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#1 fullchoke

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 07:40 PM

The Hot Cams Stage 1 cam for our Honda XR650R motorcycles sounds to be exactly what I'm after in power. In the past more power equaled more fun. That still holds true today, but to a lesser extent for me. I definitely will have to put in the Stage 1 cam if the bike shows wear in the top end anything near what yours had. It's good to know there is still more good power to be had even if I don't really need it. As far as that auto-decompressor, I only use it because that is all there is on my xr500r. It is a real pain trying to use to bump start the 500 even when it is on top of a good hill.

 

I've been an Oregonian my entire life. I've barely moved a mile from where I grew up, but the change in population, traffic and rat race in general is extreme to the point of looking to move when I retire. I love Eastern Oregon, friendly people, beautiful country, you live in the outdoors. There are drawbacks of course or everyone would be moving there. All of my riding in Eastern Oregon is in conjunction with camping, which was in the vicinity of the Strawberry Mtns this year. I look forward to doing more exploring of the Steens and even the more remote Trout Creek Mountains someday. We generally ride out there on the remains of old jeep trails, roads that are no longer on any modern maps and sometimes I use Google earth to look for ways in and out of certain areas.

 

My son led us into one area last year where we didn't get our bikes out for 3 days. We had to hike out cross country (I have a good sense of direction) for over 12 miles much of it as the crow flies, getting back after midnight. That was a bit reckless and won't happen again. I used the remaining bike at camp to explore an alternate route coupled with quite a bit of hiking to get the bikes out. Western Oregon as you know is a completely different climate and very different riding. We rode in the 70's out in the Burn, now the Tillamook Forest. Where we used to run in the Trask is now gated since Weyerhauser bought out Willamette Ind holdings there. We ran a lot where the Trask Mt ISDT was held, and would seldom see another rider. The best riding I ever experienced. I'm not sure where to go now. I'm trying to get 2 of my old riding buddies to ride again, One of them has an 80's TT600 and still rides occasionally, and may know of some good areas and the other still has his TT500, but hasn't started it in a very long time. Interests often change, but I will keep trying until I hear a no answer.

 

I have never ridden the dunes, but my stepson who is into quads has been asking me to come. It is not close and finding that much travel time has not been easy.

 

I'm interested in what you find when you dig into the 84 XR500R. It has a totally different engine than my 82 model. Did you know the 82 xr500R has a reed valve? I have been experimenting with the rear suspension on my XR500R. I've given it more sag and in doing so lowered it quite a bit. It was sprung too stiff for my weight and while much smoother than the ol BSA, I think I can make it fit me better with some tuning, but I will sacrifice some comfort for good trail riding ability.

 

The reason I went with the 82 xr500r over the 84 XR350r was the over heating factor. I was afraid I could burn it up on slow trails in the summer heat. It has adequate power and a much better front brake, but I thought better suited to running fire roads to keep air moving around the engine. I should look into jetting but it does run smooth. I don't remember if I ever checked the plug. I'll have to do that. You can smell the heat coming off the engine when every other bike with us is normal.

 

Greg  



#2 Moses Ludel

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 09:39 PM

Doesn't the XR500R have a manual (handlebar) compression release lever, too.  I know we have the kick start cable decompressor on each of our vintage air-cooled bikes.  Thought you could at least release compression with a handlebar hand lever on the XR500R. 

 

Eastern Oregon is great, much like the high desert at many parts of northern Nevada.  We'll share trails over time, there are scores of great riding areas, one of the closer ones is High Rock Canyon above the Black Rock Desert, an original section of the Southern Route on the Oregon Trail.  My good friend at Halsey/Brownsville has ridden at several areas you discuss.  Kirk has dirt bikes and a Jeep TJ Wrangler Rubicon.  They do the lakes around the Mt. Bachelor Area, too.

