The Honda XR600R is a legend among dirt bikes, a big-bore four-stroke dirt weapon that reigned supreme in the 1980s and 90s, from the wide western deserts to the thick eastern woods. Introduced in 1985, it would become a king of Baja, winning five Baja 1000 and three Baja 500 races — a 100-mph desert sled that won its first Baja 1000 by 45 minutes, unseating the Kawasaki’s mighty KX500 big-bore two-stroke.
But the XR600R was more than just a high-speed desert missile — it was also incredibly versatile, capable of beating the best on a staggering array of terrain:
“Scott Summers built his reputation by winning nine AMA National championships contested in the woods (four in Hare Scrambles and five in Grand National Cross Country) on XR600s. Summers also won three gold medals in the International Six Days Enduro — the Olympics of motorcycling — racing against the best enduro racers from every nation on their ground.” —MCS
Enter our new friend Federico Scalia, the 44-year-old painter, builder, and amateur motocrosser behind Sicily’s Aerostyle Aerografie, which mainly focuses on custom painting for racers, especially custom helmets. As a side hobby, Federico also runs VMX Restomod out of his “cave”:
“VMX Restomod, it is not a real shop, I do it only for passion…I love to modify my bikes. Just a hobby. I have fun inside my cave, the ideal place to relax and not think about troubles!”
Federico has an XR650R motard, a CR250 motocrosser, and he just finished this incredible 1991 Honda XR600R restomod — a bike that’s dripping with trick parts: Wiseco piston, Hot Cams Stage 1 cam, Keihin FCR carb, FMF exhaust, Öhlins suspension, Excel rims, a custom aluminum tank, and much more. The result is one of the trickest 600R’s we’ve ever seen, a restomod enduro that Federico built entirely himself:
“I did it all by myself, so I’m very proud of everything. When working on a restoration, every single screw is pampered. The painting, perhaps a little more than the other things.”
Below, we talk to Federico for the full story on this hot-rodded legend!
Honda XR600R Restomod: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
I’m Federico Scalia, I’m 44 years old, and I live in Sicily…motocross and enduro bikes have always been my passion! I started motocross at 16, never in a competitive way, only amateur. My first bike was an Aprilia RX 50cc 🙂
VMX Restomod, it is not a real shop, I do it only for passion…I love to modify my bikes. Just a hobby. I have fun inside my cave, the ideal place to relax and not think about troubles! I currently have a Honda XR650R transformed into a motard (don’t miss it) and a 1992 Honda CR250, and this Honda XR600R, just finished. A 1993 KX250 and two other Honda XR600R’s are waiting!! I have toys to hang out with!
• What’s the make, model, and year of the donor bike?
It’s a Honda XR600R, 1991.
• Why was this bike built?
It’s my personal bike…my passion.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
I was inspired by the 1985 and 1986 models.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
- Wiseco piston
- Hot Cams stage 1
- Keihin FCR MX41
- Header: FMF Powerbomb
- Muffler: FMF Megamax “Evolution”
- Forks: Ohlins TTX
- Rear shock: Mono Ohlins
- Triple clamp: Neken
- Handlebar: Renthal Twinwall
- Clutch perch: Pro Circuit
- Rims: Takasago Excel
- Hubs: CHT Chiaravalli
- Tires: Pirelli MT21
- Front brake pump: Nissin Honda CRF450, 2021
- Front caliper: Nissin Honda CRF450, 2021
- Front disc: Brembo 270mm
- Rear pump: Nissin (from yamaha YZ450F)
- Rear caliper: Stock Nissin
- Rear disc: Braking
- Brake hose: Kevlar FrenTubo
- Chain and sprockets: Renthal
- Aluminum custom tank
- Paintjob by Aerostyle Aerografie
- Seat cover custom made by Volcano
• Does the bike have a nickname?
No, but maybe your readers can give me some ideas!
• What’s it like to ride?
To be honest I only finished it a few days ago, I haven’t had the chance to test it yet…I can’t wait to ride it!
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
I did it all by myself, so I’m very proud of everything. When working on a restoration, every single screw is pampered. The painting, perhaps a little more than the other things.
Follow the Builder
For bikes: VMX Restomod on FB, @vmx_restomod on IG
For paint: www.aerostyle.it, Aerostyle Aerografie on FB, @aerostyle.it on IG
Very attractive bike, nice job! However, the visual is a bit loud and not as integrated as it could be. You have:
– Red, white, and blue on the tank (and silver, which comes across as white in the pics).
– Red and yellow on the side panels, fenders, and headlight shroud.
– Gold on the rims and forks.
– Blue for the seat.
– Anodized blue for the muffler.
I think the bike would be more integrated if you got rid of the blue and white on the tank and instead used the red/yellow from the rest of the panels. Or, change the white/silver on the tank for yellow. Same for the white lettering on the fork guards and seat: change that to yellow.
I agree a bit loud. I get rid of all the blue and all of the yellow. Do the rims in black. Not to ‘coordinate’ a color scheme or anything that vomit inducing, just to get things a bit more settled down, and let the Ohlins and Brembo/Nissin hardware colors do their talking a bit more.
Interesting that Scott won all those titles with almost all factory parts that were modified. His XR was simple. It had re-valved factory suspension and other than Renthal bars that were gold colored the rest of the XR was unadorned and without bling. Scott was an incredibly strong and conditioned athlete which allowed him to push the heavy XR through the worst of conditions. I have ridden on the same minute with him on one national enduro and against him at two cross country events. He is one of the most naturally talented riders I have ever had the pleasure of competing with. Similar to the storied Joel Robert.
Thanks for sharing this.
The bike is beautiful and perfect! Don’t listen to Wheelz270. His brain can’t keep up with all that’s going on there!
Aesthetics is subjective, so we all get to like and dislike what we want. At least I’m articulate, that should be a good indicator that my brain is processing more than people, who respond, “It’s awesome,” or “It’s perfect,” or “I love it!” Hint: when every single person gushes over you and doesn’t have any constructive criticism it’s largely brown-nosing. Criticism gets a bad name precisely because people are small-brained.
So PERFECTLY stated, thank you. Too many sycophants on bike sites.
Just stunning Federico, well done I wish I had the patience to create something like this.
My ole XR also running a fcr carb. Hand down the best mod I’ve done. Can’t recommend the carb swap enough
As an XR650L man with many of the same mods, I appreciate this fine build. Love the alloy tank!!
Totally awesome bikes I would love to have, I’m a 07 xr 650 l owner I love it
what is the size of that rear tire ? looks pretty beefy.Please advise thanks.
They look like Pirelli MT21s, I run them and use the 140 rear on an 18 rim. I like them, be warned they are DOT street legal so heavier than they would be as pure dirt tires. They work great for me in a sort of 80/20 dirt/street mix.
I am building a 93 XR 250:right now, 85 colors,styles are the same inspiration.What is the red paint color code? Flash red?
Here is my CR 250 wide ratio in Dirt Bike Magazine.