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Old 07-02-2007, 03:21 AM   #1
Jhon OP
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Honda XL600 oil-change advice please!

Feeling neighbourly I offered to do some work on the local farmer's sadly neglected 1987 Honda XL600. (There's no stickers on the bike so I'm not sure of it's exact model designation; I suspect a XL600L.)
I managed to get the buckle out of the front wheel OK and thought I would change the oil for him, as the bike had been sitting for a couple of years.
I drained the engine oil from the frame downtube OK, then I noticed a 17mm drain plug in the lower gearcase, just in front of where the engine number is stamped. I removed the plug and about a litre of what I took to be engine oil came out (it was thin and black).
He doesn't have a manual or handbook, so I have a couple of questions maybe y'all can help out with.

1. Is the gearbox lubricated with the engine oil or does it run in separate oil? (i.e. what is the oil that I drained through the hole with the 17mm plug?)

If the answer is yes, can you advise what grade of oil and where do I fill it and check the level? (I suspect the round slotted plug in the centre of the left hand engine casing, but confirmation would be nice.)

The bike looks similar to this..



All (useful) responses greatly appreciated!
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Old 07-02-2007, 04:12 AM   #2
moe sizlak
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the frame down tube holds oil , you will find the drain bolt near the bashplate .

at the top of the frame down tube is the dipstick and fill point .

10 w 40 ouality oil depending on your climate .
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Old 07-02-2007, 04:18 AM   #3
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yes motor and trans share oil. I've always run castrol 20\50 with good results in my xr's...
I want to say on that 600, 2 quarts is about right for capacity but I'd like a second opinion. good luck!!
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Old 07-02-2007, 05:01 AM   #4
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Oil capacity is two litres, when you change the filter, which is located on the right side of the engine, under a round cap (3 screws IIRC).

Drain oil from the frame downtube and the drain screw on the left side of the engine. Fill up via the dipstick between tank and steering head.
Run for a few minutes, wait a minute and check without screwing in the dipstick.

Important: Because of the seperate oil tank in the frame and because of a valve that surely leaks by now, oil checks can be confusing on a XL. Don't check the oil level on a cold bike, most of it will be down in the engine. Proper procedure is as above: Get her warm (10 minutes ride), wait a minute to settle the bubbles and check with the bike upright.
Also, the XL tends to run hot, so be sure to check oil often and keep her at maximum.
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Old 07-02-2007, 05:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmacmat
If the answer is yes, can you advise what grade of oil and where do I fill it and check the level? (I suspect the round slotted plug in the centre of the left hand engine casing, but confirmation would be nice.)
This slotted plug accesses the crankshaft housing. Remove it to turn the crank when setting the valve gaps.
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Old 07-02-2007, 05:24 AM   #6
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Thanks for all your quick responses.

I'll get the oil & filter change finished tonight, install a new battery and he should be good to go. He's definitely getting an 'advisory' on the chain & sprockets, but I can only use so much free beetroot and cabbage, so he can change them himself.

Cheers!
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Old 07-02-2007, 05:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoovsHoovs
yes motor and trans share oil. I've always run castrol 20\50 with good results in my xr's...
I want to say on that 600, 2 quarts is about right for capacity but I'd like a second opinion. good luck!!
+1 on castrol 20w50.
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Old 09-27-2008, 09:05 AM   #8
DirtyRidah
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im going to run castrol gtx standard 10 w 40 is that a good oil to use and where exactly do you drain the oil from i looked all around the bash plate and couldnt find it mines a 83 xl600r and where exactly also does the battery go cant find that either
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyRidah
im going to run castrol gtx standard 10 w 40 is that a good oil to use and where exactly do you drain the oil from i looked all around the bash plate and couldnt find it mines a 83 xl600r and where exactly also does the battery go cant find that either
There's a drain bolt right at the bottom of the front downtube, between the split.

I always ran 20/50 in warm weather. That motor gets toasty. I can't help you with the battery. On XR650Ls, it's under the left side cover. On an '83, I don't know.

My NX650 held a little more than 2 quarts, IIRC, but my XR650R seems to hold a little less. Just follow the instructions and don't overfill.
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bongodave screwed with this post 09-27-2008 at 11:00 AM
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:27 PM   #10
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on the xl600r there are two oil drains. one on the downtube (it's also the bolt that holds the bash plate in the front). there is also a screen at the bottom of the downtube, where the hose screws on that should be cleaned every so often. the other drain is on the left side of the crankcase on the bottom. if the or-ring on the oil filter cover is old, it should be changed as well when you're changing the filter, as they have a tendency to leak. I usually chheck the valve clearance as well, whenver I change the oil. 20/50 is great if you ride at 40F and higher.
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:29 PM   #11
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oh, the battery is under the right cover. since it doesn't have electric start, I replaced mine with a battery eliminator (large capacitor), so I don't have to hassle with the battery maintenance.
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Old 10-09-2008, 06:54 AM   #12
DirtyRidah
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well charging system is having issuesso i dont want to spend money on a cap until that is solved .....i put a battery tester on thebattery wires alone and its going half way through the bad side with the battery just before the half way between good and bad i dont see any scored wires anywhere....so its getting power just not all the power its supposed to and i dont know why but thats not saying much as i dont know much about bike engines
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