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XR 200 WEAK GEAR BOX and KICKSTART GEARS?

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Hi, I just talked with someone who seems to be in the know when it comes to the xr 200 motors. What was conveyed to me is that you shouldn't shift without the clutch - up or down with this motor as the gears are pretty weak. I've heard that the shift shaft is weak on the xr 100 motors,but I had never heard this about the 200 motors.

I'd appreciate the input from those of you who log many hours on the xr 200. Are you guys shifting with or without the clutch or both? And is there any truth to this statement that the 200 has a weak gear box? I'm sure it's not nearly as beefy as the bigger bikes, but is it a concern? I do realize that I shouldn't slam or stomp on the shifter ofcourse.

Also,is there a correct way to kick start this bike to preserve the kick start gears as I have read on here that it's a weak point? If I loose the ability to kick it-are they pretty easy to bump start? Many thanks to all who respond,

wayne

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I've owned XR200s since the early eighties, even competed with them and my take on weak gears is; not an issue. I like to shift without the clutch but I do roll the throttle off when doing up shifts. At high rpm I have two methods: Use the clutch without rolling off the throttle, I think it called powershifting. And forced shifts without the clutch. I've noticed that lately I've been using the clutch on upshifts, I don't know why.

The only weak gearbox that I know of is the XR185 first gear because the pinion is 12 teeth and the XR200 used a 13 tooth pinion, for a higher gear ratio but also more strength.

The only problems I'm aware of is wear on the "star wheel" that makes shifting difficult, and bent shifting forks from heavy footed shifters.

Kicker rachets have been a problem thru the years, some have said a redesign was done, others have said no. Sounds like a need for a part number search. This makes it important to have a properly adjusted compression release and a well tuned engine that is easy to start.

From my experiences I have these advices relative to XR200s:

1. Many XR200 owners abuse their engines by not changing the oil frequent enough and cleaning the filter screen. I never go beyond 10 hours. I'm rebuilding a pair of 200 engines that were not well maintained by POs, one is a rebuilt 97 with a bad rod, rod bearing, camshaft, and piston.

2. Use dyno oil of at least 15W-40 weight and change it regulary. I've found the best shifting and clutch action using Shell Rotello T (cheap at Walmart), I don't like Honda 4T oil because it makes the tranny shift hard after a few hours. My second choice is Torco 4T but harder to get.

3. Use the clutch for shifting.

4. Don't let the engine idle when it is hot, it is easy to overheat the engine when the bike is not moving. I know this from monitoring cylinder head temps on one of my XR200s.

Enjoy the ride.

Edited by chuck4788

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I've owned XR200s since the early eighties, even competed with them and my take on weak gears is; not an issue. I like to shift without the clutch but I do roll the throttle off when doing up shifts. At high rpm I have two methods: Use the clutch without rolling off the throttle, I think it called powershifting. And forced shifts without the clutch. I've noticed that lately I've been using the clutch on upshifts, I don't know why.

The only weak gearbox that I know of is the XR185 first gear because the pinion is 12 teeth and the XR200 used a 13 tooth pinion, for a higher gear ratio but also more strength.

The only problems I'm aware of is wear on the "star wheel" that makes shifting difficult, and bent shifting forks from heavy footed shifters.

Kicker rachets have been a problem thru the years, some have said a redesign was done, others have said no. Sounds like a need for a part number search. This makes it important to have a properly adjusted compression release and a well tuned engine that is easy to start.

From my experiences I have these advices relative to XR200s:

1. Many XR200 owners abuse their engines by not changing the oil frequent enough and cleaning the filter screen. I never go beyond 10 hours. I'm rebuilding a pair of 200 engines that were not well maintained by POs, one is a rebuilt 97 with a bad rod, rod bearing, camshaft, and piston.

2. Use dyno oil of at least 15W-40 weight and change it regulary. I've found the best shifting and clutch action using Shell Rotello T (cheap at Walmart), I don't like Honda 4T oil because it makes the tranny shift hard after a few hours. My second choice is Torco 4T but harder to get.

3. Use the clutch for shifting.

4. Don't let the engine idle when it is hot, it is easy to overheat the engine when the bike is not moving. I know this from monitoring cylinder head temps on one of my XR200s.

Enjoy the ride.

Chuck,

The kickstart ratchet as well as associated gears were changed about 1990. I think the same time they changed the case and crank bearing. You can put a later kickstart ratchet and gears in an early engine if you change out the transmission bearing in the right case. (the later bearing is thinner to make clearance for the heavier gears). The later gears are much beefier than the early gears. The transmission itself seems like it has been unchanged.

