Customizing a XL600R into a Cafe Racer/Street tracker to ride South

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by MagneticSouth, May 15, 2012.

  1. Jungle Man

    Jungle Man frenzied adventurer

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    Camas Washington
    Nice!
  2. MagneticSouth

    MagneticSouth Been here awhile

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    Id like to put out a big ThAnKs for tuning in...

    When i joined the ADV site and started this thread only a coupla weeks ago, at first i thought nobody was really interested as i starting posting my impractical mods and unorganised unorthodox plans. I thought it was going to be a tough crowd but when i got my first replys of support, it made me all tingly inside that i was onto something special.

    Dont get me wrong i dont have grandios expectations to have the most adventurous off the beaten trip ever, im a self confessed newB on a very steep learning curve.
    I dont have the knowledge, riding experience or mechanical skills compared to 99% of the ppl here.
    I might be asking some stoopid obvious questions and rookie mistakes but ive got some drive and an open mind to learn and i think we've all been cut from the same cloth when it comes to our wanderlust and dreams of adventure.

    I will be asking more questions, and and now that im back in Oz i will need all the support i can get to keep me motivated and focused in getting my shite together to come back and get my wheels rolling again..

    'All' comments and suggestions are warmly welcomed and noted, ive been overwhelmed by the amount of views added daily and hope you come visit again as i attempt to get more prepared, i'll need your help..

    Believe me I'l be back, im in too deep not to. If anything I feel even more excited and focused to make it all happen.
    So thanks for watching dont be shy and keep the replys rolling in..


    adventures be brewin
    :pot


    MagneticSouth
  3. tractor4play

    tractor4play Been here awhile

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  4. tractor4play

    tractor4play Been here awhile

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    magnetic south you need to give yourself some credit.99% of the people on hear couldnt achieve half the stuff you have done in the last few weeks.respect dude.
  5. Comrade Art

    Comrade Art Working stiff

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    I want to see that bike completed so don't take to long coming back.
    Good luck in OZ.
  6. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    I love plan "D"....the plan and YOU are crazy!:jump.....in the best way, of course!:pynd
  7. MagneticSouth

    MagneticSouth Been here awhile

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    Ive been in bed for the past 4 days :eek1

    I got back on Monday, i got up for a bit yesterday to feel the sun, and its already friday :eek1
    i dont even know where Wednesday went...?
    Worst jetlag ever...

    Reality has kicked in. What the hell am i doing back in oz!?
    I was soooo close to crossing into Mexico !:baldy



    Oh well,

    heres the pile of stuff ive left behind
    [​IMG]

    and my two bikes...
    [​IMG]
  8. MagneticSouth

    MagneticSouth Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Sydney, Down Under
    [​IMG]

    $585 for a long haul across the pacific is always gonna sound like a score a day before you fly…
    so i booked my flight the wee hours in the morning on friday, and was on a flight the saturday evening back to Oz..
    Flying AirPacific, wasn't going to be the perfect connection at that cos, i was up for a 10hr flight from LA to Fiji, 4 hour layover from 5am in the morning, then another 5hrs to Syd.

    Exhausted from all those days and nights trying to get it ready in time, when we transfer in Fiji i sit myself close enough to the check in gate, just in case i doze off into a deep sleep…
    There are kids running around everywhere, (Fiji has become a popular family destination for Australians) the air is thick with that aussie, aussie accent iv been happy to be away from for the last 3mnths..
    As im sinking deeper and deeper into dreamland, i feel the older lady next to me change the tone of her voice from scolding her grandchildren for not appreciating the lego boats she bought them, and directs her attention at her husband sitting next..
    I open my eyes and i see his eyes flicker as his slips into a state of unconsciousness, she grabs at him, i jump up and see everyone just staring, i look around and cant see any one that could help so i help the old lady put him on the floor, luckily within a few minutes, he slowly starts to regain consciousness.
    He was alright, breathing and his heart beating steadily, apparently he was on chemo and had diahorrea for the last few days so was feeling very weak…
    I asked him a few questions, did i few checks to make sure he had mobility (i had done some first aid being a volunteer lifeguard in Bondi), and he seem to know where he was and what was going on..

