!!! 1986 XL600R Adventure Bike Rebuild !!!

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

  1. crobox

    crobox Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    324
    Location:
    Taos, NM
    I read your thread about risers, and it was descriptive enough that I started designing some in my head. Polyurethane tube stock can be purchased from McMaster Carr. The design I was cooking up in my head actually looked a lot like

    these.

    And I gotta say, those look pretty damn slick, and I am frankly a little impressed with the price. I thought they would cost more.
  2. betitou

    betitou Thumperized!

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    101
    Location:
    Spain
    What an awesome job, Christian! :clap
    Wish I was so handy... :wink:
  3. Stretchah

    Stretchah Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    London
    Good work, and even better now I can see the real colours :) Very impressive build and thanks for a great thread - now looking forward to some great ride reports :D
  4. crobox

    crobox Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    324
    Location:
    Taos, NM
    Thanks man!

    Yeah, it's been too cold here recently to ride much. But I am planning a weekend camping / trail ride trip with some friends. Should be fun.

    A few developments with the bike...
    •Replaced turn signal relay.. now I have turn signals.
    •New mirrors coming in the mail soon.
    •Will probably machine a fork brace one of these days (actually not super soon... I've moved on to some paying work finally!)
    •Also have some vinyl coming in the mail, and will make a new seat cover soon. It's gonna match the tank, with the stripes. Will post pix.

    Cheers,
    Christian
  5. Taosmoto

    Taosmoto n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Taos, NM
    What a cool project! Can't wait to see all of the details in person. Unbelievable attention to detail...
  6. Taosmoto

    Taosmoto n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Taos, NM
    "Again, STOP IT WITH THE ETHER!"
    Later,
    Jack

    Question for Jack: (Please forgive my pedestrian question) Why is ether so bad for the motor? I have a 2005 CRF250X and a KTM EXC 450 and neither really like to start in cold weather without a little blast of engine starting fluid. Any other suggestions for these cold-blooded beasts?
    Thanks.
  7. TonyfromOR

    TonyfromOR Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Oddometer:
    65
    Location:
    Oregon, Peoples Republik of
    Hope you don't mind me jumping in. Ether is (obviously) very flammable and can ignite in your intake tract and air cleaner.

    Most (not all) of my hard starting problems went away when I switched to ethynol-free gas. The ethynol is less volitile than gasoline; it vaporizes at a higher temperature. I think in the summer gasoline evaporates faster than the ethynol, so what started as E85 is now E55. The longer the gas sits in the tank, the harder it is to start. Ethynol-free gas here is about $5 a gallon, when you can find it.
  8. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    9,866
    Location:
    Western Sierras
    It has been a while since I visited this thread (or rode my XL), and I am very impressed with how it all turned out! I really like the orange around the number panels; I think it really ties everything together. I look forward to seeing what you come up with for the seat cover.

    Now I'm motivated to get my XL out to do some riding, even though it doesn't look anywhere near as good as yours.
  9. LandsVW

    LandsVW Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    330
    Location:
    Tri City, Oregon
    Thought I'd pass on what I learned. Most of you probably know this but some probably don't... 1986 XR600 dual carb

    "Yeah, so I got crackin' today and pulled the float bowls off... Guess what? they were reversed! No wonder the dang thing wouldn't start and the choke had no effect! I bought some spray carb cleaner, went to work. some crud was in the main jets but nothing too serious. I have 125, 125, 45 as jets btw.

    I put it all back together with new allen head bolts, set the air screw to 1 3/8's - which after more research seems to be the setting for a dual carb bike, and it fires right up! She runs really sweet.

    How many years have people been fighting this bike b/c someone put the float bowls on the wrong side? Who knows...

    ...the left bowl has a small brass fitting right below the choke that enters another cavity and is either blocked or opened by the choke lever. The right bowl has the castings but has not been drilled out and the brass fitting is not there."

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=835547&page=13

    Hope that helps someone!
  10. crobox

    crobox Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    324
    Location:
    Taos, NM
    So it's been a while since I posted here, which makes sense since the bike basically got finished a while ago. However, in the past few weeks I've finished up some things and made some new parts, so I'll stuff a bunch of pictures into this-here post and bring this thread up to date.

    My bike never had a front sprocket guard, so I made one. I wanted to mill in a design, and played with different designs that I could handle on my rotary table. I came up with this design (which I now think is a bit visually "busy," but whatever...)

