What to look for when buying a used XR600?

Hey guys, great thumper community you have here. I have found great information using the search feature but still have a couple of questions. I'm looking into buying an XR600 already dual sported. I'll ride it out at Ocotillo and other places until my truck is desert worthy. Anyway, I've seen this page with guidance on buying used, and searching the forums, I've found that I need to look for frame cracks around the seat and frame gussets. My question is, what else, if anything, should I look for when I go for a test ride. Any other known problems on the mid to late '90s 600's? Is there anyway to tell if the valves have been adjusted properly and at the correct intervals? How can I tell if the bike is properly jetted? All suggestions are greatly appreciated, as I've never actually owned a bike.

I haven't ridden in a couple of years (used to ride my neighbor's xr400 and 100 out at Ocotillo), but I'm 6'3, 175, and I think that the XR600 will be perfect for me to get back into trail/desert riding. Does it seem like this bike will suit my skill level and riding terrain? Thanks for any help. :)

Before I bought mine I took it to the local Honda dealership and had a mechanic take a look at it. All he did was look at the obvious things such as brakes, tires, etc.. He cranked it over and listenned to the engine and informed me that everything looked good.

For about thirty dollars they can look at valve clearances and other things you would like to check. Thirty bucks for some piece of mind when you go to purchase the bike.

As far as the XR, I would not have any other. I am very impressed with it. :)

Ask the guy what he did for regular maintenance. If he took care of the bike then you find a greasy Honda shop manual laying on his bench.

Heat stress was a big factor on the XR-600. If they got hot to do some damage watch out for problems in the motor. After about 10 to 12K miles the lower ends give out and start shifting funny and skiping gears, jumping out of gear. I've heard the boil over point on the 650 is still 100 degress less that the normal operation tempature of the 600. So you can imagen the bike will take some abuse under load or jetted lean. I really liked my 600, despite its weight it worked well in tight single track as long as you kept your speed up and air flowing over the motor. Great trail/desert bike that you can push hard and a seat that was designed by Lazyboy. Good luck.

My advice isn't specifically about buying an XR600, but usually there are a few things to look for; Check the obvious things, chain and sprockets, tyres, general appearance of the bike, but also see if the filter is clean and oiled, chain lubed, fresh looking engine oil etc. Listen to it run, test ride and listen for any unusual noises or clunks in the suspension linkages or headstem area.If it has a filthy filter, dirty chain, black oil etc, i'd keep looking. Also if you are in his garage, check the condition of any other bikes or even his car, and try and gauge if his vehicles are maintained well or not. I would also check all the fasteners on the bike, it can be a PITA to find bolts or screws with rounded heads or chewed up screwdriver slots. Don't be afraid to walk away from a bike that doesn't seem quite right, it probably isn't. Good luck. :)

They did change through the years. The last revision is the 96 year. Something very slight in the cases if I remember right. Nothing major. But early 90s got dual disc, then the cartridge forks.


The later the better. Most of them have been used, so inspect the lower frame. If it is dented up a bit, that is normal. You can always use that for a bargaining chip to lower the price. Any mods like suspension and brakes is a bonus on a used bike.

3rd gear was very weak in the mid 80s bikes and still showed up a bit in some motors through the years. Since it is a heavy bike, levers break easily, bars bend easy and you will find some bent front axles on them.

Basically look the bike over. If you can start a 600 easily, you will know the difference from a good running unit or poor unit.

My advice after you get the bike is to first install an edelbrock carb (solves all the hard starting, coughing and stalling issues of the bike) and then a SRC fork brake ( keeps the bike sold, no problems with ruts and tightens up the steering). You will spend $600 for those 2 items, but worth every penny on that bike. Other than that ride the bike, change the oil and filter often. I used Amsoil 0w-40 oil in my bike. It is the only only that lasted longer than 1 ride as those motors are tough on oil! Installing SS lines for the brakes helps to slow it down also.

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