AUTO & MOTO ARTISANS - AUSTRALIA

XR600R Tracker Build Blog

Search the XR600R tag on the blog for updates on progress, or check below for more detailed info

Setting the stance

There's a lot more going on here than the photo indicates. This bike is going to ride as good as it will look, so simply slamming it down was never on the cards.

 

Hard-points like the swingarm, pivot and steering head aren't going to be messed with so getting it lower, and getting it to handle sharp on tar, is down to suspension travel, sag and swingarm angle.

 

Swingarm angle is the key to setting the stance here. Around 12.5 degrees (unloaded) is a good starting point for setting up a road/track bike, so the springs were pulled from the suspension and the bike jacked up and down to see where it sat best.

 

Long story short, swingarm angle and percentage of suspension sag versus travel comes together pretty sharp with the lower frame rails sitting flat around 270/250mm (unladen/laden) off the ground.

 

Looks good and the mathematics seems to pan out right – time to shorten the suspension and start juggling spring rates.

Wheel good time

Flat track 19" wheels and tyres might look good but this build called for something more substantial – 17" supermoto rims and rubber.

 

A bolt-on wheel set would have been the easy option but the XR600R hubs are handsome units, and keeping  things stock makes maintenance easier, so Warp9 rims (3.5" front, 4.25" rear) were ordered up.

 

Old-school alloy is a theme on this bike, so the black anodising was stripped off the rims, the hubs soda blasted, and over 20 hours spent polishing before the hubs were clear-coated, new bearings and seals, installed and the whole lot reassembled with custom-made stainless spokes.

 

Performance, practicality and looks dictated the choice of rubber. Avon Distanzia Supermoto AM43 120/70R17 SM front and AM44 150/60R17 SM rear – sticky 90% tar tyres with an aggressive chunky 'all road' tread – went on with an Outex tubeless conversion and angled billet valves.

 

Slotted into place the fat rear rubber just clears the chain and the shiny new hoops really look the goods. With the wheels in place the next move is to set the stance and determine exactly how low we want to go.

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