Project Resurrection: Playing Catch Up

1997 Honda XR600R

1997 Honda XR600R

As I mentioned in my previous post, after five, or so, long years I’m healthy and ready to ride. So, with the Doc’s OK, I started to pull the bikes out of the ashes. Well, more like out from the dust and out from under the Christmas decoration boxes.

My first priority was to get the WR426 running. I had a serious date with the dirt, and the DMV paperwork was up to date on it. Unfortunately, after a couple hours of carb cleaning and kicking, it just wasn’t happening. My previous hiatus was not planned and, well, the bikes were not properly prepared for long term storage.

Next came the trusty XR600 running. Being my only dual-sport it made sense. I could hit the street and/or the dirt. Unfortunately, it was still stuck in a quagmire of DMV paperwork. However, a strip and flush of the carb and it was singing. OK, well it was’t quite that simple. We did clean the carb, it did start, and it did run. However, on the gas it lost power really bad. Also, the throttle was sticking and acting strange. After lubing and readjusting the cables didn’t help, the carb was pulled again. What we found was not pretty. One of us forgot to check/drain the tank before adding more fuel to it. The fuel that was in it had turned to a dark green tar-like substance. Also, the petcock had rusted and we had to run a drill into it, just to get fuel to flow more than a drip.

So another major carb cleaning was in order. Additionally, I couldn’t get the green crap out of the tank. Just to get the ball rolling, I ran out to the shed and grabbed my big Baja tank and slapped it on. After all that, no luck in getting it started, this time around. We resorted to a tow strap and a Ford pickup. Once she she fired, she was running great.

About a week later the DMV issues were resolved and I was on the road, and then in the dirt. The XR600 is truly a bullet-proof platform and thankfully, I had done the dual-sport conversion before good 0l’ California made it nearly impossible. I’ve ridden it on the trails four weeks in a row now. Aside for being a bit heavy, it’s still a fun ride.

Back to the WR426… after a couple more attempts at cleaning out the carb, rejetting, and installing a Boyesen QuickStart on it, it runs really well. As long as running does not mean idling. The Boyesen Quickstart has helped the hot start finickiness a lot too.  I plan to do a 24-hour carb soak soon, but I’m waiting until I get the suspension re-sprun, re-valved, and re-sealed. That should be coming in the next month or so.

Meanwhile, not dirt related, my Nighthawk 750 is down at Gilroy Motorcycle Center being resurrected. I’ve gone through the carbs in it once before and am not interested in doing it myself again. Especially when I still have three other bikes to bring back to life. The next one will be my RMX250.

Well, enough for now… I’ll update y’all when there’s more news on the WR or the RMX…



Author: Ev'mon

Experience: Riding since '81. Hardware: '94 RMX250; '97 XR600; '95 NightHawk 750; '01 WR426 Ranking: Adventurist Favorite Riding: Tight Woods & Desert Favorite Places: Hungry Valley, CA; Baja Mexico

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