Spin off from "best xr600" thread

The "best xr600" thread got me thinking.

I have a CA plated '89 600r, (still apart in boxes - what do you want for $300?) that sounds like it may be more of a frankenbike that expected - I'm not complaining, it (aledgely) has the HRC 628 kit, motard wheels, many extras, and the differences seem to be upgrades to newer components.

Would someone (or several someones) be kind enough to detail the model changes by year?

E.g. twin carb to single, fork changes, axle changes, etc.

I'm looking for details, not just that the axle diameter changed, but from what diameter to what diameter.

Alternatively, is this info online somewhere?

Thanks in advance,


Major changes between models were as follows-

1985- XR600RF released as a replacement for the XR500R. It was an all new machine, larger bore & stroke in the engine, updated carbs for easier starting, and a brand new chassis and suspension as well. This bike easily topped the big-bore enduro class, setting a standard for years to come.

1988- XR600RJ was the model where a few updates were made to iron out some bugs. The 38mm single PD carburettor replacing the twin carbs was the major mechanical change other than a few updates to gearbox components and the change to a nikasil cylinder. The bike also received a cosmetic makeover with a new seat/tank combo and sidecovers. The colouring was changed to white/red instead of all red.

1991- XR600RM was the bike that was the final "major" update for the venerable XR6. The front forks were all new again but this time Honda went for units that had an internal "cartridge" system, this gave more scope for damping adjustments or "revalving". The rear swingarm/linkage and rear shock were all new, and resulted in much better handling over earlier models. To make room for the larger shock, the airbox boot was changed and in turn, the carburettor jetting. The bike also recieved a long awaited rear disc brake which improved braking feel and power enormously. The front disc/capliper were also new. However, where Honda had spent money to improve the handling/braking areas they scrimped in others. The exhaust was all new but no longer featured stainless steel header pipes. The nikasil bore went west, replaced by a steel lined cylinder. As well as this the magnesium engine covers were replaced by alloy ones. More changes were made to the transmission, it recieved a strengthened countershaft and other updates to gears. Other detail changes included new graphics and a white fuel tank replaced the red one.

1992- XR600RN was the model that in Australia, the bike recieved some changes to bring it into line with ADR (Australian Design Rules) laws in order to stay road legal. The headlight grew in size to a large glass unit. The blinkers were also made larger and the speedo/speedo mount and switchblock changed.

1994- XR600RR as well as graphics changes the bike recieved a larger diameter front axle and different bearings to accomodate this.

2000- XR600RY In the final year of its model run, the big beast was available in fighting red! No other changes were made.

Thanks a lot for all the info!

Looks like I do have a bit of a frankenbike - but that's a good thing!

'89 frame w/ (I think) cart forks (there is a damping adjust at the bottom of the slider) and rear disk.

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