Suzuki GSX-R600 (Sold)
    1987 Honda VF750C Supermagna (Sold)
    1986 Suzuki LS650 Savage (Starter bike - Sold)

  27. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by XR-MANU View Post
    With a HD piston ,go for the stage 2 cam. I have both and it's a very nice combo for SM use.

    But don't forget the most important on a big power XR: a nice pumper carb like a Keihin FCR 41. The best thing that you can ad to a XR.


    I had mine bored oval to 43mm . With all my other mods it' scary fast and reliable,even with the stock rod (with 12000 to 15000 km on it), a light flywheel,high rev CDI (Stock XR400 one -> rev limiter @ 9500) OS intake valves etc ....
    Are the aftermarket pistons lighter? Can you actually spin it to 9500 and it is still making power? Is that how some of the euro bikes are making over 60whp or are the dynos just reading differently? Thanks!

  28. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by xr650r_sm View Post
    Are the aftermarket pistons lighter? Can you actually spin it to 9500 and it is still making power? Is that how some of the euro bikes are making over 60whp or are the dynos just reading differently? Thanks!
    I have a HRC piston in,they are lighter.
    With the big intake valves and FCR and especially with the stage 2 , it keeps pulling very hard even over 9000 rpm and no real sign-off.

    About the Euro dynos, I had just under 63 rwhp last time (2 years ago)with an antic Mikuni TM40 carb (way too rich),sans Stage 2 and hi-rev CDI... I've seen dynos with over 80 hp (crank) from some respectable Euro engine builders,so there must be a difference in reading I think.

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    Technically, Horsepower should be horsepower.
    However, there are differences in reading. Euro dyno's often measure in DIN (Deutsche Industrie Norm) horsepower to where US dyno's measure SAE horsepower.

    If you divide DIN horsepower by 1.0139 you have SAE horsepower. However, in real life the two are so close, that they're pretty much interchangeable.

    Remember, dyno numbers always should be corrected to certain ambient conditions to compare numbers.

    Seems to me that 80+ is a little optimistic...OR the numbers haven't been corrected.
    2001 Honda XR650R SM >>> FOR SALE $4700
    2003 Suzuki GSX-R600 (Sold)
    1987 Honda VF750C Supermagna (Sold)
    1986 Suzuki LS650 Savage (Starter bike - Sold)

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    Today I took my swingarm to work and pressed out the bearings with a 20t press. Easy enough...
    After all, I WILL PC the swingarm...I'm so undecisive... :
    Unfortunately we couldn't get the bearing off the steering stem. The triple clamp would flex under the press. So I had the part dropped off at the local MC shop for them to take it off.

    Tonight I marked up all the places on the parts where the PC'er should stay away from. I was planning on leaving all the machined parts blank, but is this necessary (for example, the location where the shock and linkages fit). I'm not sure if the added thickness of the PC could affect the fit. Any input?! :

    So far I will black out the:
    - frame
    - swingarm
    - clutch, alternator and waterpump cover
    - cylinder head cover and valve covers

    I also ordered all my new goodies (carb, piston, cam, etc.). I'm planning on mounting a black CRF rear fender and black number plates...not sure about rewelding the subframe though... I might just stick with the stock air box.

    Hopefully I can take everything to the PC'er by Wednesday.
    2001 Honda XR650R SM >>> FOR SALE $4700
    2003 Suzuki GSX-R600 (Sold)
    1987 Honda VF750C Supermagna (Sold)
    1986 Suzuki LS650 Savage (Starter bike - Sold)

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    Ohhhhh, can't wait to see all the new black parts...this will help me decide how far down this road to go

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    Quote Originally Posted by RRM View Post
    Ohhhhh, can't wait to see all the new black parts...this will help me decide how far down this road to go
    Yep, same here. Trying to decide what I want to do with my XRR.

