Total Noob here...with questions


I just purchased my first motorcycle, a used 2000 XR650R. I went riding with some friends on a borrowed bike and got hooked. After looking around a bit, I found a good deal on my bike locally, and picked it up.

I work as a master technician for Toyota, so I know my way around things with engines, and after looking things over, I've got a few questions:

1. My right side radiator (the one with the cap) seems to be leaking where the top tank meets the inside of the radiator cooling tubes. I presume this is due to a crash at some point, and want to get it fixed. I didn't notice it on the test ride, because it was low on coolant... It looks like it's got some JB weld or the like smeared on it, but it hasn't sealed the leak. Is there a good aftermarket source for these radiators? The local Honda dealer quoted me over $250 for just that side today- I didn't pay that much for the all aluminum racing radiator in my Supra!

2. One of the bolts that holds the oil filter cover onto the engine case has stripped. I noticed a little drip today when tinkering, and the bolt was only finger tight. It appears the threads in the case are shot- can I get a helicoil or a time-sert in there to fix it, or do I need to tap it out to a slightly larger size?:thumbsup:

3. On the transmission output, there must have been a guard of some sort at one time over the gear, but it is missing. Is this of any concern? One of the mounting holes is damaged, but I could probably fix it if it's necessary.

4. The bike has an FMF aftermarket pipe on it, and some sort of aftermarket air filter. I have NO idea what jets are in it- is there an easy way to tell? It seems to run decently, and has more than enough power to get me in over my head... :thumbsup:

Thanks for the help!


congrats on your purchase! i too am a master with a toyota dealer! although i own a 650 L and not an R, so im not familiar with the R's issues.

Put a heli-coil in both the stripped threads. The sprocket cover is not a big deal but you may want to put a case saver on and it uses the same bolt holes. The jets are pretty easy to get to so you should just pull them out to get an idea of what is in there. The 68s pilot and a 175 main are the hot setup after you uncork the bike. Read up at the links below for more info:

I lost the link but if you search on here you should find it, a place that does nice radiator repairs (bike specific).

The bolt in the oil filter cover that has the threads stripped out of the case is the long bolt that goes all the way through the clutch housing and into the main case. I was planning on a rekluse clutch it looks like a good excuse to remove the clutch cover and housing.

I'm pulling the right side radiator tomorrow to see how bad it is. I *might* be able to repair it.

Thanks for all the info- the site is VERY informative!



E-bay is an OK source for used radiators. There is a guy in south carolina that disassembles relatively new bikes and sells the parts. I bought Fluidyne radiators for my 2000 because I had a damaged left radiator and e-bay did not have much for used parts at the time. What a rip-off. I might either sell my good right radiator or work a deal between my fluidynes and your left radiator if you are interested. PM me if interested.

I like the UNI air filters. They are red on the outside surface and yellow on the inside...its 2 stage foam. The newer ones have a metal cage to keep them the correct shape without the stock backfire screen in the airbox. There is a bit of an art to oiling air filters while not over-oiling them. Over-oiling causes loss of power.

You can remove the flaot bowl of the carb to access the jets. This is the bottom-most cast part on the carb. You start by loosening the 2 clamps that seal the carb to the airbox and intake tract (Input and Output of the carb). Rotate the carb with the bottom to the left side where you can access the bottom. Take off the 4 float bowl screws and the other larger screw (remove this one first) that holds the idle adjust tube for the carb to get the float bowl off. From there, the low hanging jet is the main with the upsidedown bowl (slosh mitigation). The slightly recessed jet near the cylinder head side is the pilot. If you remove the main and the entire emulsification tube comes out, you will need to reinstall the emulsification tube (finger tight) then tighten the jam nut to keep it from backing out. Also, don't play with the float or the hinge pin will fall out. Its a pain to put back together with the carb on the bike.

I don't like the rekluse. Its expensive and it can burn up your clutch fast if misused. With a 650, you don't need to slip the clutch for power and you can chug it down at nearly idle rpm speeds if trails get tight. I would invest in suspension way before rekluse.

Zip tie your radiator shrouds to the top of the outside radiator body where there is a small gap. Drill a 1/4" or so hole in the pastic stiffener ribs of the shrouds for the zip tie. This keeps your radiator shrouds from bowing out at high speed and keeps everything together in the event of a crash which happens often for me.

Use locktite on most bolts. I don't use it on the seat or tank bolts and most engine bolts....except for cam sprocket, front chain cover, etc. There are just some bolts that always need radiator shroud and rear fender bolts. Since you are a mechanic/tech you should know how to properly torque a bolt by feel and this helps big time on dirt bikes. Its an acquired art that many people still have yet to learn.

