Disaster! '05 XR650L Top End Ruined...

All, my brother was running his '05 "L" low on oil, and in traffic, so...you can guess the rest! It over-heated & seized; bad news! Damage includes a scarred piston and cylinder, as well as some heavy scarring in the valve area and camshaft.

Guys, he was told there'd be another $800 for the head and parts besides the $400 he's spent in machine work & the new piston. He's got an option to buy a whole new engine for $2K (Ebay), or just try to do the parts and repairs.

So, questions :thumbsup: :

1) He's in the CA Bay area...know of any "great" places to go for repairs if that's the route he goes?

2) Would it be better to sell as is instead (GC, 12K miles, Big Gun exhaust and jet kit...that's all)? He'll put about 1/3 of the bike's value into the repairs, but understandably not be able to recover that.

3) Would it be better to go the "new engine" route?


i saw the engine on ebay your talking about and frankly that is too much in my opinion. how soon does he need it back running because every so often you can find a head on ebay. you can get a new cam for 150 shipped. i would call xr's only and talk to them or Thumper-racing both would be good sources. hope this helps

If the center cam support area is scored badly the head will need to be fixed or replaced. XR's Only will weld over and re machine the center cam support for $140 I think. A lot less than a new head. They can also replace valve seats. If it got too hot the valve seats can come loose.

Unless it's really bad, the head can be fixed for less than $800.

If you check out Service Honda, I think the head will be somewhat less.

It's a good time for a hi comp piston and/or an aftermarket cam since the costs are more or less the same.

A brand new head is 382.00

A brand new head is 382.00

Where? Link?:thumbsup:


How low was the oil? - a few ounces? a couple of quarts? I just can't believe a XRL went down like that. Mine have been through the ringer and NEVER overheated to that extent.

Help a fellow avoid this by giving us the details.

Ive never overheated a engine before but wouldnt you notice the heat from the motor on your legs far before the motor siezed up???

Why was it low on oil anyway? I have many miles on my 94' (13,000 since the speedo was replaced but I'm guessing it has over 30k on the bike.) And have yet to use enough oil to warrant adding oil to the bike. The bike commutes with interstate traffic at over 75mph and has the sh$t run out of it in the woods. I think the most it has ever dropped was 1/4" on the dip stick and that was using 10w-40 in the summer time. I switched to 20w-50 in the summer and even that stopped. It sounds like some kinda oil pump failure not oil comsumption problem.

$800 for head work is outrageous. $800 for the entire rebuild OK but not just for the headwork. Take it somewhere else for the work.

$2000 for an engine is too high, you could buy a used bike for that price.

Rebuild it and run it.


$2000 for an engine is too high, you could buy a used bike for that price.

That was the argument I made when those Ebay new pullout engines were suggested in another thread recently. I think it's actually around $2200 before another $150-200 in shipping.

Dont even worry about the head if its worn in the centre support for the cam. Polish the rough bits away, fit a hotcam and away ya go.

Get the cylinder bored and a new wiseco.

As the others have hinted, I would suggest a more serious problem than just running low on oil. Make sure the oil pump isnt worn or the supply pipe blocked or similar.

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