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Old 09-16-2014, 02:24 PM   #1
bigfoot69 OP
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1982 honda xl500r upgrade and reliable

I got a falling apart 1982 Honda xl500r and made street legal but can't keep up with newer bikes what is the newest motor I can fit in the frame and what's the biggest .I heard I can fit 600 but what about newer 650 and once I get there can I get disc brakes as well. And what other mods and where would be the best place to get them
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Old 09-16-2014, 02:59 PM   #2
mcma111
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Just go find an older, low mileage XR650l. You'll save yourself a ton of grief.
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Old 09-16-2014, 03:01 PM   #3
mcma111
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Here:

http://chico.craigslist.org/mcy/4669593233.html
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BMW's
58 R26
79 R100s
91 R100gs

87 Harley FXRS-SP ~ 06 KTM 625 SMC ~ 72 Honda CB750/915cc ~ 92 XR600/654cc ~ 95 XR650l/675cc ~ 03 CRF450r ~ 05 CRF450x ~ 02 XR650l/675cc ~ 86 YZ490 ~ 93 YZ80 ~ 93 XR650l Project
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Old 09-16-2014, 04:05 PM   #4
bigfoot69 OP
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l

Yeah normally I would say yes but the one thing I had to agree to with the free bike was to not sell it and don't have that kind of cash
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Old 09-16-2014, 04:52 PM   #5
bigfoot69 OP
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Yeah normally I would say yes but the one thing I had to agree to with the free bike was to not sell it and don't have that kind of cash
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Old 09-16-2014, 06:22 PM   #6
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Got a boat? Now you have an anchor.









































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BMW's
58 R26
79 R100s
91 R100gs

87 Harley FXRS-SP ~ 06 KTM 625 SMC ~ 72 Honda CB750/915cc ~ 92 XR600/654cc ~ 95 XR650l/675cc ~ 03 CRF450r ~ 05 CRF450x ~ 02 XR650l/675cc ~ 86 YZ490 ~ 93 YZ80 ~ 93 XR650l Project
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Old 09-16-2014, 06:26 PM   #7
bigfoot69 OP
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thats so true

I understand it sucks trust me I know but using what I got just trying to get what I can for it seen a lot of this bike that are so cool looking and mine is definitely a work in progress
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Old 09-16-2014, 06:38 PM   #8
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What I remember is that bike has an open loop frame, meaning the engine is a stressed member, the engine completes the frame.

With the questions you're asking, any engine swap that is not direct is beyond your skill level, but even if it wasn't, the time and cost would not be worth the effort..

The XL500 engine is a pentroof combustion chamber design and from my memory it has a horizontally split case. I don't remember if it is a full roller bearing engine, but Ilm pretty sure the cam rides on the head material, like plain bearings.

I could easily check online, but you should do it. That year may be the one with a reed valve in the actual intake tract. Yes, a four cycle engine with an intake reed valve. The XR/Xl500 engine was supposed to be a hard starter too, especially when hot.

As far as power, that engine can still impress, but the brake and suspension are far too old of a design to expect them to be anywhere near newer bikes.

It would make a nice vintage bike for the street, but forget about it off road except for trail riding at a slow to moderate pace unless you like the heck beat out of you and like to always wonder if the brakes will stop after that last mud puddle.

Parts are going to be difficult to obtain and if you ride it off road you'll be needing extras.

I suggest restoring it to near as stock as practical and you can afford and enjoying it on some nice days. They will probably never be wanted like the Dreams, but it will always be a cool vintage bike to have.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:34 PM   #9
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Unless you're a good welder, then your best bet is to just buy a piston, cam, and exhaust for it.

If you're even more inclined then do a fork swap with a front disc and get a custom shock built.

That's about all the reasonable improving you're going to do.
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Old 09-17-2014, 04:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfoot69 View Post
I got a falling apart 1982 Honda xl500r and made street legal but can't keep up with newer bikes what is the newest motor I can fit in the frame and what's the biggest .I heard I can fit 600 but what about newer 650 and once I get there can I get disc brakes as well. And what other mods and where would be the best place to get them
you have the wrong bike.
get a twin or multi UJM.
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:27 AM   #11
Sidecar Jockey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfoot69 View Post
I got a falling apart 1982 Honda xl500r

I also have a 1982 xl500r. I LOVE the bike. The fact that yours is "falling apart" might be the problem. Yeah, the drum brakes are weak and the suspension is average, but its a powerful motor in a fairly light weight package. Mine starts in 2 kicks every time too. If its tuned right and your compression release is adjusted correctly, it should be no problem.