    [​IMG]

    The next thing I made was a fork brace. It has helped quite a lot with high-speed front end wobble. Making the brace was a fair amount of work, and I thought about just buying one. But I figure that IF I can make it, I might as well. That frees up money for other stuff.

    [​IMG]

    Ever since building the bike I have felt that the space beneath the headlight cowling looked "empty." On the euro-spec XL600s, there is an oil cooler there, but I didn't plan on doing that. I decided to put in a tool storage tube. It was a fair amount of work which involved a special fixture to hold the tube which uses the fender mount bolts and sandwiches between the fender and the bottom triple clamp, as well as flattening (or oval-ing) the tube, and of course lots of TIG welding. But I think it looks cool... it sorta looks like an aluminum version of the leather wrap thing that some Harley guys have in roughly the same place.

    [​IMG]

    And FINALLY, just today, I made my new seat cover. I'd had the vinyl hanging around for months, but just never got to it. I think it came out pretty well.

    [​IMG]

    And finally, two pix that show the overall bike:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I have also played around with jetting quite a bit in the last month or so, and found that a leaner-than-stock setup of 60/115/112 is working best for me. I'm at 7000 ft.

    There's not a whole lot left to do on the bike, but the short list I can think of includes figuring out a mounting system for attaching a fiberglass military surplus crate that I already own to the rack, as I'd like to use it as a top box, and improving the bike's water-crossing abilities with various vent tubes and such.

    Cheers,
    Christian
  11. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,561
    Location:
    Eureka, Ca.
    Looks great! Nice job, man. :thumb
  12. Carter Pewterschmidt

    Carter Pewterschmidt Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,107
    Location:
    Milwaukee
    Nice
  13. RFVC600R

    RFVC600R SAND EATER!

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,121
    Location:
    SAND LAND
    I love the way your bike looks, I'm actually jealous lol jk but I love your headlights and the fork brace. awesome bike!
    I would tear mine down and repaint it, but I live in the desert and I try to ride offroad more than on the street, It would just get chewed up in a couple years. lmao atleast I don;t have to worry about rust.
  14. crobox

    crobox Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    324
    Location:
    Taos, NM
    Thanks dudes!

    Dracus- I'm in the desert too. No rust here either! And I built up a little 250 to rip on in the dirt until I get good, so I don't trash the XL. It's kind of a weird bike and was fun to build, it's here.

    The XL has really been fun too. I find that I love working on it... it's addictive. I might like building bikes just about as much as I like riding them.

    Cheers,
    Christian
  15. RFVC600R

    RFVC600R SAND EATER!

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,121
    Location:
    SAND LAND
    The XL is an amazing desert machine, Get in a soft nasty wash and it will leave everything in the dust.

    I like mine to show its age too. I get weird looks from the kids on newer motocross bikes when I climb some nasty hill they been attemping all day :D "what year is that thing??" :rofl
  16. Chobro

    Chobro spinning the wheel

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    806
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Crobox,

    I saw you wheeling out of Ace Hardware on Friday, I was eating tacos at Guadalajara Grill. I had just ridden my '85 XL600 with a friend up from Sipapu on the dirt via FR76 etc. I found myself in Ace just a half hour later buying bolts and a tap to fix a buddy's KLR foot peg. If I were a bit earlier I would have been able to eyeball your bike up close and in person, nice work.

    Did you make it down to Sipapu at all? It was fun. Cool pics here..

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=868261&page=20
  17. crobox

    crobox Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    324
    Location:
    Taos, NM
    Hey Chobro-
    No, I didn't make it to Sipapu. In fact, your post on my thread was the first time I'd even heard of it. Maybe next year?
  18. crobox

    crobox Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    324
    Location:
    Taos, NM
    I posted in the main XL600R thread that I'd taken a four-day trip with some friends, all ADV camping, dirt riding etc. Super fun. That post is sorta near the end of this page.

    I did do some work to the bike, prior to the trip, which is worth mentioning here on my build thread.

    First, and by all means (not) most important, I got a new license plate to remind me of why I built this bike in the first place...

