2001 xr650l Burning oil

So it's one of those things you learn after the fact, that I wish I realized ahead of time. The oils screen from the frame tank was super clogged. I didn't realize it exists till I was reading on here. I finally got the bike to run after having other issues I brought up herein other threads. Running fine for a bit, but started to make a bunch if noise. Then died on me and had a hard time restarting. Did the banjo bolt check and had no oil. I was thinking the worst. Today I broke it down and found the cam lobes a but worn and the rocker faces to. When draining the motor nothing really came out, when daring the frame it was all in there. ***! So I took the screen out that I didn't know existed before and it was so clogged oil had a hard time getting thro. So after reading about how resilient these bikes are, I cleaned it all out and put it back together. I spent all the money to fix before so I really couldn't buy more parts right now. After getting it assembled, I fired it up. Started right away, but now it smokes a bit, not extreme But definitely enough to notice. Didn't do that before. So my question is, what is more likely to go first in a no oil situation, the rings or the valve guides. Both were good before this and I think the burning oil is getting in through one or the other. Since it still runs strong, should I say screw it and ride till it dies or shoul I do something now. Oil flowing free now. I think the guide would be the first to go but don't really know. What do you guys think? There was obvious wear on moving parts but no gouging or major scouring. Figure for now gonna ride it out since money is an issue, but is there anything you guys recommend besides another rebuild?

Anybody's guess without pulling it apart for a look-see. If it was starved on oil that's bad and when you say "obvious wear" that can be an obvious problem. If the wear is in service limits its not a problem but hard to determine without actually measuring the related parts.

I would ride it for the time being but would plan a tear down / inspection / rebuild somewhere in the future. And inspect your oil pump for good measure.

If the smoke is not excessive & goes away when warm I would run it. Mine was filling my garage & neighborhood with smoke when cold but still ran well. It now sits on a shelf in my garage. I got another motor for a good price that runs well. Only 7,000 on the orig. motor so will go through top end later.

First thing that gets eaten with no oil flow is the piston/cylinder/rings.........next up is the cam/rockers......the guides,valve guide seals are usually the last thing to look at if it lost oil flow and started smoking........

Now if you didn`t lose oil flow and it started smoking....the valve seals would be the first thing to look at..

If it smokes when warmed up pull the head and look at the cylinder,it`ll be obvious what you need to do next..


what oil are you running ? I would try running some synthetic in it , make sure you change the oil and filter at 2000 miles try that . Mine didnt smoke at all but used oil between changes I switched to synthetic and Ive always changed it to manual specs every 2k . I run 70-75mph everyday to work 24 miles one way and I use very little if not any between changes . Chances are your valve steam seals got hot and dried up , for what ever reason the synthetic helped . Just my 2 cents.

thanks for the input guys! i read somewhere that if it only smokes till warmed up it is a seal issue, it it smokes when warm it is a ring issue. from what i saw behind me it was a light cloud till warm, then just a slight trace of a haze. must be a little of both leaking oil into the cylinder! damn! i am new to bikes, i learned the hard way, never again will a little clogged screen be my demise! i did take the vavle cover off, but did not remove the whole head. since it does run, i will try to ride a bit till i hear a problem or the people behind me start hollering! and will probably do the banjo bolt check everytime i ride! you guys are great...thanks again!

My bike is a 2006 and the valve stem seals were hard like a rock and not sealing. I went with Viton replacements for $11 off of Flea-bay. It cured my smokey starts and fogging the garage. My ring end gaps (all 3) were all over the service limit also. Stock Honda piston with a little over 10,000 miles on the clock.

Unless you really starved the top end your guides should be good. High mileage or no oil will kill them. Buy new stem seals for the next tear down. Its also a good time to take a look at your cylinder and piston since your right there.

I think the bottom end gets more oil than the cam, so it is possible to toast the cam and rockers without wiping the cyl/piston or bottom end- it's all a crap shoot.


hey guys again, thanks for your input. to answer one question asked earlier, i have been running the honda brand oil my local dealership sells, black bottle red cap, 10 40 i think. as far as the bike goes, i think it is just a seal problem. it smokes like crazy when i start and runs clear when warmed all the way up. leads me to believ the oile seeps into the motor whan it sits through bad seals, and burns all at once at start up. as i am riding, it doesnt leak fast enough to burn enough to smoke. if it were blow by i could see it sloshing around till it made its way past the rings and burned, alll the time, but since it is only at start up, has to be seals. so next question for you guys, can i change my seals myself the next time i open her up or do i need to have some specialty tool to do that? thanks all!

