Rebuild version 1.0

So I've started a the rebuild one of the XR200's out of the mountain of parts I have obtained. As this is the first try and gonna be the roughest one I thought I'd document the steps I take and any suggestions along the way would be much appreciated.

So to date.

1 - I have reassembled the engine, unfortunately didn't take any pics but the next bike will be a total engine rebuild so will probably make up for it then. All it requires is a sand blast and paint.

2 - sandblast the triples and swingarm and paint matt black.

3 - clean up forks as best as possible. There is no pitting on the slide part but up the top there is a bit, I've polished out as much as possible but any good tips on getting rid of the rest?

4- roughly assemble front and rear suspension and put wheels on.

Thats all I got to before a last minute job came up in the states, when I get back I will get a decent sand blasting cabinet and go to town on the engine as well as try and bring some of the plastics back to life..

bulk parts.JPG




Edited by aff-man

Hey there Aff-man. Look's good.

If you need any spares or looking for a certain parts I have two of these early 80 - 82 in the shed, plus alot of engine parts.

You can polish the fork rust, surface with cutting compound.

Sandblasting the engine with sand, assembled, would not be something I would do but I am not sure if that is what you mean. If blast it with soda then when the water comes into contact with it it dissolves. Sand in the engine could be a risk.

If you want to get a little more grunt out of it port and polish the exhaust and match port the intake manifold to the cylinder head for better flow. Do not grind or polish the intake as the roughness helps with fuel combustion.

Nice work....I like it.

Edited by GEOF

If you are interested and have facebook...then click on the link. My son and I have done a couple of these Xr 200 rebuilds now and the vids and photo's may be of help to you.

Just thought you might be interested.


Edited by GEOF

Hi Geoff

Thanks for the advice, i'll look into getting some soda for the blasting. As I said this first one will be a rough build just to have a rideable bike that looks a little bit ok. The next one will all be done from ground up and will look into the porting options and also look at making a custom exhaust as I was told that just increasing the header bore diameter does quite a lot for the engine.

I am compiling a list of required parts but I think I have almost everything except the stator cover.

Also these bits have been sitting around a while. I was going to get some of that decreaser fluid they use in parts cleaning cabinets and soak the engine bits etc for the new engine but is there something that you recommend so as to get them nice and cleaned up before reassembly? This will probably be done in a couple months when the first one is sorted.


Several options for part cleaning fluids; Diesel, kerosine, paint thinner, Stoddard solvent (non flammable), etc. All are petroleum based so do a good job of dissolving oils and grease. There are other solvents but they have more serious safety and health issues.

Edited by chuck4788

Several options for part cleaning fluids; Diesel, kerosine, paint thinner, Stoddard solvent (non flammable), etc. All are petroleum based so do a good job of dissolving oils and grease. There are other solvents but they have more serious safety and health issues.

What's "non flammable" lost me? Diesel first on your list as a cleaning fluid in a parts washer.......??? :confused:

Old School Al

Hey Aff......I like to use Kerosing for the first wash to get the bulk of the crap off. It is very good. I also use a stiff brush. I only use a small portable wash bath. I let it drip dry on a rag for about 10 minutes and then blow it all off with compressed air at about 100 - 120 psi. A good blow off to remove it all. Then I use Koala degresser for a final. That seems to bring up a nice shine after blowing that off with compressed air.

I thought you may be interested to know that I have come across some very good paint for plastics. It is available from Super cheap auto. I am a believer after applying it to my front and rear fender. Does not crack.

Here is a link to it.

Edited by GEOF

Sweet I have an abrasive polish that restores plastics called plasticX... It's amazing!!! I bought it to get rid of the yellow sun fade on my car headlights (came up crystal clear) but have used it on just about every plastic thing I have hahahaha

A light sand and then some polish and i'll see how they come up, will take pics and let you know.

If it all turns to custard though i'll go pick up some of that paint.


What's "non flammable" lost me? Diesel first on your list as a cleaning fluid in a parts washer.......??? :confused:

Old School Al

My bad on the stoddard solvent, I was thinking of the nonflammable solvents that we used years ago to clean shop floors.

I haven't used Diesel in a parts cleaner but I do use paint thinner, buy it in 5 gallon pails. Paint thinner is just a more refined product than diesel but more flammable. Kerosine is in between the two but I can buy the paint thinner cheaper than either. YMMV

So managed get enough bolts out of the miss matched boxes sand finally after a few finishing touches and a lick of paint the engine is in


Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By spezza-125
      Anyways so I got a 1985 xr200r RFVC, and I have heard that the oil really overheats and in some cases people have had their bike (Rarely) go up in flames, however I don't want to take any chances and I heard that there is a way to put on some sort of oil cooler... How do I do it??
    • By Yamiha
      I have a '01 XR200 and i was wondering it anyone could give me a top speed for it. Where i live its more 2 lane highways and things so i cant find a good straight to run it with a car in. Thanks
    • By Quick Draw
      I decided to compile a list of common modifications for the XR200 in hopes of eliminating some of the common questions asked on this forum. These modifications are intended to improve the overall performance of the bike, without sacrificing reliability. Feel free to suggest amendments or things to edit.
      The XR200 is an excellent offroad machine; however, it was for the most part obsolete about 20 years ago. The bike can still be accredited to having probably the best reliability of any full size bike out there. When properly setup and modified, the "little XR" can run with the modern big bikes, especially in the tight and nasty technical terrain.
      INTAKE: Remove the airbox snorkel on top of the airbox. It just takes a little prying and it's out. For $20-$40, you can get an aftermarket filter (UNI, TwinAir, No Toil), that will help increase airflow. Rejet one size up on the main and pilot.
      Here are the stock jetting specs to give you a basline:
      Stock jetting
      XR200 (not XR200R)
      main 102
      pilot 35
      Needle position 3rd groove
      Pilot screw initial setting 1 3/4 turns out
      XR200R (81-83 only)
      Main 138
      Pilot none
      Needle position 3rd grove
      Pilot screw initial setting 2 1/2 turns out
      XR200R (86 and later)
      Main 112 (86) 110 (87 and later)
      pilot 38 35(98 and later CA only)
      Needle position 3rd groove
      Pilot screw initial setting 1 1/8 turns out
      When these things are done, the bike will breath much better. This is the single greatest modification for a bike ridden at high altitude.
      Overall cost w/out filter: about $10 for jets; $20-$40 for the aftermarket filter
      ENGINE: The greatest improvement to the XR200R engine is a big bore kit. Here are the 2 most common kits:
      Other options include porting and polishing the head, high compression pistons, hotter cams, etc. The more you do, the more reliability is reduced, but it is a trade off for power. Another option is an ’83 -’85 ATC200X cylinder head. It has a .5mm smaller bore, so it would need to be bored to 65.5mm, however, it has much larger cooling fins. For motors that are constantly being run in extreme temperatures, this is an option to consider.
      Overall cost: Varies by modification, expect to drop $200-$1000
      EXHAUST: There are several aftermarket exhausts on the market. These range from silencers to full systems. Prices range from $80-$500. Most aftermarket exhausts will give about the same improvement. The engine will rev quicker, which can be nice, but mostly they all just make the bike louder. For mild improvement to the stock system: grind the weld off of the inside of the header and remove the small cap held on by 2 8mm bolts at the exhaust tip.
      Overall cost: 0-$500
      SUSPENSION: This is a major weakness with '92-'02 XR200s. The first option for the forks is to give the springs more preload by adding a larger spacer on top of the springs. The second, most common option is to swap out the entire suspension. '84-'91 XR200 forks and rear shocks will bolt right up, and ‘81-’83 XR200R forks will with the corresponding triple clamps. '84-'89 CR125/250 front ends will bolt up to any XR200R with the addition of a spacer. This particular swap is more complicated, but also adds a disc brake and improves the bike tremendously when used in combination with an '84-'91 XR200 rear shock. See this thread for more info on CR front ends: These parts frequently show up on Ebay and can be obtained very cheap. Also, a visit to or similar suspension tuning company couldn't hurt with any setup. Emulators and progressive springs will get conventional forks nice and plush. Currently, XR250 rear shocks are in question as to what years will work; therefore, I do not recommend them at this point. Many people have them on their 200, however there is not a definitive answer for the years yet. Be sure to research before you buy.
      Overall cost: Generally less than $100; for Racetech tuning, expect to drop $200+.
      WHEELS: An 18" rear wheel from an '86-'89 XR250 will bolt right up. This can help because the 17" wheel spins too much sometimes, and tends to work its own spokes loose. There is also a much greater tire selection with the 18" rear wheel.
      Overall cost: Generally less than $100
      LIGHTING/DUAL SPORT: Lights can easily be added to the 200 by tying into a pink wire that just comes up under the tank, then loops right back down to the stator. This wire has no purpose, and was left behind in the wiring harness, because the non-American XR200s had lights, and Honda didn't pay to change the wiring harness or the stator. I have personally tested it up to 75 watts, but I wouldn't recommend going much higher. From there it is simply a matter of wiring it the way you want it. In any application you will need a 12v voltage regulator. I would be happy to assist with any questions on the wiring you may have, since I have redone mine several times to change things. Also, please visit this thread for some diagrams (about halfway down the page): Each wiring job is different, so it is difficult to write a generalized way to do it. For dual sporting, there are kits from Baja Designs and similar companies, or you can be creative and pull parts together yourself, and in result save lots of money. The first time I had lights on my bike, it only cost me $6. A speedometer cable can be attached to the speedometer port on the front brake hub, as long as you can find a way to mount the speedometer. TrailTech computers are the easy alternative to the manual speedometer.
      Overall cost: Dependent upon creativity. Baja Designs kit runs around $450
      Helpful XR200 Links: (engine info) (adding lights)
      **I need more links for XR200 INFORMATION, NOT PRODUCT websites....Post them in this thread if you have them***
      Again, please feel free to suggest editing....I'm sure there are MANY things I forgot. This is just a baseline to get started.
    • By Footy
      I don't have photo access yet but lets see your 200's.
      My dad is planing on selling his 02 XR 200, but it's in need of a rear shock. I was told that these shocks arn't servicable, so we priced a new one out. The dealers asking over $400 for a new one. So my question is, what other bikes have a rear shock that will work on his 200? Thanks.