Questions about updating/upgrading an XL600


22 replies to this topic
  • Leget

Posted August 23, 2006 - 06:39 AM

#1

Guys, I know this has been discussed in more than one thread but after searching I just can't find the exact info I'm looking for.

I recently purchased an '83 XL600 and would like to update and upgrade it and I have some ideas and just wanted to get some info about if they would work.

I plan on taking it down to the frame and rebuilding from there, heres what I have planned....

1. Upgrade the suspension front and rear with XR600 or CR500/250 replacements and I would also like to install an XR600 swingarm off of a newer bike if it will fit.

2. Install updated bodywork (including tank). I would like to see if early '90s bodywork will fit (or easily be made to fit). But I also really like the look of the '86 XR600,I would think it would come closer to fitting than the '90s stuff.

3.Theres a couple of parts that need replaced...the exhaust is the main one I'll replace it with an aftermarket setup.

4. Since its an XL I plan to "plate" it and have a decent DS when I'm done.

I know allot of you are thinking "why not just buy a newer XR"...well to me building or re-building is half the fun. And I've only got $75 in this one so far.

Here's what I'm starting with....

Posted Image

thanks in advance for the advice and info.

  • SniperTeamBravo

Posted August 23, 2006 - 07:06 AM

#2

Unfortunately the XLs have different bosses on the frame and aren't the same as the later XR serries, but that doesnt mean it won;t be fairly easy to weld on the right bosses and install a later airbox so you can use the 90~later plastic side covers. Also, turn the tank over and take some pictures of it and send them to me and Ill let you know if it looks like the newer tanks will fit. I don;t think they will. But, you can still get new replacement plastic and the old XLs are great bikes. As for grafting on a newer rear arm, why? To get the disc? If so this is possible and I don;t know how hard it would be on an XL but probably easy as getting a 91 swingare, rear wheel, disc, and shock.

  • Leget

Posted August 23, 2006 - 07:36 AM

#3

Unfortunately the XLs have different bosses on the frame and aren't the same as the later XR serries, but that doesnt mean it won;t be fairly easy to weld on the right bosses and install a later airbox so you can use the 90~later plastic side covers. Also, turn the tank over and take some pictures of it and send them to me and Ill let you know if it looks like the newer tanks will fit. I don;t think they will. But, you can still get new replacement plastic and the old XLs are great bikes. As for grafting on a newer rear arm, why? To get the disc? If so this is possible and I don;t know how hard it would be on an XL but probably easy as getting a 91 swingare, rear wheel, disc, and shock.



Thanks for the info, I would send photos of the tank, but I don't have one.
I was thinking the same thing.."weld on some bosses" the main thing I was concerned about was basic frame structure, I'm hoping its very similar if not identical to the XR (other than a couple of bosses).

I think I might be stuck with the airbox I have this is a double carb bike.

As for the swingarm, I wanted to go with the XR shock, linkage, and swingarm for the additional travel and depending what year I get maybe a disc as well. (Plus the one I have now is steel and the replacement would be aluminum...I know it doesn't really matter, I just think it looks better).

Basically I'm looking for additional suspension travel (taller seat height) and updated appearance.

  • SniperTeamBravo

Posted August 23, 2006 - 08:59 AM

#4

Tacking on a few bosses for the right side cover would not hurt rigidity, the airbox thing is easy, you can get a airbox from an 89XR600R whichh is also dualcarbs and graft it into the frame and the stock 90s side cover will fit. My 92 super tricked out XR600R has the 87 dual carb head because it is the highest flowing head ever made for XR600Rs and it has the airbox from the 87 on it and it is a 92. Id say better yet on the forks and rear end, find a 90~92 CR250 and put the whole suspension on it, I will find a guy who did that with an 87XR600R, it was a bolt on on the front, not sure about the rear but Ill point him to your thread...

check this out, a 86XR600R with all new stuff on it....page down the htread to the pic of the red XR...it looks like a 2000! CR500 forks and swingarm, and all new school plastic.

http://supermotojunk...?t=19434&page=2

  • Leget

Posted August 23, 2006 - 09:54 AM

#5

check this out, a 86XR600R with all new stuff on it....page down the htread to the pic of the red XR...it looks like a 2000! CR500 forks and swingarm, and all new school plastic.

http://supermotojunk...?t=19434&page=2


CR250 suspension front and back might be just what I'm looking for.

