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First year electric start?

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What was the first year that Honda put electric start on their XR600L/XR650L? I'm just as curious about the XR250L as well? I had two discs removed from my neck so kickstarting is a bad idea, but I refuse to give up dirtbiking. I need something old and cheap. Help me almighty thumpertalk! Your my only hope!:ride:

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What was the first year that Honda put electric start on their XR600L/XR650L? I'm just as curious about the XR250L as well? I had two discs removed from my neck so kickstarting is a bad idea, but I refuse to give up dirtbiking. I need something old and cheap. Help me almighty thumpertalk! Your my only hope!:ride:

The XRL has always been e-start,it came out in 93.......

Brian

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I'm not sure when the XL600R first got E-start, but I think it was 1984 on the overseas XL600LM/XL600 Pharoah. However, the XL600 always has had a 75mm stroke crank, so it is not directly interchangeable with other RFVC engines. The first NX650 in 1988 also had E-start and shares almost all engine parts with the '93-09 XR650L, including the crank. I think th only real difference is the second gear ratio.

If you are in North America, your best bet for an e-start Honda is an '88-89 NX650, '93+ XR650L, or a CRF450X.

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I'm not sure when the XL600R first got E-start, but I think it was 1984 on the overseas XL600LM/XL600 Pharoah. However, the XL600 always has had a 75mm stroke crank, so it is not directly interchangeable with other RFVC engines. The first NX650 in 1988 also had E-start and shares almost all engine parts with the '93-09 XR650L, including the crank. I think th only real difference is the second gear ratio.

If you are in North America, your best bet for an e-start Honda is an '88-89 NX650, '93+ XR650L, or a CRF450X.

This brings up a question I've had before, but never got answered. I had an '88 NX, and it had way more power than the later XRLs. It was faster than my friend's XR600 (same year), too. Would a bigger airbox and dual exhaust be the only reasons? Cycle world dyno'ed it at 42 hp (at the crank, I'm pretty sure). I'm thinking it may have had a different cam or something, too, because it would flat run away from comparable bikes if there was any traction to be had.

I know the current XRL is way corked at the factory, but even uncorked, it's not as quick as the NX was. Just wondering if somebody can access the part #s to see if the cams are identical. I'd be surprised if they are. The NX was more street focused, with a top speed of 103. The XRL is more of a real dirtbike, so highway speed and top-end power isn't so important.

Now I'm curious enough to check into it, but my google-fu isn't so good. Anybody got the real scoop?

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Wow! I googled right into it. The NX DID have a different cam.

OEM part #s: NX cam: 14100-MN9-010 (discontinued)

NX cam: 14100-MN9-020

XRL cam: 14100-MN9-872

NX valve assembly: 14000-MN9-020

XRL valve assembly: 14000-MAN-690

The cam sprocket and chain, etc., appear to be identical.

Mystery solved! The NX had 10+ hp more than the XRL due to opened intake, exhaust, AND a different cam! No doubt the jets were different, too. I deserve a Scooby snack!

FWIW, my NX had all the torque I could ask for. Only my XRR can beat it, from the bikes I've ridden.

Info obtained here: http://www.cheapcycleparts.com/model_years/471-honda-1988-NX650/assemblies/8585

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Personally, I do not know if, how, or why an NX650 would have more power than a 650L. The airbox and exhaust is different, so that could have some effect.

AFAIK, RFVC cam specs are ultimately the same from 1983-2009. :ride:

On a side note, different part numbers don't necessarily mean different cam specs.

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What kind of riding will you be doing?

The XR650L is the only XR of and displacement with electric start. All the rest are kick only.

Another possible choice could be a electric start DRZ. When did those get electric start? Any of the pre-DRZ DR's come with electric start other than the DR650?

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Oh..

OE cam swap for more powar?

hrmmmm :ride:

Obviously so. I haven't compared, but OEM cams ain't cheap. If you could find an old parted-out NX with a good cam, it could be a nice boost, and not stressful to the existing motor. The NX had the same split cam design the XRL has. Just a different grind. You'd have to have an open intake and exhaust to take advantage of it, just like any hotter cam.

My NX was bone stock, and I rode it mostly on the street, but I crossed some deep creeks and climbed some nasty hills, too. Ran like new when I sold it. I still miss that bike! Figured it would be a classic, and I was right. Go to ADV and see how many are still running strong. 22 years old!

Did I mention that I miss that bike? I'm sure it would still be running fine had I kept it.

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If you guys think the NX650 had a better grind than any of the other RFVCs, let us all all know so we can get the miracle cam...:ride:

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If you guys think the NX650 had a better grind than any of the other RFVCs, let us all all know so we can get the miracle cam...:ride:

Different part #.

Way more power, stock.

Bigger air, jets, and exhaust doesn't explain 42 hp vs. what, 30 or so at most for the XRL?

