1986 XR 600R

I am considering buying a 1986 xr 600r tomorrow. It looks clean but the owner says its been sitting and needs the carb cleaned. I need something to follow my son around on.  I like the idea of owning something that has a reputation as being bulletproof and kind of classic and well made.  I am 6 foot 250 pounds, have ridden other peoples bikes but never owned my own.  1. Does this bike fit me well? 2. Is this known as being a good bike?  3.What should I look for since it probably wont start.

1 - bike will fit you fine.

2- These honda's are great bikes. they are built like tanks and will run forever if you take care of them.

3- Start with some of the basics. Check engine compression, spark, to see if the engine actually turns over smooth, check oil consistancy ( looks for shavings etc. Check both brakes by rolling it around. Check suspension to ensure there is fluid in front and back shocks and they rebound correctly. Check lights if it has them. Look for rust.

Hopefully someone with more knowledge of this paticular bike can chime in on specific things per the XR as I have the 87 XL.


If you buy it, exspect to pay for more than just a carb cleaning. This is just the way things are when buying a bike. Good luck with purchase.

I would also look real close to all the areas that have bearings ( wheels, swing arm, steering stem). If left unmaintained it could cause excess wear. Check that these areas are tight with no slop.

Check engine compression

Above all this


With a multi cylinder bike you can get away with low compression because usually one or more of the other cylinders will be close to spec and will support the others, but with a single, when it's low, it's the whole motor, and a low comp motor will start, idle, and generally run like garbage.  I chased all sorts of problems with my XL600 when I got it and it turned out the compression was way below spec.  Piston was all sorts of loose in the cylinder.


Luckily since it's a single, it's a cheap rebuild.  One cylinder to bore, one piston to buy, and a simple head to rebuild.  But if you're not looking to mess around with all that, then find a friend with a comp tester.

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