    [​IMG]

    Then, after that, I decided that I needed more luggage and also more fuel storage. I made a pretty slick quick-detach mount for a military surplus fiberglass case I had lying around so that I could use it as a top box. Then I fabricated an aluminum tank for extra fuel, which sits across the rear of the seat. It does not actually touch the seat at all, but rather mounts at various points on my rack and pannier mounting structure. Here's a pic of how the bike looks with all that stuff on-board:

    [​IMG]

    And here is a close-up of the fuel tank:

    [​IMG]

    The tank was plumbed directly into the main fuel feed to the carbs. It would have been a nice setup, except that......

    I finally decided that I NEEDED to take the bike for a test spin with all this new stuff on it, BEFORE hitting the dirt on a 4-day ride. Well, I immediately noticed that the bike was HEAVY, and the steering and handling SUCKED. The front end was extremely squirrely. After about a half-mile on dirt, I failed to negotiate a pretty easy berm transition, and chucked myself right over the bars! It took a LOT of effort to pick the damn thing up again, and even more effort to kick it to life again. I decided then and there that I was going to leave the top box and fuel tank behind. It's doubtful, frankly, that I will ever use the fuel tank, which is a bit of a shame cuz a lot of design and fabrication time went into it. Oh well.

    Here, in the final pic of this post, you can see the bike at the top of Cinnamon pass in Southwestern Colorado, about 12,600 feet. I put on some new Heidenau K60 Scout tires, which worked very well for the trip.
    There are actually a few other things I've done recently to the bike, so I will post again when I have some time.

    [​IMG]

    CHEERS!
  19. crobox

    crobox Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    324
    Location:
    Taos, NM
    Ha ha... I realized after posting that last update that it was pretty heavy on "mods I did that did not work out"! So I figured I better post some pix of the stuff that DID work :D

    OK, first off, here's a picture of a protective cover that I made for my oil cooler. I played with several designs before settling on this one... If you look, you might just see a smiling face in the bottom half with an open right hand emerging from the top of the head. It's a sort of "creativity tiki", related to the idea that every human creation, no matter how big or small, is imagined first.

    [​IMG]

    On a less philosophical note, here is a little mount I made for my GPS, which also incorporates a USB port for phone charging, and a switch to turn them both off. Since installing the GPS, I've come to really appreciate it... maybe even rely on it! After all, it tells time, and elevation, and lots of other useful stuff...

    You can also see the ROX risers I installed. I like them a lot. I almost made my own version just to save money, but in the days leading up to my trip I was seriously lacking in time, so I just bought them. Like I said, I like em.

    [​IMG]

    While on that 4-day trip, my right fork seal blew. One of my buddies on the trip advised me that when you ride with no fork boots, insects can die on your fork shafts and get really dried out and hard, really fast... hard enough to put a nick in the seal. That was enough to convince me to put a pair of boots on. I had to make some little "split-rings" to screw onto the tops of my fork brace to give the boots something to clamp onto, as the tops of the fork bottoms (where the fork boots would normally clamp) are unavailable because of the fork brace. Anyway here are the little parts I made, prior to assembly. (They were actually quite time-consuming to make)

    [​IMG]

    And here are the boots, assembled on the bike. You can also see that I put some "deer horns", or "deer whistles", on my front fender. That was for the trip, as we rode at dusk one night. I've subsequently learned that they apparently don't actually work. Oh well, I'll probably leave them on there anyway as I do live in deer and elk country.

    [​IMG]

    And lastly, another picture from the trip, which I'm including because it shows how I managed to carry a pair of 1-liter fuel bottles on the forward sides of my Pelican panniers. Like I said, I never needed them, but I'm happy to have the option.

    [​IMG]

    Sometime soon I will post on here again, cuz I'm gonna do a big suspension upgrade, thanks in large part to a good deal I got on parts from fellow inmate davek181. Thanks Dave.

    See y'all soon!

    Christian
  20. crobox

    crobox Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    324
    Location:
    Taos, NM
    I just can't stop tweaking the bike, here and there.

    A month or two ago I made this headlight guard:

    [​IMG]

    It's stainless wire mesh on a stainless frame. It's mounted on little stubs of rubber hose to give it some cushion in case anything really sizeable hits it.

    Also in this pic you can see new handguards I put on. They are all plastic. I read somewhere on this site a while ago a story about a guy who fell and his aluminum handguards deformed in such a way that they pinned his hand against his grip. That was enough for me to ditch my home-made aluminum ones for these.