Honda XL250K3 Exhaust System

The exhaust system is pretty idiosyncratic.

It is one of life's mysteries (like why they make toasters that can burn bread or what they called Barn Owls before we had barns) why Honda used lightweight magnesium engine casings, then went and fitted an exhaust that was both heavy and complicated and with a tendency to rust away, starting with the end where there is a removable spark arrester.

A what? Well, in the USA they are apparently a bit funny about having their vast areas of public forests and parks set on fire so you have to have a spark thingy fitted to ride there. The gauze like filter catches red hot carbon embers and stops the countryside from catching fire, which is probably a Good Thing. If you don't have one fitted, you can be shot or fined. Well, maybe just fined. We don't have any of that in England.

Honda advertised of course that their spark arrestor was indeed United States Department of Agriculture approved. Bikes and ATVs are not the only things that need one, they have to be on chainsaws, generators etc too.

This is a typical Honda one for a XR650R model

but the parts book doesn't list a replacement one for the xl250/350 bikes at all, which seems a bit odd.

There is an official Honda Spark Arrestor service method for the XL 250/350 if you click the picture below:


Click the picture below to see an educational video

with Officer Jason Bodine, his special stick and his zero tolerance policy.

Item 20 on the schematic above is an allen head/socket bolt (which in fact isn't the only allen key bolt that is actually meant to be on the bike) I guess that is because there is restricted access to it. It is M8. Where are the other 2 allen head bolts? They are at the bottom of the front fork tubes hidden above the front axle when it is in situ and they have copper washers.

The pipe is upswept with a heat shield, and then a 2 box system. Both boxes have heat shields to protect the rider and passenger from nasty leg burns. That makes 3 heat shields.

The system is put through the frame and that protects it from bumps and knocks especially whist riding off road or in West Hollywood; these are no longer made and very hard to find, so best to source a secondhand one if possible from a no-ice-no-salt on the roads kinda place. Birmingham Alabama USA would be better than Birmingham West Midlands UK.

This rear box has clearly had a new bit of chrome pipe welded into the end (quite common) although most owners paint it black, and it has then gone on to gently rot away from the inside.

I got a nice one off the internet from Utah where it is apparently hot and dry and the road signs also have bullet holes in them, everyone drives a pick up truck and drinks cold Root Beer. This is not important as generally the air is so arid that stuff doesn't rust there, which is important; and they have dinosaur bones including those of T-Rex buried in nearly every back yard (I saw a documentary on the Discovery Channel about Utah). I wish I had a T-Rex......sigh!

The heat shields are still available but oddly the black triangular one that is under the chrome one costs more than the chrome one. There are other aftermarket types available like this one below

This is a hybrid of the original pipe and a David Silver supplied exhaust. It is also in my garage because, yes folks, it's the same bike as the first picture on the HOME PAGE and the exhaust that was on it when I bought it but personally I think it doesn't look as right or nice as the original, so I changed it back to original.

My lovely lady wife brought this lot above (and a second one) back from the US in her luggage. My wife is a very special lady. The tail pipe has been replaced, but nicely done if slightly too wide. If you need to paint an exhaust, I have been happy with a high temperature black paint that is made for woodburners, and is used direct to metal without a primer, by Plasti-Kote called PKT152. Also on ebay, UK.

This is how you remove the exhaust in case you are Special and couldn't work it out yourself. As usual, click the picture to make it magically grow bigger. The 8mm nut is of course a hex Allen key socket really.