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Old 01-16-2014, 07:33 AM   #1
dongie OP
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Joined: Dec 2010
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XR650 Scrambler build in Chicago

So here it is - another build thread. This time round, I'm taking a perfectly good bike apart, instead of building one up from scratch. Hate me or love me.

As you can tell, the bike has an upgraded front end, and also a 41mm FCR carb. I upgraded the carb and suspension in hopes to use the bike on local enduro runs, as well as a simple and reliable commuter. After the first 30-mile dual sport ride, I realized the XR wasn't much more of a dirt bike than my 950.
(This is the same ride, only a year earlier on the KTM: http://youtu.be/2wT2JOuoJCo)
Especially the 2nd gear was driving me nuts. It makes for a bit clunky shifting on the street, but the difference between 1st and 2nd riding off road was something I was not happy with.
Do I tear the bottom end apart and install an NX650 2nd gear, or turn the XR into a street bike, and get a proper 450 for dirt riding?
You already know the answer.

Here's my initial plan - lower the suspension, 19" wheel up front, upgrade the styling and run some dual sport tires to keep the bike dirt-friendly.
I hope you enjoy following this thread

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Old 01-16-2014, 07:50 AM   #2
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Fast forward a few weeks

I stripped down the stock wheels, powder coated the hubs satin black and ordered new rims&spokes. The rear is 18x2.5" and front is 19x2.15".
I also re-drilled the front hub to work with a 320mm Brembo rotor from a Husky SMR I had sitting in my shop. I'm hoping to mate it with a 4-pot Brembo caliper.

Building the wheels was pretty straight forward. The front rim was a generic 32-hole rear mx rim that I picked up for cheap on eBay. Buchanan supplied the custom SS spokes&nipples. The rear rim came directly from Excel, and was accompanied by matching spokes with aluminum () spline design nipples. Fingers crossed these last! I haven't had much luck with alu nipples on bicycle wheels in the past..
Anyway, here are the wheels:

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Old 01-16-2014, 07:57 AM   #3
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For tires, I went with a 140/80 Pirelli Scorpion rear, which I've used with great luck on my KTM in the past (in 150 width). Good compromise for both pavement and gravel/dirt.
The front is a little knobbier 100/90 Heidenau K60. I don't have any experience with this one yet, but have heard very good things about the K60s.

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Old 01-16-2014, 08:08 AM   #4
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I decided to go back to the stock forks so I can use the stock triple w/ ignition lock. These are also very easy to lower and run with a low fender. Mounting up a low fender to USD forks requires some pretty long mounts which I'm not very fond of.
I took the forks apart yesterday, drained the old milkshake and cut the springs down 4". I also made a pair of PVC spacers to limit the travel. I might need to go up in spring rate later, but this will work to get the geometry right for now.







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Old 01-16-2014, 08:13 AM   #5
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And here is where the bike sits now. Partially disassembled so I can start working on a new subframe and a tank mount. Also still need to shorten and limit the travel of the rear wheel so it doesn't hit the new, more horizontal subframe.

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Old 01-16-2014, 08:27 AM   #6
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:51 PM   #7
Mossy-Back
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Interested to see how this turns out. Wish I could afford a USD setup on mine.
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figures...my stud was rusty I played with my nuts a little and it cranked right over
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Old 01-16-2014, 02:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mossy-Back View Post
Interested to see how this turns out. Wish I could afford a USD setup on mine.
If you shop smart, a USD swap is free once you sell off the take-off parts. I made a few bucks (enough to pay for the beer consumed during the build) when I did mine.
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'93 XR650L A few stock parts left...
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Old 01-16-2014, 02:02 PM   #9
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I second that
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Old 01-16-2014, 02:07 PM   #10
XR650L_Dave
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Lookin' good.

If I had second-bike money something like this would be on the list!
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Old 01-16-2014, 02:23 PM   #11
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Those Scorpions are on my short list of the next tires to try on my current build. What was the reason for going with the K60 in the front instead of the Pirelli's?

What color is she going to be ?






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Old 01-16-2014, 02:28 PM   #12
bogieboy
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Looks like a fun project... If i can find free time soon i am supermotoing my 200cc chinese dualsport... Already got my rims... Just gotta make em fit...LOL maybe we could ride together someday.... Once they are both done...
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Old 01-16-2014, 02:39 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by jjxlrider View Post
Those Scorpions are on my short list of the next tires to try on my current build. What was the reason for going with the K60 in the front instead of the Pirelli's?

What color is she going to be ?

.
As far as I know, you can only get the Scorpion in 21" fronts in the US. Europe gets a 90/90-19 model as well.

Ahh, color..I have many ideas and it surely will be tough to make a final decision. Right now, I'm steering towards a white frame and either a gray or olive tank.
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Old 01-16-2014, 02:45 PM   #14
Ben99r1
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Dongie. What are you doing with the USD Fork set? If your going to sell how much do you want for it?
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Old 01-16-2014, 02:46 PM   #15
red rider 391
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Like the way you lowered the front . Just wondering if you are going to Cut the back spring down ?
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