Home How-to Articles Honda XR650R Motorcycle Complete Top Engine Rebuild With Valve Adjustment

Honda XR650R Motorcycle Complete Top Engine Rebuild With Valve Adjustment

by Moses Ludel
Moses Ludel shares his approach to the Honda XR650R motorcycle top engine rebuild and valve adjustment.

Motorcycling has been part of my life for nearly six decades. Honda dirt bikes have been our additional “family members” since the mid-eighties. When our youngest son was 11-years-old, an XR75 was his first Honda. We put it together from three “scrapped” bikes for less than $100. It was bulletproof and served until we bought a desert ready XR200R. Our Honda XR series desert enduro four-stroke motorcycles have included the ’83 XR200R, ’84 XR350R, ’84 XR500R and the 2000 XR650R, each bought from the original owner with no signs of abuse. The XR350R, XR500R, XR650R and, more recently, an “as new” 2004 XR400R remain in our stable.

Decked out for Adventure Touring in this form, with the oversized Acerbis tank, Nelson Rigg luggage, TCI Products racks plus chain and sprocket upgrades, the Classic Baja Designs lighting and “street kit” make this bike a wolf in sheep’s clothing. None of this equipment hinders the brute torque and performance of the legendary ‘Big Red Pig’ marque! There’s no rival for big bore thumper power.

Baja tested, the XR650R became the iconic “Dust to Glory” legend. My pristine 2000 model year XR650R has been dual-sport plated and sees both open Nevada backcountry and light highway use. There is considerable coverage of this Honda XR650R at the magazine and forums. For more information, search under “XR650R”.

XR650R Valve Adjustment Only

Just need to perform a valve adjustment on your Honda XR650R motorcycle engine? This video aims strictly at the valve adjustment.

This shorter video focuses on the Honda XR650R motorcycle’s periodic valve adjustment. The motor has the fresh top end rebuild with a ‘Stage 1’ HotCams camshaft installed. The auto-decompressor mechanism has been eliminated with this camshaft installation, making the valve adjustment steps much easier to follow.

These two HD videos cover my step-by-step rebuilding of the top engine, including a sensible L.A. Sleeve cylinder liner upgrade and head work, the mild camshaft upgrade plus a quick run-through of the valve adjustment procedure. I built my engine with a milder Stage 1 HotCams grind that eliminates the OEM auto-decompressor mechanism, known to be quirky. Tuned properly, this bike starts on the first or second kick—every time.

For more insight into this bike and motorcycles, search “XR650R” here at the magazine and also at the forums: https://forums.4WDmechanix.com. There is an entire Playlist covering XR Honda riding and how-to tech at the “Road Ready Channel”: https://youtube.com/c/roadreadywithmosesludel.

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