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Motomechanic 03-27-2012 11:57 PM

XR 600 Project
This all started off when I blew out a knee joint a few weeks ago. After an operation and staring down the barrel of a few weeks of sitting on the couch and moping around the house on crutches I was on the hunt for a project! I had no idea what I was looking for but after 10 mins of searching i found an ad on gumtree classifieds for a 1990 Honda XR 600 for $350 just up the road from home. I went to check it out the next mourning and it didn't seem as bad as had been expecting. A quick chat later and I parted with $300 and he loaded onto my ute for me ( I could only just drive). Got her home and rang a mate to come and unload it for me.

scottyoffroad 03-28-2012 03:30 AM

Street Tracker..... Chopper..... Cafe Racer..... or budget adventure mount?????:ear

Motomechanic 03-28-2012 06:38 AM

This is what I ended up with[IMG][IMG][IMG][IMG]http://<center>
<a href=";current=P3200027.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

Motomechanic 03-28-2012 06:55 AM

Initially I was unsure about what I would do with it. Was just going to get it running and sell it off to make a few bux. But the idea of turning this into a bit of an all rounder and having a dirt bike in the shed again plus something to do a bit of supermoto on seemed like a better option. Thinking about it the XR 600 is the perfect for this. With all these newer four strokes that require rebuilding or major service every 15 to 30 hours the XR should be an easy option as far as that side goes.
So the plan is to give it a freshen up, buy a front end and shock to set up for dirt / adventure duties, modify the standard suspention and set up with supermotard wheels / brakes ect.

I'm willing to sink a few grand into the project after weighing up what it will cost compared to what I can buy for the same money.

Motomechanic 03-28-2012 07:01 AM

A few more pics.

Plenty of work to do!!!![IMG]http://<center>
<a href=";current=P3200024.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket" ></a>
<a href=";current=P3200023.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket" ></a>
<a href=";current=P3200020.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket" ></a>
<a href=";current=P3200041.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket" ></a>
<a href=";current=P3200035.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket" ></a>
<a href=";current=P3200031.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket" ></a>

scottyoffroad 03-28-2012 05:58 PM

Jack of All Trades
I reckon you are right.. The XR is a pretty reasonable bike for all of those purposes... not very good at any one job but can do it all.

Back in the late 90's I had a 95 model XR600 with a CR250 front end on it, flat slide carby, exhaust, ported and flowed head etc. Used to ride it to work, trackdays, flat track, rides all around south east QLD (dirt and street). Had a set of dirt wheels and also a set of wheels for flat track (18inch rear with wider rim, and 19inch front rim).

At that time there was still a class in roadracing for Harley Sportsters...with 19" front wheels.. used to pick up 2nd hand Avon race tyres for free from the sporty guys, and use a dunlop GPR70 on the rear.. sort of semi supermotard.

Once the corners got tighter, the boys on proper road bikes could not keep me in sight.

I still regret selling that bike!!!!!!!!!

Have fun with the build up.

Cheers Scotty

Motomechanic 03-28-2012 07:16 PM

I got stuck into striping the XR down and giving it a good scrub and thourough soaking in wd 40. The guy i bourght it off told me it had been ridden on slat flats around kalgoorlie for years and it definately shows. I'm expecting more than a few scized bolts to deal with. A few hours later and this is what it looked like.[IMG]http://<center>
<a href=";current=P3200068.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a><br/><br/>
<a href=";current=P3200063.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a><br/><br/>
<a href=";current=P3200060.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
The bike had been sitting out the back of a shed for a year and wouldn't run. A strip down of the carb revealed it was full of crap and also a few small o rings and a spring were missing. The inlet manifold fell apart and was set rock hard also. Another trip to the wreckers and a good clean up later it was ready for a test run.[IMG]http://<center>
<a href=";current=P3230080.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a><br/><br/>
<a href=";current=P3230079.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a><br/><br/>
<a href=";current=P3230077.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a><br/><br/>
<a href=";current=P3230074.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

Motomechanic 03-28-2012 07:43 PM

This carb will go later in favour of a flat slide (kiehin fcr or mikuni not sure yet) just wanted to get it going for a test run. I got my brother to come round and kick it over for me and she fired up easily and seems to run fine. Gave it a good rev tune with no muffler on and then knew I was keeping this thing.:evil
Had a good look over the bike and found a few more problems. The gear lever is welded onto the selector shaft and the gearbox output shaft has a flogged out spline where the front sprocket runs.[IMG]http://<center>
<a href=";current=P3270083.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
Just making a list of parts needed for now and ordered only a full gasket and seal kit. I've calculated on spending about $1000 to $1300 on parts for the engine. This includes a new carb and big bore kit most likely 630cc. But i'll work it all out once the engine is stripped and assed. Needless to say i'll be doing all the machining and mechanical work on this project it'd be a $20,000 bike if i didn't.

Thanks for the comments scott. I used to live near the sunshine coast in Queensland and miss the awesome roads and trail riding in the region.

Motomechanic 03-29-2012 04:42 AM

After scouring the net for some XR 600 motivation I decided to go a bit further with the buildup.
<a href=";current=P3290001.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
10 mins and an angle grinder later[IMG]http://<center>
<a href=";current=P3290007.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
The back of this bike looked crap so i got rid of it. Parts i've ordered are 2006 CRF 250 subframe, seat, and plastics set.
Airbox will be a custom alloy job with a cr air filter. I also plan on making a custom alloy fuel tank and running the entire crf plastics where a long range won't be needed. I brought this welder a few months ago and have barely used it so i'm looking foreward to getting into the build.

