UNCORKED!! '02 650L

Wow!! The XRL has come to life! Many thanks to all Bros at Thumper Talk & Baja Designs for "the way"!! First mods. were a Clarke 4.7gal tank & Acerbis tail light. Easy installs! Range before reserve is 175-200 miles. The Acerbis light is a must...it's about 1/3 the size of stock. You drill 3 holes & do have to splice it in, but it's cake. I worked with Craig at Baja Designs about uncorking the bike after reading their XRL page...he was awesome & called me twice to keep me in the loop on the parts. Smog Block-off kit, Jetting Kit, Uni Air Filter & FMF "Quiet Power" muffler. With the Acerbis tail light, it was about $425. It took me about 4 hours to do the mods.. Start with the smog stuff, 'cause it clears the motor of alot of clutter before you take off the huge carb. I cut the air pump hose that gets re-routed to the motor vent. It looped up nicely after cutting off about 4". You can actually SEE the motor now with the crap off. The pipe went on FINE. No clearance issues, but make sure to loosen the header pipes alot, 'cause the main mount screw is hard to align. One band mount from the can to the stock frame mount & it was a perfect fit. OK, now I was the most nervous about the carb. work with drilling involved & no Honda manuals, but no worries! Pull off the rear brake resevoir & it's still TIGHT getting that baby out...throttle cables (2) & choke come off easy. Do the top first...drill 2 holes & raise the jet needle. Be wary when you pull off the float bowl to mod. the 2 jets...the parts come flying out but it's all easy to figure out. Put in the larger jets, reassemble & reinstall. The air filter takes a second...what a weight difference. I put the bike back together (Hondas are a dream to work on!) & fired it up! Well, the sound blew my doors. It idled a bit high from the enrichment, so a 1/2 turn down on idle was it. This is now a NEW BIKE!! The power is SO much better, but really great at low & mid ranges. On the trail it's like I dropped gearing a TON...no more low-speed clunking...2nd gear is available & doesn't bog...& the wheelies!!! The bike just feels livelier everywhere, & I can feel the weight difference from losing all the scrap. If there's any 650L riders out there still on the fence about uncorking your bike, get your credit card out, call Baja Designs & ask for Craig. He'll hook you up!!!!!! Ride on Brothers!! Big Jimi

Amen brother! I did the same to an '01 and I have to agree, it's a totally different bike.

Hey Jim, I also have a 02 XR650L and am at this very stage, preparing to unleash the beast. The first thing that I’d like to ask you is which Jetting kit did you buy? When I go to BD’s site I see one at the top of the page called Dyno Jet Carb kit for $51.95, and at the bottom of the page it says XRL 650 jetting kit $21.95. Is this a mistake on their site or are there really two different kits?

I’m really nervous about buying a pipe without seeing what it looks like installed first. I’ve seen some other aftermarket pipes that just don’t look right on the bike. I also wrote to the guys from XR’s only to try to have them send me a picture of their tail pipe installed on a XRL650 and they said they don’t have any. Go figure. I just want my bike to look good, and avoid have a botch job exhaust. I was actually considering buying the Hot Tip insert. I’ve heard a few good comments about it so far. But FMF does make some nice looking pipes. I’d really like to hear how you make out with that, and if there’s any way you could send me a picture of it on the bike I would greatly appreciate it.

I totally agree with you on the huge stock taillight on the XRL’s, and am also going to order the Acerbis light to take its place.

When you installed your 14T front sprocket did you need to remove a link from the chain or can the adjusters take up the slack? It sounds like a fair swap for the loss of a little top end. My riding is also mostly trails so the top end speed I would never miss. I’ve heard other people saying to change the rear 45T to a 48T, but then they ran into problems with the stock chain guide wearing out. I think your choice is the better of the two.

Thanks again for all of your input Jim. And I’m glad to hear that your new mods. worked out great. Can’t wait to get mine done now.

