new XR600 owner

Howdy all. I'm the proud new owner of a street-legal, ugly as sin, XR600R. It's my first dirt-bike and I really love being able to toss it around like I can. I just wanted to introduce myself to fellow owners cause I'm sure I'll be on here more in the future.

The bike generally runs great, but I do have a couple issues.

1. The bike seems incredibly hard to start, especially when cold. I have to kick it, and kick it, and kick it before it will start, then I have to hold the throttle to keep it started (or turn up the idle speed screw) and I generally have to do that until it's fully warmed up. Even when it's warm, it doesn't start on the first kick.

2. Sometimes when I roll on the throttle and get to a certain point the bike will missfire and bog, other times it pulls just fine. the bike has had something removed from the exhaust (baffles, tip, etc., it's loud) if that has any influence. My dad thinks it's normal for a big thumper to do this and suggests I just don't go full throttle when it won't, but it seems excessive and it happens in the meat of the powerband so it should be pulling in enough air.

anyway, thanks for any help.


oh, and if there's anything on the bike I should check before I ride it too much just let me know. It's a '94



Sounds like a carb problem, possibly jetting. I would say rebuild the carb since you don't know the bike's history. The kits are under $20 and very easy to do. If that doesn't fix the problem, your stator is starting to go. Get a replacement for

Get an NGK IRIDIUM (DPR8EIX-9) spark plug. I had to order them at Advance auto parts who were able to look the XR600 on their computer. I heards about the Iridium on this site and my bike has always started pretty well and now it starts first, second kick every time and seems to start much easier and my buddy noticed the difference on his '01 XR650R. Make sure you have the piston at TDC when your kicking it since a half kick won't cut it.About 6 months ago I bought a '94 XR600 in good shape and it ran and still runs well after about 40-50 miles of trails every weekend since November with only regular oil changes and minimal maintenance. I recommend a K&N air filter which is easy to clean and maintain and flows real well. I ran my first race in 20 years on Fathers Day in New Hope AL and had a great time, and it was a very tight, technical 9-mile trail and the XR600 shows its weight in the real tight stuff, but it also shows its muscle pulling like a truck uphill. I bought a great bike and decided to spend some money toughening it up. I bought an IMS 4.0 gallon red tank, Acerbis Rally Pro handguards(which were worth their weight in gold in the tight trees last weekend) Stock XR600 Bend Renthal handlebars. extra wide footpegs!! White Brothers E-Series headpipe and silencer. I also bought new seat foam and a CEET black gripper seat cover and a Moose fender mount tool pack. I also had the forks rebuilt since the seals were weaping when I bought it. It was $120 well spent. I rode it that way for a few months and the seals and the ride only got worse and what a difference the rebuild made. I also bought Ironman sprockets and an RK gold X-Ring chain.I'm also using MOBIL 1 MX4T 10w40 full synthetic oil which I've heard nothing but good about on this site. I'm no expert by any means, but I have been around bikes for 25 years and all through my 600 in the last 6 months and I'd be glad to help you if I can. Boy, that's one long paragraph!!!!!! Take care

First of all, big thumpers should NOT run like that, it is not normal at all. They should idle fine, and start fairly easily, and never bog down or miss at any speed.

Your bike probably needs to have the carb cleaned/rebuilt, and check/clean the air filter.

Check the spark plug too, and check the valve clearances while your at it.

First thing I would do is check the valve. That will make a well tuned bike run poorly. Then pull the carb and see what jets you have and do a serch on jetting and set it up. If the valve are OK it sounds like the bike is running lean on the slow speed circuit. Another thing is the starting procedure. You need to get that down or you will kick and kick and kick your day away.

You should be able to start a cold bike in 6-7 kicks total. Turn on the choke and kick it 5 time with the compression release on full throtle to prime the cylinder. Put the choke on 1/2 find TDC and give it a good kick. The bike should start.

If you think it flooded clean it out by doing the same thing but NO CHOKE then give it a kick.

XR600's need 92 octang or better so I would add boost in mine or the bike did run poorly too.

thanks for all of the replies, I'll pick up that plug and check the carb jetting. The previous owner said that he had rebuilt the carb recently but I doubt that he ever rejetted it after opening the exhaust. Also, the day I picked it up I filled it up with regular gas so that might be part of the problem but I don't know why it didn't show up that day.

