A Dwelling Legend from ZZ Moto…
Launched in 1985, the Honda XR600R was destined to change into one of the iconic dust bikes of all time, remaining in manufacturing as a dirt-only mannequin till 2000. Throughout that point, it battled the mighty Kawasaki 500cc two-strokes for desert dominance, profitable the Baja 1000 5 occasions, however extra surprisingly, it turned a legend within the woods as nicely:
“On the east facet of the nation, the championships flowed freely because of the freakish talents of Scott Summers. He gained 5 GNCC titles, 4 Nationwide Hare Scrambles Championships, 69 particular person nationwide races and earned three ISDE gold medals on the XR.” –Grime Bike
Although the bike was not the lightest or strongest dust bike available on the market, it was large, burly, and succesful — arduous to cease, and nearly inconceivable to kill. Cycle World stated it greatest again in 1985:
“Shopping for an XR600R with the hopes of proudly owning a pure racebike can be a mistake; 300-pound off-road bikes don’t make nice sprinters. However then, there aren’t many featherweights that you’d need to journey over a mountain vary on, or cross a desert with. So in case your driving entails cross-country journeys, occasional open-country enduros, long-distance reliability or simply plain enjoyable driving, the XR will do it nicely. And what’s maybe extra essential, the XR600R will carry on doing it for a very long time.” –Cycle World
The 1994 Honda XR600R you see here’s a testomony to the reality of these phrases. It’s the non-public bike of our pal Claudio Pedraza of Spain’s ZZ Moto, who raced these bikes throughout their heyday:
“It’s a legendary mannequin that deservedly earned its fame within the early nineties in numerous enduro competitions, primarily in america the place it gained numerous trophies. I do know this mannequin very nicely, I’ve had a number of with which I’ve participated for a number of years in numerous enduro competitions in America within the 90s.”
Lately, Claudio prefers lengthy days of adventuring driving by means of the mountains to enduro competitors. After coming back from a protracted route by means of the Pyrenees, he determined to show again the clock on the bike’s aesthetics, working to make it extra intently resemble the 1988-1990 fashions whereas setting it up for his most popular driving fashion.
After loads of looking out, he positioned a coveted purple ’88 fuel tank, then bolted up a stainless Supertrapp exhaust. For the facet covers, he selected a bolder blue than customary — a greater match to the fork gaiters — and went with a extra muted seat with ’86-style lettering.
He hand-built the headlight assist from 18mm tubing with a purpose to maintain his toolkit, tweaked the carb to work with the brand new exhaust, modified the fork oil, tuned the suspension to his driving fashion, and has a rear baggage rack within the works.
All in all, it’s arduous to consider this large XR is almost 30 years outdated, and we’re glad it’s nonetheless going sturdy each on the street and off. Beneath, Claudio provides us the complete story on the machine.
Honda XR600R: Within the Builder’s Phrases…
Honda XR600R. This Honda mannequin doesn’t require a lot introduction. It’s a legendary mannequin that deservedly earned its fame within the early nineties in numerous enduro competitions, primarily in america the place it gained numerous trophies. I do know this mannequin very nicely, I’ve had a number of with which I’ve participated for a number of years in numerous enduro competitions in America within the 90s.
This XR is from 1994 and its essential peculiarity is that it’s my very own bike meant for use on mountain roads. I purchased it a number of years in the past with only a few kilometers and completely customary. Over time, I nonetheless discover its excessive simplicity and reliability mixed with its effectivity on lengthy off-road journeys admirable. Coming back from a powerful route by means of the Pyrenees, I made a decision to make it somewhat extra traditional by barely modifying its aesthetics and bringing it nearer to that of 1988 or 1990.
With that concept in thoughts and loads of time spent looking out, I managed to get the fabric I wished for my bike. Some components of the 1988 mannequin had been: purple fuel tank.
Warehouse stickers. Particular person exhaust manifolds alongside a chrome steel Supertrapp muffler. I saved the blue fork gaiters from 1994.
Two issues that don’t correspond to any 12 months, merely for a matter of private style, are the colour of the facet covers — painted in a barely stronger blue than the unique — and the upholstery of the seat, the place I selected a softer blue tone and with the letters of the 1986 mannequin.
I fitted a 28mm Magura EX tapered handlebar with aluminum handlebar risers that enhance the peak by fifteen millimeters. This mixture is at all times very comfy for me, it reduces fatigue on lengthy mountain journeys. One other level that provides consolation and management was to extend the assist floor of the footrests.
I do know from expertise that on lengthy mountain routes, a minor fall or harm often occurs, alone bike or on one in all my touring companions. The worst factor that may occur in these moments just isn’t having instruments to unravel this inconvenience, so to move stated instruments I hand-built a headlight assist in spherical iron tube of eighteen millimeters. The headlight corresponds to a beforehand modified and tailored Honda CB250.
As for the mechanical half, it stays customary, I’ve solely changed the air filter with a greater high quality one and a few carburetion changes to stability every thing with the brand new Supertrapp exhaust.
Sustaining the standards of performance, and contemplating I don’t often do enduro however slightly lengthy days on mountain roads, I additionally saved the suspension as customary. I modified the rear shock and fork fluids protecting them manufacturing unit spec however altering the settings to somewhat softer mode. This at all times provides journey consolation.
Very glad with the end result, I lastly have the specified bike. I solely have to complete a baggage rack that I already began and that I might be prepared for my subsequent route.
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