A Dutch motocross racer builds himself a dual-terrain ripper…
In 1983, Kawasaki and Yamaha decided to challenge Honda’s domination of the big-bore dual-sport class. Kawasaki introduced their KLR600 and Yamaha their XT600 — a bike that would remain in production for nearly 20 years. The XT600 proved itself a worthy successor to the Paris-Dakar-winning XT500, impressing reviewers from the get-go:
“The bike is exhilarating, to say the least! The short wheelbase, combined with a power snap in the middle, spells wheelies. In fact, simple power-shifting through the gears will crank the front end sky-high. It’s a rush. Playing Freddie Spencer in the canyons makes you feel that the bike was designed with this in mind.” —Dirt Bike Rider, 1984
If you think such a bike sounds like a great donor for a scrambler build, you aren’t the only one. We recently heard from Remco Witkamp (@remcopower) of the Netherlands, an enthusiast who modified mopeds for dirt-riding in his youth and turned to full-on motocross at the age of 14, racing for many years.
“A few years ago I saw a picture of a scrambler. From that moment on I was thinking that I needed to create one of my own.”
Remco picked up a ’91 XT600 as a non-runner, brought it back to his shed, and began working from some initial drawings he’d made. He completely rebuilt the rear frame of the bike, using PVC pipe to mock up the design and buying a welder and pneumatic bending tool to get the job done. He modified the frame to fit a metal tank, crafted a new saddle, re-wired the bike, swapped in a set of 17-inch wheels, and the list goes on.
Except for the powder-coated frame, Remco even handled all of the paint himself. The result is a bike he calls the SRC600 — “Scrambler Road Cross” — a unique, shed-built scrambler that’s a blast on all kinds of terrain, and never fails to elicit thumbs up from bystanders!
Below, we get the full story on the build straight from Remco himself.
Scrambler Road Cross 600: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
My name is Remco Witkamp from the Netherlands. In my youth I was always modifying citybikes and mopeds. Actually the mopeds were modified for motocross. So, different suspension in the rear, large front forks from other mopeds, other tires etc; actually, they looked like scramblers. At the age of 14, the mopeds made place for MX motorcycles. Competed for many years. A few years ago I saw a picture of a scrambler. From that moment on I was thinking that I needed to create one of my own.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the donor bike?
It is a Yamaha XT600 from 1991. I bought it not running, so a bit of a guess. But the perfect donor.
• Why was this bike built?
This is a personal project. This bike was built in my shed.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
Actually I made some drawings before I started with the project. Of course I looked on the internet for other projects to get some ideas. But the main part is how I think it would be the perfect and most original scrambler.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
- Rear frame
- Mainframe mounting point adjustment for the fuel tank
- Small modification of the oil tube cooling system to fit the fuel tank
- Fuel tank painting
- Saddle, completely handcrafted
- New electric wiring
- In rear frame integrated LED flashlights
- Handmade exhaust pipe rear end
- Sandblasted finish flag structure on the adjusted fenders in line with fuel tank design
- Front fender clamp
- 17” rims front and rear
- Removing the key lock of the upper part of the front fork
I first cut the rear frame off and created a new one. I used PVC tubes to figure out the right lines. I had to buy a welder and pneumatic bending tool to get the metal tubes in shape. The frame and back bridge (achterbrug) are powdercoated by a firm. All other parts are painted by myself.
• Does the bike have a nickname?
SRC600 / Scrambler Road Cross / Scrambler Road Cross 600
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?
Riding it is fun. It handles easy and it is great fun riding it on all surfaces. Riding it gets a lot of thumbs up…
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
Overall the complete picture of the bike. I think the bike looks great, it is unique. The design and painting of the tank makes it complete.
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