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Chuck,

The kickstart ratchet as well as associated gears were changed about 1990. I think the same time they changed the case and crank bearing. You can put a later kickstart ratchet and gears in an early engine if you change out the transmission bearing in the right case. (the later bearing is thinner to make clearance for the heavier gears). The later gears are much beefier than the early gears. The transmission itself seems like it has been unchanged.

The right crank bearing was changed in 94. Honda changed the fit of the right main bearing from press fit on crank and slip fit into the case, to slip on crank and press into case beginning with engine number 5705049 (in 94). I think this info was posted by "nutcase" and I kept it because I have a 82, 90, and a 97 engine.

I did a quick part fiche research and there were some upgrades to the starting system in 94: The pinion on the kicker shaft changed from 30 teeth to 21 teeth and the mating gear on the mainshaft also changed (almost the same ratio). The rachet stayed the same so the change was to the gears not the rachet. The main shaft bearing on the clutch end did not change (still a 6006). The kicker shaft bushing stayed the same. Don't know about the right case countershaft bearing but the counter shaft is not part of the starting system. I assume these changes occured at the same serial number as the crank changes.

Not a thorough search so if someone has more info please post.

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The right crank bearing was changed in 94. Honda changed the fit of the right main bearing from press fit on crank and slip fit into the case, to slip on crank and press into case beginning with engine number 5705049 (in 94). I think this info was posted by "nutcase" and I kept it because I have a 82, 90, and a 97 engine.

I did a quick part fiche research and there were some upgrades to the starting system in 94: The pinion on the kicker shaft changed from 30 teeth to 21 teeth and the mating gear on the mainshaft also changed (almost the same ratio). The rachet stayed the same so the change was to the gears not the rachet. The main shaft bearing on the clutch end did not change (still a 6006). The kicker shaft bushing stayed the same. Don't know about the right case countershaft bearing but the counter shaft is not part of the starting system. I assume these changes occured at the same serial number as the crank changes.Not a thorough search so if someone has more info please post.

You may be right on 1994...I knew it was somewhere around there. When they changed the gears on the kickstart it made them a touch thicker as well and made a change to the bearing on the right case to allow for clearance. It took me a little time to figure that one out! In my bike I have 1986 case and crank with a 2001 transmission, kickstart, and top end. The 1986 had an issue with the kick start skipping so I used the 2001 guts in the 1986 bottom end. Long story short..I bought a 2001 xr200 not running. Cam chain broke wrapped around the crank and went through the case destroying the case and crank in the process. I took the motor from my bike put it in the 2001 and resold the bike at a profit. I had a pretty fresh 1998 engine in my bike so no one would have an issue getting correct parts if needed due to early late parts changes. 1998 and 2001 is the same. I bought a 1986 bottom end only for $50 off ebay and built my franken motor and put it in my bike on the cheap! I have logged a bunch of time on franken motor with no issues! My whole bike has been put together with misc parts...Keeps it interesting and I like to tinker.

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Interestan 82ish right case on a later engine and it wouldn't fit because of the kick starter. The right case part number changed with the crank bearing change, Honda may have also changed the case for kicker gear clearance.

I put the 2001 guts in the 86 cases and had an issue with what I thought was the kicker gears (the 2001 case is clearanced a touch compared to the 86 in the pocket where the kicker gears sit) I clearanced the 86 case to closely match the 2001 case around the pocket. I still had an issue getting the cases to come together without bind. That's where I figured out that the bearing in the RT case for the transmission shaft was thinner for 2001 than 86, making room for the thicker kicker gear. I swapped out that bearing and the cases come together nicely with no binding. I have put a number of hours on it with no issues. THe bearing might be for the countershaft...can't remember. There is a gear on the kickstart shaft and a matching gear on the next shaft that get changed together (I think it was on the countershaft) That gear on the next shaft is slightly thicker than the original gear and the corresponding bearing only slightly thinner. By slightly I mean you wouldn't notice it if you weren't really looking for it, I didn't meaure it but maybe .070 or so. The difference is so slight I wasn't sure if it would correct the problem because the cases appeared really out of whack.

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With all of the input from you and others we may be able to close in on what changes Honda made and how that will impact interchanging parts.

I did some more snoping and the bearing for the left end of the countershaft (next to the new kick start idler gear) is not listed with the tranny nor the cases so it must be part of the right case assembly.

The left end of the kicker shaft fits into a boss on the left case, and the left case also changed part numbers in 94.

So my summary is three kicker gears changed in 94 and both case part numbers also changed. But all three shafts have the same part numbers from 86 and on.

