T500 build-----It's on the ROAD!!!

tattoo

New Member
Re: T500 build

ooooohhh I think we're getting so close......!!!!

Awaiting a shifter spline rosette to arrive from Largo FLA to finish up the left side rearset, and then it should be ready for a spin around the block!!

Initiated the conversation with my insurance broker today too, so starting tho think about getting it all legal an all.

woohoo!
 

tattoo

New Member
Re: T500 build-----It's on the ROAD!!!!!

wow----that 30 day old topic warning again!!

The T500 resto-mod-cafe bike is on the road. Been out on now three times for short little romps. There are a handful of little niggles that I'll have to sort out, but aren't there always?

Going through my stash of photos, I'm noticing that I took fewer of these last steps.

But to share a few here:

Rigged an oil line from the custom tank to the oil pump. Scavenged the fitting off the original line, and connected it to the new line.


I've been so fortunate throughout this project with some local pals here helping with advice, skills, and parts. I was scrounging through the local online classified ads one day and stumbled on a guy selling some chains/sprockets. One chain appeared to be very new, so I sent a reply, and within moments realized I knew this guy!! He insisted that he simply give me the chain. Beer and pizza next time is obviously on me!! Got the chain on:


...which then allowed the front sprocket cover to be put on...


Attention then turned to sorting out the rearsets/linkages I had bought from DCC. The right side unit came together fairly quickly



The left (shifter) side....well that's a different story.
The bike's PO had dealt with the shifter shaft splines being stripped, by welding the oem shift lever on. That was grinded off many months ago, and I was always on the lookout for a replacement shifter shaft. Still haven't found one. The decision to plow onwards was taken knowing that this might end up being a brick wall someday.
After sending back the first shifter arm I got from DCC (it was too long and had way too much offset), the second DCC unit came in.



Really nice little piece, but it too needed to be modified a little to make it work. It had to be shortened, and thinned out a bit to buy some clearance between it and the engine case, and between it (and the resulting location of the shifter linkage) and the kick starter.

The other thing was that modding this thing pretty much had to be done....to even attempt to install it on the stripped splines to see if it would catch the shaft enough to rotate it. So.....with apologies to DCC....out came the grinder again.




After some time fiddling and trialing and erroring (is that even a word?), the shifter side rearset was installed and, even better, it's functional!!
I'll have to snap some pictures to complete my "album".
The stripped splines issue was dealt with by running (of all things) some aluminum foil around the shaft's splines.

The other challenge here was to place everything so that the kick starter would rotate without touching anything. It was bumping into the shifter linkage rod, so bought the toughest bolt I could find, used a bit of the leftover linkage rod sheath cover, and essentially moved the rear of the rod inwards a bit off the rearset's arm. Could only go in so far though, and still needed a smidge, so reshaped the kick starter's "body" (the base....around the starter shaft) to buy some more clearance.

The linkage rod's sheath still rubs a little on the end of the swingarm bolt, so maybe that bolt just get removed and reinstalled the other way...or I stick a washer on the other side to move the bolt end out of the way. Definitely not a deal breaker.

We also figured that we should have a peek at the clutch plates, so drained tranny oil, pulled the cover, pulled all the plates. They all looked fairly new and in great shape, so we piled them back in, prepped the surfaces for the new gasket, and reinstalled the cover with new allenhead bolts (to match the new bolts on the left side covers).

Tentatively rode it around the block, and came back all smiles.

Trailered it for the safety check. Had to get a new headlight bulb, and rig up a licence plate light. This is one half of a Kuryakyn licence plate bolt/LED kit, installed (using a spacer that I cut) on an angle to make it 'point' more downwards at the plate.


It starts beautifully and sounds great. This was never going to be the "canyon carving" tool....there's something about running around on 1970's suspension and brakes right? Took it out for three short little toots on the weekend, always with a buddy as wingman in case something broke or acted up. Still some niggles to sort, but I am simply thrilled.

I've had so much help from some of my riding pals (the chain, wheel truing, tool lending, advise/guidance, a Caswell tank liner kit), the local shops helping me find some parts and the like...I am truly grateful.

Hoping to convince my youngest daughter to come out some evening and take some more "photogenic" pictures, but here a few of it in the driveway in the sunny weekend we just had.






Thanks, as well......for all the interest, kind words and encouragement from you folks!!!!

Best regards,
Rod
 

tattoo

New Member
70 miles later....

This thing is so cool to ride!!!! Uncomfortable, buzzy, lousy brakes and suspension---in a word....perfect! I know it's a small bike, but holy cow does one ever feel tiny on the road on it. Even braved a 'solo ride' last evening....albeit it was just into town and back, and happy to report no issues.

One weak spot though, despite the "way too easy to solve" success we had setting up the shifter rearset rig, is gear shifting. I strongly suspected that at some point, the shifter arm would start slipping a little around what remained of the shaft's splines. Re-tightening the arm seems to help, but I know that's not the long term solution. This caught me out on one short ride where I lost the ability to downshift. However---as thoroughly as I thought I had searched over the past year for a replacement shifter shaft to fix the problem the right way, as luck would have it, 6 days after it getting on the road guess what pops up in Ohio on ebay???? I snagged it right away, and it's presently en route.