The exhaust will also be a homemade custom 2 - 1 - 2 316 stainless steel job.[IMG]http://<center>
<a href=";current=06-honda-crf250r-exhaust.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a><br/><br/>
<a href=";current=P3290008.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

3uba296 04-01-2012 09:38 AM

Im in! :lurk

Kevan Garrett 04-02-2012 03:55 PM

And remember, if there are no pictures we will just assume you bought a different bike. Heh.

Enjoy the build and share with us 10-thumbed guys.


Motomechanic 04-03-2012 10:39 PM

I've been putting in a few hours for the last week now cleaning up the frame and stripping the engine. By far the hardest working tool has been my credit card! The post man is likely to be my best mate for the next week or two.
I've got just about all the major parts needed for the build ordered. The main ones along with the subframe, seat and plastics are: 2005 CRF 450 forks and clamps
CRF front and rear brakes
1999 XR 600 shock
and a mountain of other parts, handlebars, controls, hand guards, kickstarter, footpegs ect.

The salt flats have done this bike no favours here are a few of the scized, broken and corroded parts i'm sorting out. Beoken echaust stud.[IMG][/IMG]
Removing the left footpeg.[IMG][/IMG]
Corroded engine mounts.[IMG][/IMG]

Stripping the engine I also got to using my last project that I got running and cleaned up.[IMG][/IMG]

A handy tip when removing engine dhowell's is to slip a drill inside them this stops them getting crushed. Just file off the burrs afterwards and their good to use again.[IMG][/IMG]

The internals are all intact but looking well worn. The gearbox wasn't crash hot so back onto ebay where I brought an entire transmission out of a 2005 xr 600. The output shaft spline is different but the photos looked roughly the same as what i've got and I'm pretty confident it'll fit and all work ok. Also the clutch basket is worn a bit but i might run it for now.[IMG][/IMG][/IMG]

As for the frame it's stripped and i've been doing some welding, repairs and cutting off bits and pieces that won't be used. I found a fairly large crack where the sidestand was mounted to the frame and repaired it.
I'll plate this later as well when I fabricate a new stand mount to stop it happening again. I want to fit a KTM style sidestand that folds right up and sits near the subframe out of the way.
I have also cut off all little bits and pieces like these that won't be needed.[IMG][/IMG]

I'm also fully welding all the brackets ect on the frame most of them are not welded all the war round


So this is how it sits at the moment[IMG][/IMG]
The frame i'll be dropping off to get sand blasted after easter before doing anymore on it. The engine i'll get all the bearings for and start the rebuild just doing as much as i can till all the rest of my parts arrive.

Motomechanic 04-09-2012 06:36 AM

Got a bit more done over the weekend. I cut all the unwanted mounts and drum brake brackets off the swingarm and welded up all the holes that won't be used anymore. I then smoothed out all the welds and gave it a bit of a polish, came up sweet.
I picked up some sheet alluminium on the way home from work on thursday. A sheet of 3mm to be used for the airbox and tank and a sheet of 5mm for a bashplate and any other brackets ect. I've almost finished a skid plate for it. I started making it and it was a bit narrow. I just kept going with it and figure i'll make another one later thats wider and got some sidecase protection. This one i'll use for supermoto and the odd MX club day. This was my first time welding alloy and it went ok. Not to pretty but i just smoothed it out with a grinder and their definately strong enough.

If anyones got any tips or rules of thumb ect for welding alloy don't be shy aboup passing them on:ear

tileman 04-09-2012 01:39 PM


Originally Posted by Motomechanic (Post 18412911)
If anyones got any tips or rules of thumb ect for welding alloy don't be shy aboup passing them on:ear

I spoke to the supplier of my welder and with alloy a rough rule he told me was 30 amps for every mm, eg; 3mm ~ 90 amps.

I have found that a few more sometimes helps but then again I am still a newby to this.

sailah 04-09-2012 05:26 PM

believe me when I tell you I am about 5 minutes more experienced in aluminum welding than you...:lol3

3mm is .118" or just under 1/8" for us retarded 'mericans that insist on inches. I used 0.090" or 2.286mm for most of my panniers and aluminum fuel tank. I guess what you have is fine, but it's a little thick.

I'm noticing you have an inverter TIG, I used to have one similar now I have a transformer TIG.

I won't go into details about tungstens etc as I assume you have that down and I also have no idea what a metric size would be. I use 3/32" green (pure) tungsten with a flat ground, 5cf argon. I don't pretend to know the exact setup.

Here's what I can explain from noob to noob about how aluminum welds. You know when you get a puddle on steel? How you can floor it and the puddle is localized?

Well, that isn't happening with aluminum. It basically acts like a large heat soak so the whole part gets hot, then all of a sudden you get a puddle and if you aren't ready, you blow a hole right through it. Your thicker aluminum will help reduce this.

You need to be ready to back off the heat, when you see the puddle start to sink, you've got too much heat. I wait until the puddle gets shiny then back off the heat.

Back to your inverter machine. If it has pulse, you can use it to reduce heat into the workpiece. It also helps me with timing of dropping in filler material. Make sure you practice on unimportant parts first.

Use a stainless steel brush that you use for nothing else and keep it clean. Scrub the weld areas well until you remove the oxidized layer. I like the small ones like this:

Then I clean the surface with acetone. I also use the same acetone rag to wipe down the filler rods.

I used to use 4043 filler but now I use 5356 as someone told me that 4043 will look like crap if its anodized but the 5356 looks good.

Make sure you back way off the heat when you come to the end of a joint or you'll blow right through it. One thing I started doing is using a square steel backer for the joint as it help keep the metal where I want. You can also weld the back of the joint as a fillet weld and then weld the seams.

Anyways, I have no formal training, I basically asked questions and taught myself. I'm by no means a professional and wouldn't last a day as a welder, but I can do it well enough for what I want to do.

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