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Old 02-16-2010, 12:26 PM   #1
XTwarrior OP
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Location: Allentown PA
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Thumb The XT550 Thread: Info, Stories and Mods Inside!

Hello all! For those of you lucky people out there to own arguably the most superior motorcycle ever , I'm sure you have at one time wanted to find a safehaven where you can share your XT550 stories, what companies still make mod parts for this bike, what you can customize or swap from different bikes, and general information that may be somewhat hard to find without calling your local dealership or knowing somebody. Alteast I know I do! So here is that thread, on this wonderful forum, for just that! I mean, it isn't fair the XT500 and XT600 have their own thread, right?!

I'm going to keep the first post for informational purposes and reference so searching will be far easier. I've quite often tried to search for information on this bike and found it hard or impossible to find, so hopefully this will be your one stop information spot! Post up your stories and projects, whether it be just an OEM restoration or full custom!

Also, don't hesitate to PM me information to update or post it in this thread! The point is to share what you can to better the XT550 community!

Yamaha XT550 General Information and Specifications:
Years of Production: 1982 to 1983
Category: Dual Purpose / Enduro
Displacement: 558 CCM (or 34.05 cubic inches)
Cam type: (OHC)
Cylinders: 1
Stroke: 4 stroke
Horsepower: 38 HP at crank @ 6,500 RPM's
Compression Ratio: 8.5:1
Bore x Stroke: 92MM x 84MM
Valves: 4
*Stock clearances:
Intake: 0.08mm
Exhaust: 0.15mm
Fuel Control: Carburated (2-stage)
OEM Carb settings:
*Main Jet Primary Carb: 125
*Main Jet Secondary Carb: 125
*Pilot Jet Primary Carb: 48
*Needle Jet Primary Carb: V00
*Needle Jet Secondary Carb: 00
*Jet Needle clip Primary Carb - 5C33 fixed
*Jet Needle clip Secondary Carb: 4A70 fixed
*Slide Cutaway: 4.5
*Float Level: 26mm with a tolerance of + or - 2.5mm
*Fuel Level: 6mm with a tolerance of + or - 1mm
*Idle RPM: 1,200 RPM's
*Max CO2: 7%
*Max HC: 500PPM
*Set CO: 5.5%
Type of cooling: Air Cooled
Gearbox: 5 speed; 1 down 4 up.
Drive Type: Chain (Link size: 520 / Links: 98)
Front Sprocket Size: 15 tooth
Rear Sprocket Size: 42 tooth
Dry Weight:
Wet Weight: 145 Kilograms -or- 320 Lbs.
Front Tire: 3.00/21
Front Rim: 1.60/21
Rear Tire:4.60/18
Rear Rim: 2.15/18
Front Axle Diameter: 15MM
Rear Axle Diameter: 17MM
Front Brake System: Expanding Drum Brakes
Rear Brake System: Expanding Drum Brakes
Front Suspension: 38MM Air adjustable Fork tubes; 10 weight oil OEM. 369CC's of oil PER fork when serviced.
Fork Spring Rates: Free Length 21.87 Inches / Outside Diameter 1.45 inch. (unconfirmed)
Rear Suspension: Nitrogen and Oil charged shock; non-adjustable and non-rebuildable.
Rear Spring Rate:
Top Speed: 92 MPH reported...downhill...with a headwind.
Fuel Capacity: 3.17 Gallons
Oil Type: OEM recommends 20W40
Oil Capacity: Dry - 2200cc / Oil and Filter Change - 1900cc -OR- 65 ounces / Oil Only - 1800cc

