justxr.com "tips" compilation.

This page is a compilation of tips that have been sourced from all around the internet.  Sources ranging from various www pages to the XR Mailing list.   If you have any tips to add feel free to EMAIL justxr.com

[Scott Summers and Fred Brambletts top 10 XR600 Tips]
[Mick Fan's tips]
[John K's Tips]
[Trail Hints]
[Captain Midnights valve stem seal info]

Scott Summers / Fred Bramblett's top ten XR600 tips:

1. To increase airflow, remove the airbox lid and use an aftermarket air filter. Do not remove the backfire screen from the cage. Removing the screen changes the intake velocity and causes the bike to have poor throttle response at low rpm.

2.  To increase exhaust flow, Scott replaces the stock muffler with a White Bros. Megalloy system, with an open end-cap for closed-course competition. Scott says, "Please don't use the open end-cap for trail riding, as it is way too loud to use on public land." He also recommends sealing the muffler to header junction with high-temp sealant - they use Hondaline Hondabond H.T.

3.  Check the header pipe where it mounts to the exhaust manifold. Sometimes the welds are overdone, and the extra material can restrict airflow. Grind away the protruding material to increase flow, but don't overdo it to the point of making the area weaker.

4.  With these mods, Scott uses the following jetting:

   Jet   Stock   Mod
  Main   152     155
  Pilot   62      68
  Airscrew       2.5 turns out

Scott says, "Most four-strokes come jetted on the lean side and must be richened when you increase intake and exhaust flow."

5.  To make the race bike run cooler and extend clutch life, they mount an XR250R oil cooler to the steering head and remove the headlight for more airflow.

6.  For better cooling they sometimes wrap the header pipes with exhaust wrap made by Thermo-Tech to keep heat from being transfered back into the cylinder and head by airflow.

7.  If a course or trail isn't going to be too muddy, they trim 4"-5" off the back of the front fender to allow more cooling air to reach the cylinder.

8.  Scott recommends against the use of plate-type skidplates. You got it, he feels they restrict air flow and trap engine heat.

9.  Run good pump gas with an octane rating of 91 unless you have a modified high compression engine. Scott runs a stock engine because "the increased compression braking throws off my timing."

10.  Keep your valves and valve decompression systems adjusted properly! This is extremely important for any thumper.

"Mick Fan's" Cheap Tricks (message to the XR Mailing List)

justxr.com note: Mick F. actually came in 14th in the year 2000 Australian Safari, (Kevin Schwantz was 13th)

justxr.com -Ride Article By Mick Fan.
link to the Australian Safari Page

Hey gang,
I would like to share a few of my favourite cheap tricks I have picked up or thought of over the years. I'm sure they will be known already by most, but maybe they will be help to a few.

1. Route a spare clutch cable next to your good one, attatched with cable ties. Dont forget to lube it regularly.

2. Use a blade to cut a hollow in the foam in your crossbar pad, and store your spare spark plug there.

3. On long trips, I carry my spare filter oil in a 250 ml bottle you buy lawnmower 2 stroke oil in. It sits nicely in the airbox, so if it leaks it doesnt ruin the gear in your pack. At your night camp, boil the billy and wash your filter in warm water and detergent, then oil it using the plastic bag and disposable gloves you brought.

4. Buy a pack of cheap panty hose. Cut them into 8" lengths, tie a knot in one end and use them as air filter covers, to give you more time between cleans in dusty conditions.

5. You CAN increase the size of your tank using hot water and a bike pump. I stopped at 25.2 litres from my Acerbis.

Why dont we all share our ideas of simple advice, it will be a help to everyone.

Cheers, Mick F.  Darwin.

John K's Personal Tips

1.  THE BOTOM LINE WITH RUBER.  If you want to ride hard (offroad) you will have to buy appropriate rubber.  I run full motorcross front tyres (Bridgeston 51M's at present), and when I can Metzeler MC5's on the rear.  Buying decent rubber front and rear makes a huge difference to the way your XR will handle.  It's important to match your riding conditions with your rubber type.  Obviously this isn't always possible so often you have to run with a compromise.

2.  Unscrew the locknut from your valve stem and lock it up to valve cap.  This avoids a nasty tear in your tube when it moves about.

3.  ALWAYS CARRY! : A spare joining link or two and a short lenght of chain, along with the necessary tools to perform basic roadside maintenance to your bike.  Levers and Calbles etc. can be carried at your discretion depending on the location and duration of the ride you are on.  Basic first aid kits should always be a consideration however.

4.  Run Heavy Duty Tubes with a second tube cut "up the guts" as a liner to add extra protection for your tube.  This tip has managed to avoid any extra puntures / pinches for me since a "horror run" or about three flats in a row.

5.  Frequent Oil and filter changes are cheap insurance.  It's better to be paying for quality oil and filter changes than a "blown up motor".  I personally change my XR600's oil at around 500 to 1000k's.  Ideally if you are working your air cooled XR hard on a regular basis shout it a new dose of qualitly oil around every 500 Kilometers.  The oil filters should probably be changed at every second oil change.  Think of this expense as cheap insurance.

Trail riding hints & tips - by ????

1.  Remove the locknut on your valve stems, its part of a massive conspiracy to rip out the valve stem especially when the tyre "creeps". Use a metal dustcap with a dab of grease under it.  Better still use the type with a valve core removal tool.

2.  Use those metallic crisp packets to transfer petrol, they are "petrol proof".

3.  Safety wire the spokes where they cross, a short spoke is much stronger, by doing this you will half the length of your spokes.
Note on tip 3:

3. Safety wire the spokes where they cross, a short spoke is much stronger, by doing this you will half the length of your spokes.

That's an old road bicyclist's trick, and has been proven to be false.  Besides, to do it with any effect, you have to tie the spokes and then solder them together.  But, even soldered, they don't last any longer than normal spokes.  It doesn't effectively shorten the spokes, and besides, shorter spokes wouldn't be any stronger since they are only under tension, not bending moments.  And a shorter spoke would not be able to absorb as much shock as a longer one anyway.  Check out "The Bicycle Wheel" by Jobst Brandt for more than you ever wanted to know about spoked wheels, including data and formulae from Finite Element Analysis of bike wheels, backed up with actual stress tests.  3 cross pattern rules the MTB world, not so sure about motos though, I'll have to go and look at my bike!


Hey, tied and soldered spokes came up on the list, and there is one benefit I had never heard of - if the spoke breaks, and it's tied, soldered, or even zip
tied, it probably won't foul up the wheel.  That's a plus!  Amazing what one can learn on the list.


4.  You can keep a length of fuel pipe in your handlebars to use if someone runs out of petrol.

5.  Removing old handlebar grips. Block up the end and stick an air line nozzle in the end hole, the grip inflates and jumps off!

6.  Before fitting new handlebar grips, spray the bar end with lacquer paint. The thinner in the paint lubricates the grip going on, then dries and glues the grip to the bar.

Tips for changing valve stem seals

It's very easy to change valve seals, and yes, you can leave the head on.
Remove valve cover, to gain access to valves. Use a tong type spring compressor. To hold the valves up, use an air compressor fitting in the spark plug hole, and compressed air in the cylinder. Or, take spark plug out, and carefully feed into the cylinder, very soft nylon rope. Gently, bring the piston up to push the rope against the valves. When done, remove rope. You can generaly reuse the cam cover gasket by using silcone seal or Yamabond on it. It's metal. Should take about 2 hours.
Happy motoring,
                         Captain Midnight