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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought my wife a little 1982 Honda XL185S so she can ride some easy stuff with me. It's almost 30 years old, with 1,900 miles on it, in cherry condition. Almost no wear on anything.



What I'd like to know? I don't know. Whoever knows these bikes and has some good advice, especially maintenance and parts, I'd appreciate it. Quirks? Pay special attn to...?



Thanks.
 

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They are a very tough little bike.Like the T.W. keep the oil fresh and the valves adjusted. Also if it was mine I'd change the fork oil and lube the swing arm and steering head bearings as by now the grease has turned to clay.Last check the intake manifold and airbox tube for any age cracks.
 

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They used to be very popular in the UK.



As Xracer said you MUST keep on top of oil changes as the there is no camshaft bearing, it runs directly in the head casting.

I have a twin shock XR200 in my collection of old bikes and it is very similar.
 

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Wow. These are really helpful responses. Thanks a lot, Petrus, Davidsongsccc, Xracer, and uktw125. I'm not a motorcycle mechanic, but I think I got my hands on a sweet little bike and I'd like to start out taking care of it. It fires right off on the first kick, and purrs like a kitten. I just like the idea of "pre-empting". Since I only paid $600 bucks for it, I have some "wiggle room" for putting some maintenance up front (not to mention what my wife is going to do to me if it goes tits up in the middle of nowhere).



Thanks again.

.
 

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Do a complete tune and service. Lube and adjust everything, whether it needs it or not. Check torque on all the nuts and bolts. Open the headlight and under the side covers to look for corroded wire terminals. Keep an eye out for any dry rotted rubber or plastic, including the fuel line. In fact, fuel and vacumn line is so cheap just replace all the rubber on the bike.
 

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I once had an XL185S. I bored it out and put in a 200cc piston. I put XL200SM on the side panels (SM stood for Super Modified). Extremely tough bike, will handle anything you throw at it (almost). One time I tried to cross over what appeared to be 2 feet of water. However, underneath the water was extremely soft sand, and my bike sank up to the handlebars. I spent two days drying everything out and getting it back running again. I would go riding at night time with some friends on ATV's, my claim to fame was a dancing headlight pointed up towards the trees. Those were the good old days.
 

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Honda XL 185s is a great bike and quite tough too. I had one in 1984 when I was 15. Used to ride it all over ilegally. Once managed to wielie it for just over 300 metres - was so excited I rushed home and checked the Guiness book of records only to find the world record then was about 57 Kilometres!!!!!



Decided to practise this wielie thing more, so I found a semi-deserted road where some houses where being built and started practising wieling intensly in front of the working builders. Flipped the bike a few times and once so well that a watching builder / roofer laughed so much at me, HE fell off the roof!!



Then I watched a movie about Evil Knievel, so I decided to also try ramping. Built a steep high ramp and since I had never done anything like this before, decided speed was the way to go, so I took a 500m running start. Think I was doing about 80kmh when I hit the ramp! It's really fun to fly, but really sore to land. Afterwards literally bleeding everywhere, I sat on my moms washing machine while she pulled small gravel stones out of my legs with a tweezers. Bike was wrecked / frame all bent.



Good memories / good bike / enjoy!!
 

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Grant, that's a heck of a story. It's amazing you lived to tell us about it. In fact, I read it three times as I had the images of your stunts vividly in my head. Too funny




Dan
 

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Firstly, there's no photos, so I don't believe you got the bike.
Share with us dude, we love photos.

Secondly, if it's been sitting so long, drain the gas tank and carb (this is a must) - that old fuel is bad - turns to gel, gums up the carb. After, run a treatment of seafoam thru (pour it in with the new gas in the gas tank).

Seafoam
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'll be happy to post a photo of it. But right now it's 400 miles away at my cousin's motorcycle shop in Carson City, Nevada. He's going over it with a fine tooth comb. He's waiting on some OEM parts for it. Have any of you guys done business with "Bikebandit.com"? They are supposed to have all the OEM parts for most bikes you can think of. He's replacing a lot of stuff on it, including the (original) tires, hoses, cables, etc. BTW, that was good advice from Petrus about the tires. The rubber was pretty old and cracked. The new ones will be more knobby than the original dual purpose.



