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

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

  1. MagneticSouth

    MagneticSouth Been here awhile

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    So after a 2hr interrogation and a thorough bag search at LAX immigration, they eventually let me in..

    I havent seen the XL yet but I had a look at the pile of parts and luggage i left behind 3 months ago....hmm i really need to find myself a good pannier luggage system to work out how much of it i can carry..
    I figured it might be worth shelling out the cash if i find something that comes off and on easily, lightweight, and fixable after i have my first crash in Baja sand.
    i still havent had any luck for a good option that will fit, i had briefly checked out the Happy trails and pelican setup but it doesnt look like it fits the XL frame
    I will do some mor research tomorrow after i get over the jet lag.
  2. Ford_Prefect

    Ford_Prefect Been here awhile

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    I have read a lot of guys who really prefer the SOFT bags for that concern. Have you thought about just going with some wolfman bags? They are strong and water tight. Also you could think of doing this...
    He put all of the footman loops on to give him multiple tie downs, without adding much weight to the bike at all. He says it works out really very well for him and he can pack a lot of crap on that bike.

    Just a thought for you to ponder.
  3. MagneticSouth

    MagneticSouth Been here awhile

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    Thanks i really like the wolfman side panniers

    http://www.wolfmanluggage.com/Expedition/expd_dry_saddle_bags.html

    and the extra fuel storage because i have the original small tank

    http://www.wolfmanluggage.com/Accessories/RotoPaxMountSystem.html

    but I'm still considering the happy trails system with hard aluminium boxes because of the locking option
    i spent a year backpacking south america and i know how quick some peoples hands can be.

    http://www.happy-trail.com/Products/Happy-Trails-SU-Side-RackbrHonda-XR650L__HTP3-6-1.aspx

    caribou boxes are also an option

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=102759

    maybe i might try to have the soft panniers as sides and a hard box on top?

    Im hoping i can find someone to help fit the frame which is available for the XR650L im not familiar with the differences of frame from the XL600R.
  4. MagneticSouth

    MagneticSouth Been here awhile

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    Hey Kenute, can you tell me how you reduced the size of pics, i havent been able to work that out from the start..
  5. beechum1

    beechum1 Grimace Soup

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    I have a set of side bags that you can have. I keep saving them for something, but I never use them. No Pics, and I don't know if i'll be home when you roll through, but the offer is there.
  6. Eagletalon

    Eagletalon Been here awhile

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    I am in! Finally finished reading your RR. Now let the real fun begin south of the border!

    Later
    John
  7. Ford_Prefect

    Ford_Prefect Been here awhile

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    If I may be so bold as to rate the options you listed in bags...

    First choice would be a hard Metal bag, like a Happy trails,

    Second choice would be a wolfman bag

    Third choice would be the footman loops I mentioned,

    last choice would be (and a DISTANT last choice at that) a pelican style case. They claim they are indestructible, but that is total crap. If you drop them they do not break, if you drop them under a motorcycle going 50 then they shatter into crappy little bits and you are royally screwed. At least with the metal cases you can bash them into shape again and deal with it, and in the next town find a welder to fix them up 'good as new' (yeah, right, but at least they can be mended a bit). The plastic guys will leave you without bags in the middle of no where and no way to pack your stuff to the next city. Stay way, please.


    Sorry, but every report I have red in which the pelican style bags were employed ended with metal bags on the bike and bits of personal possessions and plastic scattered across South America. One guy actually lost the door to one, a bit of duct tape and straps got him and all of his gear on the road again until he destroyed the rest of the bag and lost some gear. Ultimately he got the Happy Trails because they were A metal and B awesome to him and shipped them out really fast to Mexico.

    Sorry to stick my nose in where it was not invited, and if you go with that style that I loath I will, of course, keep reading, and promise not to say "I told you so"... ;)

    Regards,
  8. MagneticSouth

    MagneticSouth Been here awhile

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    Thanks for that offer but i really need to sort out something sooo that i can finally ride outta here...

    But if cant get a decent setup together in the next month.. i might take you up.

