!!! 1986 XL600R Adventure Bike Rebuild !!!

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by crobox, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. crobox

    crobox Been here awhile

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    I've posted a bit about this build in the XL600 thread, starting somewhere around here.

    However it's gotten to the point where I think the bike build should have its own thread... so here it is!!

    Way back in my 20's, let's say some time around 1990 or so, I had another XL600R. I think it was a 1984 model. Here are a few pictures I've dug up of that FIRST BIKE:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    And here are a few pictures I dug up of the CURRENT BIKE:
    (Amazingly, these are the ONLY pre-teardown pictures I took of the bike...)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    More to come.....

    -Christian
    #1
  2. crobox

    crobox Been here awhile

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    This build started in a rather inauspicious way....

    Originally, I wanted nothing other than a KTM 950/990 Adventure. I decided I needed to try to sell some stuff to raise money for a KTM, so I decided the XL was going to go onto Craigslist or eBay. I pulled it into the shop to freshen it up for sale, and much to my surprise it DID NOT start. (It used to run fine). I discovered it had no spark, and in the process of trying to diagnose that I opened the cover plugs on the stator cover and was surprised to see oil in there. I assumed that this was wrong, so I pulled the engine and popped off that left engine cover, only to see factory-drilled holes in the left case-half which allow oil into the stator chamber. Confused, I joined ADVrider.com and started posting questions.

    I started reading posts in the XL600 thread, and at some point while reading all this, I simultaneously realized I could not really afford a KTM and also re-kindled my previous love for the old Honda.

    So diagnosing a no-spark situation in order to sell the bike quickly transformed into a frame-off rebuild!
    #2
  3. crobox

    crobox Been here awhile

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    I have never been a fan of the Gold color scheme on the 1986 / 1987 bikes, so one thing I will be doing in this build is radically changing the color scheme.

    At this time, the color scheme I am aiming for is something like this:

    [​IMG]

    I'm not certain whether I will be re-painting my original stock tank in this color scheme, or maybe buying a Clarke plastic tank in "Reflex Blue" and putting on some nice 3M Orange sticker material to get the same look. I realize the benefits of the plastic tank, but I am (always) on a low budget and $200 could certainly be put to other good uses in this build.

    Also, I have already purchased and installed a Ricky Stator, and I am very hopeful that this will solve my no-spark situation.

    More to come...
    #3
  4. Moparmanpete

    Moparmanpete The Cracken has risen!......again

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    Subbed :lurk
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  5. Stretchah

    Stretchah Been here awhile

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    me too :) :lurk
    #5
  6. crobox

    crobox Been here awhile

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    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.....

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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!

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.


    Next up....
    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!

    Cheers,
    Christian
    #6
  7. TrevorR

    TrevorR n00b

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    Subbed :D

    Sweet dude.
    #7
  8. crobox

    crobox Been here awhile

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    A problem I noticed on this bike when I first looked into it a few years ago was that the little "mounting arms" between the carburetors (the arms that hold the two carbs together) were broken. The carbs, which are supposed to be "fixed" relative to each other, were actually free to move about. Not good... especially with regard to the progressive linkage.

    I looked up "broken carb mounts" or something to that effect on the main XL600 thread, and I learned that this was not an uncommon problem. However, I didn't really notice any particularly awesome solutions. My first solution, a hose-clamp around the float bowls, was not awesome either. So I came up with the brackets seen in the following two pictures:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In the bottom picture you can see that I have sandblasted one float bowl. At the time of this writing, the carbs have been totally sandblasted and wire-brushed and look like this:

    [​IMG]

    At this point they are done being rebuilt, with the exception of new float bowl gaskets, which I am waiting for in the mail.

    I actually took this last picture for the purpose of asking a question... which I have posted here in the XL600 thread.

    Cheers,
    Christian
    #8
  9. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

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    Answered the question, Christian. :D

    Cool build you have going here. I really like the color scheme you're going with which is kinda strange since I'm kind of a stickler for the factory colors. But in this case I think a change is justified--I never liked that gold. :puke1 :D
    #9
  10. Bug R

    Bug R Adventurer

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    Sub, I have an 1984 waiting for some tlc

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
    #10
  11. Carter Pewterschmidt

    Carter Pewterschmidt Long timer

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    As much as I'm dismayed by your determination to remove the greatest hue ever applied to a set of suspension components, I will still offer you a favor. If that intake doesn't work out I have a spare one I can send you.
    #11
  12. crobox

    crobox Been here awhile

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    :roflI'm actually LOLing!