Funny thing; When I talked on the phone with him, he said everyone who comes into his shop looks at it and says, "Holy cow! Where did that come from? Did it sit in someone's garage for 30 years?" Yeah, that pretty much what it did.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Honda XL 185s is a great bike and quite tough too. I had one in 1984 when I was 15. Used to ride it all over ilegally. Once managed to wielie it for just over 300 metres - was so excited I rushed home and checked the Guiness book of records only to find the world record then was about 57 Kilometres!!!!!



Decided to practise this wielie thing more, so I found a semi-deserted road where some houses where being built and started practising wieling intensly in front of the working builders. Flipped the bike a few times and once so well that a watching builder / roofer laughed so much at me, HE fell off the roof!!



Then I watched a movie about Evil Knievel, so I decided to also try ramping. Built a steep high ramp and since I had never done anything like this before, decided speed was the way to go, so I took a 500m running start. Think I was doing about 80kmh when I hit the ramp! It's really fun to fly, but really sore to land. Afterwards literally bleeding everywhere, I sat on my moms washing machine while she pulled small gravel stones out of my legs with a tweezers. Bike was wrecked / frame all bent.



Good memories / good bike / enjoy!!


Grant, that comes under the heading, "Experience is what you get after you needed it!", or, "If a little's good (speed), a lot's better!" Good story! Thanks for sharing it.
 

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Carson City, eh? Which bike shop?? I'm a resident of Sparks, NV. I love the Honda XL bikes. My first dirt bike as a 12 year old was an XL70. What a champion. Contrary to everyones (great) advice, I never did anything to this bike. I rode the snot out of it all the way up to age 15, when the countersprocket finally gave in and launched out of the side case cover
That was a sad day. You know what it finally took to do that? My brother and I were dragging a plastic sled in the winter time with it....I was pulling his g/f and him at the time and it was amazing how far we went!!



Never changed the oil on it, never. I think I checked it once or twice - it was always black. The bike had around 5,000 miles on it.



Anyway, I certainly am NOT an advocate of the lack of maintenance technique, rather I can appreciate steady and thorough maintenance and actually enjoy it with my motorcycles and subaru.



Great bike!!! Tough as nails. There was a prestine one for sale in Washoe valley during the summer months...wish I would have scooped it up.

-Adam
 

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Carson City, eh? Which bike shop?? I'm a resident of Sparks, NV. I love the Honda XL bikes. My first dirt bike as a 12 year old was an XL70. What a champion. Contrary to everyones (great) advice, I never did anything to this bike. I rode the snot out of it all the way up to age 15, when the countersprocket finally gave in and launched out of the side case cover
That was a sad day. You know what it finally took to do that? My brother and I were dragging a plastic sled in the winter time with it....I was pulling his g/f and him at the time and it was amazing how far we went!!



Never changed the oil on it, never. I think I checked it once or twice - it was always black. The bike had around 5,000 miles on it.



Anyway, I certainly am NOT an advocate of the lack of maintenance technique, rather I can appreciate steady and thorough maintenance and actually enjoy it with my motorcycles and subaru.



Great bike!!! Tough as nails. There was a prestine one for sale in Washoe valley during the summer months...wish I would have scooped it up.

-Adam


Hi, Adam



My cousin is Ed McCoy, and his shop is McCoy's Offroad Center on Hwy 50 in Moundhouse. If you happen in there within a few days, check out my little XL185, but I'm headed that way this weekend and will bring it back next week.



Everywhere I go I hear about those old Hondas and how reliable they are/were. I still wish it had electric start, because when my wife and I are riding, I know who's going to be cranking it when it gets balky or flooded. Oh, well. Better than giving her the TW!



-George
 
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