RALLY RAID REPLICAS
After coming across a set of pictures of Ingo Lochert’s rally styled XT600 Teneres I immediately fell in love with their style. The mass of stickers, the grilled guards and the abundance of protective accessories. A few months later I found my own XT600Z Tenere in need of a restoration. Once mine, I began to restore it, with little expense spared. Many components were replaced and upgrades in the restoration. This could be one of the best 3AJ Teneres in the U.K, albeit, not original.
On this page I will show you the journey my XT600 Tenere made from it’s initial purchase, strip down and restoration. I will also explain the numerous modifications, accessories and upgrades I made to the bike. I hope that you enjoy reading the story of my Chesterfield rally replica build.
KG - DRY
After a client meeting at work where we had discussed our “dream bikes” I came home to look on eBay for my dream bike. There it was. A 3AJ in need of a full restoration for a reasonable price. I skipped the bidding process, offering £1600 to Buy It Now. I A week later and I picked it up from Somerset.
The bike was seriously tired. The tank was damaged, the fairing cracked, the plastics aged and most components rusting and in need of a rebuild. It would need a lot of work, many new components and a fair bit of money.
However it did have one thing going for it. A full engine rebuild and overbore to the tune of £600 less than 1000km ago. Once I had the bike home I had to take it for a ride. Up to that point I’d only had a 125 and a 225cc. The 600 felt nice. A strong power upgrade from what I’d been used to. I do remember it feeling distinctively like a tractor however. Sturdy, rugged and rough. After a couple of rides out I had established that the bike ran fine so the strip down and restoration could begin in earnest.
RESTORATION PART 1
It only took a few hours to get the bike completely stripped down. Once apart, the pieces were organised into packages to be sent for powder coating. Now I’d had a good look at each component, I could put together a list of new parts I would need. For instance: new rims, new spokes, a new exhaust setup, new seat cover, new fork gaiters, new indicators, new handlebars, grips, levers and pretty much all new wearable components.
While various pieces were off for powder coating, I found a listing for a complete body work set for sale on eBay. A nice man in Hereford was converting a 3AJ into a cafe racer and wanted to sell the bodywork. Tank, fairing, screen, side panels, light unit and mudguard. A lot of gear there. I negotiated a favourable £150 and collected it a week later. These parts were in better condition than my own pieces so I sent these off to a friend who does automotive body repairs. The tank was re-lined and scrapes filled. Then the whole lot was cleaned, painted, custom Chesterfield decals applied (which I sell here) and clear coated.
Once that had been completed, I began sourcing a few extra pieces: generic YZ fork guards, UFO high mudguard, Slipscreens tall windshield, David Lambeth Cover and new fork gaiters. Once I had it all back home, I assembled in it the living room to marvel at how this bike was going to look.
A core part of the design of this bike is the ridiculous number of accessories, protective parts and customised pieces. Throughout the build of my XT600Z I collected some genuine period aftermarket pieces such as:
- Acerbis rear disk protector. (eBay find).
- Ricky Cross Racing period bash plate. (Imported from eBay Italy).
- Hepco & Becker engine crash bars. (Available online but I got mine in the body work bundle).
- Arrow Dakar stainless exhaust with stainless headers. (eBay finds).
And then some modern aftermarket pieces and DIY creations:
- Imitation Acerbis rear master cylinder protector.
- Race plates (Plastic chocolate box, covered in vinyl, then stickers, then rubber lined with trim).
- Handguards with dual extensions.
- DIY Light guard grill. Stainless bar, filled in with welders mesh and two brackets welded on.
- Yamaha YZ generic fork guards with custom decals. Small bracket made for secure mounting.
- Generic Yamaha TTR mudguard by UFO.
- SlipScreen tall windshield.
- David Lambeth seat cover.
Before I sent my tank for painting I re-sealed the tank with POR-15. This process is a bit of a pain and can cost up to £60 depending on the level of kit you purchase. It begins with a good clean of the tank including an anti-rust chemical solution. Once the cleaning stage is complete the liquid metal can be poured into the tank. Because of the insanely awkward size and shape of the tank, this becomes hard work very quickly. You must keep the solution moving for many hours to develop a smooth coating liner.
Once the tank was sealed, painted and re-assembled to the bike I moved onto the fuel lines. Fuel lines are perishable items so should be replaced every so while. I installed two inline clear glass filters.
Finally we go to the carburettor. I left my carb standard. #48 Pilot Jet, #155 main primary. I could talk for a long time on this subject which is why I will leave it for a dedicated article in the "Workshop" part of this website. (Also check the latest articles at the bottom of this page). I quite enjoy cleaning and rebuilding carburettors. One day I may purchase an ultra-sonic cleaner and offer carb cleaning/rebuilding and upgrading services, testing the end result on my own bikes.