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XR600R Upgrades

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I recently acquired a 2000 XR600R ( my first dirt bike in over 25 years) and a 1998 XR400R and I am wondering about upgrades. What upgrades have you done and what do you feel were the best upgrades you have done? I already feel the need to put handguards/barkbusters on both bikes  and I would like to convert the tail lights to brake lights but I haven't researched that yet. They both need new tires so I am wondering what everybody else is running (90% dirt) and what is working best. I plan on getting some type of mirrors so that I can get the bikes plated here but most likely will just be riding dirt, dirt roads in the forest, and the occasional quick jaunt on the asphalt between trails. Thank you

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43 minutes ago, Backwoods-Bomber said:

Kenda k760 trackmaster tires are a good choice mostly dirt use.

But avoid the K761.  I had a set of those and didn't like the street behavior.

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Posted (edited)

It’s pretty easy to add a brake light to the stock tail light.  The socket is already set up for a dual filament bulb.  You just need to push a wire through the grommet and solder it in the empty terminal in the socket.  Run that wire to a hydraulic brake switch, with a hot lead and you are done.  Mount your license plate, when you get it, to the fender just below the tail light.  It’s best to get, or make, a plastic license plate bracket to bolt the plate to.  You won’t bend up the plate when you drop it.

If you are running 90% dirt, I wouldn’t worry about DOT legal tire.  Get what you think are best.  My pick would be a Bridgestone M59 on the front and a Maxxis IT (not the Desert IT) on the rear.  I have been running non DOT tires on my D/S bikes for 30 years and have never had them checked by LE.

If it doesn’t already have aluminum handlebars, get some.  CR Hi-Bend.  Add bark busters and a skid plates, especially for the 600.

For a mirror, get the half of the perch mount with the threaded hole for a mirror, much cleaner than a clamp mount.  Then a folding mirror.  Only need one for the left side.

Edited by Gflo
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As I go over the additions I've make to my XR600R, the biggest impact on offload ability has been the TM-40 carb. Need to pull the front end up over a log or wheelie over a puddle? No problem, its just a twist away!

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Thank you all for the replies.  I really appreciate them.  I live in AZ and have to have an OHV plate so I have it just screwed right to the rear fender below the tail light. Sounds like a brake light set up is in the near future! I have a skid plate on the 600 and will start looking for one for the 400. Is anybody running an oil cooler on their 600? Thanks again. 

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Spend the first money on suspension upgrades, you won't be sorry.

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already blew a fork seal LOL so I have to do the forks already.  I have never done them before, are there any good videos on Youtube?

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You don't need a video , they go back together the way they came apart.  :smirk:

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My favorite mod has been swapping the stock carb for an FCR MX pumper carb. It makes worlds of difference and can be found relatively cheap if you find someone parting out a blown up motocrosser. Takes a little more work than some other mods, but people have documented the process here, and I feel like it has been well worth it.

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Best modification that I've done to the XR600R: USD fork swap.  Totally transformed the bike's cornering response.  

2nd best mod that I've done:  FCR carburetor swap.  Totally transformed the bike's startability and ESPECIALLY throttle response.  

You can buy a set of used USD forks on Ebay for $250-300.  And you can buy a used FCR carb from a blown-up 250f for around $150.  The stock XR600R carb is 39mm, and the later model 250fs came with a 39mm FCR carb.  It will make the bike night-and-day more responsive to sudden throttle inputs if you need to loft the front wheel or pour on the steam to get the bike upright again in a corner.  

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I had an XR628 some years ago that the stock forks/shock redone by Factory Connection, also a bone stock XR600. The 628 handled varied terrain with aplomb, the stocker rode like a jolt wagon in comparison. 

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10 hours ago, highmarker said:

except maybe for intake and exhaust leave the motor stock

A 10.5:1 higher compression piston makes a big difference in power everywhere.  I have a dyno chart showing mine compared to pretty much the exact same bike, same year and everything, but with the stock piston, and I have about five more horsepower across the whole powerband.  It gets better fuel mileage too.

But that's not some little bolt-on change either, it's major.  I would save that modification until you have to go in there for some other reason anyway.

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Agreed Scott. Joe you are a funny guy. Dirt what type of USD forks? I know I need to do something with the front suspension and I am wondering what is the best bang for my buck. Its not like I will be racing Baja or hitting freestyle ramps but I do want the front to work good for me. This seems like a good place for lots of valuable information. Thank you

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I have USD forks as well, and I got them off an 06 CRF250R. A little on the soft side because of the extra weight of the XR vs the CRF250R, but they work great for trails and dual sporting. Not so great on a supermoto track (my bike does double duty). I got those forks from the same blown up 250R that I got my carb from. As others mentioned, the USD forks are also a huge improvement. If you want stiffer forks look for a set off a 450. I believe the fork springs are typically one step stiffer than the 250s, and there are probably minor valving differences as well.

After doing both of these mods I really have no intentions of trying to make more power. I would only consider it if the bike needs a rebuild anyways. My next mod is likely an oil cooler.

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16 hours ago, notoriousE-R-I-C said:


Schematics are plain as day

The parts in your hands are even more plain.   :smirk:

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