Despite the current attrition rate in this year’s running of the Dakar Rally, Honda are generally known for producing utterly bombproof off-road bikes. It’s no surprise that XRs and NXs make up a large proportion of the street trackers and scramblers featured on the Bike Shed and across social media.
When it comes to combining rugged capability with style Ad Hoc Café Racers from Barcelona are one of Europe’s go-to custom shops. This XR600 had been sitting in the workshop for a while waiting for the right customer to come along. Ad Hoc’s owner, David González, enjoys semi-converting dirt bikes for the road and has form in this department with some fairly outlandish previous builds.
The customer for this XR is a slightly taller gentlemen than the average so David insisted on a fitment session in the workshop. A new subframe replaces Hondas overly tabbed unit and provides a platform for decent slab of comfort. The saddle is reminiscent of scrambling from yesteryear and strays away from the skinny brat trend, and in this case the bike as a whole looks all the better for it.
Comfort and practicality, since when did they become custom bosom buddies. A stash pocket in the saddle is a mighty handy addition to a city ride with more rural intentions, especially when upholstered in a repurposed military poncho.
Wheels are 18″ rear and 19″ front, powder coated and shod in capable Continental’s TKC80s. Those knobblies flick up a fair amount of roost so a near-proper pair of handmade fenders were fitted. Quite a rare sighting these days since the fender was brought to near extinction during the 2015 Tracker Epidemic.
The XR’s original hemi-headed 600cc single gave up on life and had since been replaced by a much fresher, low mileage replacement. David machined new tappets making for efficient and quieter running and a new Keihin carb adds a bit of extra pep.
Whilst raiding the Honda parts bin a pair of Africa Twin handlebars were found, along with a tank from an earlier XL500. The svelte silhouette is far more aesthetically appealing than the stumpy original and with some alteration to the mounts and a coating of matt grey the new tank looks the part, instantly adding retro charm to the build. Alongside this voluminous Teneré tanked XT600 built at a similar time the XR looks positively nimble and lithe in its native stomping ground.
David and the Ad Hoc crew have made quite a name for themselves and their Instagram feed suggests that some rather tasty full-on builds are on the horizon.