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Newb to xr600...do's and don'ts?

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Hey everyone! Fairly new to this forum and just got myself a 1989 xr600. It's in pretty good shape, haven't had to do anything to get it running but I do know it needs a valve adjustment. Was wondering if there's anything else I should look over before I take it to the trails? Any mods that would help the bike out? I plan on doing mostly trail riding in northern Michigan so any suggestions on accessories to get or avoid would also be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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No throttle when kicking to start! Or may kickback & put your injured foot into orbit!

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Yea that's pretty 101 haha this isn't my first bike but certainly my first bike that I'll be able to get around on.

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I'm not sure if the carb's choke plate needs looked after, on the earlier models. Anyone else know?

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I'm not sure if the carb's choke plate needs looked after, on the earlier models. Anyone else know?

yup, 88 was the first year of the self distructing choke plate.

To the op, if your bike has the stock choke butterfly plate, you need to swap it with the one from xr's only. They are well known for breaking in half, sucking into the motor and shredding all kinds of hell in your top end. Good call bork.

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The other thing i like to point out to new owners is that these bikes have three oil filters. Two require regular maintenance and the third is good to know about.

1. Normal filter accessed by removing the roundish plate on the right side of the engine that is held on by three screws.

2. Frame screen located at the bottom of the down tube where the oil line comes off the frame. Check this one every few oil changes or so, it tends to collect all the metal bits.

3. Screen inside the clutch cover located in the bottom center. Just know this one is there and if you ever pull the clutch cover for another reason go ahead and clean it off.

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1.) Check the oil after every ride (at operating temp & after sedate riding) until you get an idea of how much it consumes....or doesn't consume. I guarantee that before the summer is over, this forum will see more than one instance of an RFVC's top end getting nuked from being run out of oil.

 

2.) Keep it cool. Airheads run hot anyway and RFVCs run hotter the faster they are ridden. Either get a temperature dipstick and adjust your riding to keep oil temps under 250 as much as practical or invest in some extra cooling like an oil cooler or big fin head. Probably less critical in Michigan than here in the Southwest though. It's 80°F in the house and 99 outside right now. :cry:

 

3.) Use good oil with an additive package suitable for a slider cam and wet clutch. RFVCs' oil is both a lubricant and coolant and is shared between engine and gearbox, so it has a tough job.

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About the butterfly choke plate...is the one from xr's only a replacement or is it like a block off plate? And thanks for the input HeadTrauma! I was wondering why my 600 didn't have an oil cooler and my friends xr250 does...I'll definitely be getting a temperature dip stick!

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About the butterfly choke plate...is the one from xr's only a replacement or is it like a block off plate? And thanks for the input HeadTrauma! I was wondering why my 600 didn't have an oil cooler and my friends xr250 does...I'll definitely be getting a temperature dip stick!

It's a replacement.

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Experience from my 89'

 

1. Countershaft splines and front sprocket splines. Check them now and get an idea of how long you have left.

2. Choke plate (google it and you will see pictures of broken ones)

3. Make sure the top end it getting oiled. mine wasnt.  crack the banjo bolt on the oil line running to the valve cover, make sure it pumps oil out with the bike running.

4. Adjust valves, watch out for the decompression assy on the right exhaust valve.

5. Check the oil screens and filter. 

6. Wheel bearings

7. Forks

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Check the valve lash now.  Too tight valve lash will destroy top end parts.  Adjust the decompressor lever mechanism while you're there.

 

Very frequent oil changes.  Have two catch pans so that you can drain the crankcase and frame tube simultaneously.

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Awesome! Thanks everyone for the input! Keep em coming! Every time I get some, the more "insider knowledge" I learn! Much appreciated!

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Hey all! So I've ordered up the xr's only choke plate and oil temp gauge, just waiting for them to come in for the install. Also getting the valves checked (pretty sure they need adjusting) at a local honda shop with a great reputation... Any tips from anyone who's installed the choke off plate? How about the oil temp gauge...jokes!!! But as I get closer to taking the bike up north, I was hoping to get some input about setting up the suspension for my 89 xr600r. I won't be having any racks or luggage (yet) but I weigh about 220-225 lbs and plan on doing mostly trails in sandy conditions and a little bit of roads. Thanks again for everyone's input so far, you guys have been great!

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