How To Kick Start A Honda XL500R Or XR500 Motorcycle

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I thought this would be helpful for any new Honda XL500 or XR500 motorcycle owners. See it at The bike doesn’t want to start unless you do everything right, and if you make a mistake you can really hurt your foot. I demonstrate proper cold kickstarting procedure in flip-flops to prove it’s safe and easy to start once you know how to do it. When I first got the bike, I was afraid to go anywhere on it, and even stalled it in traffic and had to push it to the sidewalk because I couldn’t get it started again. Hope you never have to go through that, or the chronic sore instep of the improper kicker. The Honda XL500R motorcycle was designed so that you can kick start it in gear with the clutch pulled in, or in neutral without pulling in the clutch. See more pictures and info about my bike at If you click on the ads there, I get a nickel to help pay for my web hosting.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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25 Responses to “How To Kick Start A Honda XL500R Or XR500 Motorcycle”

  1. c4tze Says:

    @hoohoohoblin haha, yes sir

  2. hoohoohoblin Says:

    @c4tze That makes sense. As long as you kick it after the click, it will start up. I think a lot of people get these bikes and just start randomly kicking to start the engine and end up frustrated or injured.

  3. c4tze Says:

    @hoohoohoblin just wait until it does a klick, not that loud like those normal cylinder at the top clicks and then go and kick it, try it … im doing that on a 1982 xl 500 s (which you can see idling and reving in my video list) and it works wonderfully … even if shes cold it usually works on 1st try, sometimes 3 trys. same when she had a failed ignition by running at low rev on 5th gear and the engine is hot. trust me – it works on my baby 🙂

  4. hoohoohoblin Says:

    @c4tze It has electronic ignition, but it’s kickstart only.

  5. c4tze Says:

    dude youre doing it wrong 😀 doesnt your bike have a magnetic ignition?

  6. hoohoohoblin Says:

    @GravvyTrain The balancer smooths out the vibration in the engine. Some models have gears and others have a chain driven balancer. I looked at the schematic on the bikebandit website. You can go there and enter the year and model of bike you have, and they have schematic pictures showing all the parts and where they go.

  7. GravvyTrain Says:

    @hoohoohoblin I have my xl500’s clutch cover off , and there is a front balancer on the right of the cam chain. The stud that goes in the flange on the balance shaft guide was broke so I replaced it but I dont know if there is supposed to be a spring there? Do you know what the adjustment of this ‘front balancer’ will affect?

  8. hoohoohoblin Says:

    @KawasakiRidah23 I don’t know. I’ve never tried to start one. I think they’re tricky to start as well. 

  9. KawasakiRidah23 Says:

    Do u have to do the same for a 2 stroke dirt bike

  10. hoohoohoblin Says:

    @tsounas Thanks for clarifying what happens to make it kick back. I’ve heard of people breaking their feet on these bikes but never got such a complete description of how it happens. I always kick it all the way down.

  11. tsounas Says:

    @hoohoohoblin If you don’t kick it all the way down it may kick back, when the gasoline explodes when your foot is near the top end. I’we heard that some have even broken their foot when the kickback has been so powerful.
    Just be careful! 🙂

  12. hoohoohoblin Says:

    @KawasakiRidah23 No. I was just getting the piston in the right position for it to start easily. It needs to be just over TDC on the compression stroke.

  13. KawasakiRidah23 Says:

    Hey were you building up compression for it to start on the first kick

  14. Stoneyx420 Says:

    @hoohoohoblin yaa man i got lots of shoes my cr480r ripped apart from the bike kicking back. even my xr650r has ripped a couple apart

  15. Shupavin Says:

    @hoohoohoblin I’ve never heard of a broken foot from a 4-stroke, but the 2-stroke 500’s are REALLY mean (I have one, and I know how mean it is).

  16. GravvyTrain Says:

    @hoohoohoblin what is the oil capacity for this bike? Just got one, don’t have the manual, and I cannot find the capacity online. thanks.

  17. TimKGrimes Says:

    Yep. I had a scar on my right ankle for a while.

  18. 50cliber Says:

    @hoohoohoblin wow dude that is crazy it has never hapend to me but i have only been on a 125cc so lol and thanks for the info 🙂

  19. hoohoohoblin Says:

    @50cliber When the piston gets close to top dead center position on the compression stroke, the lever stops, and you can’t move it with your foot. If you were to stomp down on it hard with all your body weight when the lever is in this position, the lever wouldn’t move, and you may hurt your foot. I’ve also heard of kickstart levers kicking back up after they’ve been kicked down, which could break your foot.

  20. 50cliber Says:

    what do you meen it will hurt you ??? sorry im a bike noob

  21. NikyRipy Says:

    sembra il babbo della vita segreta

  22. brandonkr Says:

    my xr500 was a beast to start cause that compression release attached to the kick starter was broken lol took an hour to start.

  23. 1hit2doom Says:

    My dad let’s me drive without DL if i only drive when he watches.

    i can drive pretty well and start it WHEN IT RAN BEFORE
    Of course i am listening, but i just wanted to start it cold. and thanx to you i did it like 2 minutes ago =) thanx alot (forgot the choke)

  24. hoohoohoblin Says:

    @elbaguer1 Ouch! I’m hoping this video prevents it from happening to other people. It also hurts if you think the lever is in position to start the bike, and you jump down on it with your foot only to find that the lever doesn’t budge. Once you know the drill, it’s a real easy starter.

  25. elbaguer1 Says:

    @Thrashvel It can back fire and kick back. I had one of those back in 85 and it broke my anckle. Wish this video was availabe back then would’ve saved me a world of pain, still hurts sometimes after all those years.

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