1983 Honda XL600R

11 replies to this topic
  • Baz006

Posted May 24, 2006 - 06:26 AM


Does anybody out there own one of these retro thumpers....early 80's Honda XL600R? Would love to hear from you....exchange advice ect. These bikes are great fun but they do have problems with starting, fuelling ect ect. Would like to know more about this bike and what mods can be done...mine is ok but like I said, sometimes she goes and sometimes she don't. If she wont start with 3-4 good kicks then she's flooded. Plug fouls up and I'm going nowhere. :ride:

  • xr500_89

Posted May 24, 2006 - 06:39 AM


i own and 82 xl500, and there quite abit of mods to it and its been dynoed 84 horsepower

  • OldThumperLover

Posted May 24, 2006 - 06:39 AM


I have an 84. More info in the vintage thumpers forum. Sounds like you have a bad exciter coil, which causes a weak spark. There are resistance measurements you can make to verify. But start out by checking the valve clearances.

  • Border Patrol

Posted May 24, 2006 - 06:45 AM


I guess my XR6 is vintage, its an 87. Haven't had any problems with it aside from temperamental float needles. Sometimes she pees, sometimes she don't. Still a one to three kick bike (most of the time).

  • jrutled

Posted May 24, 2006 - 11:16 AM


Hey Baz006. I've got an 83 XL600 as well. Had it about 12 years. it's been a great bike!
I've done the following mods:
- Installed a twin air filter and opened up the air box.
- Installed header wrap on the exhaust header.
- Increased the jetting #130 #125 Mains, 058 slow jet, 21/2 turns on the air screw.
- Supertrapp exhaust 12 discs.
- 14 teeth countershaft 43 teeth rear sprockets.

Another thing that you might check for the hard starting is your valve adjustment as well as your two decompression cable adjustments. Although this may not be address your starting issue directly, I have found this adjustment most critical to overall starting my beast.
Good Luck!

  • drake

Posted June 21, 2006 - 10:50 PM


Hey guys I'm new here and also have a 84 xl600. mine has had some problems as well but hey it's 22 years old. I also have a weak spark. Also was wondering what kind of temp should this thing run? Also what about aftermarket plastic does any one make it? Thanks in advance Justin.

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • Shawn_Mc

Posted June 22, 2006 - 07:50 AM


If your 83 XL wont start after 2 kicks, turn the throttle wide open and be ready to let it go if you hear it fire. Mine usually ran after that. Mine was a California model, so the air screw was funky..it had a cap on it that prevented more than a quarter turn of adjustment either way. I pulled it off and it ran a lot better after I got some more adjustment on it.

I put 40,000 miles on an 83 XL600 back in 83-86. I had more fun on that bike than was legal. I rode it literally into the ground, sold it to my uncle and he's still riding it today.

RE the comment of 84 hp....how long is the fuse on that? I could see 64...with a buttload of work...but 84?....

  • racer1735

Posted November 03, 2006 - 10:48 AM


I took possession of an '83 XL600R in August of 2005 and love the heck out of it (its a 'second bike' for me). It's basically bone-stock except for a no-toil air filter and a new set of Maxxis tires.

The bike originally came from New Mexico, so I'm betting its jetted a bit rich for my altitude, but I haven't ahd any trouble starting it once I learned the procedure:
Turn petcock 'on'
open choke full
slowly kick through the starter until you hit full compression, then use the decompresson lever to finish that kick, release decompression lever
twice throttle 4-5 times
kick to start
I've found this method to work with only 2-3 kicks, regardless of the weather. If the engine is warm, follow the same procedure EXCEPT do not open choke. Rather, give about 1/2 throttle.

  • LandSharkGT

Posted November 03, 2006 - 01:30 PM


I have an 84 XL600R and it was relatively easy to start if you followed all the directions given by those on this site. Although I cant wait to see how this will differ with 618cc kit, cam and other goodies!

  • plodder

Posted November 17, 2006 - 02:59 PM


I'm new to the XL600R start routine. Was spoiled for 2 months by easy starting of a 1980 XL500. This like new 1983 started from cold pretty easy but stalled when I went to put my gloves on ( it was only about 60 degrees here). Anyway, I kicked till I was all sweaty and had a bitch of a time starting it. I am confused a little by the procedure outlined by Shawn_Mc

"open choke full
slowly kick through the starter until you hit full compression, then use the decompresson lever to finish that kick, release decompression lever
twice throttle 4-5 times
kick to start"

Is ignition on during whole process?How much throttle. What if engine stalls during warm up?

What carb jetting is good for So Cal with stock bike and supertrapp - 4" disks, 7 or 8 baffles?

  • BRPXL600R

Posted November 17, 2006 - 03:26 PM


When mine stalls, I have to pull the decompression lever in and hold til I kick the flood through for about 10-15 kicks then release the decomp lever get to TDC and give one good kick and she fires! If no I just wait like 15 minutes and start her up!

  • fafalito

Posted December 07, 2006 - 12:39 PM


I have a 1985 XL600R with 25,000 miles on her, she starts on third kick (no choke) when cold. a bit harder to start when hot. My advice? 1/2 turn on throttle when warm.

Related Content


Join Our Community!

Even if you don't want to post, registered members get access to tools that make finding & following the good stuff easier.

If you enjoyed reading about "" here in the ThumperTalk archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join ThumperTalk today!

The views and opinions expressed on this page are strictly those of the author, and have not been reviewed or approved by ThumperTalk.