1986 xr 600 rear wheel question

I have a 1986 xr 600r with the factory 17" rear wheel and drum brakes. Not only is it hard to find aggressive tires for, but traction is non-existant on most terrain. Has anyone ever swapped out this rear wheel for an 18" either from a later model xr, or any other make/model? What about a disk brake conversion?

Check out Bike Bandit for a pretty good slection of rear dirt tires in 17".

I actually swapped my XR650L rear to a 17" so I could occasionally throw a dirt tire on instead of my supermoto tire. I run an Avon Distanzia 130/80 in the back for my highway days and for dirt road riding. As for a disk brake... you might be in for swapping rear swing arms. There is an XR650L rear on ebay right now if you decide to go that route.

I have a 1986 xr 600r with the factory 17" rear wheel and drum brakes. Not only is it hard to find aggressive tires for, but traction is non-existant on most terrain. Has anyone ever swapped out this rear wheel for an 18" either from a later model xr, or any other make/model? What about a disk brake conversion?

When I had my XR500 with that hateful 17 inch rim, I ran the IRC VE33 tire. I think it was the best available tire for the dirt. There are a few more choices, the MAxxis M6001 is OK too.

I used the big TerraFlex 17 on mine, and it worked pretty good. I don't know if the thing is still available. It was fairly expensive, but wore well. It threw rocks and clods of dirt like nothing else. If I recall, it was had an odd size designation.....

Check out the link in the "Best tires for an XRR" thread. Several sizes for a 17" available. What is so horrible about 17"s anyway?

Don't get me wrong, a 17" tire is not a bad size tire to have. With the weight and power of the bike, as well as the local terrain, a 17" tire just doesnt last long. Compared to my fiends xr 400 with an 18" rear, my 17" looks like a pizza cutter. Thats why i want an 18". Besides, my drum brakes suck so an 18" wheel /disk brake conversion would be a major improvement in ride quality.

I'm with you on the rear disk but you might be better off getting a new bike rather than try for the parts swap.

As for tires, it sounds like your running a pretty thin rear tire and in fact they make some really fat rear tires for that rim. I run a 130/90 on the back of my 650 and it is more beefy than the stock tire for sure. That does not sound like it will address how long the tire will last but you should also look at what type of terrain the tire is rated for. Soft tires on rock will get chewed up fast.

Sorry can't help with the disk conversion. Be interested to see if anyone has any advice...

I'd check what your running now and shop for something bigger.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now