That bike is awesome, thats similar to what I have planned but I want to do more of a DS than a SM bike.

I had no idea that the newer plastic would work...thanks for the link.

Back to the drawing board I guess....

  • dee_motard

Posted August 23, 2006 - 04:00 PM

#6

I also advice you to swap the head, take the head from XR with the decompressor on the camshaft. And one carb as well, instead of dualcarb (almost impossible to properly jet it when you change the intake/exhaust). The carb insulator from european SLR650 model is very short and is bent to the left side (not to the right side as on XRs), the carb fits to XL frame without a problem.

  • SniperTeamBravo

Posted August 24, 2006 - 07:55 AM

#7

I also advice you to swap the head, take the head from XR with the decompressor on the camshaft. And one carb as well, instead of dualcarb (almost impossible to properly jet it when you change the intake/exhaust). The carb insulator from european SLR650 model is very short and is bent to the left side (not to the right side as on XRs), the carb fits to XL frame without a problem.



YO! DEE! You tellin me I can put a single carb on my desertsled whih has been switched to a 87 dual carb head!! Fill me in man! I really want to do this as I want to put on a flatslide pumper carb...

  • SniperTeamBravo

Posted August 24, 2006 - 07:59 AM

#8

CR250 suspension front and back might be just what I'm looking for.

That bike is awesome, thats similar to what I have planned but I want to do more of a DS than a SM bike.

I had no idea that the newer plastic would work...thanks for the link.

Back to the drawing board I guess....


Yep, sweet huh? I have a desert bike that was allready done like that suspension wise when I got it so I don;t know the origin of the parts other than it was built by some factory mechanic, it is YZ250 USD forks done by Noleen racing, and a billet WP rear shock.

  • dee_motard

Posted August 24, 2006 - 04:44 PM

#9

yep, you can convert your xl600r from dualcarb to single carb.. I have used a head from nx650 which is equal to 89+ XR600R head except for the manual decomressor (which is not so important on my opinion :-). I think that XR650L head will also fit, it should be the same as for NX650 model..
The only problem is that the shock mount is too close to the engine, so the single carb does not fit. You can modify the upper bracket to move the shock a bit backwards or use the carb insulator from european SLR650 model, which is very short (as i did finally). I did not keep the stock airfilter (and its box) because I have modified the tail section of the frame and made my own box and container for the relays and the battery..

Here are the pictures of my '85 xl600r, i put them to http://4sure.info/moto/xl600rr

  • cleonard

Posted August 24, 2006 - 08:19 PM

#10

I know that this isn't what you want to hear, but I have to say it.

You might be better off time and money wise to just fix up the XL600 in stock form. I don't know about North Carolina, but a good XL600 goes for at least $1500 here in SoCal. Sell it and buy a newer XR600 and you will have a much better base to start with.

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  • dee_motard

Posted August 25, 2006 - 04:07 AM

#11

I second it. Keep it in original state and find yourself an XR, you'll save a lot of time and money..

  • Leget

Posted August 26, 2006 - 04:19 AM

#12

I know that this isn't what you want to hear, but I have to say it.

You might be better off time and money wise to just fix up the XL600 in stock form. I don't know about North Carolina, but a good XL600 goes for at least $1500 here in SoCal. Sell it and buy a newer XR600 and you will have a much better base to start with.


I posted the question to get as many different opinions as possible, its not that I didn't want to hear one thing or another.

You do make a good point..I didn't even consider fixing and selling it, but I am now.

I really do enjoy rebuilding and or building, and the one thing that this bike has going for it is that it won't be very difficult to get it tagged in North Carolina since it is an XL. I've heard it can be difficult to get an XR tagged but I haven't researched it myself yet.