 

Your mention of Tillamook Forest and Trask brings back a flood of memories.  Friends at Warn Industries did the Jolly Jeepers run to the coast annually, I covered that for OFF-ROAD Magazine years ago.  Wonderful coastal ranges at Oregon, always terrific when they open to the ocean.  Sand Lake and other dune areas have been great photo backdrops, too.  Warn films ad footage at the coast a lot.

 

The ISDT has always been a benchmark for me.  We have hare-and-hound but not the Trask Mountain wooded stuff, although the Wagner Cup Trials have been held at Donner Ranch in the Sierra just 70 miles from us.  We watched a few years ago and even my wife, a non-motorcyclist, got totally into the trials riding and competition!  Of course, there's the Rubicon Trail, which I cover on the ground mostly, filming events like the Wheelers for the Wounded.  In the mid-'90s, I wanted to take the XR350R over that trail, never found the time.  Today, I would not subject any of my bikes to that level of abuse, the trail has gotten progressively worse over the years.  35"-37" tires are the "norm" for the Rubicon Trail 4x4s.

 

I did know that our XR500R engines have their differences.  1984 has the XR500R at its peak just prior to the intro of the XR600R.  Many regard the XR600R as the same league as the XR650R.  I'm very tactful with a local ex-racer who has run the Virginia City Grand Prix many times.  He still swears by his XR600R bikes.  I believe the XR650R takes it to the next level, as you will discover shortly, Greg!

 

I'd like to see you through the XR350R overheat issue.  The troubleshooting list I provided will be helpful.  These bikes were not known for overheating, although air cooling, 9.5:1 compression and only 23 horsepower can create a conflict quickly!  There is a big difference between the XR350R and the XR500R.  I show my respect when riding the 350, although it has been ridden, for sure!  That bike definitely has a place in our stables.

 

Moses



#3 fullchoke

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 05:26 PM

Keeping the front wheel down was the goal when we were hill climbing back in the day. There was one hill called Back to Back out in the Burn that would gather a crowd watching us attempt it. In fact the first time I found that place there were 2 BSA Victors and a Yamaha SC500 there, running the hill. I was 1 of the many spectators. I was  riding a 73 XL250 Honda. I was BSA shopping the following week. My best friend and I were at that hill that day and we both bought new BSA B50MX's.  We bought the last 2 from a Yamaha dealer, looking back, I would bet that he was well aware of the new Yamaha TT500 coming soon that would make those BSA's dinosaurs in his showroom.... I still remember those BSA's roaring up that hill, open exhaust, impressive, I had to have one . I also remember that SC500 wailing on that hill, it would go from all out screaming to a dead bonk. When it fell off the pipe it was done instantly. I remember the BSA owners telling him to give it up, but he wouldn't, and he really trashed that bike. I had toyed with the thought of making a BSA A-10 650 into a dirt bike just for riding fire roads. I would ride it, but very carefully. There is a beautiful restored 1962 or 3 Catalina in the Beaverton Motorcycle showroom where I bought these last Honda parts for the xr650r. Your reminiscing of your Cushman made me remember this story of the first real riding away from the sand pit near home. You know we didn't even wear helmets back then, just a stocking cap to keep the ears warm. I think we were the minority and not very smart. I was the first one of our group to start wearing a helmet, because that hill was pretty extreme and the best way to turn the bike around was to let it come over the top, don't let go of the bars and jump back on. You won't see me doing that today.

 

Thanks for the link, thats what I'm planning to do. Get a new seat cover and some molded aftermarket foam that is much softer. Whatever distance I sink into the foam will help with the inseam problem too.

 

Yes, the restricters are out of the airbox now. The rubber inlet boot was still in there when I bought the bike, the plastic was not. 

 

I'm looking forward to seeing your ride in the High Rock Canyon area. Sounds like alotta fun. What I like most about riding now is exploring new country and remote trails.

 

Greg    



#4 Moses Ludel

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 05:08 PM

Greg...Your introduction to helmets reminds me of Nevada's new motorcycle license law of the early '70s.  When I bought the pre-owned '69 BSA Victor 441, I wanted to ride on public roads as well as "scrambles".  The mandatory helmet law went into effect with the motorcycle endorsement.

