95 XR650L with crack in frame? Any advice

Thanks for the replies to my first TT post!


I'd like to say I did some huge jumps on my XR650L and that's how I broke it but in truth I've probably never been more than 2 feet in the air.


I did complete the LA-Barstow-Vegas Rally on it and rode portions of the Baja 1000 course but at a much slower pace than most.


I think it had a hairline crack when I bought it last year and it proceeded to get worse.


 


I finally got a welder to come out and give me an estimate today.


 


$375 TIG welded here


$325 TIG welded here (if I prep it and grind the paint and rust off)


$200 TIG welded (if I can get it to his shop in Burbank)


 


A frame swap might make more sense but I can't find any other cracks and the thought of dealing with new DMV registration is unappealing.


The welder seemed fairly confident that it would hold and said he would add a gusset to reinforce it.


I’m thinking the $325 option, anybody have any thoughts on this operation?


 


I'll post pics of whatever the outcome is.


My concern would be how accurately the welder can get everything aligned again. The swingarm pivot axis is pretty important, much more so than e.g. just a subframe. Maybe the rest of the frame has been tweaked from riding around in a structurally compromised state. Frames can be bent slightly even without anything cracking.

Also at $75/ hour shop rate, is the welder really expecting to spend three hours? Clamping / strapping everything, TIGing, and making a few gussets shouldn't take that long.

I think you'll need to strip a lot of parts off to give the welder good access. At minimum the shock and swingarm.

Edited by heart_of_darkness

A XRL frame showed up at my door this afternoon. I bought it on E-Bay for $200.00.

 

Shipping included!!!

 

I'm pretty sure the seller didn't make a dime on this sale but I have a new frame for my next build. Hell he probably lost money. That'll teach him. HEHEHEHE

A XRL frame showed up at my door this afternoon. I bought it on E-Bay for $200.00.

 

Shipping included!!!

 

I'm pretty sure the seller didn't make a dime on this sale but I have a new frame for my next build. Hell he probably lost money. That'll teach him. HEHEHEHE

Score! All the ones I saw were upwards of $500 plus shipping.

I took the whole thing apart today so now I can bring it to a welding shop.

 

IMG_7805.jpg

IMG_7806.jpg

Update: The fun machine is fixed!


I got it TIG welded at Elco Welding for $100.


It took a lot of wrenching to get the frame out and a lot of time to put it back together.


I’m not a mechanic but with a set of metric wrenches, a lot of reference photos, and a few beers I managed.


I rode it pretty hard the following weekend and checked the welds after, seems to be holding fine.


Here’s some photos of the welding job.


XR650L_044.jpg

XR650L_046.jpg

XR650L_047.jpg

XR650L_051.jpg

In one of the pic's the side stand mount looked like it was ready to fall off.

Some of those welds make me nervous.

 

After every bump I hit I'd have to pull over and check it.

Some of those welds make me nervous.

After every bump I hit I'd have to pull over and check it.

Agreed, I hate to be a downer but that looks like a hundred bucks worth of welding. Meaning one hour of shop time. It's hard to say without seeing it in person but from the pics I think I would have bid 3-4 hours and replaced some tube or done a frame chop from a donor bike. It is only 25 minutes worth of welding but the time is in the prep.

Did he drill the end of each crack? Why are some welds ground off and others doubled up? Proper welds dont need to be ground smooth to look pretty. If after welding it looks like a chicken shit all over and grinding is necessary, the repair probably wasnt laid out well. Dont get me wrong,it will probably hold up. Just keep a close eye on it and find a new weld shop in the future.

I'm not a good welder by any means but I could have made better looking welds on that frame with a stick welder, let alone TIG. I wouldn't trust those welds at all.

I could have made better looking welds on that frame with a stick welder

No offense but no you couldn't have.

There is no possible way, with any rod, that you could have made a weld that looks anywhere near as good as those in those areas.

The welds are sound. It's impossible to tell about the prep and the root pass but the caps look good.

I take it some of you are not very impressed with this welding job. Maybe the photos don't do it justice.

The shop has a good reputation, I didn't watch Bob the welder so I could say, "You missed a spot.". Dude's been welding longer than I've been alive.

I think it looks as good as the factory welds and most importantly it's holding up.

I really tried to break them down in Baja when I had a support vehicle to get me home if I ripped my swing arm out of the frame.

If I manage to crack it again I'll post the photo so get your "told you sos" ready but I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.

Something else will probably break on the bike before these welds do.

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