Restoring a C&J XR 600

Hi guys I have an 88 XR 600 in a C&J frame. I built this bike in 1987 The frame is a replica of the one HRC built for Bubba Shobert to ride in the made for TV "Superbikers". Those of you in your late thirties should remember that this was the origin of "Super Motard" Anyway my bike has been sitting for some time as it is a bear to start. This bike was originaly built with a Al Baker built XL 600 engine and electrics. I later put in my 88 Muzzy built XR 600 motor which I had in a ATX kit bike I sold the ATK but kept the awesome running Muzzy motor. I'm planing on restoring this bike to a street legal Motard bike and I was wondering if there is anyway an electric starter can be added to the older 600 engine also is it possible that the electrics from the XL are causing my hard start problem It is even hard to bump start. Once it does start it still runs hard. This engine was making 50 plus HP in its day. My other question is does the newer electric start engine fit into an older 600 frame and if not how different is it. any help is greatly appreciated I will try to dig out a picture and post it

Sounds like a great bike Greg - as far as giving your motor an electric foot, no way. It would be possible to replace it with a 650L motor but then you would have to find a place for the battery. Perhaps solving the starting problem is the best way to begin. If you have fuel, compression, and spark at the right time it should start. What type of carb are you running? I want to see a picture of this beast!

Dutch I agree that the starting problem is the place to start. Some of it is do to the fact that the XR engine is using the old style XL kick starter. The XR starter hits the foot peg. I had been unwilling to modify the peg as it will ruin the powder coating on the frame. The carb is a Mikuni but I can't remember what size I think its a 38MM. Alot of brain cells have died since I built this bike. I loaned it to one of my employees to see if he could sort it out. I should have it back soon. It is currently set up for dual purpose with white power forks and a single swingarm shock Via ATK I have 2 sets of wheels 18/21 and 19" sun rims that run dirt track tires.I had a knowledgeable mechanic look at it and he too was baffled. I think I will try and locate the correct year elecronics. I can't remember what kind of ignition an XR uses is it a CDI that maybe the wrong year that is causing the spark to fire just a tad of the correct time. If I get it to start fairly easy I'm going to try to get a more modern look to it. It currently has a Yamaha 490 tank and a 86 Cr 500 seat I'm thinking maybe KTM plastic or maybe CCM PS the bike does have a trick battery box as it does not have an airbox only a slip on K&N air filter

I have a used 650L bottom end with electric start, I will let go for a good price if interested.

I may be interested in that I guess what I need to know is will my 600 top end fit the 650 where are you located and how much do you want for it


As far as the hard starting, a relatively common problem with the XL's electrics of that vintage is a weakening stator coil over time leading to a weak spark. It is a simple check with an ohm meter to measure the resistance (impedence) across the coil. Your Honda dealer can give you the specs and color coating of wires. I have the specs at home if you hit a dead end. Also check primary coil and spark plug cap as any one of these will cause a weak spark and make starting difficult. If all these check out o.k. check spark on the side of cylinder head to see how "hot" it looks, compare to another good starting bike if you can. If it looks weak and all things checked in spec the CDI could be bad. One of the classic signs of the weak stator is the bike cutting out while idling or in first few minutes if warm-up after you first start it up and then be very difficult to fire up again.

Good Luck, Keith


I am in Austin, Tx. I have the motor, It has HRC gears and a Carillo(sp?)rod. I do not think your jug will fit, but I can let one go that does. This has a 95mm. bore. You can go 1-2 over and use this no prob. I can also give the piston. The right sidecase is missing, along with internals, but 600r will bolt on. Also missing is starter motor. I believe a new unit is around $100.00. This motor is tight and right. I pulled it out of a bike I have sold when a friend was hit on my '97. The frame was toast, motor ok. I pulled top end(big fins, cam, valves, etc) to put on my current bike. I assembled the other motor with stock parts and sold. I did not want to let this bottom end go at the time. I don't have time to build a new motor, but this would definately be my bottom end to use. I can't use it in my current bike, as I go to Mexico often and the #'s won't match up.I will take $300.00, and split shipping, I'll build the crate.PM me with Q's

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