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    You might want to double check something. I read that the Power bomb header and the Edelbrock carb dont mix well..somthing about the carb hitting or sitting to close to the bulge of the power bomb. Most seem to be using the FMF High Flow header pipe. I think i read this over at the Thumper Talk forum.
    Keep us posted on the progress of this awsome bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by max2 View Post
    You might want to double check something. I read that the Power bomb header and the Edelbrock carb dont mix well..somthing about the carb hitting or sitting to close to the bulge of the power bomb. Most seem to be using the FMF High Flow header pipe. I think i read this over at the Thumper Talk forum.
    Keep us posted on the progress of this awsome bike.
    O, that's just great... I haven't read about that, but I'll definitely do some research on that. Thanks!

    I did get an early X-mas present at work though...



    Slowly but surely I'm going broke.
    2001 Honda XR650R SM >>> FOR SALE $4700
    2003 Suzuki GSX-R600 (Sold)
    1987 Honda VF750C Supermagna (Sold)
    1986 Suzuki LS650 Savage (Starter bike - Sold)

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    Did some searching on Thumpertalk...

    "hi the accelerator pump screw on the Edelbrock touches the powerbomb portion of the header pipe on my FMF exhaust. the only way i can see to remedy this is to file the larger knurled part of screw to the diameter of the rest of the screw thus making it thinner, it should then just clear the top of the powerbomb section of the exhaust. as i have never opened the Edelbrock carb and dont have a schematic for it i need to know if it is possible to unscrew the AP all the way out in order to grind it.

    has anyone else had this problem"


    ...

    "This has been talked about before (FMF Power Bobm + Edelbrock). Some people have slightly indented the bomb portioon of the header where its making contact and FMF has said this will not make any difference in the performance of their header. You can also twist the Edelbrock so it's sitting slightly canted and it should still work fine. Filing the screw as you mentioned is another option."


    So it shouldn't be a problem.
    2001 Honda XR650R SM >>> FOR SALE $4700
    2003 Suzuki GSX-R600 (Sold)
    1987 Honda VF750C Supermagna (Sold)
    1986 Suzuki LS650 Savage (Starter bike - Sold)

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    Just a quick update!

    Last Friday morning, I took my frame, swingarm, subframe, engine covers, valve cover and some misc small stuff to the powder coater to have it coated in semi-gloss black. Sweeeeeet!
    Everything should be done mid/end next week, so that's awesome. By that time I should have all the engine gaskets and my camshaft.

    Today I started taking the engine apart to prepare for the rebuild. I took the head off, as well as the cylinder. There was quite a bit of carbon deposits on the valves, so I cleaned that up.
    The cylinder looked really good, as expected and the cross hatch pattern was still in good shape. I deglazed the cylinder with very fine (gray) scotch brite and soapy water.

    The worst part of the day was scraping off the gasket from the cylinder/crankcase mating surface. However, I just took my time, a couple of Bud Light Limes and it came out nice and clean.

    I'm waiting to install the new piston till I have my new engine gaskets. They should be at the dealer on Tuesday.

    Some pictures...

    My work table:


    Not bad for an 8 year old bike:


    Everything cleaned up nice:
    2001 Honda XR650R SM >>> FOR SALE $4700
    2003 Suzuki GSX-R600 (Sold)
    1987 Honda VF750C Supermagna (Sold)
    1986 Suzuki LS650 Savage (Starter bike - Sold)

  37. #35
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    Be careful when you torque down the cylinder bolts. When I did mine I found out from Honda (and from asking in a few message boards) that these should be replaced when you do the piston. The studs, not the nuts. They are a one time use part. Two if you're lucky. If you try and torque them down to factory specs they will just stretch until they snap. Some people have been lucky, but most I talk to end up torquing the old ones down a few pounds less than what the book says. They haven't reported any problems yet.

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    Today when I came in at work, I found a voicemail om my phone from my powder coater...My parts wered done!!! Woohoo!

    So I picked up my parts during lunch and I couldn't have been happier! They wrapped everything really nice, so unwrapping everything tonight was like an early Christmas.

    Check it out.









    2001 Honda XR650R SM >>> FOR SALE $4700
    2003 Suzuki GSX-R600 (Sold)
    1987 Honda VF750C Supermagna (Sold)
    1986 Suzuki LS650 Savage (Starter bike - Sold)

  39. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Dacono, CO
    Posts
    38

    Default

    I like it! It's all very "Darth Vadar"...

