Posts by JimRidesThis!

    While I’m waiting for the locating dowels I thought I might as well take a look at the rolling chassis. My intention is to refinish it but getting hold of the red paint is a real problem at the moment.

    First, roll out the rolling chassis (I’d already removed the tank, seat and side panels) -



    And then the long laborious task of stripping off all the bits and pieces - less than an hour’s leisurely time investment saw it down to this...



    You’ve got to love these old trail bikes, there’s nowt to ‘em.

    The paint on the frame is chipped in a few places (understatement) and has also developed a serious bloom in visible places. While I’m building the bike to use, I might as well make it look half decent while it’s torn down so I’m not exactly sure what to do now.

    I’d prefer to finish it in the same red again (Honda Rio Red), but as I said earlier, getting paint is problematical due to the current lockdown. If I redo the frame in black it’s a far easier proposition but I don’t think the red tank and plastics will look right then. But there’s no rush, I’ll give the frame a more detailed inspection and make a decision later.

    Any thoughts gentlemen? Hold out for Rio Red or go Black with White tank and plastics or another colour entirely?

    Cheers Steve, I’m really enjoying myself with this build, and you’re right... it’s going together almost like I’ve done it before ;)

    I’m just waiting for the locating dowels now, so I’m going to make a start on the rolling chassis. I pressure washed it today before I start stripping it down for refurb.

    At this stage I’m not sure exactly how much I’ll do to it. My intention was to refresh the paint job which is a bit tatty in places, but I’m finding it impossible to get hold of the right paint (Honda Rio Red) in rattle cans at the moment. I guess there’s no rush though ;)

    Hopefully the thread is providing some entertainment for a few folk which is just as valuable as getting it back up and running ^^

    Now the head's on it's time to put in that brand new cam, and MAKE SURE THOSE TWO CAM SPROCKET BOLTS ARE TORQUED DOWN CORRECTLY AND LOCTITED!!!




    (Note to self... Next time read the workshop manual. It would have been easier if you'd installed the camchain tensioner before putting the cylinder head on.)

    I’m short of the 8 x 20mm locating dowels, but that hasn't stopped me cleaning up the replacement cam cover and cam followers.


    The followers are a more complex arrangement than usual because of the radial valve layout. You can sort of see how the arrangement works here - each cam-follower has a sub-rocker so the angle of pressure on the valve is directly parallel to the valve stem, thus preventing any lateral forces and subsequent wear on the valve tip.


    I believe Rudge-Whitworth were first to create a mass produced radial valve motorcycle engine sometime in the 1920's and it's been played with by various manufacturers but mainly in prototypes or limited production race engines. The idea is to create a better shape for the combustion chamber, improving gas flow. How much difference it makes I don't know, but I guess it plays a part in making the XL600R the most powerful XL/XR series 600cc engine Honda ever made, producing a heady 44 bhp. 8|

    Head’s Up!

    First, here’s the replacement cylinder head -


    Next, remove and lap in the valves (brand new camshaft in the background :))


    I thought I should give it a good clean up and a coat of VHT satin to match the rest of the engine. Not sure how long it’ll last on the head, we’ll see!


    Beer o’clock and it’s back in with the valves...


    Then it’s on with the camchain and guides, drive gears and cylinder head, torque it down and we’re done for the night 8)


    Next... cam chain tensioner, camshaft, cam timing, cam cover and setting the valve clearances.

    Now the damage has been inspected, it’s time to start building.

    First clean up the crankcases, mask ‘em off and spray on some satin VHT paint. The Rayburn comes in handy for a couple of baking cycles to harden off the paint. :)


    Then it’s in with the bearings, crank and balancer shaft...


    Followed by the gearbox, selector forks and drum...


    A quick check to make sure nothing’s been left out and bolt up the cases. There’s something strangely satisfying about new gaskets and oil seals!


    On goes the giant piston (with new circlips)...


    ...and then the barrel, freshly honed and with a nice coat of VHT satin :)


    These engines only go back in the frame with the top end and cam cover on (the next job) but I’m going to leave as much as possible out of the side cases, just to make the engine a little easier to manhandle. I can put the alternator, clutch, oil pump, kickstart mechanism, etc. in after the engine’s back in the frame.:thumbup:

    PS. The replacement clutch and drive pinion arrived by courier today :)

    There is one good thing ---- you can definitely see which bits are out of specification.

    The stuff Craig used to fix Jennifer's bike probably won't do it !