    When the flight was finally called to board i joined the last minute line when most had boarded and waited while everyone found there seats..
    My seat was in the middle of the plane over the wing, and to my pleasant surprise there was at least a cute girl sitting at the window.

    Just shortly after we were in the air one of the stewards kept looking towards us and our window… She eventually asked us to stand up so she could check something…
    When we got back in our seats i was trying to find out what the concern was…
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    i took some photos with my little compact canon with the extra long zoom, and could see that just around one of the engine the steel looked like it was chipping off in pieces.. The steward came back and i showed her the pic and she asked to take my camera to show the cockpit..

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    The Captain came back to check it out for himself, he thanked me and asked me to take a few shots with his camera, then asked the steward if there were any free seats in business class.

    After looking over and taking note of the flight emergency evecuation procedure (who ever takes notice of that?)

    [​IMG]

    With the pretty jewish girl from New Mexico, we headed over and enjoyed the rest of the flight with our feet up, drinking glasses of white wine and nibbles…


    It was business class from there on, noice..
    [​IMG]
  9. MagneticSouth

    MagneticSouth Been here awhile

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    20hrs crossing the pacific (again) and the last weeks of LA can take it out of you a bit, i slipped into the exhaustion induced hybernation mode for 3 days

    I think the weather in Sydney had something to do with it.. Its forecast rain for the next 2wks :hung

    Yesterday i finally dragged myself out of bed to check out my bikes.

    [​IMG]

    Soo sad i have to sell them :cry


    not sure if this will work but, i'll try to post a vid for a trip i did from Sydney last year..
    It was in preperation for this adventure South.


    Beach to Bush 2011
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150171363334289&set=vb.700914288&type=2&theater





    .
  10. beechum1

    beechum1 Grimace Soup

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    Hey bud, heading to the Baja 500 this weekend. I'll take pics of everything you're missing!!!
  11. MagneticSouth

    MagneticSouth Been here awhile

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    Enserio!
    Its this weekend??... i missed out huh?!

    way to rub it in
    :whip



    Just take loads of pics.
    :nod
  12. 7days1shower

    7days1shower Been here awhile

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    Very cool read dude, even if it didn't pan out like you'd expected.

    I can relate to how you feel though, I just flew home from DF a week ago after being away for 3 months and hearing THAT Aussie accent when I got on the flight, dear god its painful

    Good to see you've come home to 2 bikes though, I came to face my baby which I crashed at Eastern Creek before I left :(

    Looking forward to seeing Plan D in action !
  13. MagneticSouth

    MagneticSouth Been here awhile

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    Yer thanks, I was just super tired and not at all in the mood for screaming kids with bad braided hair dressed in coconut shells, you know what i mean...
    It reminded me of the what it was like coming back from a surf trip to Bali.
    Straya's finest. :lol3

    Hope you get your old lady back on the road soon..
    Cheers
  14. MagneticSouth

    MagneticSouth Been here awhile

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    Amazing what we can do when were under the thumb.
    :thumb
  15. MagneticSouth

    MagneticSouth Been here awhile

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    Woah you pimped this old bird out..

    How do you go about putting on a starter?

    Most pics ive seen so far of the XL are preety much stock original.
    Im no expert by far, but I guess its got a classic trail look from the 80s that people remember and love.
  16. MagneticSouth

    MagneticSouth Been here awhile

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    Your a funny one Emiliano, thanks for all your gestured replies!

    I'll be looking forward to having a beer with you. :freaky
  17. MagneticSouth

    MagneticSouth Been here awhile

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    So because im not gonna be back for a few months to continue with plan D.
    I thought id try and make it up to y'all by posting a bit of background info on how this all came about.

    :snore


    Ok...
    How does a story like this start?
    How else, with a girl of course!