Jim, I've been eyeing the Acerbis tail light since I picked up my XR650L two months ago.

When you installed yours did you keep the sub-frame under the rear fender or were you able to scrap it?

Also, what made you decide om the FMF pipe?

did Craig have an opinion on the Big Gun pipe?

Glad to here you were succesful with the modifications makes it easier to pry the credit card out and pick up some better performance, maybe even get rid of the CA emissions "lean" surge.

Hey Wolfgang! Good luck on your mods.! The Jet Kit was the regular one for around $20.00 that's at the bottom of the "Jenny Craig XRL Diet" page...I just first ordered the Jet Kit, Smog Kit & Tail Light on-line...that's when Baja called me to see what kind of pipe & air filter I was going to run, as well as what altitude & type of riding. I was also looking at the XRonly pipe & had read some stuff about FMF pipes not fitting well on XRs. I really needed some advice & wanted to do some "one stop shopping" if possible so if I had any problems I'd have better recourse. That's where Craig came through. He said go Uni Air Filter & either the FMF or Big Gun pipe. I went with his recommendation on the FMF "Q" Series pipe which is 92 decibles. I ride ALOT on the road & State Forest roads/trails, so it needed to still be USFS approved. The FMF is as long as the stock pipe & goes nowhere near the fender, Acerbis taillight or signal. It looks GREAT!!! Trust me, cause I'm picky also on looks...there's no fit issues at all. TALK ABOUT SOUND WOLFGANG!!! This muffler is AWESOME...the sound is perfect...quiet when need be, but throaty THUNDER when on the gas!! Be confident with this choice. The bike runs so well I'm still in disbelief that I pulled it off myself. I switched my front sprocket back to the stock 15t & a simple rear chain adjust is all that's necessary...plenty of adjustment...it rides so well with the 15 I think I'll leave it stock. I tend to favor the top end a bit for the Sunday road rides. Sounds like you ride alot of trails, so the 14t will be great. I ride a tight trail in my local State Forest where I was in first gear almost the whole time, before uncorking. I was able to ride the whole section today (uncorked) in second with no bogging or clunking...the motor just seems to glide unlabored...what a feeling...the entire drivability of the bike has improved, everywhere & at all engine speeds. I'll be glad to assist with any tech tips when you do the mods. I'm an old Yamaha DT 2-stroke/bicycle mechanic & it seems like the basic principles are the same. Take your time, plan your modifications & read the directions copiously!!! Sit in front of your bike with the plans & figure out what you're about to do before you start wrenching. The directions are always only as good as the person who wrote them, so they must be interpreted into your working know-how! Keep me posted & get psyched for your XRL to really RAGE!! Big Jimi

Hey VoodooRider! Is that as in Mtn. Bikes?? I ride a Voodoo D-Jab & am a huge Joe Murray fan from the old Durango/Cali. rivalry days. Hey, about the Acerbis light...I drilled the main mounting hole at the very rear-most tip of the sub-frame right between where the two rubber bumper holes are. This allowed me to use the 6mm #16 bolt right through the taillight, fender & frame. Instructions say go up 2 7/8" from the fender bottom, but I went up a little higher. I just lined the light up where it crests the top fender curve & it looked right. Once you drill the main hole & tack the light on, it's cake to drill the other holes using the light as a template & eyeballing it for straightness. The stock Acerbis wire IS NOT long enough to reach the wire harness above the airbox. I cut the stock taillight wire in-half between the light & the harness bundle, then spliced it old-school with electrical tape. That way you keep your stock connection into the wire bundle. When you put the two top bolts in the Acerbis light slowly crank them down & the light will flex into place with almost no gap. XRL riders, this light is a great mod!! The bike looks much more MOTO without the T.V. set on the back!!! Ride on 650 Bros!!!!!!! B.Jimi


Thanks for the info, I'll have to get B.D> on the horn and get one coming, has to be better than what Honda thought looked good.

