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Honda XR650L (2009)


Owner: patzer64
Added on August 23, 2014



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Want to add a kickstart to your XR650L? Here's how

Honda XR650L


176 replies to this topic
  • clc3251

    TT Bronze Member

147 posts
Location: Pennsylvania

Posted September 30, 2009 - 06:47 PM


To help out others who want to add a kickstart back up to the electric start on their xr650L I will lay out how I did my conversion and hopefully guide others who want to do the same. First off let me say that everything I did applies to a 1995 XR650L and may not apply to other years, however I don’t see why it wouldn’t.

I searched the Internet for an XR650L kickstart conversion and found a few people who said they had added a kickstart, but no one who was willing to share the details. I found a lot of great info on this forum and received tons of help from members, but no one had a list of parts or a guide on how to do it. I amassed as much info as I could and set out to add the kickstart to my XR650L. I found out that the XR600R engine is almost identical to the XR650L with the exception of the kickstart and some gearing. The XL600 is also very close and kickstart parts from both bikes can be used. The kickstart lever and the side cover I used were both from XL600s. I am not sure about the kickstart internals since I bought them from E-bay, but I believe they are the same between both bikes. Fortunately the XR650L required no major modification. The right side engine crankcase of the XR650L is already machined for the kickstart parts and they drop right in with no machining. I was worried that the kick stopper plate mounting holes were not machined & threaded, but as you can see here, they were and it bolted right up.

Posted Image

Other than the new parts, the only mod I had to make to my XR650L was removing the mounting tab for the rear brake switch from the rear brake pedal. I then hooked the existing spring to the same mounting hole on the brake lever that the return spring uses. In this picture you can see the broken off brake switch tab just behind the retaining bolt for the kickstart lever. Behind that you can see where I re-attached the spring from the brake light switch to the mounting hole for the brake pedal return spring. After adjusting the switch, it works perfectly and doesn’t interfere with the kickstart lever. I also had no interference with the bump out on the frame above the rear of the brake pedal.

Posted Image

Decompression options:

The original XR600R and the XL600 both had various decompression options over the years to make the bike easier to kick over. There was an auto-decompressor on the right side cover, which was connected by a cable to the head cover and was automatically actuated by the kickstart spindle and opened a valve on the head cover. There was also a manual decompressor lever mounted on the handlebars, which did the same thing, but you had to squeeze it when you kicked the bike. The XR650L and later XR600Rs have an auto-decompressor and an anti-kickback mechanism on the cam. Some aftermarket cams don’t have this so if you changed out your cam, you may need to add a decompressor. I was relieved to find out that the auto-decompressor on the XR650L cam was sufficient to allow the bike to kick over. I was actually surprised at how easily it kicked over. It even kicks over with no battery installed.


I bought all the parts that I needed on E-bay with the exception of the countershaft, which I bought from DGY.com. The part numbers and prices at the end of this are from DGY. You could have your existing countershaft and side cover machined, however it would probably cost the same as new parts and lets face it if your going to tear your engine down, why put a used part in there? The machining would be tricky as it is not a matter of simply drilling some holes. The side cover opening must be precisely machined to accept a bearing and seal and the countershaft would require a precision surface for the idler gear bushing.

I was very fortunate and got a great deal on most of the parts. The complete kickstart spindle usually sells for around $50.00. I got mine for $25 and it included a new idler gear and bushing along with a new bearing and seal for the side cover. (Score!)

Posted Image

I also picked up an XL600 right crankcase cover for $20.00. They also seem to sell for around $50.00. It had the decompression lever on it, however I didn’t install the cam on the kickstart spindle to actuate it, as it would have interfered with the rear brake switch. If you want a really clean look you could find a later XR600R right crankcase cover without the decompression lever but these are much harder to find than the mid eighties XL600 covers, which were abundant. The decompression lever is also hidden pretty well by the brake light switch.

Here is a picture of the right side crankcase cover with the auto-decompressor lever situated above the hole for the kickstarter spindle:

Posted Image


The only part I bought new was a countershaft for $100. I ordered a countershaft for a 1995 XR600R hoping that it would be a direct replacement for the one in my 1995 XR650L and I was not disappointed. It was identical except for the machined end for the idler gear. Gears & sprockets from an XR650L fit with no problem. The one in the top of the picture is the original from my XR650L and the one on the bottom is the replacement from DGY.

