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Author Topic: Teledan's XT500 project  (Read 13854 times)

Offline teledan

  • Posts: 154
Teledan's XT500 project
« on: May 31, 2013, 13:13:40 »
Hi Everybody, I thought I would post a bit about my current bike and what I have done with it so far.  I have been into old Harley’s for a few years now and after getting married and having a couple kids I ended up selling my bikes.  We all know how these machines get into our blood so of course I started getting the itch again very soon.  I had been browsing the web for a cheap bike that I could molest and fell in love with the Yamaha SR500.  After looking around a bit for one of these bikes for sale I realized that they were just way too hard to come by in the states but I then discovered the XT500.  It is basically the same motor but dressed in a more off-road trim.  I ended up finding an 81 XT500 in Idaho for a few hundred that was running and seemed to be in decent shape.  Apparently it was an old Forest Service bike so it was a bit beat up and smoked a little but it was a good start.  Here’s how she looked when I brought her home:



 I cleaned the carb real good and put a new front tire on and rode it like that until the winter.  I wanted to do a sort of cafe/tracker type bike but I still wanted to ride it as much as possible and have a really tight budget so I started making small changes.  I threw on a new mikuni vm36, a battery eliminator, welded up a new exhaust from a Hoos Racing kit, new bars with a bar-end mirror, and a 12v lighting conversion.



 I was riding the crap out of it and I got sick of it smoking so I decided to do the top-end.  I figured while I was in there I would upgrade some stuff so I had Grim Cycle in Orem,UT bore the cylinder for a Wiseco 88.5mm 10:1 comp piston, do a valve job, and install new valve springs and seals.  I shot some paint on the jug and head and threw it all back together and she started right up on the first kick!  Its not burning or leaking a drop of oil so I am a happy camper.

New piston in:


Motor all buttoned up:


 I think I will ride it like this until next winter but I am planning on swapping the frontend for one from an XS750 so I can have a disc brake and then I’ll need to figure out a new seat/tail.  Anyway, here is how she sits today:



I am trying to head in a sort of Street Tracker/Road Racer direction with this bike but money is tight so it will be a very slow process.  I am having a blast on it though!
« Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 13:16:44 by teledan »

Offline DreadRock

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Re: Teledan's XT500 project
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2013, 15:23:34 »
Very cool man I just picked up a TT500 and heading down same road with it ! If I may ask was the pipe hard to do and was a fair price ? I'm a lil ways off from starting on it as I have two other builds almost done and the TT is next ! Anyways nice work and look forward to your build !

Offline teledan

  • Posts: 154
Re: Teledan's XT500 project
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2013, 15:33:09 »
Thanks man!  The header was $65 and the megaphone was $47 from Hoos Racing, I also wanted to do an upsweep so I bought a mandrel bend from JC Whitney for like $16.  It was pretty easy to weld up, it was the first pipe I have ever done.  I did a slip fit joint between the header and the megaphone and used springs to hold it in place too.That way if I wanted to run a muffler instead of the megaphone it would be easy to swap on.  It is pretty dang loud so I may end up putting a muffler on, or I may just sell it and do a high pipe with a Cone Eng. muffler instead, I don't know.

Offline Bert Jan

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Re: Teledan's XT500 project
« Reply #3 on: Jun 03, 2013, 13:49:48 »
nice laro!

Offline teledan

  • Posts: 154
Re: Teledan's XT500 project
« Reply #4 on: Jun 03, 2013, 14:05:55 »
nice laro!

Thanks!  Here is our "fleet"



We rebuilt the white D90 after it was wrapped around a tree.  New galvanized frame, Rovertym suspension.  Just got it registered!

Offline hillsy

  • Posts: 4117
Re: Teledan's XT500 project
« Reply #5 on: Jun 03, 2013, 20:30:57 »
I think I will ride it like this until next winter but I am planning on swapping the frontend for one from an XS750 so I can have a disc brake and then Iíll need to figure out a new seat/tail. 

Just so you know, a KZ650 / 900 front end will slot straight into your XT triples. I mean STRAIGHT IN - the forks are the same diameter and offset - so no mucking around with bearing swaps or axle spacers, etc.

Offline teledan

  • Posts: 154
Re: Teledan's XT500 project
« Reply #6 on: Jun 04, 2013, 11:51:24 »

Just so you know, a KZ650 / 900 front end will slot straight into your XT triples. I mean STRAIGHT IN - the forks are the same diameter and offset - so no mucking around with bearing swaps or axle spacers, etc.

Good to know!  Are there any specific years to look for?  From the measurements I have taken, the '77 XS750 forks should do the same and I should be able to use a spoked wheel from an XS650. 

Offline hillsy

  • Posts: 4117
Re: Teledan's XT500 project
« Reply #7 on: Jun 04, 2013, 19:38:04 »
All the KZ9's will fit (73-76), and the first model or two of the 650 (the wire wheeled ones). Not sure about the later 650's (SR's and the like) or the KZ1000's. The 650 forks are a little shorter than the 900's so the 9's would be the pick of the two for an XT.

Offline teledan

  • Posts: 154
Re: Teledan's XT500 project
« Reply #8 on: Jun 06, 2013, 12:13:43 »
All the KZ9's will fit (73-76), and the first model or two of the 650 (the wire wheeled ones). Not sure about the later 650's (SR's and the like) or the KZ1000's. The 650 forks are a little shorter than the 900's so the 9's would be the pick of the two for an XT.

Cool, thanks for the info! 


Well, my rocker box is getting real noisy so it looks like I need to pull the motor and install some set screws to hold the rocker shafts in place.  Wish me luck!

Offline teledan

  • Posts: 154
Re: Teledan's XT500 project
« Reply #9 on: Jul 18, 2013, 15:28:23 »
Did some surgery:









She's nice and quiet now.  I'm gonna try to make a seat now.