May 23, 2001
Just scored a 1987 xr200r off of a guy who no longer wanted the bike in his garage for fifty dollars!! It does start but does not idle worth a hoot and the gears are all jacked up on it. I did not notice any smoke from the exhaust while running and the exhaust doesnt have any oil in it just black soot. I have rebuilt a honda 4 wheeler before and it was a pretty fun experience however I folllowed the service manual like the Bible. So since this is my first 4 stroke bike I guess I need to locate a good manual and start on checking the engine compression to see what needs to be done besides the obvious...right?

I guess the question here is, whats the first thing to do when bringing a questionable bike into the garage?

Tried to attach pics but it said I was over my quota...even though I dont have any pictures on here.... :whoa:


COTT Champ Emeritus
Damn Yankees
Aug 31, 2000
A service manual is a good starting point. If it runs, but won't idle, I'd tear apart the carb and clean it. While I was cleaning, change the oil, and I'd change the air filter out or at least clean it. I say change because if it's been sitting for a few years, chances are the foam in the filter is crap and needs to be changed out anyway.

Not sure what you mean by the gears are all jacked up, but if there is transmission trouble you will need to really tear into it. You might be better off parting it out and spending the money on another bike. The Service manual will tell you what is involved in changing out the transmission gears/shift levers etc.

Good luck, I got an 86 200xr in a series of boxes about 10 years ago. If memory serves me, I spent 500$ getting that free bike up to working order. But it was a fun project.


May 19, 2006
Before spending any money, I'd pull the right side cover off the engine and inspect shifting mechanism. Most times I've had shifting problems, it is something simple inside that cover. As Papakeith said, if you have to start replacing gears or forks inside the case, it can get costly. What is in your favor, though is that there were a million of these engines out there and I bet you can get a used doner for about what you paid for the bike and use parts from it. If you get it to shift, attack the carb (really clean the pilot jet well) and air filter. Fresh gas is a must.

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