The three bearings listed in the tranny part fiche have the same metric code numbers but the Honda part number for the right side main shaft changed from a Honda standards number to a Honda part number. A standard 6006 bearing is 13mm wide but my local bearing house did have a narrow version at 9mm, my 97 Honda bearing is 11mm wide. I have a 86 TLR200 case and that bearing is 13mm wide and the same Honda part number as the 86-93 XR200 bearings so it appear Honda went to a non standard bearing in 94.

That leaves the question of what else changed in the cases.

When I get my 97 cases back from media blasting I'll do some comparisons to the TLR cases (the right case is the same part number as the 81-83 XR200R)

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The K/S shaft and lever changed in 87. 86 had a 6mm bolt, and 87 a 8mm bolt. The 87 shaft had a deeper groove for the larger bolt. Longer spring in 86 for ratchet. The gear change was 87......87 - 02 the large tooth type. The case was fly cut larger to accept the new larger dia spindle gear........can be done to earlier case. I have a complete list of parts and part #'s to make the change if interested. We've done this mod. on early engines.....$$$.👍

Old School Al

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This is good stuff.

Chuck, when I was rebuilding the kicker on my '87, I tried to mate an '83 right side case half to my '87 left side. It fit, but did bind around the countershaft. Never thought the bearing could be the culprit.

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This is good stuff.

Chuck, when I was rebuilding the kicker on my '87, I tried to mate an '83 right side case half to my '87 left side. It fit, but did bind around the countershaft. Never thought the bearing could be the culprit.

The early case needs to be opened up to get clearance for the later K/S spindle gear also. That's all Honda did to the case! A alum cut off disc works well.

Old School Al

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The K/S shaft and lever changed in 87. 86 had a 6mm bolt, and 87 a 8mm bolt. The 87 shaft had a deeper groove for the larger bolt. Longer spring in 86 for ratchet. The gear change was 87......87 - 02 the large tooth type. The case was fly cut larger to accept the new larger dia spindle gear........can be done to earlier case. I have a complete list of parts and part #'s to make the change if interested. We've done this mod. on early engines.....$$$.😏

Old School Al

Hi,

I'm new here and to the world of XR's. I recently acquired a 83 XR200R with this exact problem. I was hoping there would be an easy fix, but apparently not. You had mentioned a list of parts to make the upgrade to stronger gears. Is that still possible? Any help/tips/advice, would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Bobwon

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Bob:

Several problems have been discussed in this thread so I'm curious about the specifics of the problems with your 83?

IMO the kick starting system on the early XR200R is OK provided that the compression release is functioning and proper starting technique is used.

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The problem I'm having with this XR is the kick start ratchet acts like it is catching as you roll the engine around to compression, but then when you put some leg into it, it slips and doesn't crank the motor. I will double check the compression release adjustment, but I'm pretty sure it's the ratchet. Although I have already ordered stock replacements, If you have a list of parts that will remedy the problem, it would be greatly appreciated.

Oh! Perhaps you would know what jet sizes to go to for installing a Supertrap on this bike. I have one off a 86 XR250R that I would like to use, but I read the carb needs to be re-jetted to perform properly. It looks to have the stock carb.

Thanks,

Bob

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As I said the CR takes a big load off the kicker system, but if the ratchet is bad the ratchet is bad. Good news/bad news on the ratchet; no change thru the years. Also check the ratchet on the spindle gear for wear.

You will need to do some mods to fit the 86 XR250 muffler to fit it to the 82 XR200R chassis. The 250 head pipe is 1 1/2" OD and the 82 XR200 is about 1 1/4"OD, plus the frame attach points are different.

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Yeah, I had noticed the difference in pipe size but I have the head pipe off the xr250, which was the 4 valve head, and it looks like if one was to cut off and block the head pipe going to the left hand exhaust port, that it would almost bolt right on, with perhaps some extra bracketing. I'm going to try it when I have the motor out for the starter ratchet and see what happens. However, I do recall reading somewhere that the carb will need to be re-jetted to compensate for the reduction in back pressure to prevent it from leaning out. Anyway, I'll keep researching this and I'm sure with as many XR's out there as there are, I'll find what I'm looking for.

Thanks for the help,

Bob

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I suggest that the easiest mod would be to adapt the Supertrap and mid pipe to the XR200R head pipe. The stock muffler is more than adequate for that engine, and the Supertrapp will be very load. I removed the Supertrap from my 82 because it was too noisy.

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i have a 87 xr200r w a 84 xr200 engine. it had blown the starter gears.. i had a spare bucket of parts. it had all the upgraded starter gears thats all i changed. the newer kick start spindle. the intermidiate gear. and the final clutch hub gear all onto old parts. and everything swapped w no probs or modifications.. maybe im just lucky

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