Thought I should start a new thread about the rebuild of my 600; I'll use this thread to track progress and ask (allot) of questions.

Hopefully some of the (future) info can help others with their own projects.

I've started with an '83 XL600 and my plan is to add CR(250) suspension front and rear, and I would also like to add some updated bodywork, aftermarket exhaust and I hope to end up with a decent street legal DS.

I had been looking for a BRP for a while, I hoped on finding one in much better shape and much newer than this one, but for the price I couldn't pass it up. I thought the money I saved could be used for upgrades/mods.

The bike looks really bad, the plastic is gone, the tank is missing, and someone got a little crazy with a rattlecan, some bits and pieces are a little crusty & rusty.


I borrowed a tank from another bike that I have and to my surprise this thing actually runs (it was very questionable when I bought it). The carbs are in really bad condition, hopefully this won't be too much of a headache.

I've stripped it down to the frame and engine, I'm going to repaint the frame and my first question is......what color?


This thread might move a little slowly, it depends on how quickly I find the parts I'm looking for....thanks in advance for your advice and help ( I know I'll need a ton of each...).

Thanks again,


Frame coloure depends on graphics and bodywork. But....for that year you'll probably only find red plastic. Sooo, I think black or like bass baot metallic red is way cool. Im painting the frame, actually powdercoating it in Bass Boat metallic red, or having it chromed..haven't decided yet as this is my supermoto...

I was thinking silver/grey....it would look OK with anything.

I was going to go Honda red ...but Honda sure did make allot of different "reds".....from orange to blood red. I like the '80s orange but then matching fenders could be a pain.

And "this ain't no beauty contest" so a generic silver/grey will probably work out just fine....

I know what'll happen I'll paint it silver and then start installing bodywork and say....."Wow that frame would look awesome if it were red...."

I've been roaming the 'net looking for pics of the big XR's looking for ideas.

Didn,t really find what I was looking for so I decided to try painting the frame silver...

Well, I got the frame prepped amd primed...


And then I sprayed it "aluminum"....it turned out a little different then I had planned. I'm not sure I'm happy with the way it turned out.......

I might redo it another color.


I have had some luck on eBay...I have a '93 CR500 swingarm on the way.

Still looking for a set of forks, and tank, and seat, and.....

That shiny aluminum will need a lot of black,maybe combined with a little gold.As far as the plastics go, you can always paint them...

motomonte, yeah it needs something.....the engine is black....but I think I might repaint ithe frame white, it might look OK the way it is once the bike is re-assembled but if it doesn't then I'll have to tear it down to the frame again.

Do yourself a favor and have that frame power coated. If not that then use some 2 part automotive type paint. I've used spray cans on a few different frames, and it just doesn't stand up to normal use. It is not tough and will scrape off. If you ever use any kind of solvent, it will just dissolve the paint. Real automotive paint is much tougher and solvent resistant. Powder coating is really tough.

cleonard, although it's not as tough as automotive paint or powder coating I've had pretty good luck with PJ1 frame paint.

But I also like to tear a bike down every-other year or so and go through it. Thats a perfect time to touch up or redo the frame.

Good luck with your project, keep the pics comin

I think the shiny alloy look os cool. Id leave it alone if you are going black with the plastics, if going red with the plastic, Id say don;t do white either, white frame, white plastics look XRish and cool, but red frame red plastics look Honda cool factory. Take a fender to the place where you buy paint and match it as good as you can coloure wise. Im going chrome on my supermoto frame because I have all black plastic now. On the desert bike Im staying white on the frame and just touching it up for that restoration. It is going to have red. white and blue HRC factory coloures on it for the bodywork...so a white frame will look good.

I knew this thread would move slowly, but I thought it would be a little faster than this.

I received the CR500 swingarm and found that it's not going to fit without a little grinding and welding. The swingarm pivot seems to be just a fraction of an inch wider than the one from the XL. That won't be a big deal, however where the linkage mounts to the frame is allot wider on CR than the XL (I knew there would be a difference). It looks like I can just widen the linkage mounts and grind a little away on the swingarm and everything should be OK.

(I'll add photos later...)

But big changes happened while waiting on the swingarm to arrive.

I found a complete rolling chassis (only missing the rear shock and linkage) for a 1990 XR600 and I'm going to pick it up on Sunday.

So now it looks like when I get the XR home I'm just going to "blend" the two bikes and hopefully end up with a decent dual sport.

My short term goal has changed, I want to get this thing rideable as soon as I can, then I'll start looking at doing the mods.

I'm really excited about getting this bike done, I've been looking for a Dual Sport bike for a while now. The guy I'm getting the chassis from has a Maryland title for the '90 model chassis I'm picking up. I asked if it says anything like "off road only" or anything and he says it doesn't so maybe I'll be able to get this thing tagged in North Carolina.

I'm not sure about getting an XR tagged, I've heard that the NC titles have "off road only" on them which prevents getting them tagged. They might also go by the VIN #, I'm not sure.

If worse comes to worse I can use the XL frame, the only problem with that is the title has been lost. I went to the DMV the other day to see what I needed to do about getting a title (I only have a bill of sale) and they gave me the name that was last on the title so I might try to find him and see if I can get this thing tagged. Theres another way to apply for a new title but it has alot of red tape attached.

I'll post pics when I get the other chassis home......

Well, plans have changed allot for the old XL....

I picked up the '90 XR chassis yesterday and it looks like the only thing thats going to be used from the XL is the engine.

I drove to Maryland yesterday (12 hours round trip) to pick up this chassis and its 90% complete and in really good condition.


All I need now is:

1. An XR airbox ( I'll be using the dual carbs, I hope an older one will fit).

2. An XR rear shock. (any recommendations, maybe one from a CR?)

3. (stock) Exhaust.

4. Right side foot peg.

Anybody have any of those parts they would want to get rid of?

I know I have a footpeg, I'll look and see If I have a shock (I doutb it though).

I know I have a footpeg, I'll look and see If I have a shock (I doutb it though).

I just thought of something, I'm not at home to try it though....I wonder if the one from the XL will fit.

I'll try it out tonight and let you know, thanks for the help.

I just thought of something, I'm not at home to try it though....I wonder if the one from the XL will fit.

I'll try it out tonight and let you know, thanks for the help.

I'd be shocked if they were different, Honda's smart about parts.

If the XL don't fit, let me know.

Looks like you are on your way to a clean full resto job! Good work man!


I'd be shocked if they were different, Honda's smart about parts.

If the XL don't fit, let me know.

Well I tried it and it doesn't work.....if you've got an extra I'm in need....if you have kept it as a spare don't worry about it, there's always eBay.

I know how the extra bits and pieces can come in handy.

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