Oh, and by check the valve, do you mean for me to pull the head and check the exhaust valves? I do think it has been run lean since the exhaust was opened but I'm hoping the valves aren't burned.

what kind of ignition system do these bikes have? is there a coil or module that could be going bad?

Two words

"Edelbrock Quicksilver"

Do a search in this forum.

This carb really starts easy. I almost never want elec start anymore. It will run laying on its side. The power is only a bit more than stock, mostly down low (it has an accel pump).

Seriously, a few gentle prime kicks then 1 big quick and it starts. I've started the beast with sandals on.

Don't waste your time/money with "hot start kits" or stock carb jetting. The stock carb floods crazy after every spill and is difficult to start (you have to open the throttle and kick it about 20 times to clear it out, by that time you are tired and angry).

Also, don't waste time/money buying a used quicksilver. They are model specific and many older ones do not have accel pumps.

I hope this helps.


One question on a different subject. What should I do to make the bike more crashworthy? After all it is my first dirt-bike and I tend to get a little crazy. Pavement/gravel/dirt are all possible landing surfaces.


1) Cycrabend hand guards! Do not buy Acerbis hand guards (although I like much of their other stuff).

2) I also bring an extra lever set on rides.

3) Alum skid plate. Heaviert than stock, but I know I've saved my engine case a few times.

4) IMS pro pegs. These will help prevent a crash and are very durable. The stock ones, can fold up.

5) I have an extra kick start lever that I keep in the truck/tool box. I know of a guy who broke an xr400 lever, ruined his entire riding day.

6) Bring an extra clutch cable. I have not had to use mine, but it is nice knowing it is there.

7) Bring a basic elec repair kit, some wire/solderless connectors/tape.



Hey Desmo tell me about the cyrabend handguards. I have been happy with my Acerbis Pro Rallys, but I'm always open to new and better parts for my bike. Thanks. If you guys have not tried them yet, I swear by the NGK Iridium spark plugs. I have not had to kick my 600 more than 2-3 times after sitting for a week since installing that plug, and after it's warmed up it starts first kick every time.

Hey Chris. I have a dual sported 92 which I bought a couple years ago. It was my first dirt bike in about 30 years. It was a horrendous bastard to start when I got it. I super-cleaned the carb and backed out the mix screw to about 3.5 turns and ever since it's been a 2-3 kicker when cold and 1 kick thereafter. Of course it could also be an ignition problem, but the carb clean route is free, except for the cost of a gallon of simple green.

Also it helps to know the giant thumper starting dance, which I'm assuming you know.

Good luck


well, I pulled the plug today and although it looked like it had been in there for a while (time-wise), it wasn't eroded and had a medium brown colour, maybe a little black on the electrode, but I think that's what it's probably supposed to look like. I ordered the NGK iridium plug anyway cause it would certainly be an improvement in any case.

I think I got the starting procedure down better now because I'm not having a huge amount of trouble there anymore, but the missfiring and cutting out has only gotten worse and it does it all the time now when I try and give it some gas. I don't understand if it was a jetting problem why it hasn't been doing this all along. I suppose I'll take the carb off tomorrow and clean it up / look for any trash in the fuel system.

Oh, and by the way, I tried hooking a timing light up to the bike today, but the light wouldn't even flash... ?

hmm, just rode it again and it didn't do it. I let you guys know more when I do.

Ok, I'm thinking now that it's probably crap in the fuel system because this last ride it was doing it again but not bad. Tomorrow I'll take the whole fuel system apart and give it a good cleaning.

and I figured out why the timing light wasn't working. Apparently you have to hook the motorcycle up to the negative terminal on the battery you are using to power the light.

I would suspect the ignition coil winding on your stator. Maybe even your high voltage plug lead. When you give it more gas, it puts more of an electrical load on the plug due to gas in the chamber and the system has to work harder to make a spark. If you are getting misfires, etc whenever you give your bike gas, the spark not be strong enough. A week coil on the stator could act exactly like that. Same with starting, a bike with a weak spark is hard to start expecially if even just a little bit flooded :thumbsup:

My 93 XR600R runs PERFECT, no misfires NEVER. Starts great hot or cold, will idle until the cows come home... Your bike should run like that too. :devil:

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