Thanks guys... having subscribers helps me get motivated to post here.
One thing I have thus far neglected to mention is the spark of motivation that got me going on this "get an adventure bike" kick. The reason for all this is that I intend (hope, wish, dream) to ride this thing around Iceland sometime in the next few years. I visited there this summer after having been mildly obsessed with the country for many years, and visiting only made me MUCH MORE obsessed. I came up with the idea of riding around the whole island-nation, and therefrom sprang the project!
I hung a map of Iceland in the workshop to help me not lose sight of the goal. Here's the frame in it's current state alongside the map.....
You can see that I have repainted the swingarm, too. That is part of the "no-more-gold" campaign. I got most of the paint off with an angle-grinder mounted wire brush, and then removed the hard-to-reach stuff with a sandblaster. (A side-note about my sandblaster... when I started this project I remembered that I had seen a blasting cabinet at my local junkyard a while ago. I went over to see if it was still there, and it was, and I talked the guy down from $250 to $180, and after replacing air lines and one or two other things, it works great! SWEET!) If you look closely you can also see that I machined and then welded in some threaded plugs at the handlebar ends. I figure these will be useful for bark-busters, and/or weights.
Here you can see the dual headlight assembly mounted onto the bike. I made a lower mount from .065" stainless sheet, and used the upper bolts from the lower triple clamp. And I made an upper mount from .500" OD, .065" wall stainless tubing with plate brackets welded on, and used the bolts which hold the instrument cluster and the old headlight mounts to the upper triple clamp. Here you can also see the beginning of the aluminum headlight faring that I will make for the bike. I think I am actually gonna start over on that piece, because the current piece is .065" thick, which I think is too thin to weld nicely. I will go to something like .100". You can also see the XR650L turn signals I just got off eBay. The only reason I went with those over the original XL600 signals is because they were much cheaper!
Here is the reinforced subframe in all its painted glory! You can also see here the rear-most cross-brace on the frame (the one that holds the seat). I re-made that one from .188" steel for increased rigidity. I also drilled two small holes rearward of the main holes which I will likely use as mounting spots for a rear rack. New UNI air filter already in place.
After having the hundreds of parts which make up this bike literally strewn all over my shop for the last few weeks, I finally decided I needed to get a little more organized. So I found some rolling carts and put everything in one place. I have been thinking that the engine would just go back in without any real work or investigation, but.... I recently sold another bike and, feeling a bit flush, I purchased a cylinder jug on eBay which has been professionally bored to 101mm, along with a Wiseco 101mm piston, rings, cross-pin, etc. So I will actually be taking the top end apart sometime soon. I will investigate the valves and will have them re-done if need be at that time.
As I posted in the main XL600 thread a while ago, I realized at some point that I had neither the old-style cylinder head with the cross-intake valve, nor did I have the new-style intake manifold with the milled passage between the ports. I mulled this over for a while and decided that instead of paying $60 or more for a new intake manifold, I would just modify mine. I did some fancy measuring to figure out what size O-ring would work. Then on my mill, I did the following.. 1) milled a radius channel at the top to join the existing O-ring grooves, 2) milled a straight channel at the bottom to connect the bottoms of the existing O-ring grooves, 3) plunge-milled four cylindrical flat-bottomed holes and filled them with pressed-in aluminum plugs in order to block off the un-used portions of the existing O-ring grooves (so that fuel-air mixture cannot get to the "inside" of the new O-ring, at least not in any high volume, and lastly 4) milled a passage between the ports.
I always enjoy using my tools and a little ingenuity to work with what I have rather than buy something new. I just like the challenge, and I like saving money (so that I can spend it somewhere else!)
If anyone is interested an another build I did a few years ago in which I did a LOT of wacky custom fabrication rather than spend money on stuff, it can be found right here
Rebuild forks with new seals (and remove the Gold from the fork bottoms!)
Bondo dents on old tank and re-paint it in new Blue/Orange color scheme
Rebuild top end with new piston and jug
And lots of other stuff I am sure!