for the XR650R
#1 Q: What does "BRP" stand for? Big Red Pig! Lovingly stated of course, and rolls of the tongue much easier than Honda XR650R!
#2 Q: What is the *real* weight of the bike? (wet, no fuel) Honda CLAIMS the bike weighs 276lbs (125.5kg), but real world with fluids is more like 300 to 304lbs (137kg). Yes it's heavy, but it feels much more nimble on the trail. It feels lighter than it's father, the XR600, though they are the same.
#3 Q: What is the difference between model years? Bold New Graphics and a couple hundred bucks, other than that, nada, zilch, zippo. If you can get a leftover at a 1k savings, buy it. Somewhere around '02 they started putting in the updated clutch bushing and updated countershaft seal. Nothing is changed but those items, and I can't say for sure when they started changing them, if at all.
#4 Q: How do the Euro/ED bikes differ from NA bikes? It seems that the BRP comes in four Common flavors. North American (NA), European (ED),a a general export version (D, DK, and DM), and Australian(U). Some people in the UK have reported getting grey market import Aussie models. There are several more model designations listed but I have no data to provide descriptions. Basically, they are all the same bike. Differences are pretty much limited to electrics, lighting, and jetting. Us guys and gals in NA get the short end of the stick with the EPA "corking". Here's a table to clear things up.
#5 Q: How do California bikes differ from the other NA bikes? They are identical except for the addition of a smog pump. It is located on the RH radiator (thus the empty mounting tabs there for the rest of the world) and is easily removed. Just unbolt the pump, and block the holes where it's lines mount to the cylinder. You can homebrew this by cutting the lines 1/2" or so from the cylinder and crimping them up on themselves, screw self tapping screws covered with RTV silicone into them, or using a kit such as that offered by Applied Racing. See also my redundant answer below.
#6 Q: What horsepower can I expect? (stock, uncorked, HRC) Because of the fact that all dynos read different, I'll give you some rough figures. They'd be 40,50 (27% inc.), and 60hp (15% inc.) in that order. These are from Honda, taken at the CS, not rear wheel. Subtract 10 from each for what you are getting to the ground. The stock XR is kinda boring, but the uncorking turns it into a rip- snorting beast that will keep you in debt buying rear tires. The HRC kit will put you into debt trying to keep up. You also have to remember this is a 650cc thumper, and that the torque is enough to let the bike double as a farm implement.
#7 Q: What is the stock gearing? It appears that NA and ED version bikes come with 14/48 gearing. Australian (and South African?) bikes have been reported to come with 15/41. Thanks to Alec and Stuart for confirming the AU gearing.
#8 Q: How fast can it go? Best I can describe it is in the famous words of Johnny Campbell..... "Too fast, too quick!" With North American gearing, you get a good solid pull from 0 to 98mph, gps proven. The HRC kit and other mods enable taller gearing and higher speeds. More than enough to make bumble bees as lethal as 30/30 slugs.
#9 Q: What gearing do people run for trail or dual-sport? I still run the 14/48, learning to live with it here in the tight Northeastern woods. Some have dropped to a 13 tooth front to enable more use of 2nd and 3rd gear in the woods, while a 15 front makes highway less "buzzy". I won't ask how fast these guys drive, as the bike is very comfortable at a steady 65mph, with plenty of nut left for passing. Gearing is a preference and riding type issue.
#10 Q: What sort of fuel mileage can I expect? (corked, uncorked, pumper...) That's a tougher question. Bikes, especially off road, will vary greatly rider to rider, and even with different terrains. With the stock tank (2.64 US gal. including 1.19gal reserve) I run around 65 miles to reserve on fire roads(45mpg), 55 miles on single track (38mpg), and as low as 20 miles pit riding (14mpg). So, if you want to ride 80 miles across the desert, you may want a larger tank! (or carry comfy walking shoes)
Real world stats on the tank are more like 2.6 US Gal, with a .5 gal reserve. Keep that in mind, or you really MAY want to carry those shoes. Keep in mind also that there is a separation between the lower halves, between the left and right, formed by the frame that traps a lot of usable fuel on the left side. Stopping and tilting the bike to get those last bits of reserve will be needed. Thanks to Jim Cesari for pointing that out.