 

We lived at rural Douglas County at the time.  Carson Valley was still a ranching community with less than 1,500 population, compared to today's 30,000 people in the area. 

 

In those years, the DMV office at Carson City, the state capitol, would send a license examiner to the sparsely populated counties on given weeks and days.  The waiting line was usually short, and I had my motor vehicle operator's license, just needed the motorcycle endorsement.  I parked the Victor at the courthouse lot, and there would be no fanfare about my riding to the examination, no questions like, "Did someone with an endorsement ride that bike here?"...Try that today!

 

The examiner was cordial and for good reason.  He had the best job at the examiner's level in the DMV, driving to rural county courthouses, enjoying the scenery and small community cultures!  This was his day at the Douglas County Courthouse in Minden.  He was pleased.

 

When my turn came, the examiner asked what I needed, and we discussed the motorcycle endorsement.  There was a small written exam, and once done with that, I waited for the "figure 8" riding test—the POST test was a standard, and I had seen the layout in the DMV parking lot at Carson City.  It hadn't dawned on me that the Minden Courthouse parking lot did not have any lines and circles painted on its surface.

 

So, we had a dilemma.  The examiner paused for a bit, then told me to grab my helmet.  We walked out of the courthouse to the Victor, and he asked me to start up the bike and go over the controls with him.  Pointing across the parking lot to his State of Nevada car, he said,  "Hop on the bike and follow me...We'll drive around Minden...You make turns where I do, try to keep up with my car."  That last request would pose no problem!

 

I dutifully followed the official car, using hand signals where the examiner utilized his turn signals.  I demonstrated my knowledge of the braking hand signal, even though the BSA's left side brake pedal activated the brake light!  The examiner was duly impressed, and after driving for 10 minutes or so around Minden, we ended up back at the courthouse parking lot.  I parked, shut off the thumper and removed my helmet as the examiner walked over to the bike.  He quipped, "You did a great job, let's go finish the paperwork!"

 

It may well be that I was the first, possibly the only motorcyclist to ever perform a true "riding test" on public roads at Nevada.  To me and the examiner, it made perfect sense.  I rode home with a motorcycle endorsement in my wallet, using hand signals all the way!

 

Moses



#5 fullchoke

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 06:49 PM

 I think I got my endorsement on a Honda Trail 90. It was my Dads and the only bike with lights on it. I seem to remember a few cones to ride through, nothing stands out like your unique, interesting experience. You mention left side brake, I do remember losing control of my BSA on a forest road once and coming to a stop under the front bumper of a pickup. That right side gear shift does not double as a brake no matter how hard you stand on it. Talk about embarrassing!! I'm still embarrassed about that today almost 40 years later. About ten years ago I got on my sons little Kawasaki 110, auto clutch, and I had to hit the brake and I hit the shifter on that bike making me stop late once I figured out what I had done. At the time I had the BSA out in the dirt, I was riding a Yamaha on the street. I certainly didn't like that right hand shift.

 

Greg

 

PS. Do you remember what Kawasaki jets you crossed over to in your XR350R?

 

Thanks 



#6 Moses Ludel

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 09:58 PM

Greg...In the early- to mid-'70s, I ran heavy equipment out of Local 3, Operating Engineers.  As an operator, I worked highway jobs like the fill for the I-80 bypass of Winnemucca, the MGM Grand excavation at Reno and such.  There were stretches of forced weather and seasonal down time, and in my off-time, I tuned Brit bikes for friends and eventually opened a small, independent motorcycle repair shop at Carson City.

Attached File  Chrome Horse (Forums).jpg   62.27KB   0 downloads Attached File  BSA Motorcycle Poster 1.jpg   183.82KB   0 downloads

The 'Chrome Horse' shop at Carson City, 1974-75 era.  Poster at right, that's not me but does suggest how we can often become expert at "delayed gratification". Note the BSA Victor depicted!