Posted Image

You can see the right ends are different and show the machining and oil hole on the replacement. I measured both and the shoulders on both are .40inch or 10mm back from the end. The diameter needs to be reduced from .743inch/18.8722mm to .628inch/15.9512mm. The oil hole is.080inch/2.032mm in diameter and located .140inch/30556mm from the shoulder to the center of the hole. All these measurements were taken with a dial caliper and may not be exactly accurate, but you get the drift. The XR600R shaft was also undercut where the reduced end met the shoulder. I couldn’t measure that along with the angle of the edges of the end of the shaft and the shoulder. None of those are critical and can be approximated to provide clearance for the idler gear. The critical dimensions are the reduced diameter and the fine finish for the idler gear to ride on. Initially I had hoped to have a custom bushing made and use the existing countershaft and preclude tearing down the entire engine, but there is no oil hole in it and the end is un-machined and way too rough to ever work. Replacing the countershaft is by far the most expensive and daunting part of this project, but is absolutely required. A shop will charge you several hundred dollars to replace it since it is very labor intensive. I called a local shop and they quoted $800-900 to replace the countershaft including the cost of the countershaft. I reluctantly did it myself and I must say that if you take your time and follow the manual, it is absolutely doable for an amateur. (Hey I did it!)

I used a Clymer manual and help from this forum to perform the kickstart conversion. I am not going to get into the removal of the various engine bits as you need a manual anyway, but you must remove the seat, tank, side covers, carb, exhaust, head cover, head, cylinder, right side case cover and engine crankcase from the frame. You then have to split the cases and change out the countershaft. You don’t need to remove the left crankcase cover but you do have to remove the starter. Disassembly took me about 5 ½ hours taking my time. A pro could probably do it in a couple hours. Putting it back together took about 4 ½ hours so figure a full day plus to do the conversion. I did it myself but a helper would cut the time down considerably. Big time consumers were separating the cases and carefully scraping off all the old gaskets. I separated the cases by supporting the edges of the right crankcase half with wooden blocks and rapping on the mainshaft and crankshaft until I could see light between them. I put a wooden block on the end of the shafts and used a relatively light hammer. I then used a soft brass punch to tap around the edges and get the cases apart.

Posted Image

One problem I ran into when replacing the side cover is that you need new copper washers for the oil line that connects to the side cover above the oil filter and runs up the cylinder to the head. I didn’t replace these initially and I didn’t get the hollow bolts lined up correctly and starved the engine of oil until I figured it out. You will want to mark the top of the bolts with a permanent marker showing where the hole is so that you can line it up with the oil line later. You also have to use Permatex spray hi-temp copper sealant on the head gasket or it will leak. I failed to use the sealant and had a nasty exhaust leak at the front of the head causing backfiring and rough idle.

Here is the finished product:

Posted Image

Was it worth it? To me, absolutely. It cost me $237 including shipping for everything including a new countershaft & gasket set. My time was free so that helped considerably. I will probably use it very seldom, but it is reassuring to know it is available. I will be happy to help out anybody who wants to do this conversion on their bike, either by phone, E-mail or locally if you live near Pittsburgh, Pa. I have pictures of the complete teardown and rebuild, but that has been covered in many other posts and would make this post really long. If anyone has any questions or requests for pictures let me know and I will edit the post to include them. Tools and parts list in the next post.

  • clc3251

    TT Bronze Member

147 posts
Location: Pennsylvania

Posted September 30, 2009 - 06:48 PM


You will need some tools that you may not already have. Some are difficult to find and not carried by your local hardware store. I found everything I didn’t have at Harborfreight.com. The following are absolutely required so get them ahead of time:

1. 27mm socket (for the clutch nut)
2. 30mm deep impact socket (for the primary drive gear)
3. Torque wrench which reads in foot pounds $30.00
4. Torque wrench that reads in inch pounds $30.00
5. A complete set of metric sockets and wrenches up to 24mm. You could get away with up to 17mm if you use adjustable wrenches for the oil lines and your rear axle wrench in your tool kit to remove the valve adjuster covers. $30.00
6. 5mm & 6mm Allen wrenches. A set from a nut driver is best as you can chuck it into a ¼ inch socket and use that to torque the required fasteners with the inch pound torque wrench $5
7. A penny (to put between the primary drive gear and the clutch basket gear to hold them in place while you remove the primary drive gear nut. You don’t need the special Honda tool as a penny works fine $.01
8. Can of Permatex copper spray a gasket high-temp sealant (for the head gasket, don’t skip this or you will have a leak & have to redo it like I did)

An impact wrench makes it very easy to remove the big nuts in the engine and the engine mounts. If you don’t have one you will need a special tool to hold the clutch still while you remove the nut. I already had an impact wrench and it spun both nuts off easily with only hand pressure to hold the clutch still

Now for the parts: You will need the following parts at a minimum to complete your conversion.

