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Author Topic: Honda XL600R - DTRA race bike build  (Read 1270 times)

Offline Pinky23

  • Posts: 19
Honda XL600R - DTRA race bike build
« on: Sep 11, 2017, 17:07:12 »
Hey everyone! I've been wanting to build a flat tracker for a while now. Then these XL's came up on eBay.

I checked all the parts and although I'm not familiar with XL's I thought I've got pretty much everything I need to build at least one bike, maybe even 2. To be honest I won't actually be using that much of the original bike.

I've had them in my garage now for a few weeks. I'm not rushing this build. I started with the carbs, ordered full rebuild kits and set to stripping the carbs down. They where pretty manky inside. I borrowed an ultrasonic cleaner and stripped them down completely.

After reassembling the carbs I put them back on. Next I dropped the oil, put some fresh oil in, new filter, plug and plug cap. I managed to cobble together enough of a wiring loom to get a spark so I rigged up a fuel source and gave it a kick... it started on literally the first kick

Now that I know it runs I can concentrate on the chassis mods. However it was a little smokey so I might take the head off when I strip engine from the frame and re lap the valves and put some new stem seals in. Hopefully that will cure it.

Next up I managed to buy a full set of 19" wheels. Excel rims, Talon hubs and stainless spokes and they had the regulation maxxis DTR1 tyres on.


That's enough for now, but I hope to start getting a rolling chassis together this week so I'll post a few more updates then.

If anyone has any info or any sources about setting up a tracker frame geometry wise, heights etc. Please chip in!!


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Offline 1fasgsxr

  • Posts: 1160
Re: Honda XL600R - DTRA race bike build
« Reply #1 on: Sep 11, 2017, 21:53:33 »
That's a good start, following along.

Offline Pinky23

  • Posts: 19
Re: Honda XL600R - DTRA race bike build
« Reply #2 on: Sep 14, 2017, 18:49:01 »
I had some time in the garage the past few days, cleared a few jobs up with the Vmax, new forks, rebuilt fresh from the powder coaters. Rebuilt carbs. All back on and ready to get rebalanced.

My garage is a little stuffy at the moment


I had some old Vmax forks lying around so I put them in the frame because the XL forks weren't wide enough to take the new wheels with tyres.

I cleaned some spare parts up in a parts washer and then I started fitting the swingarm to the spare frame.



Once the swingarm was in the frame. I put the wheels in just to have a look at whereabouts we where. It's looking good so far though...


I can't decide whether to use the Vmax yokes, bore them out from 40 to 41 mm for the forks I want to use or go down the root of making my own yokes... I've already drawn some up, might even make some adjustable ones.

I'll keep posting updates as I go


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Offline Pinky23

  • Posts: 19
Re: Honda XL600R - DTRA race bike build
« Reply #3 on: Sep 17, 2017, 15:05:17 »
I haven't done much on the bike for the last few days but I have managed to get some adjustable triple clamps drawn up:

I also won some forks off eBay the other day from a thunder cat. I'm pretty sure they are exactly the same as the R6 5EB forks but they where only 77 delivered and the R6 ones are 250+ Happy with that. I'm hoping to get all the yokes machines asap so I can push on with the frame mods.



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Offline NoRiders

  • Posts: 626
Re: Honda XL600R - DTRA race bike build
« Reply #4 on: Sep 17, 2017, 16:56:54 »
Bloody good start fella. Looking in as I'm building a street tracker for the road :)

Carry on

Offline Pinky23

  • Posts: 19
Re: Honda XL600R - DTRA race bike build
« Reply #5 on: Sep 24, 2017, 12:59:57 »
Haven't been getting much done last week but plenty in the pipe line. I've finalised the design for the clamps and I'm just waiting on a quote back to get them ordered.

I have made a new steerer tube though, got on the lathe in work and took a couple of hours.

I turned it up out of stainless. One of my friends thinks I should have used high tensile steel but I think 24mm OD stainless should cope. Any thoughts?
Managed to get this far on my own...

Then I had to take it to a friend who's a machinist to get the thread put on. And that's it done!
I've had my forks now too so I've taken a few measurements and should be able to work out the size of the spindle, and wheel spacers I need to make so more lathe time this week hopefully.


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Online Rat_ranger

  • Posts: 163
Re: Honda XL600R - DTRA race bike build
« Reply #6 on: Sep 24, 2017, 13:56:03 »
I made my stem out of 7075 aluminum.  Stainless should be more than strong enough
Xs650

Offline Pinky23

  • Posts: 19
Re: Honda XL600R - DTRA race bike build
« Reply #7 on: Sep 24, 2017, 15:50:27 »
Ye I'm pretty sure it will be fine. It's probably heavier than standard and definitely heavier than aluminium but it's what I was able to get hold of free


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Online Rat_ranger

  • Posts: 163
Re: Honda XL600R - DTRA race bike build
« Reply #8 on: Sep 24, 2017, 15:59:34 »
Lol, I understand that.  Everything machined for my bike was pulled out of a scrap bin. 
Xs650

Offline Pinky23

  • Posts: 19
Re: Honda XL600R - DTRA race bike build
« Reply #9 on: Sep 25, 2017, 16:44:05 »
A small amount of progress tonight. My bearings arrived so I had a go at trial fitting the steerer tube. Pretty happy to say that it fits like a glove!

