Uncorked 02 XR650L w/FMF "Q" pictures!

Hey guys, just wanted to get these pictures posted for everyone who was interested in seeing them. I don’t have much time tonight to do a big write-up on the pipe or uncorking, but if you have any questions please post them and I will answer them as soon as I get a chance. Enjoy! Later, Mike







Looks great. Did you get the model for the xr600? FMF doesn't seem to list one for the xr650L. Any problems installing? How loud is it? Is it much louder than stock? Can you tell much performance difference? Sorry for all the questions, but I've been interested in getting this muffler too.

Ok guys, here’s my uncorking story.

First, removing the snorkel from the air box takes all of about 30 seconds. Just drill out the two rivets and your done. I replaced the stock air filter with a Uni-filter and used the Uni oil on it as well. It seemed a little tricky making sure the filter set down properly against the inside of the air box not leaving any air gaps for dirt to slip by. But after finagling with it for a minute it dropped into place nicely.

Next step: re-jetting the big CV carb. For those of you that are nervous about doing this, the most important rule is patience. Take one step at a time and you’ll be fine. The most important thing I can is make sure you have a Phillips head screw driver that fits these screws tightly because I came across a few screws that did not want to crack loose and it only takes a second for one of these to start rounding out the center of the screw. Unfortunately, I know this from experience. If it happens to you just take a pair of vise grips, get a good bite on it and crack it loose that way. Disconnect your throttle cables by first taking the two screws out of the cable holder then using the slack you now have to work the cables off. Then next thing is the choke cable. This is no problem either, just unscrew it out of the carb, and it comes right out. Don’t worry, there are no parts or pieces that will come flying out of there and get lost. Everything is connected to the cable when you pull it out. Now tie the choke cable out of your way and be sure not get the needle and slide dirty. Also, you’ll have to take the bolt out of the rear brake fluid reservoir and move it out of the way because the BIG carb won’t fit threw with it there. Disconnect a couple of vacuum lines and your ready to maneuver this baby out. Tilt the top of the carb. towards you and your on your own from there. Take the top of the carb. off, pull out the vacuum piston, ¼ turn on the clip in the bottom, push the needle set jet out and you ready to drill out the holes in the bottom of the vacuum piston. No worries, just bore the holes out and your set. The instructions say that after placing the shim under the needle jet you may need to shave a little of the plastic off of the plate that holds the needle down to get it to seat correctly. I didn’t have to do that. Mine locked right back into place just fine. Turn the carb. upside down and remove the float bowl and install your new jets. One more thing, if the tab on your air/fuel set screw is cast (not plastic) like mine was, the instructions say to grind the tab off so you can fine-tune the fuel mixture. I didn’t have a grinder available at the time, but I found that with a good pair of cutting pliers (dykes) the metal is soft enough that you can cut away at the tab small pieces at a time. It really does work great. Throw it all back together and your good to go.

Last step: FMF Q. The biggest part of the installation is getting the muffler to slip over the header pipe. The easiest way is to clean the header pipe well and use oil to lube it up. It’s still a very snug fit, but once it’s on there it’s solid as a rock. Be sure to loosen the header bolts so you don’t risk damaging the header pipe in the struggle. Make sure you don’t cross thread the main frame bolt like I did. It’s very easy to do and thank god I was able to tap it out. I used one of the two band clamps that came with the pipe. The one with the shorter tabs worked better for me. And I used one of the thick spacers that are supplied in between both sides of the band clamp to prevent crushing the muffler. When it’s all done this pipe is a great fit. No problems at all. Take it outside and fire it up. WOW!! What a difference! The sound is much deeper now. Throttle response is much quicker, and I know you’re all curious to hear “how much louder is it?” I really wish I had the opportunity to hear some of the other aftermarket mufflers out there to better judge it’s noise level. Unfortunately for me I usually ride solo, so the only one I hear is myself. I did once meet up with a guy riding a 650L with a Big Gun Racing muffler and it’s certainly quieter than his. If I were to take a guess I’d say it’s about three times louder than the stock exhaust with a deeper octave. If you were riding with other bikes in a legal riding area or crusing the streets it’s no problem. But if slipping threw a wooded trail trying to remain unheard by anyone is the type of riding you do, you might want to hear one first. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy with the pipe and don’t want to sound like I’m giving it a negative write up. But just keep in mind that once you remove your stock exhaust, you’re stealth days are over. It all depends on where you live and what your sound limits are. Where I live there are no real designated riding areas, its just trails that were made by other riders some off in the woods and others close to homes and businesses. Coming home from my first ride with the new pipe it was just about sunset as I pulled into my community, everything was quiet and peaceful and I kinda felt like a nuisance to my neighbors. As far as performance, it was a very noticeable increase. I rode the bike before installing the pipe with just the snorkel, air filter and jet kit done to see how it felt first and it does pull way harder. No more low end clunking, shifting back down into first gear when riding tight trails is no longer necessary. It really is a powerhouse now. The motor runs completely unlabored. I’ve got a ride planed for this weekend with a couple of friends with quads I’ll ask them to also judge the sound level as we’re riding and see what they think. That’s it for now. Later, Mike

85361, I ordered the pipe through Baja Designs and just told them what bike I had, they took it from there. I'll check the box when I get home, I think I remember seeing XR600/XR650L on it, but I'll double check for you. Later, Mike :)

Nice pics and a very nice writeup!

