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My XR 650R Story (siezed at the end), pics and link

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XRPiston.jpg

So, I really wanted to do the dual sport thing about a year ago. I had let me fitness almost go completely and thought that ds would be a great alternative to pure dirt and a great way to get me into street riding (it worked, I’ve had 4 street bikes in the last 9 months). I bought this XR for $2300 knowing it didn’t run, as the guy had it sitting for too long without running it. He offered to sell it for $2500, he’d have the carb cleaned and deliver it to me. I said I’d rather do the work myself and pay $2300, he said ok. I was told the bike has the “HRC Power Up Kit”, the full one with the different piston, cam, etc. When I got it home, I took the carb off, cleaned it up and put some fresh gas in it. Got it started no problem. Couple things that were driving me nuts were that the petcock rubber was coming apart and making it’s way into the pilot jet. It took me a couple times to realize what was happening, so I got pretty good at getting the carb off an apart and back on. I had read up on the starting problems with these XR’s, but I got it going and it ran like a bat outta hell. Serious power, I believed the claim that the HRC kit was really there. It was originally sold from Temecula Motorsports as their “Baja Edition”. Precision concepts suspension, CR 500 shock, motor work, stabilizer, airbox mods, etc. It really is a great handling bike for the high speed desert stuff.

The bike really got me back into the dirt bike thing. Really impressed with how this bike ran, I had heard these things were indestructible (more on this later). I got it plated and drove it out to the desert early summer mornings, rode ds with a good friend Jim on his BMW. Used it as an ultra cool ds bike. Didn’t really mind the kick starting, other than being hard to start cold (valves?), the bike was just great. I bought one of those cool Garmin Montanas to conquer the ds world. Took the bike up to Prescott, AZ at the end of summer, did a little exploring. Got back and it sat for the better part of 3 mos. with the exception of one ds ride with jim (good story below in this blog). Fast forward to early January. Great day out, Jim and I were going to head out to do a little street, little dirt. Got about 10 miles from the house and cruising around 25mph and the motor bogged! 30 seconds later, another bog, pulled over and it died. Couldn’t even kick it, it was frozen. WTH?!

So, then indestructible XR 650R just siezed up going through a residential neighborhood. Not exploring the sw or baja or racing, just cruising around, I was dumbfounded. Came back and got my truck, loaded it up and brought it home. It’s been sitting in the corner of the garage doing nothing. I talked with a few different people about the what it could be scenarios. Has clean oil, good coolant, etc. Finally, I decided I’m tearing it down! I’ve never tore into a 4 stroke, so now’s the time. As I was tearing it down, everything was clean up top, good news. Piston, cylinder, cam, all clean. Then I took the filter cover off, wow! It looked like a gold rush in there, maybe a copper or bronze rush! Lot’s of metal there. Doesn’t look like it made it past the filter. Pulled the cylinder off, good. That connecting rod, is it supposed to stand straight up? Not! The bearing was frozen. Can’t even turn the crank one full turn without it binding up. So, how did the cr bearing go away? That’s the question. Theories of an air bubble in the oil pump have come to light by a very respected mechanic, as this bike was sitting on it’s kick stand for months, opposite side of the oil pump. Wouldn’t that take out the top end too? IDK. Pics are below of the top end apart. I will split the cases here soon to see what’s inside. Looking forward to doing a complete rebuild on this motor and getting bike back up to speed (gps’d at 113mph in the San Felipe wash).

I'll be documenting the rebuild on here and mostly my blog. I put this pic up here, as I wanted to see if anyone can tell if this is the HRC Power up kit piston with just a pic? I recall the power up kit having a domed shape piston. Anyways, here's a link to my blog with has this same write up, but more pics and all different stuff on my desert racing and other 2 wheelers.

www.2wheelsflyin.tumblr.com

Thanks, Steve.

Edited by fltplan

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Looks like my stock OEM piston.

The true HRC kit will have a wider cam chain and tesioner. How many plates are in yours?(cam chain)

Edited by scalejockey

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Looks like my stock OEM piston.

The true HRC kit will have a wider cam chain and tesioner. How many plates are in yours?(cam chain)

looks like a 3x4 chain? if that's what you're talking about. I guess I was duped with the whole HRC kit when I bought this. Didn't really know muh about the kit when I bought it.

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The rest of the story.....

Tore the bike down and found that the rod bearing was frozen. Top end was still good. It took a few months to get everything done on this, as I had a crash in a desert race and slowed me down quite a bit, along with a move. But, I got everything back together earlier this week. Decided to make everything new in the motor, other than the transmission. One of those since I was in there things and with a little help from my sponsor, Fun Bike Center, I decided to do it the right way. Lot's a folks thought I should go with a different rod, cam, piston, etc. I really wanted longevity out of this motor, so I wanted it completely stock inside. It does have the full pipe and airbox mods though.

I was told this bike had the Honda HRC Kit when I bought it. Since I had never ridden a 650 before, I didn't know the difference. The bike had no such kit installed. I'm amazed at the power they make stock, open up on the intake and exhaust ends. This bike will never be a race bike and I'm not going to win any races, thus my insisting on it being put back together stock.

I did get a new Trail Tech Vapor to install with the new engine. I wanted to see coolant temp, rpm, speed, distance, etc. It works great with the speed sensor installed in the front disk and is within .5 mph with my gps. I also got a Garmin Montana for this bike prior to the engine seizing up, but have not used it at all, so today's 100+ mile ride was a true shake down for the bike, the Vapor and the Montana.

I headed out early this am and went out the North end of Ramona (San Diego County) via Haverford Road, then up to the Fire Lookout Tower (closed at the top), back down, across Santa Ysabel Trail to Black Canyon, Mesa Grande, Jasper Trail and back. The bike ran great. Nice being able to monitor the coolant temp. I saw 160-180F on Highway 67, once I hit the dirt and got to 3500' elevation on the slow double track, I saw a max of 214F. I think these numbers are pretty reasonable. I did have to sit at the stop light on 67 in Lakeside and the temp went from 180 up to 205 pretty quick. Bike ran great and this is what I wanted, as I'm heading down to Baja in 2 weeks for a few days with it.

The Garmin Montana worked great as well. Really have to spend some time to get the most out of these new GPS's. So many functions that it can get frustrating if you're not up on how it functions. The Trail Tech Vapor worked great until about half ride, then started powering down and back on. Didn't know it til I got back, but the power clip had come undone and was going between 12v and battery power. The install on the Vapor was a little modified with my GPR Stabilizer being a top mount and when you turn sharp left the stabilizer pin hits the Vapor wires. The clip broke the at the clasp, so a little mod will have to be done there and free up some of the wire to keep it clear.

That's all, just wanted to follow up on the XR story.

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