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Yamaha Tech Originally the Yamaha XT600 Tech Forum, due to demand it now includes all Yamaha's technical / mechanical / repair / preparation questions.
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Old 23 Apr 2008
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1989 xt 600 supermoto?

I have been thinking about using an 18 inch rear rim to lace onto my front wheel. I would then have a very cheap "supermoto" Am I trippin'? I have heard of people using 18 in the back and 17 in front, what about 18 in front and back? are there issues with doing this? I can't figure out why not- would I need to install a stabilizer in front?

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Old 23 Apr 2008
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I saw some short track racing they were using 18" front and rear so it is possible .
I think CCM made a bike with 18" wheels.
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Old 25 Apr 2008
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Your biggest problem with an 18" front will be your choice of tyres, and the profile of them. 18" tyres tend to be designed as a rear tyre, and so have a rounder profile than a front tyre. The more triangular front profile is to help the front to drop in to a corner, a rounder profiled 'rear' tyre may be a bit of a struggle to change direction with.

I'd give yourself as much tyre choice as possible with your rim sizes, that's why supermoto's tend to go for 17".
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Old 7 Jun 2008
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Go for it!

If you already have an 18" rim with the correct number of holes, then I say just go for it. 18" front and rear will work fine. There are plenty of excellent bias ply tires these days, you don't need expensive 17" wheels, with silly-sticky tires, to have a kick-ass backroads toy. I'd recommend sliding the forks down in the triples to be flush with the top of the triples and swap in a stiffer set of fork springs. If you can find a spare shock, have a suspension guru revalve it and/or swap in a stiffer spring. Add a set of Race-Tech cartridge emulators in the forks and you have a very capable sportbike. We roadraced similarly set-up dirt bikes for years...
Here is a photo of my '92 XT600E faux Motard; shown with a stock-sized, skinney 17" rear and skinney 18" front rim. The tires are Bridgestone BT-45 on the rear (120/80-17) and an ancient Metzeler Lazer (90/90-18) in the front - not the stickiest bias ply tires but it still will rail thru the corners. Totally stock suspension. It kicks ass...

I've since gone to a 19" front which came to me with another XT. I prefer the 19" slightly on this bike since I feel like there is more feedback than with the 18". Keep in mind my '92 has slightly different geometry than your '89 and also a 17" rear.
I've never needed a steering stabilizer on this bike, but YMMV. Carefull tire selection makes a big difference, since some tires are more prone to instability than others. You actually will probably prefer a rounder, slower steering front tire, since it will turn so much quicker than with the stock 21". Good luck!

Last edited by joefj1200; 8 Jun 2008 at 16:45.
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Old 13 Jun 2008
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i have seen a couple of xt's using rims off a street bike, i think gs500 wheels, im trying to find out what wheels they are using, so i could swap. i would love to keep it off-road, then change to motard for street
1990 xt600
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Old 15 Jun 2008
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My 89 tenere is fitted with 18" akront rims laced to OE hubs.
seems to suit the bike for road biased riding
I'm finding that pirelli scorpions work very well.
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Old 5 Sep 2008
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Red face Xt 600 supermoto style

Just throwing my 2 penneth in after struggling for ages to find street wheels to smooth out the bump of knobblies. I fitted Suzuki RG125 Fun wheels to mine. They take exactly the same wheel bearings which lets you know you can use the same spindles. They will also take a 110 front and even up to a 150 on the back. Aligning them was a bit of a stuggle as was sorting the rear disk brake and the front caliper (my bike was a 1987 tenere orignally) and there was a lot of messing about making up spacers but now it handles as smooth as silk and you get a good choice of rubber. I love it now - when it has a spark - which is why I was on the forum in the first place - Hey ho!

I've tried to attach a pic so you can see what it looks like. Good luck with your conversion!

I'm struggling with the pics so send your email address if you'd like to have a look.

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Old 5 Sep 2008
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Seems the pic worked after all!
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