I also have a 1979 yamaha XT500, a 1987 Honda xl600r, and a 2007 Suzuki DR650.

The xl500r is faster, lighter, and has better suspension than the XT500. No question. Its a far less popular bike than the Yamaha though, probably because the XT500 is the sexiest looking dual sport ever built and the motors are indestructible. BUT, from a riding and performance standpoint, the monoshock xl500r is a better bike...

The xl600r is faster. MUCH faster. Its front disc brake also helps the 650 stop better. The 600 is taller and heavier though, so its harder for me to handle in serious off road. On rough single track, i choose the xl500r. For everything else, the 600 is the better bike.

My xl500r is just as fast as my DR650, up to about 55 mph... then the 500 runs out of gear and power. The DR650 is the better highway bike, but the xl500 is just as quick on back roads and better on trails.


If I were you, I would give you bike a good tune up:

1) clean the carb. If the bike has the stock pipe and air box, return the carb to factory settings. If the bike has aftermarket intake/exhaust make sure its jetted correctly.

2) do a valve adjustment

3) replace your spark plug

4) Make sure your brakes arent dragging, adjsut them, and clean them up. Make sure the shoe evenly contacts the drum all the way across its surface. If it doesnt, adjust the shoes and/or sand the shoe until it does. Having a properly set up drum brake makes a HUGE difference.

5) Practice riding it. I have no problem keeping up with anyone (assuming they are on a dual sport bike) on back roads. Yeah, it has old suspension, but you can get used to it and learn ho haul ass... and there is a lot of satisfaction in that.

Enjoy the bike, its a good one.

Sidecar Jockey screwed with this post 09-17-2014 at 10:39 AM
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Old 09-17-2014, 04:59 PM   #12
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dont get me wrong its still a great bike

There are some things I would like to change I've seen videos on the bike a here's one I would like to do. - xr 500 /xr600 update: http://youtu.be/wowNdo9qZmE. - XR 600R: http://youtu.be/sjXSfT0euuI the first one is about a guy that had blown 500 engine and got a 600 to fit on the bike with the exception of grind a small spot on the back of the engine and putting smaller spacers in the front mount . The second guy went all out one his bike and yes I understand the hard work he put in but for me it's not just about having the bike but enjoying on working on it
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Old 09-17-2014, 06:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfoot69 View Post
There are some things I would like to change I've seen videos on the bike a here's one I would like to do. - xr 500 /xr600 update: http://youtu.be/wowNdo9qZmE. - XR 600R: http://youtu.be/sjXSfT0euuI the first one is about a guy that had blown 500 engine and got a 600 to fit on the bike with the exception of grind a small spot on the back of the engine and putting smaller spacers in the front mount . The second guy went all out one his bike and yes I understand the hard work he put in but for me it's not just about having the bike but enjoying on working on it
What you're failing to realize though is that both of those bikes in the videos you linked started out as RFVC bikes so no modifications were needed to install the later RFVC engines.

Your bike engine and frame designs are completely different from the 1983 and up RFVC XR500/XL600 and XR600 bikes.
The biggest deal is your bike is a wet sump oiling system--the RFVC is dry sump and uses the frame backbone and front down tube as the oil tank.

As has been said earlier, you're better off getting a later model 600 or 650 or mod the engine you have now for more power, do a disc brake front end and maybe see if you can fit a later model shock off of something.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old Yesterday, 04:35 AM   #14
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yep, dreamer. even if the poster had all this, still won't be happy for long
biggest motor disc brakes falling apart cant keep up
get a sport bike & move on. leave the big-bore thumper for someone who can appreciate it
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Old Yesterday, 11:30 AM   #15
baldman1
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I built this to do exactly what you are trying to do, keep up or beat a modern bike. I dumped a lot of money and time into this and was never able to achieve that goal. A bone stock XR650L will still smoke the XL500R.
Big bore kit, high compression, custom made (megacycle) hot cam, big carb, FT500 oil pan with oil filter, oil cooler. It was an absolute blast to ride but again not a modern bike. It was reliable, started easy and ran great. I ended up selling it, wish I hadn't. I wish I had kept it and turned it into a Motard bike, that would have been a blast.


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