Yamaha XT550 Service Intervals:
Valve Clearance: Check every 2,500 miles
Spark PLugs: Check every 2,500 miles; Replace every 5,000 miles
Crankcase Hose: Check every 5,000 miles; replace if cracks formed
Fuel Hose: Check every 5,000 miles; replace if cracks formed or leaks
Exhaust System: Check every 2,500 miles for leaks or bad gaskets.
Idle Speed: Check every 2,500 miles; adjust cable free play if necessary
Decompression System: Check every 2,500 miles (after valve clearance adjustment)
Change Oil: Every 2,500 miles; factory recommends 20w40.
Change Oil Filter: Every 5,000 miles; Make sure to check downtube strainer at the same time!
Change Air Filter: Every 2,500 miles; wash and oil type foam filter
Check Brakes: Every 2,500 miles; adjust free play or replace shoes if necessary
Check Clutch: Every 2,500 miles and adjust any freeplay
Check Drive Chain: Every 500 miles; adjust for 2.4" - 2.8" of play
Check Control and meter cables: Every 2,500 miles lubricate and adjust
Lubricate Pivot Shafts: Apply lithium grease lightly every 5,000 miles.


Yamaha XT550 Manuals, Flyers, and Useful Sites:
Stock Axle Diameters of Popular UJM Bikes (Link)
XT550 DIY CDI (rough English but do-able): http://www.transmic.net/en/home.htm
Stock Fork tube Diameter reference list: http://www.ohiocaferacers.com/OCRTubeSizes.pdf
XT550 Service Manual: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=XGH4OVO0 (Thanks to NetJustin for his work!)

Yamaha XT550 Aftermarket Parts Manufacturers (both OEM replacement and high performance):
Clark Gas Tank: http://www.justgastanks.com/store/in...7eeq4kura30k93
SuperTrapp Aluminum Exhaust:
Hyperpak CDI Ignition (Wayne Gum; sold only on Ebay but work great!): www.ebay.com
K&N High Flow Filter: http://www.bikebandit.com/k-n-unique...=8687&t=1&td=1
WP Suspension front fork springs(Pro line):
Works Suspension rear Monoshock (direct replacement!): http://www.worksperformance.com/pdf/.../dirtbikes.pdf

Yamaha XT550 Swappable Parts From other bikes:
Small thread with useful info on XT/TT600 engine swaps: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=549363
Swapped front end with KLR650 (38 MM fork versions)
Swapped Front end with Yamaha Tenere 1VJ.
Engine Swap; XT/TT600 into XT550 frame compatiability and issues: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showp...5&postcount=22


Yamaha XT550 Tips and Tricks:
Changing and reading the motor oil in your XT550: (Link)

Yamaha XT550 Projects:
XTwarrior's Quasimotard: http://www.sportbikes.net/forums/pic...l-journal.html



Remember; please let me know if you have any information to add, the more the better!

(This post will be updated regularly with new info as it comes in)
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XTwarrior screwed with this post 04-06-2010 at 01:26 PM
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:08 PM   #2
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Well, I'll start off with my own XT550 project. This bike was received in barely road legal condition. The previous owner had been in a head on collision and used the money he received to fix the bike to just barely road legal condition.

At first this was just going to be my bike for learning to ride on the road, and it quickly became my favorite project even though I did not have much money. I spent about $700 total to get the bike to road legal form and I still have a few more things I'd like to do.

This year the bike gets some TLC and some swapped parts for road duty.

Link to project: http://www.sportbikes.net/forums/pic...l-journal.html

Here are some pictures of before and after:

Before:




Midway:





Currently:


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Old 02-16-2010, 02:33 PM   #3
clapped_r6
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had an 82



the cdi was toast, got an aftermarket one off of ebay that worked good.
the dual carb setup was a major pain to get dialed in, i think my "cv" carb with it's metal slide was too worn, and it didn't work as it was supposed to. major lean condition at 55+ and part throttle

looked into single carb swaps, but the shock is sort of in the way!
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:10 PM   #4
XTwarrior OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clapped_r6
had an 82



the cdi was toast, got an aftermarket one off of ebay that worked good.
the dual carb setup was a major pain to get dialed in, i think my "cv" carb with it's metal slide was too worn, and it didn't work as it was supposed to. major lean condition at 55+ and part throttle

looked into single carb swaps, but the shock is sort of in the way!
Yea, I've read the carbs can be quite a pain when they do need servicing. Luckily all I've had to do to mine is take it apart for a quick cleaning and that's it. The previous owner had it jetted rich and it seems to work great with the pipe.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:36 PM   #5
AKcruiserfreak
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Man, this thread makes me miss my old 1983 XT550. I should have never sold it. It was a wheelie monster, and great daily driver.

