The Yamaha XT600 is one of those iconic enduro bikes that refuses to die—in more ways than one. The virtually bulletproof 595cc single was first released in 1983 and was the first “Ténéré” model, capitalizing on Yamaha’s profile in desert rallies. The early XT600s are still highly sought after, but you won’t find many as desirable as this one. “Dirt Rad” is the latest build from Radical Ducati, and a major departure for the Madrid-based workshop. The “Ducati” part has wisely been dropped from the Radical logo, but this is no second-rate bike: it’s as heavily reworked and thoughtfully upgraded as RD’s sportbikes.
The modified 1989 XT600 frame has been hooked up to a FZR600 fork and a Hagon shock. The air-cooled motor has been rebuilt with polished and ported heads, and now exhales through a Wolfman pipe and a Spark GP megaphone muffler. The wheels are 18”, shod with Pirelli Scorpion tires, and matched to a completely new brake system that includes Ducati S4RS components. The fuel tank is from a 1970 Ducati 250 and the seat is from a Bultaco Pursang. The fenders are hand-made: aluminum at the front, carbon at the back. Rizoma bars sit behind a headlight from a Puch 50cc mini-bike.
“Dirt Rad” won’t be as fast as the bikes that Radical Ducati usually builds. But it’ll probably be just as much fun—a simple, light and speedy machine for city streets and occasional gravel road excursions. Perfecto!