You can do it yourself with the proper tools , but run some 20/50 synthetic in it and I bet it will slow down the smoking a bit

i took the bike out for a spin today. before running i loosened banjo bolt and had oil coming out and all. since i didnt have any time on it before the motor needed major work, i dont know how loud is too loud for the valvetrain. i can hear stuff going on in there when standing next to it, and a few feet away, as well as when i am riding. is that common? also, when riding, bike plenty hot, i would let off the throttle and the motor would have a misfire or two, and in doing so kinda make the bike surge. it never cut out completely, just surged after letting off throttle at low engine speed. at idle or when throttle aplied, no misfire. is that a carb issue, a side effect of the forementioned issue , or just no big deal? i kinda wonder since it doesnt do that when throttle applied, maybe my idle is under set...i dont know. then i was wondering maybe if the seals are bad could it be they make the valves stick a little to do that. i was gonna try to pull the plug and take a look and see if it is gunked up from burning oil at start up and all. it is a new plug and i have been running 91 octane. after seeing it it should give me a better idea. i was just wondering if any of you had any thoughts? thanks all!

Do a compression test - good compression would indicate valve seals, low compression would indicate rings (and maybe seals too).

i dont have...yet...a way to test the compression. however i did pull the plug out and found a covering of carbon on it. i am assuming from the oil burning more than usual. otherwise the integrity of the plug seemed fine. i cleaned it off and put back but did not ride yet. idles fine though. anybody have the misfire surge happen to them while riding? side note, the tranny seems fine, i can shift through all the gears easily up and down.

The Honda Xr's valve train should sound like a sewing machine, very quiet unless you put a bigger cam in them.

Than they make a bit more noise but not that much more.

The steeper ramp angles of an aftermarket cam will open and close the valves a tad bit faster resulting in more noise.

So it should sound like a sewing machine with the stock cam..quiet...

now, is that an industrial sewing machine or a small home job?! it definately makes noise. would that indicate a lot of wear? i am thinking so. the bike still gets on it, but what about the misfiring? i rode it after checking and cleaning the plug, but it still misfires and surges when i let off the throttle and it gets back down to lower rpm's . fresh gas.

I actually just did the seals and rings on my bike. valve seals are pretty easy if you know what you are doing. Checkers (or Oreilly now) rents an OHV spring compression tool that makes it easy. it was free with a deposit of $28. i had the engine out but you might be able to do it with the engine in. not sure about how much room you will have

Also have you adjusted the valve tappets?

Hey xbear I've never known of a engine misfire when letting off the throttle . Normally you will get popping and such. Misfiring would happen under medium to hard throttle or load. My question is what jetting are you running for your altitude.?

well to answer that will show how green i am with these machines! i dont know much about the jetting. i am at sea level. the bike came with an aftermarket exhaust. i do not know if the carb was jetted when the pipe was added. from what i read, i know there are different jets out there, and they add mre fuel or less depending on what you have in there. i am building the courage to take the carb apart and find out. if say the jets are stock and the pipe was changed, is that enough to cause the misfire? i rode it again yesterday, and it seemed like it wasdoing it even more. kinda like progressively getting worse. banjo bolt still seeps oil if loosened. running out of ideas. i do think the carbuerator is the next step tho. any ideas on what maybe the right jet should be? i think the pipe is an fmf, but not sure, the bike was dumped once or twice before i got it, the pipe has a patch welded on it where maybe the brand name was, definately not the stock pipe. any input appreciated!

Did you ever pull the carb and Find out the jet size. Did you find out the running issue.

The noise you are hearing could be slack in the cam chain. How many miles is on the bile? The next time you have the rocker cover off see if you can pul lup o the cam chain at the top of the cam gear. if there is any slack there it is time to replace the cam chain. I would replace the tensioner and spring while your in there doing the chain. and would look at the chain guides for wear.

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