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Old 05-17-2008, 12:06 AM   #1
Blakebird OP
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Joined: Feb 2004
Location: Parker, CO
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Bringing an XR600 back to it's former glory

Back in January, I found a '92 XR600R for $1350, and it was all there and straight, didn't puff smoke, ran strong.

Looked like a good cleaner upper.





I bought the bike knowing it would sit for a month or two while I did a couple of trips in the planning on the '87 KLR, and there was no time to get the XR ready that quickly.


I ordered parts, and then came the day in March when I could start tearing the bike apart to see if it was a cleaner-upper or a fixer-upper.










So far, mostly just dirt everywhere. No leaky or misty spots on the motor, and the carb was not grungy. Encouraging.

I removed the stator and sent it off to Baja Designs for a 250w rewind, at the same time I ordered a d/s kit




Lots of unused pole space




The previous owner gave me a couple of "extras"...one was a new D752 rear, and the other was a fresh piece of foam for the seat. I wasn't wild about the Ceet cover on the bike either.




Before I got too far in the teardown (and it wouldn't roll anymore ), I needed to haul it somewhere for a VIN verification so I could get the plates paperwork underway.



Then I put it on the Sears stand and started taking crap off.






I got the bike down to frame and motor, and removed the wiring harness. Cleaned up connections, cleaned and touch-sanded the frame.
Put a couple coats of flat white primer and three coats of gloss white.



I brought the forks and shock to Neil Hores (Hitchcock Industries).
It sat like this until the shock could go back in, it really is the center of the universe here I repainted the sidestand and top triple black.
When the stator was sent back, I installed it and wired in the harness.





The front and rear wheel bearings needed replacing, so I took care of that at Mountain Eagle's DAG wrench day.
After getting the bearings in, someone noticed I had a broken spoke - and then someone said "hey, we're not far from Woody's..." and off I went for a new spoke.
On the truing stand, the rear rim was bent in four places enough to need fixing, and there was a crack on the drive side, right at the join weld. My XR400 wheels cracked there too, I had them welded.
This wheel would need a fair amount of cash thrown at it to be servicable, and I'd still have a wheel of dubious toughness. I had Chris order a RAD black anodized billet hub, to be laced to a black Excel rim.
The front was ok, but did need truing and a spoke or three.

I kept myself busy with things like cleaning up the hackjob someone did on the airbox. I dremeled it smooth, and fastened a screen to cover the gaping maw they cut in the top. The wires gotta sit somewhere



I removed the carb and put in an XR's Only billet choke plate. The stock choke plate has been known to come apart and get sucked in. That's a $24 no-brainer just 'cause I'm the superstitious type



The billet piece.



While the suspension was away, I got a couple of calls. The first one telling me the lower fork leg had taken a big rock hit once, and it had deformed the fork tube by 1mm or so, enough to mess up the bushings trying to slide unimpeded.

The next call was to tell me the shock body was showing early signs of wear. The Eibach springs for the fork and shock had arrived, so changing paths (like buying an Ohlins or something) didn't make any sense - he sent the shock body off to be hard anodized.

Then one day the phone rang, the shock was done. I could start putting it together again



When I was putting on the shark fin, I discovered that the rear tab on the swingarm for it was broken off. Just a little weld puddle remained.
The little 'surprises' were beginning to add up. The swingarm tab, the fork leg, the shock body....there would be more.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:37 AM   #2
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Zerks are good to have.



It started coming together, little by little.







I knew the turn signals would interfere with the big lobes on the 6 gallon Acerbis.



....so I moved them.
Parts: from the Simpson Strong-Tie catalog
A beefy framing strap bent and drilled as needed.





This will need further trimming.



The wiring was cleaned up quite a bit, and a few old crusty connectors replaced.



I took the seat to an upholsterer up in north Denver - Colorado Seat Treat. The plan was to use a center section of black gripper, and red gripper sides.
The black was on back order



When the black vinyl was still another three weeks out, I said "go ahead and do it all red".

When I went to pick it up, he'd done the accent stripe on his own, and I was very pleased with how it looked on the bike.





The finishing touches were the rear turn signals, which I didn't want to locate holes for until the seat was back....and the grips, barkbusters, chain, etc. The rear turn signals slowed me down a bit, the sides of the fender were at an angle and they pointed up. Wasn't wild about how that looked. That means yet another trip to Lowe's or Home Depot.
I got some nylon spacers, took the Dremel to 'em....and presto, flat signals.



The Acerbis tank has two petcocks, so I put an inline filter on each side before the tee. Neat ones with a 90* angle.



This side is the one I redid - from the carb inlet to the tee. Was a little tight and didn't like the near-kink look there.



....and today, it leans under it's own power
First time off the stand in a few weeks.







Put in a new oil filter and fresh oil, put a few gallons of gas in to see if there were any leaks. Too many IMS experiences not to be a little gunshy about leaky petcocks, but Acerbis has their poop in a group....gas flowed thru the lines, all was well with the world.

