Honda XR600 X ON Goes From Retired Rally Bike to Stylish Scrambler Featuring Classic Vibes

8 months, 3 weeks ago - 07. June 2023, autocar
Honda XR600 X ON Goes From Retired Rally Bike to Stylish Scrambler Featuring Classic Vibes
Australia is known to have a blooming custom bike scene, and Perth-based 66 Motorcycles has been a part of it since 2011.

The guys are all about authenticity and a nonconformist approach to their work, which can often result in some extraordinary outcomes. For instance, the machine they refer to as X ON doesn’t follow the typical blueprint for a project of its kind.

Previously, it had been a 1996 Honda XR600 modified to handle the Australasian Safari – a brutal rally through the outback, which was last held in 2014. Peter Ellery of 66 got his hands on the rugged Honda the following year, and he decided to trade some of its off-roading prowess for everyday usability. Now, most builders will have taken the opportunity to turn this rally-prepped donor into a beefy dual-sport juggernaut, but Peter isn’t most builders.

He opted for the vintage scrambler route instead, turning the XR600 from desert racer to urban runner and refurbishing it wherever needed. After ditching its bodywork, the Aussie began searching for a replacement fuel tank to suit his vision, eventually pulling the trigger on a CB250’s module. The next step saw Peter and his crew amputating the stock subframe and fitting a custom-built substitute in its stead.

This creates a perfectly level bone line in conjunction with the CB250 tank, and it supports a flat bench seat upholstered in tan leather. Glancing up close, we also see a discreet inner fender that prevents road debris from going where it shouldn’t. The subframe’s rearmost section is home to an inconspicuous license plate holder and a full suite of Posh lighting hardware.

Rounding out the specimen’s new outfit is a handmade front fender, but there’s quite a lot going on in the unsprung sector, too. The 66 squad deleted the original wheels, replacing them with aftermarket Talon hubs, stainless-steel spokes, and a pair of SM Pro rims measuring 17 inches on both ends. In terms of rubber, they went with dual-purpose 705 tires from Shinko’s range.

At the front, one may notice a seven-inch headlight with retro looks, flanked by LED turn signals similar to those found out back. Posh componentry is the name of the game in the cockpit, comprising brown grips, rectangular mirrors, and compact switches. Moreover, X ON packs overhauled electronics and fresh wiring all-round, but its powertrain hasn’t been neglected, either.

On the intake side of things, Peter added a Mikuni TM40 carburetor and a premium air filter, while the factory exhaust made way for an aftermarket unit with heat-wrapped headers and aluminum heat shields. The latter items have been crafted from scratch, as were the fender brackets and new chain guard. Lastly, the suspension was left alone for the most part, though the forks got lowered ever so slightly to fine-tune the motorcycle’s stance.

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