TK
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:01 PM   #6
XTwarrior OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKcruiserfreak
Man, this thread makes me miss my old 1983 XT550. I should have never sold it. It was a wheelie monster, and great daily driver.

TK
Can't lie, I just sold my CBR900RR last Friday (for profit ) and it just did not suit my riding style. I bought it for a steal, and it was a fun project, but I enjoy riding my XT550 on everything but the highway alot more. With some suspension mods and eventually a better seat it would be fantastic!
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:59 AM   #7
royalthumper
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Question burning oil....

Hey thumper fans. So I popped my cherry when I bought an 83' Xt550 last fall. Its been sitting in the garage all winter until yesterday when I pulled her out. She starts up fine although when i'm in first she coughs out blue smoke. I remember the guy i bought it from said that there were some leaky valve seals. is this most likely the problem and if so is it a pain to fix. Also where can i find a kickstand for her? Also cleaning the carburetor would probably help her run more smoothly.
Thanks for helpin out a NOOB
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Old 03-24-2010, 12:25 PM   #8
XTwarrior OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by royalthumper
Hey thumper fans. So I popped my cherry when I bought an 83' Xt550 last fall. Its been sitting in the garage all winter until yesterday when I pulled her out. She starts up fine although when i'm in first she coughs out blue smoke. I remember the guy i bought it from said that there were some leaky valve seals. is this most likely the problem and if so is it a pain to fix. Also where can i find a kickstand for her? Also cleaning the carburetor would probably help her run more smoothly.
Thanks for helpin out a NOOB
I would definitely clean the carb and maybe replace the gas if it is old. I've seen old gas put out blue smoke, though not a ton.

The valves on the XT are relatively easy to get at if you are handy with tools. It is possible to remove the top end from the bike with the engine bolted in, but it is a very VERY tight fit. You have to take the gas tank off. Then I loosened the cam cover and slid it out over the cam chain with some coaxing. It seems like it won't clear the frame and cam, but with a little puzzle solving skills it does

I admittedly haven't gone farther than that, having no consumption issues at this point. I went that deep to service the cam chain itself when we thought it had skipped.

Whether or not the valve seals are the issue stands to be seen. I'd say replace the gas, and clean the carbs good and see if the smoke cleans up. I mean, it is the cheapest and easiest thing to do first, and it never hurts to clean the carbs. If it doesn't then I'd dive into the valve seals, and maybe pull the cylinder to look for worn/bad rings or piston wall damage.

Also, I haven't looked into it, but maybe see if XT500/XT350 kickstands are the same from around those years.
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Old 03-24-2010, 12:34 PM   #9
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Was wondering, does everyone else's XT550 topend sound like it is being starved of oil all the time? I don't know how to describe it well, but my top end makes what seems to be the sound that poorly lubricated cams would make, minus any scratchy or squeaking sounds. I'd almost say knocking but I know my engine is jetted rich so it shouldn't be knocking, and the engine is stock minus a pipe and a jet kit. The noise doesn't get better or worse with warming up.

I'm worried maybe somehow a line is clogged or my oil pump could be bad? Can I test the oil pump in any way?
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Old 03-24-2010, 12:43 PM   #10
G600
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XTwarrior
Was wondering, does everyone else's XT550 topend sound like it is being starved of oil all the time? I don't know how to describe it well, but my top end makes what seems to be the sound that poorly lubricated cams would make, minus any scratchy or squeaking sounds. I'd almost say knocking but I know my engine is jetted rich so it shouldn't be knocking, and the engine is stock minus a pipe and a jet kit. The noise doesn't get better or worse with warming up.