Keep the opinions and advice coming....you guys have already been a huge help.

Thanks....

  • MindBlower

Posted August 26, 2006 - 09:38 AM

#13

But he's still got to buy all the xL parts to fix it up AND do all the work, whether he's keeping it or not, to GET "at least $1500 for it". Then he'd still be buying a used XR that needs suspension work too. Hey if the CR front is a bolt on and he likes building things up then why not do it? If you 'd have trouble plating an XR then it's simple eh? Worse case, you've got a very nice FACTORY dual sport (legally) that someone will pay you decently for. Put it on ebay. I"ve seen bikes like that go for damn good money if it looks good cosmetically. There's lots of older guys that grew up on XL's that would die to have one with decent suspension. Sounds like a fun project to me. The CR suspension would be much better than on any XR you'll buy. And assuming that hardware is relatively inexpensive you do it awful cheap.

  • Leget

Posted August 27, 2006 - 02:58 AM

#14

Worse case, you've got a very nice FACTORY dual sport (legally) that someone will pay you decently for. There's lots of older guys that grew up on XL's that would die to have one with decent suspension. Sounds like a fun project to me. The CR suspension would be much better than on any XR you'll buy. And assuming that hardware is relatively inexpensive you do it awful cheap.


That is almost exactly my original thought on this bike...easy to tag, easily to modify, and could be allot of fun to build.

As others have pointed out it would be easier to sell the XL and buy a nice XR...but then I would just have work on it.

I've seen some good deals on CR suspension on eBay....

  • atkxr600

Posted August 27, 2006 - 05:00 AM

#15

Well I didn't completely read every post, but I kinda tend to fix up what I have. But the reason I post is I have a frame for a 91 XR600 that I would sell cheap, plus shipping. It might help with some of the whole welding brackets on for XR plastic.

  • Leget

Posted August 27, 2006 - 01:10 PM

#16

Well I didn't completely read every post, but I kinda tend to fix up what I have. But the reason I post is I have a frame for a 91 XR600 that I would sell cheap, plus shipping. It might help with some of the whole welding brackets on for XR plastic.


Thanks for the offer, but the main reason I'm working on this one is its already titled for the road.....and I guess thats about the only positive thing about starting with an XL.

  • atkxr600

Posted August 27, 2006 - 04:05 PM

#17

Thanks for the offer, but the main reason I'm working on this one is its already titled for the road.....and I guess thats about the only positive thing about starting with an XL.


Thats cool, but I was mainly referring to needing mounting tabs for XR plastic. You could cannibalize this frame to weld onto the XL one. Buts thats cool. :thumbsup: :ride: :applause: :applause:

  • Leget

Posted August 27, 2006 - 06:33 PM

#18

Well...I'm going with the XL and currently looking for some CR suspension....
thanks again for the input/advice.

"In Progress"....
Posted Image

  • atkxr600

Posted August 28, 2006 - 02:31 AM

#19

Well...I'm going with the XL and currently looking for some CR suspension....
thanks again for the input/advice.

"In Progress"....
Posted Image



COOL, when I switched my forks to USD's, I found a CR250 in a local bike swapper mag. It had a bad rod bearing (big end), I gave him $200 for the bike. Pulled off everything I needed, parted the rest of the bike on eBay. Got my $200 back plus $65.

  • Leget

Posted August 28, 2006 - 04:28 AM

#20

COOL, when I switched my forks to USD's, I found a CR250 in a local bike swapper mag. It had a bad rod bearing (big end), I gave him $200 for the bike. Pulled off everything I needed, parted the rest of the bike on eBay. Got my $200 back plus $65.



Thats exactly what I would like to find....I was looking on eBay and they have allot of newer (02-05) CR250 USD forks, I'm wondering if those will work?

I have one question...the XR swingarm shaft does not go through the engine like the CR does, what do I do about the gap in between the CR swingarm mounts?
I thought about tubing with seals on the ends that would fit in the gap...is something like that necessary?





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