XT600Z 3AJ - Chesterfield
Introduction To My 600 Tenere Chesterfield
I was 20 years old when I first fell in love with the XT600z 3AJ. While browsing Google Images for larger enduro/overland travel bikes to complement my small XT225 Serow, I stumbled across Ingo Locherts XT600Z Tenere Chesterfield rally replica 3AJ Tenere. Built in Germany in the 90’s/early 2000s, Ingo created a scarce few rally replica bikes with great precision. I fell in love with the style and saved the image to my phone. Over the next few months I kept coming back to the image. Eventually, I took the plunge and dived in to the world of the early Teneres and learnt a great deal about them over the following years.
After a successful client visit at work, where we had engaged in conversation about our dream motorcycles, I came home to browse eBay for my dream bike. There it was. A 1989 XT600Z Tenere 3AJ for sale. However, it was in poor cosmetic shape, yet the engine had been treated to a full rebuild and re-bore. This was my chance to purchase my dream bike and I quickly made him an offer and came to an arrangement. Two weeks later I was the owner of my first Tenere.
Purchase and Pre-Restoration
The bike was on eBay auction when I saw it. It pays to be forward when you really want something so I asked what price he would like for the bike. We came to an agreement at a good price of £1600. This was the first 3AJ I had seen on Ebay so it was hard to valuate the worth of the bike. Subsequent sales I have witnessed have confirmed that this was a fair price with room for the expenses of a restoration.
The bike was in rough shape, many rusted parts, cracked paint and damaged fairing. The tank had seen a crash and was seeping too. However, the engine was of particular interest. After a tour of Spain by the previous owner, the engine had been rebuilt to the tune of £600+. This included a big re-bore. It also featured a kick starter alongside the electric start, a desirable bonus for an overland adventure bike. The engine was that of a 3TB. I also received the full original engine that matched the frame. However, I had this inspected with the intention of rebuilding yet it was discovered that the bottom was of no use due to damage. Along the way I also acquired a 43F full engine. One day I will produce another rebuilt engine out of these.
I rode the bike only a few times before restoration began. It rode quite nice, very comfortable and very stable. It felt like I was sitting atop of a tractor. The exhaust pipes had pin holes in them and the can was full of rust. The rear rim was a 17inch gold anodized rim from a later bike, not standard and the wrong colour. I was advised to get new rims by my wheel builder. Over the rebuild I acquired a number of items, spare plastics, spare tank, clocks, engine bars and a stainless exhaust system.
The XT600Z Tenere Chesterfield restoration began late 2018 after fabricating a number of custom items. I wanted a rally style sump guard with the grilled look I had seen on Ingo’s bike. My dad, a skilled welder, began manufacturing one from an old dog guard and a later 600 framed sump. Coincidentally, during week we were building this, a genuine aftermarket Rikycross grilled sump guard appeared on eBay from Italy. I won that auction and after a brief modification, it fitted the 3AJ. We also manufactured a headlight grill (which I may sell more of one day).
You can find full details of the restoration below. Sounds like a lot of work? I have a full set of restored body work, restored tank, and all the extra trimmings ready to go. You can read more about that here. I will be looking to discount the price of this bolt on kit by purchasing your old body pieces from you. This would be a real easy way to give your Tenere an amazing makeover with very little effort, without having to worry about selling your old pieces online.
I picked up a set of plastics, fairing, tank, clocks, engine bars and head-lights from a man in Hereford. He was building a cafe-racer from his brothers 3AJ. He was auctioning them off on eBay individually so once again, I was forward and made him an offer for the job lot and I would pick them up myself, saving him the hassle of postage. I got a good price for the lot.
- Find them and similar here (View)
- Dents and damage removed
- Taps rebuilt and sand blasted (View)
- Tank cleaned, prepped and sealed with POR15. (View)
- Additional fuel filters installed below the taps.
- The fairing was repaired by plastic welding to a high standard.
- Plastics painted white before the custom decals were applied.
- Paint and decals sealed in with lacquer.
- New adhesive heat shield applied. (View)
- DIY rally plates applied to the side panels. (View)
- New UFO mudguard (Requires spacers when used with crash bars).
- Fork Guards (Cable tied on) (View)
- Hand guards with dual, vented extensions. (View)
- Acerbis Rear Disc Protector. (View)
- Slipscreens touring screen. (View)
- Re-covered with David Lambeths Cover. (View)
- Seat brackets painted and lacquered.
- Fork Gaiters (View)
As I've said previously, the engine had been recently rebuilt by the previous owner already. Therefore I deemed it not necessary to do any work with the engine other than a once over. The bikes original engine has been stored away for another day. It's likely that only the top end is of use. Anyway, that's all for the future.
It was decided that the rebuild should be done in completeness and that meant new rims, spokes and tires. I kept the non standard 17 inch rear rim size with a non-descript rim of lesser quality than Excel but still quite adequate.
- 21 Inch Excel takasago front rim.
- 17 Inch rear rim.
- Stainless spokes installed by an expert friend of my fathers.
- Hubs powder coats.
- Speedo drive and various spacers painted satin black.
- Continental Conti Escape 120/90-17 64S Rear *17" not 18"!*
- Continental Conti Escape 90/90-21 54H M/C Front
- Red Chain Adjusters (View)
- Polished tab washers
- EBC Rear Disc and pads (View)
- EBC Front Disc and pads (View)
- Front Bearings (View)
- Rear Bearings (View)