XChallenge Build

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by bens109, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. bens109

    bens109 Adventurer

    Dec 3, 2008
    Hi guys,

    Myself and 3 others are shipping our bikes from Australia to Greece in a few months and riding to the east coast of Russia. In the group there will be 2 DR650s a '83 XT600 Tenere and a G650 XChallenge.

    I first came across the XChallenge being used as mustering bikes on a farm in north QLD shortly after BMW first brought them in to AUS, and after reading Colebatch's adventures I knew it was the bike I wanted to build in to a RTW steed.

    Trolling through ebay last year I came across a low km xchallenge for what seemed like a very good buy, it worked out at just over AUS $8K once I had it shipped interstate. On the plus side the bike had been setup to race the Australian Safari with most of the Touratech catalog as well as upgraded suspension and wheels. Unfortunately the process of racing the safari had left it's toll on the bike (not to mention red dust), and while the bike had been parked since the race the shed it was parked in happened to blow down in a tropical cyclone and the bike was exposed to the elements.

    Over the past few months I have tiding the bike up and starting to install all the bits and pieces needed to turn an oversized enduro bike in to a RTW off-road tourer. A lot of the mods I have based on information off this site which I am very grateful for, especially Walter Colebatch's RTW build.

    Bike as it arrived.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8405497586/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8326/8405497586_50261eb1c9_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="Untitled"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8405498476/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8359/8405498476_c6fd42678a_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="Untitled"></a>

    Most of the bolts had surface corrosion.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8405499058/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8503/8405499058_9f062bdaa4_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="Untitled"></a>

    Stage 1

    As I bought the bike it had the following modifications / farkles

    TT fuel tank
    TT rally front tower
    Remus exhaust
    Excel front and SM-Pro rear rims
    TT chain guide
    TT shark fin
    TT 20mm bar risers
    TT large bash plate
    Hagon rear shock
    Hyperpro progressive front springs

    The Hagon shock was brand new, the bike had been raced with an Ohlins shock but that had since been sold. The Hagon it had been a spare (the original owner had 8 G650Xs) and was freshly installed. Unfortunately after a 10Km test ride the Hagon was pissing out oil and had lost all rebound compression. After a call to the Australian Hagon rep who tried to tell me the shock failed because the rear wheel wasn't balanced I figured it wasn't worth mucking around with a product that wound't last 10km let alone 10,000km. If you wan't to buy a new blown Hagon shock let me know!!

    Stage 2

    After giving the bike a general tidy up while I saved up my pennys a mate of my old man offered to build a rear luggage rack. I am planning to carry a large Giant-Loop bag plus a Wolfman duffle and initially I was going to purchase a TT or SW-Motard flat rear rack for the duffle bag. Normally the giant-loop straps to the passenger foot pegs but as my bike didn't have a set I would have had to make some tie down points. I was also worried about the rear aluminium subframe failing under the weight of the luggage. My rack building friend solved both these problems and more by fashioning a rack to suit the giant loop bag that straddles the rear of the bike. The rack is made out of flat bar and designed to be strong but also easy to repair in the field.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8405480360/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8226/8405480360_6bdf66ffc5_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="Untitled"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8405488360/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8469/8405488360_5c3173f505_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="Untitled"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8404392477/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8498/8404392477_2ae3813e9d_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="Untitled"></a>

    The rack also includes stronger mounts for the exhaust

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8404391289/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8493/8404391289_631ec4cca1_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="Untitled"></a>

    I ordered a Hyperpro rear shock through YSS in South Australia and the guys their optioned it up with a stronger build, heavier spring and remote hydraulic preload. The rack was designed so the shock reservoir and preload adjusters could be accessed with the luggage on.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8404435293/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8368/8404435293_e9b1c23098_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="Untitled"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8404394939/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8367/8404394939_4bc69da4ff_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="Untitled"></a>

    While he was at it new mounts were designed for the bash plate. The TT bash plate normally attaches with small M6 bolts, two on the front and two underneath. unfortunately half of the bolts had snapped off and the other treads were badly damaged, new much larger bolts drilled straight through were the answer.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8405522606/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8362/8405522606_515a5041ce_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="Untitled"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8404432843/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8189/8404432843_25b05446fd_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="Untitled"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8405523578/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8082/8405523578_7d0a308ecd_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="Untitled"></a>
  2. Cruz

    Cruz Lost but laughing.

    Nov 3, 2008
    Northside Brisbane, Qld Australia
    Good luck with your project and trip , Ben. Can't go wrong following Walter's lead with the bike.
  3. kubiak

    kubiak Long timer

    Nov 25, 2007
    madera california
    thats got some great stuff on it already!
  4. bens109

    bens109 Adventurer

    Dec 3, 2008
    Stage 3

    Next up came the cockpit and dashboard. The standard instrument cluster had already been mounted on to the rally navigation tower, I wanted to add a Zumo 660, a temp and a RPM gauge to it as well.

    In the past I have ran Scotts steering dampers on my bikes but unfortunately there is no sub mounting system available (someone used to make a KTM mounts that is adaptable but alas they seem to be out of business), if I went with the above the bar mount I would have to loose the bar risers I already had on the bike making it much too cramped. Ralle Moto came to the rescue with a sub mount kit designed for the G650X that bolted (nearly) straight on. The latest version of their damper features adjustable high speed damping making it comparable to the Scotts damper.