#11 Q: What are the part numbers for????? Here's a few that come up often. If you have any to donate, please send them to me!
This is only a short list of some commonly needed numbers. A full fiche of mine is available here on the XR650R group. You have to be a member to access it. Shame on you if you haven't joined!
Restrictor Removal ("Uncorking")
#10 Q: Will XR600 wheels fit my pig? Yes. Though I have not done it myself, here's an answer from a group member.
The front ('92 on) 600 wheel is almost identical to the 650 & will bolt straight in with no modification, If you look closely the casting is slightly thicker on the 650 hub, that's the only difference. The rear 600 wheel is also able to be used on the 650, the disc & sprocket alignment is identical (must use 650 disc tho' - 220 vs 240mm dia.) You need to change the bearings to ones with 20mm I.D. & use a 20mm I.D. internal spacer tube, also you can't use the 600 screw in seal on the drive side but you can buy a seal of the right O.D. to use instead & tap it in like the 650 setup.
#11 Q: What's this about seized and broken chain adjusters? This is another case of aluminum in contact with steel that results in a festering mess of corrosion when damp. If you don't log a whole lot of miles, it is possible to go a whole season without having to adjust the chain. That is enough time for the corrosion to seize the bolts into the swingarm to the point where they will twist off rather than undo. Several people have already fallen victim to this, requiring a time consuming and possibly expensive repair. So be smart, remove them while you still can and coat them with an anti-seize compound, or even a layer of grease if that is all you have. This tip is handy ANYWHERE that you have bolts of one material being threaded into an object of dissimilar material. ie: case bolts and the kickstand bolts are both very good places to apply this.
Here's you free brain enlargement therapy for today. The following definition of "Galavanic reaction" will be handy in many ways if you pay attention and apply it to your BRP:
Galvanic corrosion (also called ' dissimilar metal corrosion' or wrongly 'electrolysis') refers to corrosion damage induced when two dissimilar materials are coupled in a corrosive electrolyte. It occurs when two (or more) dissimilar metals (usually steel and aluminum in our case) are brought into electrical contact under water. When a galvanic couple forms, one of the metals in the couple becomes the anode and corrodes faster than it would all by itself, while the other becomes the cathode and corrodes slower than it would alone. Either (or both) metal in the couple may or may not corrode by itself (themselves) in sea water (mud/water/muck, in our app.). When contact with a dissimilar metal is made, however, the self corrosion rates will accelerate or decelerate.
#12 Q: What's up with the index marks for the rear axle? They seem to be off on most of the bikes. A poorly aligned rear axle is detrimental to the dental health of your rear sprocket, but makes it much easier to parrallel park. There are several ways to get it right. You can measure from axle to pivot on both sides, use a long stick laid against the side of the tire to line up with the front, or use something like Motion Pros' tool. I'm not fussy. I eyeball it and call it good!
#13 Q: What's the proper way to adjust my chain?
Easy! Here's the preferred method, explained word for word by Geoff down in sunny Cape Town.
In definition, you need to get the front sprocket, swingarm pivot, and axle all in line so that the rear sprocket is at it's point farthest away from the front sprocket in the suspension travel. This way, if you have free play in the chain at this point, you know the chain will never bind. Then you return the bike to whatever position you normally adjust the chain, wether on a stand on on the kick, measure the chain play, and voila! You now know the proper amount of play needed!
#14 Q: What's the trick to getting out the linkage & swingarm bearings? I use a press and spacers made just for this purpose. Defined? Any socket that is the right size and has a lifetime warranty! But, here's a great tip if you haven't got a press beside the workbench, given by Mike Parker of the group:
I was working on the XR 400 when it came to me. There was a bright light and I looked up and.........no not really. I took a piece of 3/8" all thread, a few fender washer, a few standard washers and a few nuts. I have a few pieces of steel tubing (left over from the swing arm tools). Using a 9/16" ratchet wrench and a box wrench I pulled the bearings and reinstalled amazingly easy. Nut, washer, fender washer and larger od tubing on one side (to receive the bearing being extracted) and small tube (bearing size), fender washer washer and nut on the other side and wrench away. It was a hell of a lot easier than going to my buddies house to use his press.