 

Of course, I had a penchant for the Brit bikes, worked on many Norton, BSA, Triumph motorcycles, the BSA/Triumph engines were mostly unit construction era.  Had a steady flow of work, eventually the Honda and other Japanese models showed up, the dirt/street scramblers and emerging motocross machines.  I tuned Honda "F" four-cylinder 750, 500 and 350 (amazing, a four-cylinder 350!) engines, they were remarkable departures from our favorite "pushrod" Brit engines!  Where the Brit and other make bikes required periodic top-end rebuilds and steady valve work, Hondas seemed to run endlessly!

 

I found myself tuning, rebuilding and testing a variety of motorcycles, and it's a fortunate thing that my first "serious" motorcycles were British.  (My personal road bike during the shop years was the Rocket III BSA A75R.)  I could make the left/right foot control distinction adeptly.  This proved especially useful when tuning and testing exotic H2 and H3 Kawasaki two stroke machines that had a reputation as the fastest way through a 1/4-mile—just don't attempt curves at any speed!  All of the British bikes could handle well.

 

There were tuning nuances with the Brit bikes, in particular, a knack for adding coils, breaker points and carburetors with each additional cylinder.  The thumpers, like our Victors, had one of each.  The twins had two carburetors (other than the Tiger or single carb "detuned" models), two sets of breaker points and a pair of coils.  My Rocket III 750 triple had three of each, as did the Triumph Trident!  I could use an oscilloscope and Uni-Syn quite well, the trick was to sync the ignition breaker point dwell and match the base timing for each cylinder, then set up the Amal concentric carburetors with matching slide vacuum...Wow, that was a fun trip down Memory Lane!

 

Regarding the Kawasaki jets for the XR350R, the Reno Kawasaki dealership had a direct line for Keihin parts.  I furnished actual Keihin jet numbers, and they were able to order them.  This is not unique, as Keihin jets are available readily in the aftermarket.  My reference to savings over Honda is that the local Honda dealership refused to order "aftermarket" jets and only wanted to order through the Honda OE part numbers.  This tripled the price of the jets.  By simply doing my homework on the Keihin part numbers, I could ask for Keihin jets from any dealership (franchised or an independent shop) that has access to Keihin jets. 

 

If you want to order by mail, here is an example of a direct source:   http://www.jetsrus.c...n_selection.htm

 

Taking that a step further to a particular carburetor, here is an example of a pilot jet:  http://www.jetsrus.c...slow_26-xxx.htm

 

Main jets?  Try:  http://www.jetsrus.c..._Hex_25-xxx.htm

 

Having trouble identifying which Keihin jet type you need?  Use this page:   http://www.jetsrus.c...fy_that_jet.htm

 

Check the carburetor jet type, the jet length and thread diameter, go through the charts, it's that simple!  These are genuine Keihin jets of any size needed, ranging from $4-$7 apiece instead of $10-$20 from OE numbers.  Stock up or find a local shop that orders jets this way!

 

Moses

 

 



#7 fullchoke

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 05:41 PM

That is a lot of valuable information and when I get some time to spend on the XR350R, I'll know what to do. Thank You. 

 

In normal riding I had no problem with the left/right orientation, but in an emergency, which bike I was on went out the window, so to speak. Especially when they were still new to me.

 

I remember having a poster on my bedroom wall of a 350-Four. I have an interest(irrational) in engines and that engine, I felt was the most interesting Honda 4.

 

Greg 



#8 Moses Ludel

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 01:11 PM

Greg...The 350F (four-cylinder) was remarkable for its displacement and the era.  A friend owned a Norton 750 Commando that I serviced.  He purchased  a 350F for his wife to ride, and she balked.  I accompanied him on a trip from Carson City to Sacramento astride the 350F.  He rode his Norton. 

 

Honda built exotic small displacement racing multi-cylinder engines for years before the CB350F.  The 750 and 500 F-models made their own mark.  My only complaint with each of these bikes was the high weight in the chassis with a full tank of fuel.  The CB750 was the worst in that regard.

 

Moses





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