I'm guessing that the chain might have broke sometime which took out the front sproket cover and guard. You don't really need a guard on it, but I would highly suggest buying a "15 tooth case saver" from . The 15T case saver works with the 14t stock sprocket but allows you to use a bigger front if you wish. This part is designed to keep the chain from stuffing between the front of the front sprocket and the case when your chain breaks under power. This can ruin your case and clutch mechanism. The "case saver" uses the rear engine mount bolt and two stock front sproket cover bolts to mount to your bike.

Good luck with the oil filter cover bolt. I haven't looked at that closely to see if it can be Helicoiled. Helicoil would be my first preference also, but I would also consider cleaning it out with brake cleaner then acetone and then epoxying in a stud which is threaded into the current stripped threads. It will be hard to get the epoxy down to the bottom of the hole. I would probably use a wood skewer and epoxy with the longest working life so you can get it in there and clean up with acetone and a paper towel.

The bolt in the oil filter cover that has the threads stripped out of the case is the long bolt that goes all the way through the clutch housing and into the main case. I was planning on a rekluse clutch it looks like a good excuse to remove the clutch cover and housing.

I'm pulling the right side radiator tomorrow to see how bad it is. I *might* be able to repair it.

Thanks for all the info- the site is VERY informative!


Send the radiator to Myler's, in Utah, one day turn around most of the time and fixes it like it should be may not LOOK EXACTLY like new, but it will perform exactly like new, for a fraction of the cost of a new one. I believe it's won't be disappointed.

Congrats on the bike! You'll like it......probably as much as I like my Tundra!!

The case saver option is out, as the upper bolt hole was cracked off the casting when (presumably) the chain broke in the past. It's definitely an aftermarket chain with a conventional master link on it...

I'm still not sure what to do there...I may fab something up that will work the same as the case saver, but bolt on somewhere else.


1. As mentioned, send it to Mylers, they do incredible work, and cheap.

2. I for sure would not try to go larger diameter. I like Billajack's idea of a stud in there.

3. As mentioned, the "XRsOnly" case saver. The mount point at the top of the OE case saver is likely broke off I'd presume (common) and the XRsOnly one uses the engine mount too so it should still work fine for you.

4. I say if your bike funs fine (as it sounds) and starts easily then just run it. As for your air filter, always clean behind the screen, in the boot, when you're doing service.

And, I agree with Billajack on the Rekluse.

By chance does anyone have a photo of the case saver installed? I'd like to see what all it attaches to, because as BajaBoundMoto stated, my top mount is indeed broken off of the case.

I haven't had the time to pull the radiator yet- but I'll look into sending it to Mylers...

Thanks for all the info!



The two small bolts (8mm hex head) are the stock bolts. The large silver flat head (allen) socket screw is part of a hardware kit included with the case saver from XR's Only which fastens to the rear engine mount. You don't need the sprocket cover, but I put mine back on anyway. Loctite EVERYTHING on this install. Use a good Allen Key so you don't strip out the flat head.

Cool- thanks! Look like the upper sprocket cover bolt is optional, which is good because thats where mine is damaged. I'm going to order that case saver and a few other goodies from if I can sneak it in under my wife's radar...



I see...

You will have to remove and reverse the rear engine mount bolt when you get the case saver.

Another tip is to wash down your chain with the hose and wait for it to dry for 15 minutes or so. Then put the bike in neutral, pull it over on the side stand (front tire on the ground, rear lifted) and spin the back wheel while applying WD-40 to the top side of the bottom loop of the chain under the swing arm. I usually do this out on the street. Let the bike sit for another 5 minutes and then roll it into the garage with some paper under the chain. This kind-of washes the chain and keeps it from rusting. The thick oils do more harm than good sometimes if they are picking up dirt and grinding in the chain and sprockets...that is why I use WD-40.

Don't use WD-40 before a ride...only after.

Took 'er out for the first shake-down ride today. It performed well, but has a terrible hesitation off idle pretty much all the time, wether the engine is warm or cold. The rear spring is definitely not rated for my weight, and the cooling system needs some tinkering. The leak isn't horrible, but you can smell coolant whenever riding. It looks like it's stopped seeping out of the radiator, but I'm going to send both radiators off for repair/cleaning anyhow. It's due for a good service and a new plug, and perhaps a new chain.

I love tinkering with things, and am looking forward to working on the bike.


Fuel screw and/or jetting is off for the lag. Try the fuel screw first. Try to find someone who has a spring on hand if you are going to buy one. Apparently it can take a while to order one from XRsOnly even if they do say they have one on hand.

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