Just Got an XR...NOOOOOOB

well i have a CRF450 and i race that all over so cal and recently my uncle GAVE me his XR600L, its an 85 but it probably has as many hours as i usualy put on my race bikes in 6 months so its in AMAZING condition, not a scratch on it...stock tires and chain, dual sport which i like but i need to go get a license to ride it on the street.

Naturally its a new bike for me so i have some questions.

-Knobby tires the DS ones on ther DO NOT grab on dirt so i was thinkinng about gettin soem hard compound bridgestones ?

-Recomended gearing it seems to lack a lil bottom end ?

-What is the mantince like on these things?....the CRF gets the piss ridden out of it 3 days a week so every monday its about 3-5 hrs of mantanince give or take a few depending on what needs to be done.....however this CR looks like a f'n tank.

-Air cooled motor how does it do in heat? im used to havin to fat radiators between my legs.

-Gas mileage? looks like a beefy tank compared to teh lil mx ones should go further than i will ever ride.....how much do you get out of that reserve.?

Thanks for all your help


I can answer some of those questions for you, man. A friend of mine has an '86 600L which is the red, white and blue version with the red engine. It has the dual carbs. His bike has only 2800mi. on it, and it's in perfect shape.

Anyway, as far as gearing goes, that depends on if you mean to use it more on the street, or dirt. I think 1st gear is way too tall for off-road, my friend dropped the countershaft sprocket by one tooth which helped that.

Maintenance on the bike is minimal. Change the oil every once in a while, keep the air filter clean, and check the valve clearance maybe once every 1200 miles, and even then, his had not needed adjustment. The 600 Engine is bulletproof reliable!

The air-cooled engine does just fine in the heat from what I know about it. I've been riding with the friend who has this bike, in the summer heat, and he has never encountered any type of problems with it. I'm sure that back in the mid 80s the bikes didn't come jetted as lean as they do now, which can cause overheating.

He has averaged around 32mpg with his 600 for moderate riding, some street mixed with some trails. From what I know, reserve is about .6 of a gallon I think, but not positive about that.

As I'm sure you now know, the power output is mild, but pretty torquey and not too slow. These bikes are tanks and apparently last forever, he has never had a single problem of any kind with his 600!

I would toss the stock tires and get a set of DOT approved knobbies, they work great off-road, and ok on the street. I'm not sure what brand he has on his bike now, but I can ask him.


'00 XR650R

'04 KX500

Im probably gonna get all new sprockets and chain, new tires, bars to fit my height, and then go ride :thumbsup:

So i guess these things dont need top ends or anything.....im just so used to the race bikes this is kinda new to me but looks like a fun bike, a lil heavy but should be great if i get it out in the desert, definantly not the bike to do that 120 ft table at Glen Helen with but i am sure i can find some fun with this bike.

Is it a XR600 dual-sported or a XL600R (factory ds) ?

There is a BIG difference ! :thumbsup:

sorry it is an XL factory dual sport.....took it out for a ride yesterday in these hills by my house after i put some new tires on there .....it is a really fun bike, today im gonna go get some new sprockets and a chain i plan on getting more teeth on the rear for some bottom end.....Doin work on the bike is a real pleasure everything is nice and convinient

Sorry if i sound like a idiot but this is really new to me, all my bikes i am used to EVERYTHING being build for weight and speed none of these conviently places helmet hooks or on boaqrd tool kits.

Alrightee then, here's my expreince with the old XL.

Bought a new '83 600 in '83 for 2300 o.t.d.Rode it for 7 years, and 35,000 miles.

Stock tires suck off-road,i'd just run full knobbies.

gearing,depends on how much road your going to do.i was running anywhere from a 13 to 16 tooth countershaft sprocket,with the stock rear(i think)14 was the bestoverall.

Maintaince is pretty basic ,vavle clearance & oil changes are the most critical.

RFVC motors run hot(change oil often,i'm down to 250 miles on my current XR)

Gas mileage,i used to get 65mpg commuting to work,but probably around 40 on the trails.The tank holds 3.2gal.with .5 in reserve.

Other notes ;83 to 87's were basically the same.

They weight 30 lbs.less than a 650l but no e-start.

They are a lot closer to the ground (seat hieght)making them easier to turn,but have less travel than a modern bike (about 8" both ends)

I really loved that bike,it really could go anywhere.

"ENJOY IT" :thumbsup:

LOVE THIS BIKE, great fun for offraod when im not riding motocross and its SOOOOOOO easy to take care of and ride compared to my CRF450 that i race :thumbsup::devil:

Gas, oil, ride

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