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Oh Man Not Again

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Well from my previous blog entry you can see I took the XR650r out for a long jaunt in southern Colorado, long enough to screw up the bike again! I can't say the bike has been unreliable, cause it always starts and keeps running taking me from here to there and back home again - in that respect its always gotten me home! However she is a fragile beast in the cam shaft deptment and has a few quirks the vfr just doesent have!~

Last spring I rode her out 300 miles and came back home with a burned up valve and tore up cam shaft/rockers. I spend a good deal on rebuilding it,replacing the parts, new rings, valves, oil locks, gaskets, cam chain, cam shaft, new rockers, and all the time I spent doing that myself. I got home last Tuesday with a familiar tapping but not as pronounced as the first time, I had hopped that the bike was just out of spec and needed a valve ajustment. So I did that yesterday, easy enough but when I got her all back together it was still tapping hard?? I guess I fubared another rocker/cam shaft set AGAIN!! Damn this sucker is either running dry on oil or getting too hot. I remember stopping for gas and checking the oil each time, on the last stop it needed oil so I topped it up. What was more significant was the oil was smoking when I opened it up! So I checked the radiator, the thing was dry! Darned it I overheated her again!

Once I got home I took a look at the thermostat, it was stuck open and the pin had jackeknifed inside the housing! Replaced that! Then I bought a higher pressure radiator cap 1.6 bar Kawi lid so it wont spew so easily, more pressure but if a KLR can take it so can an XR! At the altitudes I ride at it tends to boil off way to easy. I have an oil temp gauge I monitor as I ride and rarely does it go over 200F but I should have stopped when I saw it go down to 150f, that indicates a problem, not enough oil on the dipstick to register the temp!

OK so I replaced the main components that control the heat and filled it up with new radiator fluid, now I have a new camshaft and rockers on order - waiting to get that, so I can go adventure riding again, perhaps with more confidence it wont spew antifreeze all over the dirt so easy!

I know hot means lean condition but it boggs down otherwise up in the high country, my problem is I ride up and down mountains too much the jetting issues are difficult to get right!

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XR's are bullet proof. I have had a few and the could not be killed. My buddy blew up his xr600 on a 300 mile trip that included interstate. It didnt like the continuous high rev's and let go, I guess. I cant believe your having all these problems with it. Of course all other xr's are air colled.

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Xr650R - 2000-2006 are water cooled.

Check this site out. www.xr650r.us

I have been on the yahoo forum that the above rider moderates. Unfortunately I only have 2600 miles on mine, so I can't tell you much from experience.

One guy on the site overheated his bike, kinda like you said and had the guides come loose, which would cause some more issues that you might want to check.

According to the posters on the yahoo forum, overheating is inevitable if you are going at a walking pace for 10 miles. From what they say this is especially true if you have "uncorked" the bike.

The thermostat is a common problem.

Some of the desert and hard core trail users put Evans coolant in their bikes. It is a pure glycol mixture and boils at about 365 degrees. Thus it stays unpressurized and in you radiator at higher temps. I personally haven't tried it, and am avoiding it if I can, as my riding is much easier paced then theirs.

Anyway, that is what I am hearing. Personally, the bike is a purpose built dirt bike, and may require more TLC than some other DP bikes. Recomended oil change intervals are 600 miles :o


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