I've never done this type of swap before so I'm really happy it fits so well.
I've also had a little sketch on solidworks to see how it will look because I was a little concerned I'd made the yokes too wide.

I'm happy with the way they look so I got them ordered today and hopefully they'll be here by the end of next week.
To say I'm excited is a little bit of an understatement

I've also been looking at inspiration online and came across this...

If mine looks anything like that when it's done I'll be pretty happy


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Online Rat_ranger

  • Posts: 163
Re: Honda XL600R - DTRA race bike build
« Reply #10 on: Sep 25, 2017, 17:06:29 »
That almost looks like a bike from mule.  I love the look of the champion seat, its a bit more work to uae but looks good.
Xs650

Offline Pinky23

  • Posts: 19
Re: Honda XL600R - DTRA race bike build
« Reply #11 on: Oct 05, 2017, 18:50:51 »
Not much been happening over the last week because I'm still waiting on my yokes to be machined out which is holing me up on building the other parts I want to start working on because without the forks in the frame I can't really work out the geometry I want for the rest of the bike. So I've been playing on solidworks working out a rough idea for a new swingarm. I struggled to find any geometry set up advice anywhere and ended up messaging Survivor customs on instagram and fair play to him, he gave me some advice so hopefully I can use that as basic dimensions and then I can work from there.

Here's a couple of screenshots of the swingarm I'd like to build so hopefully I can get this moving in the next week. I'm going to convert the bike to twin shock because I like the old school look more and also it will let me run pod filters, which is a pain on XL's otherwise because the mono shock is so close to the carbs!​


Let me know what you think


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Offline Pinky23

  • Posts: 19
Re: Honda XL600R - DTRA race bike build
« Reply #12 on: Oct 16, 2017, 17:52:47 »
Finally got my yokes back from the machine shop. I'm really happy the way they turned out

They will be cleaned up eventually but right now while I mock everything up I'll leave them and clean everything at the end. I got the yokes fitted and trialled the forks and I'm liking the way they look. I think when it's got the number board on it's gonna look awesome.

Fitted the wheel, used a standard spindle but it's not long enough now because the forks are wider than standard so it'll have to make a new spindle. I've ordered some high tensile EN19T bar.

I went to the national motorcycle mechanics show in Stafford this weekend and bought a tank it's of a K500 Kawasaki. I trialled it on the roller chassis, but I think it's too long and a little bit too big so I'm gonna look around for another one, at least I've got an idea and size to go off
I just couldn't help myself really to see where I was going.
I also checked the geometry of the frame while it was set up an the moment I'm pretty happy. I think it's pretty close to where I want to be. Hopefully soon I'll be able to start the real fabrication!



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Offline Pinky23

  • Posts: 19
Re: Honda XL600R - DTRA race bike build
« Reply #13 on: Nov 03, 2017, 12:21:38 »
I've had a quiet few weeks in the shed with not much going on since I've fitted the front forks but it's been time that I've spent trying to figure out a few things. Anyway got going this week with the exhaust. I have wanted to make a sectionalised exhaust for a while now so I already knew which direction I was headed. I have a standard exhaust already and I measured the pipes on that, 32mm OD out of the ports in to 42 OD from then on. Ports measure around 38 mm OD so I figured 38 mm tube would be spot on for what I wanted to do and would give them a chunkier look.



Started off by cutting a handful of pipe sections some with 10 degree cuts, some with 5 degree cuts, I hadn't pre drawn or calculated anything beforehand I just cut what I thought would work, I have done pipe fabrication in the past so I had an idea on what would work and what wouldn't. After cutting all the sections I deburred the edges inside and out.



Then I set to starting the mock up, I basically had 2 pieces of pipe roughly the same size with square cuts one side and 10 degree the other and I put them in to the ports as a starting point. Then I just held some tapered sections together and tried to gauge where I wanted them to go.



Once I was happy with that I just tacked a few pieces together, checked them and worked from there, one or two pieces at a time.



I repeated that for both ports and tried to get them to come close enough together that I could then join them together with a Y section. I tried to keep them the same length but without making them completely symmetrical which would have caused issues with the drain plug for the frame I couldn't so I used one more section on the left port than the right. I'm no exhaust guru but I cant see 15-20 mm making a massive difference and to be honest I'm not chasing all out power either.

I then set to making a Y piece, which I'd never made before! So basically I cut 2 pieces of tube the same length had a guess as to where to cut them and attacked with the grinder! Apart from a quick clean up with the flap disc they literally fitted together as you see in the pic. I don't know if it would happen like that again but it worked out perfect.






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Offline Pinky23

  • Posts: 19
Re: Honda XL600R - DTRA race bike build
« Reply #14 on: Nov 03, 2017, 12:23:25 »
I did all this in about an hour and a half one night then came in the next night and decided it could be better so I took some of it apart and re-worked it. I was happier the second time around so I set to the welding! I've still got a few things to add but this is where I'm up to on the pipes. I'm not 100% happy with the welding but this is a race bike after all, and I am probably just being picky.



If anyone wants to keep more up to date on the build or other things I am building/working on the have a look at my instagram @pinkyscustomfabrication


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