XR650R - burning oil/low compression - help!

Hi everyone, well - I bought my XR650R (brand new) at the beginning of October, and it's been going great (especially once I'd got the e-start and all the rallye kit fitted x) - since then I've done nearly 4000 miles all over Nevada, Oregon and California...

Thing is, the bad boy is starting to drink oil rather alarmingly - after the last change (stretched to 1200 miles, I know, I know, but a lot of that was highway) I got less than a litre of oil out!!!

I did a compression check yesterday, and the gauge read 120psi, when it ought to be 160psi... so, that would probably explain it - there is also a fair amount of oil residue in the crankcase breather, so I guess the rings/bore/piston is leaking and presurising the crankcase to a fair degree - the oil is certainly pretty black when it comes out...

So, I'm just wondering what the best course of action is - I'm off to the dealer this morning to see if Honda/they will warrenty it (they said I get 6 months on this bike), but I'm wondering if there are any other options?

I don't really want the bike off the road for weeks on end as I'm only here until the end of December, and still haven't seen Arizona or Mexico yet...

I understood they can be a bit oil-thirsty on the highway, but the drop in compression (you can feel the bike is down on power) is rather annoying - anyone else had this problem? and other than a total rebuild (on a 4000 mile bike?!) what is the easiest and quickest solution to restoring full power?

All advice gratefully received...

JennyMo xxx

Did you break it in, or just hop on it and ride 4k? Have you checked the valve lash yet? Any smoke comming outta the pipe? If you're lucky it's just a tight valve not seating, and causing the low comp. reading. Did that litre come from the crankcase AND frame? OR, just the c.case? More info puhleeese...

I basically ran it in as per the instructions (well, the handbook only says take it easy for the first 15 miles and thats it?!!!) - did about 120 miles around town - stop start, through the gears, that sort of thing - then changed the oil, then took it pretty easy for the next 500 or so and did another oil change. The rest of the miles have been a good mix of dirt roads, highway and the odd more tricky trails riding - but nothing really high revs, other than the odd stint on the highway around 70mph.

I've checked the valves (they were fine, but I reset them anyway) and there isn't any smoke as far as my ridding buddies could tell, but it must be going somewhere - the crankcase is certainly pressurising (oil in the breather pipe) and yes, that litre was the total oil that came out - from frame and sump!

It seemed fine up to around 2000 miles, but then the following change a week later (after riding from Bend OR to LA) was when only the litre came out...

I'd be interested to see what you guys have to say, but I spoke to my dealer yesterday and they are going to look at it under warrenty as there is clearly something not right... it certainly feels down on power and 'rough' if you know what I mean?

JennyMo xxx

they will use oil on hiway rides, but i wouldnt think that much. just gonna have to rip into it and inspect.

Wonder if there's something wrong with the breather that's allowing much more oil than normal past it?

ive got 3850 miles on my 2007 XR650R, proble 200 off-road, 600 dirt roads, and the other 3000 is almost all highway, a lot of 50-65 MPH. Ive never had any problem with it useing oil. After break in i do oil changes every 800-1200 miles, depending on riding


It sounds like you have ring blow-by, which is likely due to your breaking in regiment. You did not mention any smoke of any kind. Is there any at all?

Take your plug out and inspect for excessively dark color from burning oil. If it is, you should take your top end off and look to see if the piston has a burn mark on the front from blow by. Those rings are very stiff, and there are two oil rings, so you need to really get on the motor for short bursts when new to get the rings to scrape the wall of the cylinder really good. The combustion pressure pushes out on the rings, wearing them down a bit to match the cylinders shape.

Also, If you keep it sustained at 70 for long periods I have experienced oil loss (150cc).

Sounds like it didn't bed in properly.

Yes Honda should fix it.

Thanks for the info guys - I really hope it is just the rings not seating properly, even though I think I broke it in pretty well (not too hard, but not pussying around either)...

There doesn't seem to be any smoke, but the power feels down from when it was first running (plenty of power with the uncorking mods) and it feels 'rough' and strained when you accellerate, not that usual smooth surge of power...

Anyway, fingers crossed the dealer will sort it over the next few days - I'll let you know how it goes...

JennyMo xxx

Hi my bike has just started showing these same symptoms at 10000miles .what was the verdict???

Cheers joel

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