    Of course, I do have some JB Weld and an old file ;)

    ‘Out of specification’... I like that! ^^

    Jim, try Ebay Germany as I found a lot of stuff there for my Kawasaki rebuild and some bits for the XBR 500.


    Cheers Andy, I got quite a few bits from German and French eBay and from the USA when I originally built it in 2012/3 - all very useful. I’ve made good use of CMSNL also - particularly their parts diagrams giving Honda part numbers.

    Fortunately, I was able to find the bits in the UK this time, saving on postage. I think/hope I now have everything I need :thumbup:

    The current lockdown situation has encouraged me to make a start on rebuilding the engine of my 1984/5 Honda XL600R. I thought, if you’re bored, you might like to join me for some entertainment :)

    Why the rebuild? Two or three years ago the top-end (and more) destroyed itself when one of the cam sprocket bolts backed out until it could back out no more. At that point, everything that should be moving came to a very sudden stop.

    Not long afterwards, I stripped the engine right down to assess the damage and track down the parts needed. It’s only now that I’ve ‘picked up the ball’. Here’s the damage...



    Toasted camshaft. That’s not going to polish out ^^


    The egg shape and stress cracks in the cam sprocket are the least of the problems, because -


    It’s trying to be a banana too 8|


    Bent exhaust valves


    Modified clutch drive sprocket


    ...and clutch basket!

    I think I’ve now got most of the parts to rebuild it, I’ve just found the last pieces (hopefully) - a secondhand clutch and clutch drive gear.

    Getting decent parts is the main issue for these bikes. Consumables are available, but apparently camshafts and clutch baskets are not considered ‘consumables’. :D

    Stay tuned!

    Crackin’, Andy :thumbup:

    Reminds me of a recent 25th January celebration at our local ‘far-eastern’ restaurant, it was billed as a Chinese Burns night. I wasn’t going to go but my brother twisted my arm :)

    Very nice Andy, keep us up to date with progress on the rocket launcher.

    An acquaintance of mine bought a Russian ex-military 6WD truck (not sure what make) three or four years ago. His plan was to make it into an expedition vehicle and then live in it - I’ll have to drop him a line and see if he ever got it finished.

    luckily I went back to building plastic model kits a couple of months ago so plenty to keep me busy although it can be a bit boring stuck in the house most of the time. I did take the bike out yesterday to do some shopping, only 14 miles but it felt good. I hope everyone is keeping safe and healthy during this corona thing.


    What are you building Andy? Show us some pics!

    We had a 1/72nd scale ‘Airfix kit off’ challenge the other year for students and staff. I was amazed at how many people entered and the competitive spirit.

    I’m one of the lucky ones working from home on a salary, so no money worries for the time-being. I’ve spent the last two weeks trying to be a voice of calm and reason for my students while at the same time telling them that I’ve no idea what’s going to happen.

    Aside from that, we’re doubly lucky. We moved into a ‘project’ smallholding late last year so between the house and the land we have loads to be getting on with. Mrs JRT has been busy digging the veg plot and making huge bonfires - over the years I’ve found it’s best to keep her busy ^^. I can’t imagine what it must be like staring down the barrel of this extended isolation for those stuck in a flat in the middle of a city.

    No motorcycling expectations for this year obviously, though I do have the XL600R engine to build when the mood takes me :). The Buell and TDM will both be getting some extra TLC too.

    I’ve also just ordered a ‘bushcraft’ tarp set from LOMO. I’ll be practicing making tarp shelters with the comforting thought that I’ll be within a couple of hundred yards of home should it all go drastically wrong ^^

    I’m also beginning to explore early retirement options, assuming the University survives this intact. That’s not at all certain, it’ll all depend on how many students decide, or are able, to take up places in September. Can’t really afford to (or want to) retire from the job I love yet, but I might not have a choice.

    We live in interesting times!

    Stay safe everyone!

    Just been out on the bike to the vet to pick up antibiotics for an ailing hen. There’s hardly any traffic on the roads round here, so it looks like folk are starting to heed the conditions of the lockdown.

    PS. Petrol is down to £103.9 per litre! I took advantage and filled up ;)

    I’ve read somewhere that when a large number of women are living closely together their menstrual cycles start to coincide with each other. A similar thing seems to be happening with my vehicles!

    MOTs for the last three Friday’s, and another next Friday! First was the Buell; last week my car; today the TDM; next week Mrs. JRTs car. Fortunately they’ve all passed so far.

    Not quite sure how things have ended up like this but I suspect it’s some sort of conspiracy ^^