The Honda XL175 first entered the market in 1973 and the model continued up until about 1978. The XL175 had a 173cc single cylinder OHC 4 stroke engine mated to a 5-speed transmission and was started via a kickstarter only (no electric starter). The instruments included a speedometer and a tachometer up until 1976, when the tachometer was deleted. Braking was via front and rear cable operated drum brakes. The dimensions of the bike were 2,075x840x1,095mm (82x33x43in).
1973 XL175K0: The 73' XL175 was available in one colour, Mars Orange with Silver. The fuel tank and the side covers were orange and the stripes were black. The side cover had a white XL175 decal on it. The front and rear mudguards were silver-painted plastic. This bike had both a speedo and a tachometer.
1974 XL175K1: The 74' Xl175 was also only available with one colour, Mars Orange with Silver as seen on the previous model. The fuel tank and sidecovers were orange and the stripes were black. The side cover decal was white and yellow. The mudguards were plastic painted silver. The instruments included both a speedometer and tachometer.
1975 XL175K2: The 75' XL175 was available in only on colour, Tahitian Red with Silver. The fuel tank and side covers were red and the stripes were black. Both mudguards were plastic and were painted silver. The instruments included a speedometer and a tachometer.
1976 XL175'76: The 1976 XL175 was available in Aquarius Blue only. The fuel tank, side covers and mudguards were blue. The instrumentation included a speedometer but no tacho. The wheel hubs were polished aluminium.
1977 XL175'77: The 77 XL175 was available in Black and Tahitian Red. The fuel tank and sidecovers were black with a red and white stripe. The side cover decal was red and was outlined with white. Both mudguards were red-painted plastic. There was only a speedometer and no tachometer like the previous model.
1978 XL175'78: The 78 XL175 was the last model produced. The colours it came in were Excel Black with Tahitian Red. The side cover decal was red and white like the 77 model. Both mudguards were plastic painted in red. The stripes were red. The wheel hubs were now black.
The electrical system in the Honda XL175 (XL175K0-XL175'76) was a 6V system and included a battery (6N6-3B), headlight with HI/LO beam, turn signals, brake/taillight, instrumentation lights and a horn. A warning light panel was also included which displayed lights for 'HI BEAM' (blue light), 'TURN SIGNAL' (orange light) and 'NEUTRAL'(green light). An alternator supplies current to the ignition system. The headlight sources power directly from the alternator (not the battery) and the alternator also supplies charge to the battery, via a rectifier and in some cases, a voltage regulator. The 1977-1978 Honda XL175 incorporated a much more basic system. There was no battery, no turn signals and no horn. It did have a headlight and taillight though, both of which were powered off the alternator.
The Honda XL175 commonly suffers from the problem of the kickstarter shaft breaking. It usually breaks on the shaft protruding from the crankcase on the spline (it is still possible to clutch start them though). Apart from this the XL175 is quite a reliable and fun bike to ride.