85361,The FMF box says (XR600 ’85-87/91…..) Unfortunately the rest of the sticker got rubbed off and I can’t make out any more. I'm pretty sure this is the exact same pipe you'll need. The part # is 041028. If you have any questions call Baja Designs or FMF I’m sure they would be more than happy to help you out. Let me know if you get one also I'd like to hear how make out. Later, Mike

Sweet post Mike!! The "Q" fits BOTH the 600/650L & what a nice pipe...follow Mikes' tips & you're all set...That IMS tank looks great too!!

more questions!

did you ever remove the baffle tip in the stock muffler? I'm curious how yours compares to this.

did you remove the clunky brace under the rear fender? I tried removing mine, but I still have the stock rear tailight and the rear tire tried to eat the whole back end of the bike as I landed from a jump (the fender/tailight/plate got sucked into the tire)

I realize you already installed the shim under the needle clip. Does anybody out there know how thick this shim is that comes with the kit? I shimmed mine .025".

Does drilling out the holes in the slide encourage the bike to bog when the throttle is cracked open real fast? I am hesitant to drill it to 5/32" because of this reason.

Jimmy, It’s good to here from you. I just wanted to thank you for all of the advice. The XR runs stronger than ever now. The only thing left to do is enjoy it. I also wanted to ask you if you ended up sticking with the 15T front sprocket or did you go back to the 14T again? And how would you describe the difference between the two.

Motometal, I never did remove the tip out of the stock exhaust. I should have tried it, but ended up just buying the FMF Q instead. I didn’t remove the brace under the fender either. I’ve never had the rear tire catch anything before. You must be getting some pretty good air with yours to have that happen. Is your taillight ruined now?

The instructions that come with the jet kit say to install a .035-.040 shim under the needle. However, only one shim came with it so I don’t know the exact thickness of it but it’s somewhere between the two.

As far as drilling the holes in the vacuum piston here’s a quote from Baja Designs website that explains it better than I could.

“The CV (constant velocity) carburetor on the 650L is very sensitive to changes in intake and exhaust restrictions. Many people, desiring more power from the mildly tuned 650L motor will remove the airbox snorkel and install a decent air filter and a lower restriction exhaust. The bike will pick up 3 to 6 horsepower with these mods, but will run terrible, bogging horribly anytime you whack the throttle hard. Simply rejetting the carb will not fix the problem. After many hours of testing and experimentation, we found that the problem was in the vacuum piston of the CV carb. Baja Designs now offers a simple to install kit that includes the proper jetting and necessary modifications to the vacuum piston and pilot circuit to allow the bike to run properly.”

So in answer to your question, I would have to believe that “not” drilling out the holes in the vacuum piston would cause the bike to bog when cracking the throttle hard. Don’t be nervous about this procedure motometal, it really is quick and painless. Just think of the end result. TORQUE!!!!

Let me know how you make out with it. Later, Mike

Hey Mike! Glad the XR's running well...nice work on your mods!!! I ended up switching back to the stock 15t front, especially after reading the posts from Toast about stripped countershaft splines...the 14t (from Baja Designs) seemed to fit looser than stock, but it made a big difference on the low end for tight trails...you lose about 5mph on the top end in 5th gear. I think a Honda 14t front sprocket would be the way to go as they fit alot tighter. It's so easy to change the front sprocket that it makes sense to have both a 14 & 15t & switch according to your riding...ride on Brother!!!!!!!

Jim, I’ve got to try a 14t just to see what it feels like. My riding consists mostly of back roads and tight trails. I’m sure that stepping down the gearing would work to my advantage. I also read Toasters post on his striped countershaft. That must be very upsetting not to mention costly. I wish him luck. I ordered my sprocket from the Honda dealer, factory OEM part. They got the part number off of an XR600, which has virtually the same motor but I believe comes stock with a 14t sprocket. I certainly wouldn’t trust the quality of an aftermarket sprocket after reading all of the bad write-ups on them. Take it easy, Mike

Thanks for the reply. I guess I would have though drilling the holes would make the piston raise faster, thus encouraging a lean bog (or hesitation).I drilled mine to .125" so far, sounds like I might as well go to 5/32" (.156"). I am going to buy some misc. washers from a hobby shop (r.c. airplane)to experiment with the needle. I am actually getting pretty efficient and removing and replacing the carb. The first time, well, there were lots of swear words floating around the garage!

Yea, I was doing a 60" tabletop jump on the bike, suspension is stock. I only weigh 150, so that helps. The forks were bottoming lightly, but I didn't notice the rear bottoming. I was impressed at how well the bike would jump...and it's basically at "stock" weight (no aftermarket tank or exhaust). I didn't manage to ruin anything yet except the lower half of my licence plate is all bent and scaped up, and the fender has a bit of a crease in it, but not noticeable unless you really look for it. Adds character!

the latest...I had the carb off again, drilled slide holes to 5/32" with a chamfer, put thicker washer under needle (.035") and replaced 58 pilot jet with a 62. Note these aren't "s" jets, but work fine anyway. Bike runs better off the bottom!

this bike has gradually transformed for the better...when stock, it would pull the wheel up ok in 1st gear, but barely in 2nd. Now it will pull it up enough to balance in 2nd, and bounce it off the pavement in 3rd. I am talking about just cracking open the throttle, no cheating with the clutch.

Good job motometal! Sounds like you've got the big 650L runnning strong now. Tabletops!? Damn, you must be some rider. That's quite a bit of weight to throw around. I'm still trying to master the wheelies. Take it easy, Mike

I haven't really gotten the nerve to do any sustained wheelies either. I usually chicken out around the balance point...i'm just not used to wheelying a bike this big. As smooth as the motor is, once I get used to it i'm sure it will be a perfect bike for wheelies! But then there's that "watch out for the cops" issue...

the jumping wasn't too bad, I just worked my way up to it. I did the jump and landed on the flat 3/4 of the way toward the down ramp, and nothing bad happened, so I started going for it. I have 50/50 dual purpose tires (Pirelli M70 on the rear), so traction was a bit skittish.

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