Newbie questions.


I have recently become the proud owner of a 2000 XR600 and have some pretty basic questions.

1. Will it damage the gearbox if I change up without using the clutch??

2. My mate the mechanic tells me theres no need to lubricate an 0-ring chain but mines has a few little rusty bits starting to form on the outside (bike was left unused for a while), whats the best option for keeping the chain in good nick??

3. I use the bike every day as my work transport but also want to hit the dirt on the weekends, can anyone recommend a reasonable tyre for me to use please?? Ilive in Australia so many of the American tires are unavailable here...

Ta in advance..

Howdy Maj0r,

I'll try to answer a few of your questions..

Use the clutch on the street, allways!

In the dirt, if you gotta shift in a hurry and time's a wastin, chop the throttle & shift.

Lube the chain after cleaning - put yer mind at rest.

No Pirelli MT 21's in your neck of the woods? Great dualsport tire, till the rains come in..

Cheers, Dan

Well, I can answer one of your questions. I don't know about the upshifting with no clutch on the XR. Might as well use the clutch if there is any doubt.

The O-Ring chain should be lubricated to prevent rusting of the links. I just use wd-40 on it which keeps the chain from rusting and won't damage the rubber O-rings. Also it's cheap and not sticky like the chain lubes, which make a mess of the bike and collect dirt onto the chain.

As far as tires goes, I'm running full knobbies on mine, sorry I can't help you out with what type of dual sport tire to use.


'00 XR650R/ uncorked/jetted/street legal


If you shift without the clutch, make sure you use proper clutchless shifting. Even if you shift with the clutch, you should still properly time your shifts if you want to maximize the life of the gearbox. The trick to smooth shifting is to get everything spinning at the same speed and time your shifts in relation to the engine speed. Once the internal parts are spinning at approximately the same speed, the engagement dogs will mesh smoothly and softly with the gears whether you use the clutch or not. Up shifts are the easiest and you should make your up shifts when you let off the throttle to neutralize the load. Downshifting is the hardest to properly master and more often than not you'll have to blip the throttle to bring up the engine RPM to neutralize the load for a proper downshift. A lazy or soft shift can also be a bad thing, so make your shifts firm, but not super quick and don’t ride the shifter or you’ll be putting excessive pressure on the shift selector and wear out the shift forks prematurely. If you’re not proficient in clutchless shifting, you can quickly damage your gearbox and repairs can get very expensive.

If you find your bike intermittently popping out of gear, it’s likely a sign of worn or damaged parts and it’s often due to improper shifting techniques. Popping out of gear is usually from a bent or worn shift fork, but it can also be caused by worn engagement dogs and things like the main shaft splines and shift selector can’t be overlooked. Once the fingers get rounded off enough, they don’t fit properly in the corresponding slots or holes in the gear and the force inside the transmission pops them apart, hence the transmission popping out of gear. The internal gearbox parts will tell the details of your shifting techniques. For instance, if one side of a particular part is worn, you may able to determine if it’s wearing mostly from acceleration, deceleration or both.

The internal parts of the O ring chain are lubricated, but you still need to lightly lube the outside. Keeping the chain clean and properly adjusted goes a long ways towards a long life for your chain. When it comes time to replace your chain or sprockets, replace everything as a set (chain & sprockets) or else they’ll contribute to a shorter overall life.

If you’ve got Dunlop tires out there, then check out the Dunlop 606 as a possible candidate for street/dirt (front & rear). The Michelin Baja is another good choice for a rear tire that might be available in your area.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now