Why did my XR200 pop and die?

I was riding the 93 XR200 yesterday when it made this pop noise (rather than a bang) and simply died. I go to kick it over and there is no pressure on the kick starter, I could almost push it to the bottom with 2 fingers. I previously needed a strong kick just to get it turning over. Nothing sounds loose in the engine and I can't see anything broken or leaking. The engine seems to turn over just with no compression. It doesn't fire at all.

Can anyone help figure out what happened and where I should start to fix it? Any help is greatly appreciated.


Holed a piston, bent a valve or your decmopression/lever cable suddenly and inexplicably got hung up.

How was it running before it took a crap?

Jeez, hopefully it's the 3rd scenario. It was running fine beforehand and didn't miss a beat. Having never holed a piston or bent a valve before, why does this sort of thing happen given everything was just cruising right before it died?

if you did put a hole in a piston, it was because your jetting was too lean, or spark plug was too hot

Today I had a look and the cam chain had broken and was sitting at the bottom. It looks like the tensioner failed. The cylinder head looks ok and the valves are sitting nicely in their seats, but I can't seem to get the cylinder head off because the bolts are too long and there isn't enough room between them and the frame. I got most of the broken chain out and (being gentle) the engine turns over smoothly and the piston moves accordingly.

I have the stator cover off but not I can't get the flywheel off. How do I lock the engine (does the clutch cover have to come off) and which way does the flywheel bolt undo?

Thanks in advance, Tom

You have to pull the engine to get the head off. You have to pull the head to change out the tensioners. Gives you a chance to really check things out. It doesn't take as long as you might think too.

I agree, pulling the engine is not hard. Powroll sells a HD timing chain for about the same price as Honda.

The rear axle, or a 17mm bolt, can be used to pull the rotor (flywheel). It will screw into the rotor and push on the end of the crank to pull the rotor off.

If the motor turned over with two fingers, odds are you have a bent valve. When you get the head off, spray wd40 in the intake and exhaust ports and see if it leaks out the valves.

Replace the cam and crank gear when replacing the chain.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now