    Sorry to dismay you! To each his own, I guess.... The gold is already gone from the suspension parts.

    [​IMG]

    The fork bottoms were sandblasted, polished up a bit with stainless steel wool, and clear-coated. Clear-coating, and painting in general, is a real pain in the butt when the daytime high temp is 27º, night time low is -5º!

    The Rims are next!!

    Well thanks! Very generous of you. I am hoping mine works out... and I'm not sure why it wouldn't. I will keep it in mind!

    Cheers,
    Christian
    #12
  13. crobox

    crobox Been here awhile

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    Speaking of painting... I have been working on my gas tank.

    [​IMG]

    I decided to try to work with my tank, rather than buy a Clarke tank, for a few reasons....

    1) Probably the most important reason... I think Honda REALLY got it right with the shape of this tank. I just think it looks RIGHT.

    2) The cost of Bondo, sandpaper, and paint is still about 25% of the cost of a Clarke tank.

    3) Fun project.

    I might upgrade my fuel capacity with a Clarke tank at some point in the future, especially if I start really doing some trips with this bike. We'll see.

    By the way, this is the look I am currently thinking I will go with on the tank:

    [​IMG]

    I am open to suggestions.... although I can't promise to take any of them!!

    Cheers,
    Christian
    #13
  14. jaredtowne

    jaredtowne Huh?

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    Just wanted to say you do good clean work. I am in the process of doing my XL/XR hybrid.
    #14
  15. kubiak

    kubiak Long timer

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    looking good!
    #15
  16. Carter Pewterschmidt

    Carter Pewterschmidt Long timer

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    +1

    Plus I don't want to add extra fuel weight. I bought this bike because it's fun to ride. If I wanted something heavy and sloppy I would have gotten a KLR.
    #16
  17. crobox

    crobox Been here awhile

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    I mentioned in my last post that painting in these unusually cold temperatures was a pain in the rear....

    I've been working on my tank recently and I just thought I'd post a picture of my "Paint Oven"...

    [​IMG]

    That's my regular 2-barrel stove that I use to (barely) heat the shop. I set up the "table" on top of it, and the plates of aluminum above that to sort of capture the heat and make a bit of an "oven". I typically warm up the item that I am painting for a little while, and warm the can of spraypaint too, then take out the item, paint it, and then put it back in to the "oven" so the paint can set at a warm temperature. I usually bring the item into the house and hang it from the ceiling at night because the temperatures in the shop drop to about 0º at night these days, and the house is of course considerably warmer.

    That is my gas tank, with a coat of gray primer, sitting in the "oven" in this picture.

    I thought it was entertaining, so I thought you all might too.....
    #17
  18. Utah Bones

    Utah Bones Gas X ready!

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    Looking good!
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  19. crobox

    crobox Been here awhile

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    I sorted out the rear fender today. I purchased a Kawasaki KDX 250 rear fender recently, mostly because it was the right color and because it had an integrated tail light, which I like. However, it didn't have a provision for a license plate or a license plate light, so I cobbled that stuff on from the previous rear fender (which was a dilapidated Acerbis universal fender, cracking apart from age).

    I might fine-tune the position of the fender... I think it sits a little far back right now. It was not an easy job to get this to fit... lots of modifications to the fender required.

    [​IMG]

    Don't worry, fellow gold-haters... the rim will either get painted or replaced with one of a different color. Sorry Carter!

    -Christian
    #19
  20. crobox

    crobox Been here awhile

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    I started to try to mock up the fairing today, using some plastic sheet I had lying around. It took a few attempts to get to a shape that I think I like.... I think I actually like the contour of the trailing edge better than the stock Honda twin-headlight fairing from the Euro XLM.

    Next on this project will be actually cutting it the shape from aluminum sheet and welding it up. Possibly a difficult job. We will see.

    [​IMG]

    You can see here that I've got my recently un-golded and re-sealed forks back on too.

    -Christian
    #20