    Women, the bane of my life ..

    A coupla years ago I started a trip of a lifetime - 6mnths backpacking with my girlfriend of 7 years starting in Argentina and ending in Colombia.
    Unfortunately that wasnt the only thing that ended in Colombia.
    Not to get into too much detail we broke up, and without commitment i ended up staying in Bogota for another 5months.
    I moved into an apartment, learnt some spanish, ate the food drank the aguadiente, dance salsa and emersed myself in the culture as much as i could .. After a few months licking my relationship battle scars life was good.
    Silly me what do i go and do...

    I meet another girl. And i kinda fall hard :crash
    But, not one of those Colombian bombshells you hear about,
    She was a 'gringa' on a backpacking trip from Santa Cruz CA, USA. doh!

    Thats how I first thought up this silly idea to start in California (obviously to meet this girl again) and finish the rest of Central America some day on a motorcycle.

    Seemed like a preety cool plan to impress a chick with!?


    :muutt
  18. MagneticSouth

    MagneticSouth Been here awhile

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    I wont bore you further with details of my failed love life.
    I'll try and get into the bike stuff..


    I did have a bike, my very first a 2005 yamaha Virago, don't laugh, Where she lacked in street cred she proved to be very reliable, economical, comfortable and a breeze to ride through daily traffic.

    I didnt have any mechanical experience, i guess i didn't need it, she was very low maintenance, all i ever had to do was fill her up and press the start button.

    When i got back to Aus (very broke) with the seed of two wheeled odyssey implanted by the 'gringa' I needed to get familiar with the mechanics of motorcycles. I thought 'Im gonna need a project bike' i searched around and found this...


    [​IMG]
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    The owner of the shop was very helpful, they knew the mechanical history - it was newly imported from japan a 1986 Yamaha SR400 they had refurbed only some months earlier and had only done a few thousand kms before being dropped in the wet and run over by a 4wd (nobody hurt)
    The damage was preety much mostly cosmetic.
    I was excited I figured i could learn by pulling her apart, and putting her back together how hard would that be huh?

    I got it delivered and it looked like this...

    [​IMG]
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    The bike shop thought they were doing me a favour by stripping her down for me, because they knew i had to just replace parts..

    To my untrained eye it looked like just a load of boxes of nuts and bolts and foreign looking mechanical stuff.

    :eek1
  19. MagneticSouth

    MagneticSouth Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    Showing the welds on the straightened frame,
    [​IMG]

    My working Virago in the background, and the wooden frame with wheels i made so i could move the bike around..
    [​IMG]

    The dented gas tank
    [​IMG]

    For those who have followed my obsession with having an original gas tank, Its the first place i start
    no tools necessary

    paint stripping
    [​IMG]

    Only stripped the base layer off and i had to hand scrape to find all these funky colors
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Nuts and bolts without a home.. Ok now Where the hell are these supposed to go??
    [​IMG]

    :confused

    .
  20. MagneticSouth

    MagneticSouth Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    I hadn't much of a clue of where to start, so i called my good friend Geoff to help make sense of it all and prove there was a motorcycle hiding in all that stuff..
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Geoff showing me what it supposed to look like.

    [​IMG]

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    Spraying the frame

    [​IMG]

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    Lacquering the tank

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I took it one thing at a time, and searched and sourced for new and used parts all over the place, scotts (where i bought it), deus ex machina, junk yards, ebay and various internet sites.. This took a coupla months to get everything i needed.


    shopping for new seats

    [​IMG]

    Turning the handle bars down

    [​IMG]

    Headlight from a w650 and my uncle help working out the electrics.

    [​IMG]

    new indicator box

    [​IMG]

    second hand mini indicators

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    new clutch cover

    [​IMG]

    The thing which proved to be the hardest to get was second hand forks, i ended up ordering them from Japan through Scotts, and it took months to get through customs

    [​IMG]

    fork oil change
    [​IMG]

    new suspension
    [​IMG]

    Finally she's back together.. :clap

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