  40. #38
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    1,403

    Default

    wow i cant wait to see this get put back together

    What compression piston did you go with?
    07 XR650R Street Legal SuMo Sold
    04 CBR1000RR
    For Sale: 1997 CR500R $2300, 2005 CRF450R
    06 SMR560 Plated hooligan
    2002 VW GTI 337 1.8T 6 spd Unitronics tuned, 2004 VW GTI VR6 Turbo, 450hp

  41. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    293

    Default

    I went with a 11:1 comp JE piston.
    I now just took the old piston off and put the new rings on the JE piston. My garage is kinda dark inside, so I'll leave the engine work for tomorrow.
    I can't believe how smooth this whole project is going so far...knock on wood...

    Today at work I pressed my new AllBalls bearings in the swingarm and I asked the local bike dealer to press on the lower steering stem bearing.

    Tomorrow, I'm assembling the camshaft and new piston. Hopefully I get as far as getting the engine back in the frame...That'd be sweeeeeet.

    I have pretty much all of my new parts, except for the Ricky Stator and the revalved/resprung suspension. But that's OK, cause cash flow is pretty high lately
    Unfortunately I heard that the EB pumper carb won't get shipped until 8/22, but that's probably the last thing to go on the bike anyways.

    I'm so damn excited!!!
    2001 Honda XR650R SM >>> FOR SALE $4700
    2003 Suzuki GSX-R600 (Sold)
    1987 Honda VF750C Supermagna (Sold)
    1986 Suzuki LS650 Savage (Starter bike - Sold)

  42. #40
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Northern Colorado
    Posts
    92

    Default

    C'mon man! it's been a whole day and your bike isn't back together

    I'm excited to see how all the powdercoated stuff works together. They sure do look nice.

  43. #41
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    340

    Default

    hi man nice build you got going there
    like trigun said you better do the cylinder studs

  44. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    293

    Default

    I had to attend a party at a friend's house in the afternoon, so I didn't have much time to work on the bike today.

    So, today my plan was to put the top end back together and I got pretty far...Until I was ready to put the cylinder head cover back on. The dealer ordered the wrong dowel pin (I managed to damage one while stripping the cover for powder coat).
    So it probably won't be until next week that I can finish the engine. I assembled the new piston and camshaft, which was a breeze with the service manual on hand, as long as you stay focused and organized. I used the same cylinder studs, which I torqued down to almost factory specs. Honda calls out 67 Nm (49 ft-lbs), I torqued it down to 65.4 Nm (47 ft-lbs). I made sure to oil the threads with engine oil like the manual says to get an accurate torque setting.

    The cam chain tensioner needs to be retracted prior to installation by twisting a slot with a thin screwdriver for about 6 rotations. This retracts the arm that presses against the chain guide in the engine. I used a nail that I flattened with a hammer, since even the smallest screwdriver I had was too large. The manual tells you to make a tool from sheet metal. I had my tool made in 5 seconds. Once the tensioner is back installed, you release the pressure off the nail and the incorporated spring unwinds the tensioner arm until it seats against the chain guide.
    This is my very first top end rebuild on an engine, so I'm quite proud of myself. So far so good.

    The new piston installed...I did a dry install of the cylinder after doing readups on top end rebuilds on the TT forum. The opinions vary, but many TT guys choose the dry method.



    The Hotcams Stage 1 cam on the left, compared to the stocker on the right. Notice that the Hotcams doesn't have an auto-decompression mechanism.



    When setting your timing, make sure that the marks on the sprocket are aligned with the head (the 'EX' mark points to the exhaust side...)...



    And the 'T' mark on the flywheel lines up with the cutout notch in the alternator cover inspection hole.



    And a little teaser with the cylinder head cover installed, the oil/water pump covers will be black as well:



    Tomorrow, I have the whole day for myself and I'll be leaving the engine for what it is and concentrate on the frame/swingarm. I'm going to start bolting stuff to the frame and swingarm and slowly build everything back up...Man, I can't wait to ride.

    To be continued.
    2001 Honda XR650R SM >>> FOR SALE $4700
    2003 Suzuki GSX-R600 (Sold)
    1987 Honda VF750C Supermagna (Sold)
    1986 Suzuki LS650 Savage (Starter bike - Sold)

  45. #43
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Cedar Park, TX
    Posts
    343

    Default

    Looks great. Yeah, I did one without changing the studs and only got to 43lbs. It has held up with no problems ever since. Sometimes you get lucky.