Without a visual comparison, or someone from Honda who would know, it's all conjecture. But, a better airbox and dual exhaust alone do not 10 hp make.

I guessed that it had to be the cam. I'm pretty sure, now. Have you ridden an NX? It's faster than an XRL. Fastest air-cooled Honda single ever. It's more than just the airflow, I'm guessing.

Edited by bongodave

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You're comparing two horsepower numbers obtained in very different ways. The NX650's "42hp" is at the crankshaft. 650L makes 30hp at the back wheel. Factoring in an average 14% driveline loss brings the NX650 down to 36rwhp. We're looking at a 6hp difference, not 12.

I'm looking at service manuals for both the 650L and '88-89 NX650 and the camshaft opening/closing events are the exact same and they both have 31mm lobe heights, so the lift is also the exact same. Different part number doesn't mean different part.

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You're comparing two horsepower numbers obtained in very different ways. The NX650's "42hp" is at the crankshaft. 650L makes 30hp at the back wheel. Factoring in an average 14% driveline loss brings the NX650 down to 36rwhp. We're looking at a 6hp difference, not 12.

I'm looking at service manuals for both the 650L and '88-89 NX650 and the camshaft opening/closing events are the exact same and they both have 31mm lobe heights, so the lift is also the exact same. Different part number doesn't mean different part.

Good info. It was just the different air/exhaust, then. That would explain it!

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What kind of riding will you be doing?

The XR650L is the only XR of and displacement with electric start. All the rest are kick only.

Another possible choice could be a electric start DRZ. When did those get electric start? Any of the pre-DRZ DR's come with electric start other than the DR650?

I thought about the DR's. They got e-start in 1992 I'm pretty sure. But being more interested in the bigger bore bikes, the XR600/650L is a much better dirt bike and an equally good road bike. Besides, I've ridden several XR600's and I loved them.

So, 1993 sounds like the year that e-start started on the big XR-L on this side of the ocean. Am I right?

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So, 1993 sounds like the year that e-start started on the big XR-L on this side of the ocean. Am I right?

Yup. To be exact, the 650L was introduced in '93 and has only ever been offered with e-start.

Technically, the '88 NX650 was first, though. They have the same engine as the 650L, but are geared more toward adventure touring and are less corked-up so they make a bit more power. Unfortunately Honda only offered them here for the '88 and '89 model years, so 650Ls are much, much easier to find.

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What was the first year that Honda put electric start on their XR600L/XR650L? I'm just as curious about the XR250L as well? I had two discs removed from my neck so kickstarting is a bad idea, but I refuse to give up dirtbiking. I need something old and cheap. Help me almighty thumpertalk! Your my only hope!:ride:
Returning to the original question, and given the situation with your neck, there are a number of choices for dirtbiking. If you want to use it for commuting, bigger is better. If you want to play in the dirt, look at the 250s. They're lighter, and weight is everything in the dirt, more than power, if you're not racing.

My advice is that you check your local used listings, and go ride several bikes. Only you know what will do the job for you. Does it have to be street-legal? In my case, yes, so I can justify it as a backup when my car is down (like this entire last week!).

I really think that a smaller bike would be better for you. As fun as the big XRs can be, they're heavy, and with your situation, could be too much strain on you. Better to ride something light and rev it than torque around with a 300 lb. top-heavy beast. The tighter the trail, the better the smaller bike.

Shop around and ride lots of different bikes. Some were bought new, and were barely ridden. Old gas, undrained carbs, and poor storage and dry rot are the problems with such bikes. All easily fixed, too!

Some were extensively farkled for more power, better handling, or whatever, and are still barely broken in. It's a buyer's market, and you could end up with a bike with $1000s in extras for a nice price.

I don't mean to insult, but if you don't know about it, a neckbrace should be mandatory. No guarantee it will save you, but it helps your odds in a get-off (and we all do that!).

http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com/2/6/10/11212/ITEM/Leatt-Moto-GPX-Club-Neck-Brace.aspx

I'm not recommending any particular one, just giving you an idea if you haven't seen them. Let's do all we can to keep your neck safe!

Wear it every time you ride, street or dirt. Screw what anyone else says. The only reason I don't have one is because I'm broke these days, and I need to save up for some new boots.

I haven't been to Maryland in about 20 years, but from what I remember, it's pretty flat, with lots of woods. A 250-450 might be better than a BRP for your intentions.

Again, the best bike for you depends on what you want to use it for. You have the luxury of test-riding a lot of used bikes, so look around and decide for yourself.

XT 225/250, DR400, and any dirtbike or dualsport with an e-start. That includes a lot of bikes. Do your own research and try out some machines. Nothing will be perfect, because there's always a trade-off. 650s can handle the freeway, but they're heavy. 250s are light, but aren't happy going real fast all day. 400/450s are inbetween. Shop around.

Edited by bongodave

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