Just bought a stock '84 XL350R to run around (70 mpg!) and carry on my boat (at 300# it can be lifted by my dinghy davit) for transport when cruising. Fairly crisp and I have put another 700 miles on it (had 4700 when bought) with and oil change and other light maintenance. Experienced dirt biker (enduros w/in New England Trail Riders Assoc (NETRA) on an IT175 (still have it) with the Minutemen Trail Riders north of Boston in the '80s), but not much experience with thumpers. Been searching and lurking and have several questions to put to this group for some much appreciated help advice:
1. valve noise seems high. local Honda shop manager said seemed a little noisy, but not bad (I don't think he was calibrated on a bike of this vintage). Checked and reset to .002" and .003" and sounds the same. Somebody suggested 20W50 oil - good idea? Cam chain
slap does not appear to be the problem.
2. Re oil, I seem to be consuming it. No smoke, so maybe blowing it out? Typical?
3. Air filter crumbling, cleaned it but needs a new one. Stock or aftermarket? Source? I will probably use only 10% off road. I'll open up the air box, but do not want any more noise and would prefer to leave the exhaust core intact.
4. Stock Yokohama tires
work surprisingly well, but I am thinking more street oriented tires. They buzz a bit at some speeds and have some sidewall cracking (age). Suggestions? I'm not a tire snob - value-priced is okay for me. Do NOT want to relace front wheel - will stick with stock 21". I do not ride hard (bad accident on my now-gone VFR keeps me cautious).
5. I feel 'surging' at 60 mph (guessing ~half throttle). Cannot tell if engine is missing (valves and wind too noisy). Does not appear to be buffeting. Rejet? I'll do after a filter change. Apparently raising the needle and Apparently 130/110 jets are the hot setup (I don't know squat about Keihan carbs (Mikuni guy))? Much loss of fuel economy? This things seems to run way hot, too.
6. Somewhere I found that the plug wire has a resistor in the cap (for TV/radio interference)? Should I remove it?
7. to cut down on the buzziness am considering upping from 14t to a 15t front sprocket (same chain and rear - both in good shape). Should reduce ~300 rpm at 60. Good idea? Is there case clearance? Competitively priced source? Top gear roll-ons are NOT arm stretching, so I might have to drop to fifth in a passing situation (kinda do now).
Thanks to everyone. I'll kick in when I can to help others. Jim