XR650l Cam chain & tensioner???

Hey guys, just joined up today, please be gentle.

I'm about to replace the cam tensioner and chain on my 2001 xr650l with about 15000 miles on it. First of all, is 15k miles too soon for a chain to be making a death rattle? Second, a friend of mine rides a DRZ and just replaced his cam chain and tensioner with some aftermarket non-self adjusting tensioner. Any suggestions on whether I should stay stock (self adjusting oem) or try to find this kit (if they make it for XRL's).

Thanks for any info out there!

15000 sounds dang early to me! I only have about 5500 on my 2001.


It sure sounds like you have a great friend.

Be nice to him at the big ride, next month. The little dude can barely ride :)

Using the search function (at the top of this page) is one of the best parts of TT.

I just did a search under the XR600/650 forum for "cam chain"., and found these:



If you try different search options, and key words, you'll be amazed at what you'll dig up.

BTW, welcome to TT.

15k miles sounds early, eh? I thought so too. I noticed you (xr650l dave) responded to another forum about buzzing in the right crank case. This is my real problem. I only assumed it was the cam chain and/or tensioner, but this sound seems to be a mystery to more people than just me. I would love to not waste my time relplacing the wrong thing. Any new knowlege on this "buzz"? Should I forget about the chain?

The buzz, it was decided, is some kind of a check-valve and its the oil being pumped back up to the resevoir.

The noise you're hearing stops within a few minutes, and only happens after a cold-start?


USED TO go away after it warmed up, but seems to be lasting longer and longer. Even after crusing down the road a bit I can hear some 'spin off buzz'. I think I'm just going to open bike up and poke and prod. Is the check valve thing' something I could/should look into fixing or should I just get some ear plugs?

Dunno. I usually check out new noises, though.


My first cam chain tensioner went out at 9,000 miles. They have a sort of sprage clutch that prevents them from backing away from the timing chain. Sometimes the sprage goes out, and the spring cannot hold forever. plus the timeing chain starts making contact with things that it should not be contacing at all.. It's a super-easy fix, cheap too.

I did quite a bit of research on the cold start buzzing sound and also posted the question. If the sound is coming from the right side crankcase and not the upper end then its probably the oil pump building enough pressure to bypass the filter when the oil is cold. It does this by a relief valve that has a cap on it and it pulses with every stroke of the pump and snaps shut. As the oil and or pump warm up the oil gets thinner and easier to move without as much pressure and the bypass circuit is no longer needed and it shuts up. Either way if thats the sound your hearing its normal for these models with this type of pump. My '86 xr 600r does this for about 45 seconds sometimes when the weather is colder and has been shitting for a while. I've heard them go longer and shorter time periods than that. I hope this helps, I'd hate to see anybody give up riding time to work on something that didn't need it.

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