Yes Voodooridr is from the mountain biking side of my personality, I ride a Canzo ESP, I live 5 min from Laguna Seca/ Fort Ord (where they hold the Sea Otter Classic) and when the weathers goold we try to get out there a couple times a month.

Enjoy your XR they're a lot of fun

Next, cam & piston? Congrat's on your "new" bike!

Here's UNCORKED 650L for wannabe...Good Luck w/your ride!


Would like to do these mods to my european NX650 that carries the 650L engine, but didn´t find the instructions above very easy to follow.

Do I have to drill holes in the carb in order to raise the needle?

What new jets and in which sizes are needed?

How does one get rid of and block off the "smogthing"?

What should be done to the airbox?

Thankfull for any hep!


I just did these mods to my friends 650L. There are 2 holes next where the needle is on the vacuum diaphragm. These 2 holes need to be enlarged to 15/32". The needle is raised by simply spacing it with a small shim (washer). Then you just install the new jets. "What a difference". I don’t remember the exact jet sizes. Just get the kit at Baja Designs. It has full directions and comes with everything needed. They even give you the popper size drill bit. Let me know if you have any other questions.


Corona, CA


I think that you are talking about the evaporation canister that is about the same size as a beer or soda can and it is mounted to the frame just in front of the cylinder on the left side. If this is what you are referring to, the XRL has the same part on it. It is heavy and ugly and yes, that too can be removed. There may be oil present in there but, that is not the purpose that is serves. It should have some small and large holes routed to it. The small hoses are fuel vents that vent vapors from the carb and gas tank. The larger hoses are crank case vents. The crank case vents should go from the top of the crank case, into the canister and then to the air box. When you remove these hoses on the XRL, you just route the large hose coming from the bottom front of the air box straight to the top of the crank case. If you have some oil in that canister, it probably just blew out of the crank case vent or flowed in there when the bike was leaning to one side. That canister has a charcoal filter inside of it so that vapors from you carb, gas tank and crank case evaporate inside of it instead of into the atmosphere.

If I am correct, the difference between the XRL and the NX is that your NX also has a kick starter in addition to an electric one?

By the way, you are welcome


No, there´s no kick starter on the NX.

But it seems you got me the right information on what that "thing" is - an evaporation canister. Thanks for explaining! I have seen no picture on the XR 650 L with this on.

I might try to just take it off tomorrow. Not sure what to do with the smaller hoses coming from the engine to the canister though.

Block them off? :)

/ Tobias

Thanks a bunch, Greg! :)

Have been e-mailing Baja Designs to find out if the engine in my NX 650 is the same as the XR 650 L engine. It´s probably just the same but I know one difference: On the left side of my engine there is a big "thing" next to but under the cylinder. Hoses that carries oil goes into it and a really large hose goes from it to the airbox. How come the XRL doesn´t have that?

- Tobias

Hey Tobias! Get the Smog Block-off Kit from Baja Designs which has everything you need to remove the air pump, charcoal canister & hoses. It takes about an hour to do the job, & you have much better access to the left side of the motor with all the crap stripped off. For the air box, it's easy to remove the snorkel under the seat...just drill out the two rivets holding it in & out it pops...a Uni Air Filter fits in perfectly. Can't say enough about how well the bike runs with the Smog Block-Off Kit, Baja Designs Jet Kit, Uni Air Filter, & FMF "Q" Tailpipe!! Go Baja!!!!


What is different about your bike compared the XRL?

Yo Toaster...UNCORK that Bad Boy!!!!

The "uncorking" has begun!!

How's the Uncorking going? I am ready to start on my 2002 XR650L.

I installed the smog block off kit the other day and WOW! I can't believe how good the bike runs now. The bike does not pop, crack, and back-fire anymore. I am thinking about removing my front tire, I don't seem to use it anymore! I gained more power with the smog block off than I did rejetting. I would recommend the smog block off kit to any 650L owner. This was the best $25 I ever spent.


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