Picture this: You’re winding down the perfect dirt road through the woods, the Honda XR650L between your knees purring along effortlessly in third gear. You round a corner and expertly wheelie into a flowing dip in the road. You accelerate into a large section of washboard bumps. And then…
Your XR650L’s engine stutters momentarily, sending your weight forward and spiking your heart rate as you struggle to regain your rhythm.
Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common scenario aboard stock XR650Ls; initially, even the most experienced riders feel as though the bike is starving for fuel. The culprit, however, is the stock kickstand switch, which unceremoniously cuts the engine whenever the kickstand is down and the bike is in gear. The purpose of this feature is government mandated; it’s ostensibly to keep riders from taking off with the kickstand down, and subsequently crashing on the first left turn they encounter. However, the kickstand switch has some unintended consequences for more advanced riders when the G-forces on the bike are strong enough to cause the heavy, steel kickstand to momentarily swing down—even the smallest amount—from its “upright and locked” position.
But get this—there’s an easy fix to this issue! In the video below, the official Aloop tinkering team shows you how to defeat the kickstand safety switch by closing the circuit. All you do is remove the kickstand switch and wiring, cut the wire just a few inches shy of the plug, and solder together the green (ground) and green/white wires. This closes the circuit and makes the bike think that the kickstand is always in the “up” position. As an added bonus, it drops a wee bit of weight from the machine as well, since you’re getting rid of the stock kickstand switch and some wiring!
View the video for the full step-by-step process. Of course, this is an off-road-only modification that may or may not render the bike technically unsuitable for on-road use, so perform this at your own risk. Heck, any work you complete on the XR650L should be done at your own risk! Make sure a competent mechanic does all the work—especially the soldering—and keep sharp or hot tools away from children, bottle-fed puppies, and exotic houseplants.
Oh, and one more thing: Send us an email to XR400@aloop.com with any future mechanical tip ideas that you’d like to see made into videos.