I told myself when I picked up this new to me XL600R that I was going to ride it as is for the season before I started making changes, buuuuuutttttt...... since I can’t go out anyway, and the weather here is still very winter like, it’s parts swapin time.
See, of the the two bikes here, the XR600 is the bike that I really want, but the XL600 is the bike with title and all of the street legal requirements. Since they are essentially the same bike, I decided to make the best of both worlds, and take the best parts of the XR, and swap them over to the XL.
Last weekend’s project was the handlebars.
The XL came with a set of steel bars, while the XR had a nicer set of aluminum bars, with risers that are also adapters for fat bars should I choose to go that route. The brand new grips also made their way over, and the blue compliments the XL nicely.
This weekends project was a little more ambitious. The full rear suspension swap.
The XR in this case came with an aluminum swing arm that is one inch longer, compared to the steel swing arm of the XL. The XR also has a dual adjustable remote reservoir shock compared to the single adjustable non remote shock of the XL. It also had a brand new tire. I do lose the cush drive setup with this swap however, but with a loose chain and keeping the bike primarily on gravel this shouldn’t be a problem.
This was a bigger job than I anticipated as I spent more time cleaning than I thought and the upper shock mount on the XL needed some clearancing for the larger shock from the XR. I didn’t clearance quite enough which made the shock install a PITA, but it’s in and everything seems to cycle smoothly. If this ever needs to come apart again though it’s going to need more work. This job still isn’t quite done, the XL is together and needs some final bolt torquing, but the XR, and all of my tools are still in a pile on the floor.
Next on the list is the front suspension, the XR has 43mm tubes compared to the flimsy-when-new 39mm units on the XL. This will take a little fab work as the upper triple from the XR doesn’t have the locations to mount the XL gauge and key barrel, but that shouldn’t be too hard. This age of bike still had basic damper rod forks, which honestly are probably fine for the riding I do, but doing the swap now sets me up for a future cartridge fork swap, or cartridge emulators, should I feel that they’re needed (there’s a slim chance that I might already have one of these based on the other upgrades the XR had).
The XR still has a few upgraded parts left over, such as it’s higher compression motor with an upgraded stator, plus an expensive Supertrapp exhaust system, but I think I’ll leave that in the XR. I may be putting the “lesser” XL parts back on it, and it will be a functional motorcycle again, but I’m not content to leave it at that. I’ve got plans, plans that involve the Lego like way all Honda’s are built, leftover ATV parts from a friend, and cheap parts from 3 wheeled death machines. A high compression 600cc 3 wheeled frozen river monster/trail rig.
I fail to see any flaws in this plan.