1. Countershaft from a late model XR600R (I used one for a 1995 XR600R)
2. Right crankcase cover from an XR600R or XL600 (I used one for an early eighties XL600)
3. Kickstart spindle and parts attached to it (complete list at the end of this novel)
4. Idler gear and bushing
5. Kickstart lever from an XR600R or XL600 (others may work but I don’t know)
6. Gaskets for the crankcase, right crankcase cover, cylinder, cylinder head and cylinder head cover
7. Copper washers for the oil line that attaches to the right crankcase cover

Here is a list of new parts and part numbers if you decide to buy new, but it is very expensive @ $860.67:

23220-MN9-980 Countershaft $ 98.93

11330-MN1-680 Right crankcase cover $164.18
91106-KF0-008 Bearing $ 15.10
91202-HK9-003 Seal $ 2.89

Kickstart parts
28211-ML6-770 Pinion $123.93
28212-MK2-680 Collar $ 13.05
28213-KF0-010 Ratchet $ 26.92
28215-MK2-000 Kick stopper plate $ 8.60
28223-KF0-004 Spring $ 2.33
28250-MG3-000 Spindle $102.98
28255-MG3-010 Collar $ 4.84
28261-MK2-000 Spring $ 6.86
90131-MA7-000 Bolt (2 required) $ 2.63 x 2 = $ 5.26
90452-VM0-000 Washer $ 4.62
90454-428-000 Washer $ 1.52
90501-KF0-000 Washer $ 3.35
90601-329-000 Circlip $ 1.45
28221-MN1-670 Idler gear $ 47.58
28222-MG3-000 Idler gear bushing $ 14.09
28300-MN1-671 Kick starter arm $ 81.93
28241-MN1-671 Joint $ 38.57
28333-124-000 Spring $ 1.23
90101-KNS-670 Bolt $ 2.50
96211-08000 Bolt $ .99

Gaskets
11394-MN1-700 Right crankcase cover gasket $ 12.11
11191-MN1-700 Crankcase gasket $ 13.88
12191-MN1-700 Cylinder head gasket $ 6.89
12251-MN1-671 Cylinder head gasket $ 20.97
12391-MG2-790 Cylinder head cover gasket $ 28.60
90544-439-930 Copper washers $1.13 x 4 = $ 4.52

  • NOV8TR

    TT Member

35 posts
Location: California

Posted September 30, 2009 - 07:14 PM


Nice job clc3251 ! It is awesome to have all this information in one place. Some day I hope to get around to this mod, but for now I stuck "bump starting" my Piggy when she just does not want to fire for one reason or another. I don't seem to be eligible to award you "fuel points" or I would have done so. :busted:

  • ThumpNRed

    TT Addict

3,511 posts
Location: Idaho

Posted September 30, 2009 - 08:29 PM


Getting ready to begin the teardown on my piggie (need to replace a broken countershaft). Has me thinking it may be resurected + kicker!
Thanks for the post!

  • sebastacruz

    TT Bronze Member

256 posts
Location: California

Posted September 30, 2009 - 08:53 PM


Bravo! Very nice work, this post was just a fairytale for quite some time.:busted:

  • jonr3

    TT Gold Member

1,036 posts
Location: North Carolina

Posted October 01, 2009 - 04:30 AM


Awesome post! Someday when I need a rebuild I will revisit this post and give it a try. Here's some gas for the great write up! Thanks!

  • ballisticexchris

    TT Addict

3,716 posts
Location: California

Posted October 01, 2009 - 04:42 AM


I don't even own a 650L and I am very impressed!! I love technical write ups. Thanks so much for the great detailed write up.:banana: :busted: :busted: :banana: :busted: :banana:

Chris

  • Kenzo

    TT Addict

4,062 posts
Location: Texas

Posted October 01, 2009 - 06:05 AM


...nice work and documentation :busted: :banana:

my only question is will the kickstart work with a dead battery or no battery? :banana:

at first glance it wud seem u wud need to modify at least part of the electrical system and ignition...unless i missed that part :busted:

TIA


:busted:

  • Denn10

    Get Help Now

6,018 posts
Location: California

Posted October 01, 2009 - 06:16 AM


THIS need to be a STICKY

MARTINFART30 POST this to STICKY

Awesome post!! I would think if a xr600 fires without battery that would, you have a dead batt on a L and you can push (bump start) the L, so why not??

DONT forget to give some good gas for this great post!

  • suzukisupermoto

    TT Bronze Member

102 posts
Location: Pennsylvania

Posted October 01, 2009 - 06:35 AM


I cant wait to do this on my bike!!!!!!!! Thanks again!!!!!!!!!!!! :busted:

  • clc3251

    TT Bronze Member

147 posts
Location: Pennsylvania

Posted October 01, 2009 - 06:56 AM


...nice work and documentation :busted: :banana:

my only question is will the kickstart work with a dead battery or no battery? :banana:

at first glance it wud seem u wud need to modify at least part of the electrical system and ignition...unless i missed that part :busted:

TIA


:busted:


You had me curious so I disconnected both the positive and negative terminals and it started right up. No lights but it runs fine. I will edit the post to include this info. You have no idea how easy this kicks over. I have an injured right knee and have to kick it with my left leg standing next to it and it still kicks over no problem. With your right leg it will kick over like a 250.