Looking forward to having that issue sorted.

Spent a bit of time examining all accessible bolts/fasteners, spokes, chain, etc for anything coming loose...only thing I noticed was a footpeg had loosened a little off its bolt....where is that thread lock?
 

CarbsAndCylinders

Careful With That Axe Eugene
When I had my T500, I remember the front brake worked best when I would regularly takethe glaze off of the shoes. When I got my GT500 the first thing the struck me was that when pushing the bike around it feels so light and yet when riding it, it steers kind of heavy, what with the raked out front geometry and also I guess the clip ons make the steering feel heavier. Yeah, they vibrate alright. I mean heavy for a sub 400lb bike.

I love these bikes, they have a lot of character and you seldsom see one.
 

sbaugz

DTT BOTM winner
My piece of advice from experience with my t500- check all the nuts and bolts periodically. I used loctite on everything. Despite that, I still had my shift linkage come off and my rear brake arm loosen.

Just this week, my entire stator cover fell off and was lost after all three bolts came out. These things vibrate a lot. The stator cover was actually my fault because I forgot to use loctite after changing the timing. Luckily a replacement cover was available on eBay and my polisher gave me a deal to get the new cover polished.

Anyway, check everything!
 

sbaugz

DTT BOTM winner
CarbsAndCylinders said:
When I had my T500, I remember the front brake worked best when I would regularly takethe glaze off of the shoes. When I got my GT500 the first thing the struck me was that when pushing the bike around it feels so light and yet when riding it, it steers kind of heavy, what with the raked out front geometry and also I guess the clip ons make the steering feel heavier. Yeah, they vibrate alright. I mean heavy for a sub 400lb bike.

I love these bikes, they have a lot of character and you seldsom see one.
Will have to try that. My t500 stops for shit.
 

johnu

Active Member
DTT BOTM WINNER
Nice work :) I like that you are using the stock exhausts and that you are under no illusions about it's handling prowess. Not all bikes need to be race track ready ;D
 

CarbsAndCylinders

Careful With That Axe Eugene
I have not tried it but arching the shoes is supposed to help by increasing the contact surface between the drum and shoes. Make sure your brake is adjusted properly, on 2LS drums this is very important so that both shoes contact the drum at the same time.
 

grcamna5

New Member
CarbsAndCylinders said:
I have not tried it but arching the shoes is supposed to help by increasing the contact surface between the drum and shoes. Make sure your brake is adjusted properly, on 2LS drums this is very important so that both shoes contact the drum at the same time.
+1 on that arcing;there's a vintage brake dude out West who does that full time.
I've heard many good things for the 2LS front drum on that T500,excellent stopping when set-up good.
I've also made it a habit to moderately bear-down on the brake w/ the lever/pedal when tightening the axle as that makes sure the brakes are centered inside the drum.
 

tattoo

New Member
Thanks all! For the kind words, and the additional info/advice re front brake.

And sorry for the flooding of photos here....but got out this afternoon in some flat light (apparently that matters to photographers?) and found a backdrop other than my garage/driveway. Also dropped in on the guy who painted my tank to show him le produit complet. We are both pleased with the mix of matte and polished finishes on the tank. Over the winter, I will look for a suitable old looking Suzuki badge or emblem for the tank's sides. I'm visualizing something "raised" - not just a decal.















Cheers!!! ;D
 

tattoo

New Member
johnu said:
Nice work :) I like that you are using the stock exhausts and that you are under no illusions about it's handling prowess. Not all bikes need to be race track ready ;D
Exactly----a different tool for each job at hand, right?

 

CarbsAndCylinders

Careful With That Axe Eugene
Re: T500 build

tattoo said:
Couple of little tasks tackled this week. Spent some time getting the OEM speedometer cleaned up. There were some wear grooves around the top edge (from a cable probably?), and I figured that it should be painted in the same colour as the fenders, oil tank, etc.



The gouges are just below the 140 MPH point. Filled in the gouges with some kwik-weld (I know....back yard hackery perhaps.....but hey...), sanded it all down, and shook up the rattle can.


Because the speedo will be mounted at more of a vertical angle than stock, I also wanted to do something about the bottom that would be somewhat more visible. It's not perfect, but built up a plate that bolts on to the existing mounting studs.

These studs will eventually also run through two aluminum brackets (in process) that will hang from below the top triple to hold the speedo in place. Have decided to not run a tach, nor any dash lights.

Trying to make the little details matter!!!
On my T500, I remember accelerating full throttle to 140 mph and it also took a chunk out of the speedo. The needle got stuck and I couldn't slow down until after I banged the gauge with my fist.
 

johnu

Active Member
DTT BOTM WINNER
tattoo said:
Exactly----a different tool for each job at hand, right?

Well played ;D
My T500 is going to be a track tool but it couldn't even get close to your Honda on the track ;)
 

tattoo

New Member
Re: T500 build

CarbsAndCylinders said:
On my T500, I remember accelerating full throttle to 140 mph and it also took a chunk out of the speedo. The needle got stuck and I couldn't slow down until after I banged the gauge with my fist.
LOL....Good to know....I'll make sure I keep this one below 130mph..... :p
 

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