    Off went the bars and top triple clamp and the tower bolted on to the steering tube once a little excess weld was filed off from around the steering lock. There is a grove in the top of the tower collar for the original dust cap to sit in to. This proved a little tight and required some gentle persuasion to fit. The bar raisers and handle bar clamps come off the top triple and a replaced with a bridge between the two mounts which the damper unit bolts to. On top of the bridge are a well built set of bar clamps that allow you to either position the bars slightly forward or back depending on which way round you mount them. They also have another advantage, the original set up had the bolts that hold the bar clamps threading in to the clamps with the bolt head under the triple clamp. To remove the bar clamps the whole top triple had to first be removed. The new system has bolts passing down through the bar clamps and a nut easily accessible under the triple.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8405504526/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8051/8405504526_f15a4faa0f_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="Untitled"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8405508040/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8046/8405508040_6e86439dfc_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="Untitled"></a>

    All up the bridge and clamps are only 10mm higher off the top triple than the stock, 10mm lower than where the bars had been with raisers. To achieve the bar height I was after we installed a universal riser set. No the most attractive set up but it seems to do the job.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8405527544/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8075/8405527544_0503e59d5e_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="Untitled"></a>

    The OEM bars had a slight bend so they were replaced by a set of RM Mid bend Pro-tapers. Rather than have all the switch gear on the nav tower I'm using a Highway Dirt Bikes top plate and a set of their very well built barkbusters.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8405509432/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8089/8405509432_5e545749d5_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="Untitled"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8405508804/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8474/8405508804_d8b12a1c42_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="Untitled"></a>

    In the past I have done a lot of downhill mountain bike racing and once thing you come to appreciate when you are flying down near vertical drops on an 18kg pushbike are well setup controls. The front brake and clutch levers were both very sloppy and I wanted to replace them with adjustable levers. I've used ASV levers before and while they are rather pricey they are exceptionally well built and they claim they are unbreakable - perfect for me as I have a history of breaking not only the levers on my bike but also the spare levers in the middle of nowhere. The clutch side is a universal C5 dirt bike lever. The end of the cable required a little filling to fit and due to the perch being shorter than oem the cable adjuster barrel is wound nearly all the way out to take up the slack in the cable.

    The brake lever was a little more interesting. ASV don't make a lever to fit the BMW but poking around on supermotard forum I found a guy who had modified an ASV street bike lever to fit by drilling out the hole where the pushrod meets the lever. The lever is still a little long to fit inside the barkbusters so will require the end snipping off, it's a bit of a shame to cut up such a nice (expensive) lever!

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8404418191/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8216/8404418191_77dd1e216f_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="Untitled"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8405510848/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8225/8405510848_21e8283df3_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="Untitled"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8404419759/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8514/8404419759_e6f12edb0a_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="Untitled"></a>

    Heat demon grip warmers went under a set of pro-taper pillow top grips which were a right bitch to fit over the throttle tube. The rocker switch for the grip warmers is installed in one of the powerlet sockets on the top plate which had to be slightly enlarged. A small hole for an led was drilled above the switch.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8405513708/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8217/8405513708_95bbb9aa49_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="Untitled"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8405516900/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8221/8405516900_5a343721db_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="Untitled"></a>

    Pivot pegz went on and TT brake and gear levers will follow soon

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8404430109/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8509/8404430109_e9c534009c_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="Untitled"></a>
  5. bens109

    bens109 Adventurer

    Dec 3, 2008
    I picked up a second hand Zumo 660 unit a few months back. Since then I have been reading about the new Montana units and I am beginning to wish I had held out for one! I also got a good deal on a TT locking mount for the zumo which will hold it very securely and allow it to be mounted on top of the instrument cluster where it can be easily seen without having to look down.

    After a bit of trial and error the mount fit with just enough room to clear the speedo and still be easily opened. 4 small bolts hold it to the nav tour where the ram ball would normally bolt on.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8405493102/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8365/8405493102_23ddf88cb6_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="Untitled"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8405505734/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8470/8405505734_b2281cce35_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="Untitled"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8405506358/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8231/8405506358_6bf8f48ccb_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="Untitled"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88885857@N06/8405505192/" title="Untitled by ben.p.hickey, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8360/8405505192_a7cdab49a2_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="Untitled"></a>
  6. davesupreme

    davesupreme grand poobah

    May 1, 2011
    palm harbor, fla
    really like that rear rack!....
  7. motorfret

    motorfret n00b

    Nov 27, 2012
    small tip: your shock is mounted the wrong way.
    the sprindle should be in the bottom side.

    if you have any questions about it, feel free to PM me.
  8. Johnnyboxer

    Johnnyboxer Long timer

    Oct 23, 2003
    Yorkshire, UK
    Well spotted
  9. Young-Gun

    Young-Gun KTM Tragic

    Dec 6, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
  10. PhiSig1071

    PhiSig1071 What's ******width?

    Apr 9, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    This is going to be good.

    I wish Rally fairings weren't so damn expensive! $1600.00! I'll bet there's a market for an affordable Rally Fairing for say a DRZ.