To reinstall, I set the bearings on the rod with the washer and nuts on either end (no tubing yet) and ratcheted them into place and then used the small od tubing on the bearing end, and the fender washer on the other end backed against the swingarm or dog bone or whatever part I was installing the bearing in. It worked out really well to set both bearings in at the same time on the swing arm. It took about half the time this way over using a press!
#1 Q: Why is the subframe of my bike bent before I even crash? Proper term is "Honda Side mileage". That's a free service that Honda does to eliminate first crash sorrow! It effects 99.9% of the BRP's of every year. It is easily fixed with the use of an adjustment tool, aka a 5' prybar.
#2 Q: Why do my subframe bolts strip? Actually, they don't "strip". The threaded inserts are squashed into the frame, and sometimes do not get totally "squashed". They work loose and spin in the frame. BEFORE they do this, get a long bolt of high grade (8.8-9.8) that fits. Screw a nut about 3/4" onto this bolt, then add a washer and then thread it fully into the fitting. Screw the nut and washer down to the insert and crank it down while holding the bolt from turning with another wrench. This will clamp the fitting down on the aluminum subframe thoroughly.
DO NOT USE THREADLOCKER on any bolt that uses an insert, including the shroud bolts up front. Grease and proper torque are the proper way to address these bolts. A lost .65 bolt is cheaper than a 200 dollar tank or subframe.
Here's a trick on how to remove these stripped inserts, as given by Gene Lane, Ironman from the 2006 Baja 1000:
I just replaced 2 fenders and most of mine were stuck. I drill a hole right into the sub frame just off to the side of the insert and drive a sheet metal screw up against it as tight as possible. If this doesn't work use a bigger screw. If that don't work drill a second hole on the other side of the insert and wedge a 2nd screw against it. It will usually come off with one screw. Then when you put the new one on don;t put it to tight. Use some silicone around the top of the screw to keep it from loosening. Its worked everytime for me
#3 Q: What bolts and nuts do I need to keep an eye on? All of them! Check you bike before or after every ride! But, pay particular attention to the kickstarter bolt (FAQ #32), rh footpeg bolts (FAQ #31), top subframe bolt, and fender bolts. Use a threadlocker on all but the fender bolts. Put a dab of RTV over the heads of those. See the FAQ #22 as to why.
#4 Q: Is my footpeg really going to fall off? If you don't check the bolts often, yes. The RH bolts stretch and loosen, allowing the peg to flex and weaken the bolts, eventually causing them to break. If the peg works, it will also damage the soft aluminum frame. Replace them with a higher grade bolt and use a thread-locker. I'd almost go so far to say use Heli-coils or Thread-serts. See also FAQ #25
#1i Q: Why is my headlight so lame as to not even draw moths? In the words of Mr. Owl, "The World, may never know." They all use a 35W bulb, which simply isn't good enough. The plastic lens on the cheese ass sorry excuse for a headlight on the NA bikes makes matters even worse. For off road use, NA bikes can upgrade to an identical sized glass lens with a 55W Halogen H3 bulb and socket (PN 33120-MG3-003, or 33120-MK2-671; the MG3 has a better upper pivot mount). For on-road dual-sport use, something like the Baja-Designs light with a H4 55/60W bulb in a DOT approved lens is a better choice.
ED bikes can apparently use a H4 socket and/or lens from an earlier XL to get a 55/60W hi-lo bulb in use.
With only 40% of the stator being used for the headlight, it will be dull at lower RPM when using a 55W bulb. You might be willing to accept that. If not, then use my instructions on rewinding the stator to pump adequate electrons for a REAL light, or send it away to get rewound.
Many thanks to Paul Gortmaker and the many others who input information to make this FAQ possible. I owe you guys.
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