Recently bought an 650l, few questions

Bought a 2003 650l, it sat for a while so I'm going through it changing fluids etc. The CDI took a crap on me, and thankfully for this forum was able to narrow that problem down. Bought a cheap CDI on ebay, and was DOA. Sucked it up and bought OEM, and will attempt to resolder the original while waiting. I was able to thwack the current one and is working for now...


First question. I have a xr's only temp dipstick, and while crusing around my neighborhood (25-35mph) I noticed the temp rising. It eventually hit 250, and I turned turned it off. The oil and filter is brand new, and I don't think the bike is running lean. (Richer jet at 7,300 elevation) The bike is also de-smogged with White Brothers E-Series exhaust. I did remove a lot of the shims, and currently has 4. (Way too loud with 12). Any suggestions on why the bike is running so hot?


Lastly, I lost the bolt that holds on the right side panel. Anyone know the size of this bolt?


Thank you

250 is on the high side of normal. I run at about 230-240 all day and when I'm romping on it I hit 250 all the time. I don't start to worry til 275 or higher and don't shut it down rule 280-285

Probably just running lean. Why do you feel it isn't?

6mm flanged bolt for the cover.

Edited by hollerhead

Does it have the wings in front of the tank?


What speeds were you going?

Thank you for the replies, to answer the question

I don't believe it's running lean due to the previous owner using a richer jet at an lower altitude. I'm running at over 7,000

Wings? I'm using a Acerbis 5.8 tank? Those kinda have wings?

I have the same dipstick and a Clark tank without the cooling fins (aka wings). My 2015 XRL climbs quickly to 250 and stays there regardless of weather or conditions.  I periodically check the oil to ensure there is no burnt smell or viscosity breakdown.  I switched to 20W-50 oil because I too was a little concerned about the temperature.

I'd also point out that if the disptick is within 5 degrees I'd be impressed, off by 10 and I wouldn't be shocked.

I live in Phoenix and after my bike toasted (mostly due to a dealer inflicted twist in the lower oil feed like where the line is flexible, causing a kink and low oil flow) I installed an oil cooler made by a local fellow in Scottsdale.


Keeps the oil reasonable in all weather. Probably the best installation instructions you'll ever see too. Highly recommended.


I have the same tank; kinda has built in wings. I went with an Acebis vented front fender to help out the air flow a bit. Not sure if it helps.


I also had the same temp gauge but recently installed a Chinese knockoff of the Scotts steering stabilizer and the fitment meant that the temp gauge had to go. Even then I had to grind the old dip stick handles down a bit to let it turn. Even with the oil cooler it will hit 250 or so on hot days.


Other things that may go amiss: Stator going bad (I replaced mine with a high output unit so now I can run heated gear in the winter). Carb can get messed up if you don't ride it often enough come summer. I'm on my second carb, never did get the original sorted (was running four bikes at the time, down to three but the other two have EFI - huge improvement!).

I picked up an after market ECU off Amazon and I'm running that now. Have one good and one bad ECU spares. :)


Rex Simon, Simon Designs, old dirt bike rider and custom bike maker on the north side of Phoenix does seat redo's. Very reasonable, had him "adjust" and recover my 650L seat with a wider area in the back. Much nicer for longer rides now. He charged me $120. Great customer service and does good work. Recommended.


The 650L has been my biggest POS when it comes to bikes, some of it due to cheap Honda bean counters, some to the dealer and some because I don't ride it enough. But it's paid for, cheap to license and insure - and it fits my 36" inseam - so it stays. Still don't ride it enough, and my dirt days are pretty much done so she has dual sport tires on her (I have knobbies on another set of rims if so moved).

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