Cut the new RK XSO x-ring chain down to 110 links and installed it.

Tomorrow I'll fire it up (hopefully in less than 8,300 kicks) and see what needs adjusting.

There isn't much that wasn't replaced, painted, or somehow cleaned up - it's been a great deal of fun, with those little surprises thrown in to keep it real.

I thought about listing all the parts, but they're mostly there to see....
MSR shifter, IMS pegs, Moose Flex bars on TAG mounts. Fredette chain guide, Moose (I think) sharkfin. And a whole lotta zip-ties... I replaced the steering head bearings and races, and got another stem off ebay with threads in better shape.

I wanted it to be as quiet as it could be, and it came with an aftermarket (loud) Cobra - so no stock pipe to go back to. An FMF Q2 with a Powerbomb header to scrape a couple more db off.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:44 AM   #3
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Well done,they are worth keeping alive.
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Old 05-17-2008, 02:20 AM   #4
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F'n sweet!
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Old 05-17-2008, 03:41 AM   #5
GodSilla
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Laugh

Greetings Brother Blakebird.

While I am at work and can't see the piccies (they filter stuff that might make us excited) the writeup is making me salivate to get home and see for myself.

I did a similar effort 12 months ago on my '96 XR600, I spent basically the market value of the bike on a fresh top end, oil cooler, frame straightening, full staintune exhaust, etc. and I don't regret a single cent of it. Way cheaper than an upgrade, and the upgrades available don't come close in my book (apart from an XR650R).

I am a self-confessed XR tragic, I love my XR600, and for good reason.
I hope yours treats you as well as mine has treated me. It's just the best thing to ride.
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Old 05-17-2008, 03:43 AM   #6
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Great job

Great job and great write up.

Enjoy the new Toy!!


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Old 05-17-2008, 06:34 AM   #7
Blakebird OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GodSilla
I did a similar effort 12 months ago on my '96 XR600, I spent basically the market value of the bike on a fresh top end, oil cooler, frame straightening, full staintune exhaust, etc. and I don't regret a single cent of it.

I am a self-confessed XR tragic, I love my XR600, and for good reason.
XR's are great. This is my second XR600, the first was an '88 I had when I lived in Las Vegas, and it was such a great desert sled. My first was an '82 XR500R, then the '88 600, then a 2001 XR650R when I moved here 8 yrs ago. A couple years ago I had an XR400R, which was a great trailbike but suffered on long road sections keeping a decent pace (took it to Copper Canyon, rode over 1,000 miles from El Paso and back, and most was paved).

In between all the XR's was an LC4, 300 EXC, 520 MXC, DR650, KDX220R w/ Fredette motor, KLR....kept going from great dirt bike to great dualsport. I figured a 600 would be the best combination of can-do in the dirt, with comfy-couch-for-an-oldguy on the next trip to Baja or Copper (or WestFest...which has seen me on a DR650 and an '87 KLR)

And like you, there's enough $$ invested to make it a keeper by virtue of how much I'd lose if I ever sold it The running joke is that I now have a $4700 example of a $2200 bike.
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Old 05-17-2008, 06:50 AM   #8
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Slacker. Seriously, looks great. I'm pissed that she's purdier than mine, though.



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Old 05-17-2008, 07:15 AM   #9
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Can't wait to see it in person, Blake. What a great job.
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:02 AM   #10
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Nice job. I've just adopted a friend's 1990 xr600, to do a little work on it and put on some miles.

What kind of brake/tail light is that on there? I need something with a license plate light and better visibility.
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Old 05-17-2008, 11:04 AM   #11
Lomax
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Fantastic Job Blake. You have a real winner there.

To bad it looks like crap. (inside joke for everyone BTW:)

Hope to see it tomorrow.

Cheers.
Marc
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Old 05-17-2008, 11:31 AM   #12
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The last couple of things to do this morning were to put on the skid plate, and my front fender bag.

I was having problems positioning one of the brackets for the skid plate. Had to tap it in there between the engine nut lug and the frame rail.

Looks like it could have used a skid plate a while ago



I've had a few fender bags flee the interview... even after notching the fender for the strap hooks, so now I run a strap thru a slot I put on each side. Haven't lost a bag since.



Beautiful day to roll it outside for a picture.







Quote:
Originally Posted by slackmeyer
What kind of brake/tail light is that on there? I need something with a license plate light and better visibility.
It's an Acerbis dual sport light, and it came with the Baja Designs kit. If you have an XR style fender, it's perfect. If you use an MX fender (straight), they have a different one w/ lo-profile LED's.
And of course, you can get them anywhere - you don't have to buy a BD kit.
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Old 05-17-2008, 11:57 AM   #13
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That's a beauty!

People that care for the good ol' XR can't be bad.
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:40 PM   #14
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Well? Kick 'er over, already!!!
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:43 PM   #15
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Very cool resto! Where did you get the fuel filters? I'd like to add filtering to my DR650....
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