  46. #44
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    293

    Default

    Another day, another chance...

    Today as planned I worked on the frame and swingarm. Everything worked out quite well and it sure looks good! This is the fun part where I can bolt on all the new clean stuff...really neat.

    I got the new bearings pressed in the swingarm and triple tree, so I mounted the newly coated triples back on the frame. Tapping out of the old races was a breeze, much easier than expected. A long punch and a couple of whacks with a hammer did the job. I put the new races in the freezer for about a half hour so they would shrink a little to ease the installation. No big deal there, just tapped them in like I tapped the old one out.

    Although I couldn't put on the valve cover just yet, I did mange to put the engine back in the frame with help of my room mate. No nicks or nothing, so that story got a happy ending.
    I closed the night by bolting on the footpegs and shift lever.

    It's starting to look like a bike again.
    Funny enough I spent most of my time today wiping off silver anti-seize finger prints from the black frame during assembly. I must have (mist)waxed the frame about 4 times today...lol. Anti-seize, together with blue tread locker is a must though when putting everything back together.

    As fas as my to-do list goes, I really need to get my suspension done, so tomorrow I'll talk to my contact to drop everything off.

    Old and new swingarm...Nice difference.



    I think the black looks pretty b*tching. I'm happy with the outcome so far.



    And the saga continues...
    2001 Honda XR650R SM >>> FOR SALE $4700
    2003 Suzuki GSX-R600 (Sold)
    1987 Honda VF750C Supermagna (Sold)
    1986 Suzuki LS650 Savage (Starter bike - Sold)

  47. #45
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Canton NC
    Posts
    1,524

    Default

    Totally sweet.


    Impotence....Boomerang....I'll stab you
    Clumps of hair....In the sink....Who's hiding....Things from me?
    It's not funny my ass is on fire.

  48. #46
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Bethlehem PA
    Posts
    112

    Default

    That looks awesome, cant wait to see it all back together.

  49. #47
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Posts
    65

    Default

    I want to know if the Honda claim of 277lb dry weight is remotely accurate? I have talked to people about tarding a 650R, and they say it's too heavy and slow steering. They say the Honda claim of 277lbs is BS. Dunno, please confirm or deny.

    Several sites claim that the uncorked HP at the crank is 65ish, with hellish torque and supreme durability. Just wish it had 6 speeds.

  50. #48
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Valley of the Sunburn
    Posts
    3,270

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    277 DRY isn't too far from the truth, but what good is a bike with no brake fluid, radiator fluid, fork oil, engine oil or gas in it? If you plan on racing the bike, the XR is a bit "bulky", but if it's gonna be a street tard, they're great. 65hp just from uncorking it may be a bit high, but the claims of hellish torque and supreme durability are accurate. I'm with you on the "6 speeds" part.
    Frustra fit per plura quod potest fieri per pauciora

    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.

    *We* are the music makers... and *we* are the dreamers of dreams.

  51. #49
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Northern Colorado
    Posts
    92

    Default

    The "too heavy and slow" statement is definitely only from a racer's perspective. The XRR is a fantastic street tard.


    Quote Originally Posted by Devlduc View Post
    I want to know if the Honda claim of 277lb dry weight is remotely accurate? I have talked to people about tarding a 650R, and they say it's too heavy and slow steering. They say the Honda claim of 277lbs is BS. Dunno, please confirm or deny.

    Several sites claim that the uncorked HP at the crank is 65ish, with hellish torque and supreme durability. Just wish it had 6 speeds.

  52. #50
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Pacific Beach
    Posts
    271

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Crabenho View Post
    The "too heavy and slow" statement is definitely only from a racer's perspective. The XRR is a fantastic street tard.
    +1
    2000 XR650R-SM "Plated and barely street legal"
    Big Gun Exhaust w/FMF Hi-Flo Header
    Edelbrock pumper carb
    Excell wheels w/Avon Distanzias
    Trail Tech Vapor; 15/45 gearing

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