Honda XL185s Reviews

1981 Honda XL185s from United States of America

Model year1981
Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership1986
Most recent year of ownership2011
Acceleration marks 6 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 5 / 10
Handling marks 9 / 10
Braking marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired1800 miles
Most recent distance15000 miles
Previous motorcycleHonda CB350F

Summary:

Nice starter bike and long term city bike

Faults:

Exhaust rusted out around the 10 year mark.

Carbs needed to be rebuilt around 10,000 mile mark.

The rubber on the rear turn signals are cracking due to age, and Honda no longer sells the rubber replacement, but one can still find them online if they look a while.

The battery seems to last two years at the most.

Other than new tires every 5,000 miles, she has been very good.

General Comments:

Weak electric system (6-volt), I am going to replace the tail light with an LED, which should help greatly. Headlight is not the best for night riding, a custom LED headlight should greatly help night riding, and will greatly help the electric system.

The bike handles extremely well on the road, and can cruise all day at 50 to 55mph. Nice bike for back roads / state routes. It gets 70mpg.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th February, 2011

1981 Honda XL185s from United States of America

Model year1981
Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2008
Acceleration marks 8 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 5 / 10
Handling marks 7 / 10
Braking marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.9 / 10
Distance when acquired6700 miles
Most recent distance6800 miles

Summary:

Very good beginners bike, high points for reliability

Faults:

Whoever worked on the bike before me, used gear oil as the motor and transmission oil.

The tail light was in poor condition.

The seat has some tears.

The lights and accessories don't have voltage regulation, so at low RPMs the light is dim, and if opened up too much it may blow out the front light.

General Comments:

Acceleration is surprisingly good, clutch grips like new, is in very good working order overall, could be happier with the electrical system, but otherwise very pleased.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th December, 2008

12th Feb 2011, 10:59

I have owned my 1981 Honda XL185s since 1986, I now have 15,000 miles on her. I agree the electric system could use some improvement (weak 6-volt), I am currently looking to replace the tail light bulb with a LED light, this should help give move juice to the other lights, and is probably the easiest and cheapest way for improvement. I would like to replace the headlight with LED, but need to go custom and will be costly, but would greatly reduce electric draw and should improve night time lighting. I get about 70mpg.

I just picked up another 1981 Honda XL185s for my son, except this bike only has 1,600 miles on it.

1982 Honda XL185s from Canada

Model year1982
Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2005
Acceleration marks 4 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 6 / 10
Handling marks 4 / 10
Braking marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.8 / 10
Distance when acquired13000 kilometres
Most recent distance15000 kilometres

Summary:

Heavy, old, outdated, a pig on fuel, but good for a beginner for under $1000

Faults:

The valve seals leaked upon start up from the first day I got it.

Put new tires on it.

Painted the side covers and metal gas tank Honda Red.

Speedo cable broke.

General Comments:

Good beginner bike, of course the bike was tired when I got it. I paid $650 Canadian, put new tires on it and cleaned it good, and got $780 for it about a year later. Its heavy weight made it hard in tight trail sections. It had a smaller back sprocket and could do speeds of about 115 km/h.

Smoked a little upon start up. Nothing a 20 year old dirt bike doesn't do.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th May, 2007

18th Oct 2012, 13:02

What kinda of oil would be alright to use on the 1982 XL 185cc??

22nd Oct 2012, 05:29

Motorcycle specific oil or mineral engine oil made for diesels. They will ensure enough protection for the gearbox without risk of a slipping clutch. You should replace the oil every 1000-1500 miles, or 1500-2500 km, depending on how hard you use the engine. Do remember to remove the RHS engine cover and clean the internal oil filter every other oil change.

Average review marks: 6.4 / 10, based on 3 reviews