Yamaha XT550 Scrambler build

John H

New Member
Hi all,

After much time, deliberation and drooling over internet projects I've finally taken the plunge and started my own scrambler project - this will be my first, so I'm really holding thumbs that the end result is a success.
The donor is a much unloved XT550, not-running, but I believe everything is in place. Both the compresssion and clutch action feel good, so with a bit of luck things won't be too bad when I tear down the motor.

First will be a complete engine tear down and rebuild to ensure reliability and proper performance. It is my intention to do as much of this work myself a) to keep costs down and b) for the learning experience.

From there on I'll be looking to fit a YZ front end, rear shock and possibly even the swing arm if it seems easy enough.
Front wheel will be re-laced to an 18" rim to match the rear. I'm hoping that I can fit a fat 18" tyre between the forks.
A new tank is also on the cards as I really don't like the shape of the existing one, not to mention the poor condition of it.

Herewith some pics, the motor will come out this weekend.


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John H

New Member
Managed to get some work done this weekend. Pulled the motor out and gave it a bit of a clean up.
Pulled the head cover off and was quite pleasantly surprised by the state of things. The oil that came out of the bike also looked to be pretty good, so hopefully this engine rebuild is going to go very smoothly.


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John H

New Member
The engine has now been completely stripped down.
Apart from one or two stubborn screws all went well, shit I only hope that I can get it re-assembled!

Piston looks good, a broken ring, but fortunately this stayed in the groove.
Barrel looks perfect, no scarring or damage there.
Clutch basket is 100%
I haven't measured the play on the conrod yet, but my gut feel is that I won't have to split the crank to do the big end.

Next up:
Cases, covers, barrel, head, head cover and carbs go off for vapour blasting - I'm rather excited to get this underway and cannot wait to see the results!

Time to start shelling out some cash: new bearings, gaskets and piston rings to be purchased for the re-assembly.


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New Member
Hi John. I'm interested in seeing the progress you made. I have an XT550 I'm looking at and want a new project. DM me if you are still around. Thanks,

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