    How big are your bags?
  9. MagneticSouth

    MagneticSouth Been here awhile

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    Thanks for coming along :pynd
  10. MagneticSouth

    MagneticSouth Been here awhile

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    Cheers for the opinion on the pelicans, im definately here for any weighted advice i can get, all recommendations appreciated :nod

    I spoke to someone at happy trails today and they basically said that trying to get their rack and side panniers on an XL600 couldnt and shouldnt be attempted due to frame strength and differences:cry

    looking at the wolfman racks, they dont seem as complicated only 2 points to connect to the frame..

    http://www.wolfmanluggage.com/Video/WolfSideRacksV.html

    surely it cant be that hard to get someone to weld some extra brackets??
  11. MagneticSouth

    MagneticSouth Been here awhile

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    I found out from wolf man that i can buy the racks from the manufacturer in pieces so i can get someone to fabricate them on to my frame...

    http://brmoto.com/racks/diy-side-rack-parts.html

    :evil

    so i think i might go with the soft panniers for the side and look for a locking top case.

    Anyone know someone with a welder in LA?
  12. beechum1

    beechum1 Grimace Soup

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    what part of LA?
  13. GSequoia

    GSequoia Where are my tools?

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    x2.

    I'd offer mine but I'm a shitty welder and my equipment blows. But I may be able to line you up with somebody competent depending on details.
  14. MagneticSouth

    MagneticSouth Been here awhile

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    Im near Marina Del Rey near LAX


    Thanks G,

    These are the racks which i wanted to get...

    http://brmoto.com/racks/diy-side-rack-parts.html

    and these are the tubing which they have available

    http://brmoto.com/racks/diy-side-rack-parts/3-4-tubing.html

    I could order them on the weekend for shipping on monday from Wyoming


    I was going to go for this setup with the waterproof wolf man bags with the roto pack for extra gas..

    http://brmoto.com/br-moto-rotopax-mouning-kit-for-side-racks.html

    http://brmoto.com/wolfman-expedition-saddle-bags.html

    here is a video on mounting the racks..
    i will need to weld the mounting tabs to bolt on the frame as well...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2eX_96iWjw&feature=relmfu




    I hope i can sort it out as soon as possible..
  15. GSequoia

    GSequoia Where are my tools?

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    I've got a message in to a friend of mine in Westchester. The guy can lay a wicked bead and is a good fabricator as well so you can bounce any ideas off him to change the design if you'd like.
  16. MagneticSouth

    MagneticSouth Been here awhile

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    Hey nice one, that sounds great... Hopefully he can help.

    Cheers:thumb
  17. GSequoia

    GSequoia Where are my tools?

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    Just heard back from him, unfortunately his welder is broken and he doesn't have the dough to fix it right now. I'll ask a few other folks, he was the closest to you that I know though.
  18. MagneticSouth

    MagneticSouth Been here awhile

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    Thanks for trying, i will be ordering the racks tomorrow and hopefully they arrive mid week.
    I need to get the side racks organised by the weekend so i can work out what top rack to buy because I'm off to NewYork on saturday and when i get back to LA hopefully it will all be ready to head south shortly afterwards..
  19. speedmonkey7

    speedmonkey7 Been here awhile

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    Just reading this cool build, and even cooler attitude towards the trip. Good on you for doing this. Anyway, I wouldn't worry too much about the jetting up in the altitude. I just took my XR6 jetted perfectly for sea level in Hawaii, up to damn near 14,000 ft. on Mauna Kea with no real problems. Yeah it ran fat as hell up there, and it was easier to bump start it, than kick it, but I could start it, and I did climb a really steep sandy hill while I was up there, and it did it. These XRs and XLs just freakin go man. I think it's the perfect bike for your trip, and I like the relationship you are building with it. Cheers!
  20. MagneticSouth

    MagneticSouth Been here awhile

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    Thanks, good to know..

    I bought some new carbs off ebay and they just arrived yesterday..
    They have 115 jets, the stock is 120 and high altitude is supposed to be 112,
    I found one 112 main jet as a spare that i could use on the primary carb at altitude but hopefully 115 will be a happy medium?
    Ive never rode up mountains on a bike, it will probably do better than i did when i hiked machu picchu a few years ago.