I'm worried maybe somehow a line is clogged or my oil pump could be bad? Can I test the oil pump in any way?
You can loosen the small screw on top of the oilfilter lid, the oil should squirt out of there when the bike is running...
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Old 03-24-2010, 12:49 PM   #11
XTwarrior OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G600
You can loosen the small screw on top of the oilfilter lid, the oil should squirt out of there when the bike is running...
I guess I could do that
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:31 PM   #12
XT_Driftwood
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Location: Upstate NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XTwarrior
Was wondering, does everyone else's XT550 topend sound like it is being starved of oil all the time? I don't know how to describe it well, but my top end makes what seems to be the sound that poorly lubricated cams would make, minus any scratchy or squeaking sounds. I'd almost say knocking but I know my engine is jetted rich so it shouldn't be knocking, and the engine is stock minus a pipe and a jet kit. The noise doesn't get better or worse with warming up.

I'm worried maybe somehow a line is clogged or my oil pump could be bad? Can I test the oil pump in any way?
Yeah, mine does the same thing. There used to be a thread over at TT regarding an oil mod that fed more oil up to the cam, but I don't think it's around anymore. The oil that does make it up there is fed through a channel on the right side of the cylinder, maybe 1/4 inch OD, and some probably flings up and off the cam chain as well. To look at it, there should be plenty of oil to feed the top end. But apparantly there isn't. Most XT550's were jetted kind of lean from the factory, which doesn't help.
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:32 AM   #13
svakak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XTwarrior
Swapped front end with KLR650: (unconfirmed at this time but works on paper; 38MM forks, disc brake, tuning options)
I can confirm that front end can be swaped with one from KLR650.
Also, frontend can be swaped with one from Tenere 1VJ.
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Old 03-31-2010, 10:28 AM   #14
XTwarrior OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svakak
I can confirm that front end can be swaped with one from KLR650.
Also, frontend can be swaped with one from Tenere 1VJ.
Thanks a bunch! I'll update the first post to reflect the new info






---- I was thinking, I noticed there is a line going from the oil reservoir to the top of the valve cover. I assume this would mean it would drain from the oil reservoir to the valves? If so, I've been noticing that my oil reservoir is empty after rides. This would lead me to believe that the reservoir isn't filling properly for some reason. I don't see any visible leaks that would take pressure out of the system, and I have confirmed I do have oil pressure at the oil filter. I'm thinking maybe a pinched/clogged line somewhere? Is the main return line for the oil reservoir the line that goes up the front of the frame?

Thanks for all help, I'm just annoyed at this whole dry sump thing right now
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Old 03-31-2010, 01:13 PM   #15
Zecatfish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XTwarrior
---- I was thinking, I noticed there is a line going from the oil reservoir to the top of the valve cover. I assume this would mean it would drain from the oil reservoir to the valves? If so, I've been noticing that my oil reservoir is empty after rides. This would lead me to believe that the reservoir isn't filling properly for some reason. I don't see any visible leaks that would take pressure out of the system, and I have confirmed I do have oil pressure at the oil filter. I'm thinking maybe a pinched/clogged line somewhere? Is the main return line for the oil reservoir the line that goes up the front of the frame?

Thanks for all help, I'm just annoyed at this whole dry sump thing right now

you better check your oil level and make sure its not burning it.
That line is actually a return line, if you start the bike with it off it will blow oil everywhere.
Don't ask.

I kept thinking my XT was not returning it, and it was because it was burning/blowing it past the rings. Thus the reason I did the TT600 engine swap. The bike never obviously smoked like it was that bad. It was just sucking it past the rings.
Cause: Hyper cooling of the cylinder in a DEEP creek crossing on a hot summer day.
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