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any xl 200 1983 info ?

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I race a 500TT in a vintage series here but fancy picking up a bike for my son, when he is 15 he will be allowed to ride up to a 250 4 stroke 

 

the bike has to be air cooled and drum brakes

 

my list of possibilities include a xl200

 

I have just seen an 83 one for sale locally but apart from it being a good old Honda I have no idea what they were like.

 

Any info at all would be appreciated, did they have any known problems etc ? 

 

can you get parts ? what should I look out for when viewing it

 

many thanks 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lots of parts available, but even an xl stripped of its street legal stuff would be a poor choice for a race bike. Start with at least an xr-r and you will be racing competitvely faster.

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Lots of parts available, but even an xl stripped of its street legal stuff would be a poor choice for a race bike. Start with at least an xr-r and you will be racing competitvely faster.

is an XR  more powerful ?

 

I thought the engines were much the same (might be a gearbox difference) 

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Not enough difference to make much difference. Stiffer suspension but still limp noodles for motocross. Lighter, but still heavy as hell for motocross.

Look CR. ;)

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Not enough difference to make much difference. Stiffer suspension but still limp noodles for motocross. Lighter, but still heavy as hell for motocross.

Look CR. ;)

cheers

 

unfortunately it has to be old to enter, its either that or a 1970s 125cc 2 stroke with a knife edge powerband

 

its only for a bit of fun with others on similar wreckages until he is a bit older so he can ride anything 

 

he races modern mx  

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XL's have different, heavier frames, waaaaayy softer suspension that probably cant be tuned to racing applications

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If you want to compare the 1983 XL-200R to it's off-road-only sister bike, the 1983 XR-200R:

 

The XL has the same engine design and a similar cosmetic appearance.

The XL differs in the usual areas that a street-legal bike does from an off-road bike, even if they are supposed to be from similar lineage.

The airbox is more restrictive to cut intake noise.

It has a small battery and all of the extra parts needed to pass street-legal requirements.

The suspension travel is a bit shorter.

The rear shock is more of a cheapo model, and, if I recall, the swingarm pivots on plastic/nylon-type bushings instead of bona-fide needle bearings.

The footpegs have silly rubber mounting bushings that, in my opinion, needed to be gotten rid of when the bike was new because they flex and bend downward.

 

So, it is the typical Japanese dual-purpose bike that looks very much like it's off-road sister, but is built with cheaper parts since the Japs believe the typical XL rider is merely putting along some easy trail with butt firmly planted in the seat while sniffing the posies.

 

Race it?

Yeah, why not?

Just get ready to do some modifications.

It is still a relatively light-weight motorcycle, at least, as these were not considered heavy bikes in my opinion.

A TT-500 or XR-500 is what I call heavy.

 

Around here in the USA, if you have a local Honda motorcycle dealer with a decent Parts Dept. staff, they can check the availability of any part you may want to buy before you try ordering it from them and see whether or not it can still be had from the dealer.

Edited by YZEtc

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If you want to compare the 1983 XL-200R to it's off-road-only sister bike, the 1983 XR-200R:

 

The XL has the same engine design and a similar cosmetic appearance.

The XL differs in the usual areas that a street-legal bike does from an off-road bike, even if they are supposed to be from similar lineage.

The airbox is more restrictive to cut intake noise.

It has a small battery and all of the extra parts needed to pass street-legal requirements.

The suspension travel is a bit shorter.

The rear shock is more of a cheapo model, and, if I recall, the swingarm pivots on plastic/nylon-type bushings instead of bona-fide needle bearings.

The footpegs have silly rubber mounting bushings that, in my opinion, needed to be gotten rid of when the bike was new because they flex and bend downward.

 

So, it is the typical Japanese dual-purpose bike that looks very much like it's off-road sister, but is built with cheaper parts since the Japs believe the typical XL rider is merely putting along some easy trail with butt firmly planted in the seat while sniffing the posies.

 

Race it?

Yeah, why not?

Just get ready to do some modifications.

It is still a relatively light-weight motorcycle, at least, as these were not considered heavy bikes in my opinion.

A TT-500 or XR-500 is what I call heavy.

 

Around here in the USA, if you have a local Honda motorcycle dealer with a decent Parts Dept. staff, they can check the availability of any part you may want to buy before you try ordering it from them and see whether or not it can still be had from the dealer.

thanks very much, that was very informative. Its only really only a stop gap until he is old enough to be allowed to ride a vintage 250 2 stroke or bigger 4 stroke and its only for a bit of fun 

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The XL200 has a pretty small camshaft (looks like a pencil), low compression piston, and awkwardly spaced 5 speed gearbox. Switching these three items to either aftermarket pieces (the cam and piston, altho stock XR200 pieces are good too) or used (XR200R, XR200 for six speed trans, 83-85 ATC200X for a five speed) would go a long way to helping your boy have fun. And hey, if he likes it enough to want to continue racing it, there's plenty of parts and know-how about making the XR200 a powerhouse (relative to it's displacement and origins)

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