  • Kenzo

    TT Addict

4,062 posts
Location: Texas

Posted October 01, 2009 - 07:26 AM


You had me curious so I disconnected both the positive and negative terminals and it started right up. No lights but it runs fine. I will edit the post to include this info. You have no idea how easy this kicks over. I have an injured right knee and have to kick it with my left leg standing next to it and it still kicks over no problem. With your right leg it will kick over like a 250.


cool...w/ the differences between the 600 & L's ignition/electrics i wus just curious. :busted: :banana:

:banana:

  • torchevo

    TT Member

31 posts
Location: Sweden

Posted October 01, 2009 - 08:06 AM


One problem I ran into when replacing the side cover is that you need new copper washers for the oil line that connects to the side cover above the oil filter and runs up the cylinder to the head. I didn’t replace these initially and I didn’t get the hollow bolts lined up correctly and starved the engine of oil until I figured it out. You will want to mark the top of the bolts with a permanent marker showing where the hole is so that you can line it up with the oil line later.


Firstly, Good article!

Secondly regarding the oil line; there's no need to line up the hole in the screw with the oil line, its a banjo fitting, so it will flow oil around the screw either ways. If you didn't get any oil up to the head there's something else to it, my guess is that you simply didn't wait long enough? (At the first start it can take quite a few seconds from that a newly assembled engine is started until the oil comes to the head.)

And don't run your engine without battery, you might fry you stator or charging regulator, since the power normally used for loading the battery doesen't have anywhere to go...

And slightly of topic:
From 1994 and on, the 650 Dominator (NX) had a bigger oil pump. Unfortunately the engine side cover was also changed, and engine was never supplied with kick start. I've been told that it's not possible to combine big oil pump with side cover for kickstart. :busted:

  • clc3251

    TT Bronze Member

147 posts
Location: Pennsylvania

Posted October 01, 2009 - 08:14 AM


Thanks, I thought they had to be lined up. I also used a large syringe to squirt oil in all the lines and the filter and filter cavity. That might have gotten the pump primed. But mine didn't pump oil till I had those bolts lined up. I still think it is a good idea to replace those copper washers since mine leaked around one of the washers when I finally got it to pump oil. Honda actually refers to those copper washers as gaskets in their parts list. I don't plan on running it without the battery, I just wanted to see if it would start since I didn't have a dead battery.

  • ThumpNRed

    TT Addict

3,511 posts
Location: Idaho

Posted October 01, 2009 - 09:32 AM


So… a weight conscious pig wrangler can’t completely remove the battery and starter without frying the electricals?

  • Kenzo

    TT Addict

4,062 posts
Location: Texas

Posted October 01, 2009 - 11:26 AM


And don't run your engine without battery, you might fry you stator or charging regulator, since the power normally used for loading the battery doesen't have anywhere to go...


no...this statement is incorrect...

...the regulator portion of the recifier/regulator is solely responsible for dissipating excess voltage from the stator in the form of heat :busted: ...that's the reason for the cooling fins :banana:




:banana:

  • zrxer

    TT Gold Member

1,161 posts
Location: California

Posted October 01, 2009 - 12:18 PM


Awesome job, clc! :busted: You documented this WAY better than I would have.


Rich! Please make ths a sticky!

  • zipper600

    TT Silver Member

580 posts
Location: Portugal

Posted October 01, 2009 - 12:48 PM


This kind of "documentated" thread are the best..specially with pics..
They end up with those ancient myths and show up the best on each of us....Thank you!!!
I have the reverse of what you have done...got a Dominator(650l) complete gearbox and applied on my 600R...when is asked for it just some people showed up so i had to manage myself, risking my already tight budget.In the end i had to machine the countershaft tip to fit the idler gear.All went good so far...

Thanks for sharing, thats the TT spirit :busted: At least some of us :banana:
Dominator gearbox
Posted Image

XR600 Countershaft
Posted Image
machined Dominator countershaft

Posted Image

  • XR650L_Dave

    TT Addict

4,789 posts
Location: New York

Posted October 01, 2009 - 01:40 PM


Looks like the XR600 countershaft lost its end plug.

Dave

  • zipper600

    TT Silver Member

580 posts
Location: Portugal

Posted October 01, 2009 - 01:44 PM


Looks like the XR600 countershaft lost its end plug.

Dave

nahh..its there but cant see it..:busted:





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