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Old 05-19-2015, 10:38 PM   #1
colloquialoatmeal OP
Joined: Feb 2014
Oddometer: 5
So many XL500s questions, so little time

Hey all!

After a long period of being ridiculously busy I finally got my '79 XL500s up and running and it is a blast to ride. Gonna make it my project this summer to make it into a daily commuter/weekend trip bike. I'm pretty new to motorcycles and am pretty much in the dark other than basic mechanics. I now have a few questions. If you have the time to clue in a new rider it'd be much appreciated!

#1: So I've been told it has an XR exhaust and I just finished fine tuning the carb to get it to idle consistently; it was running a little rich. However, I've had a friend tell me I should redo the wrap and I've also noticed a small exhaust leak, any suggestions on patching that?

#2: I am also in need of turn signals and the bike is battery-less. I don't see a place for a battery to sit in the air box I've got, is there a strap that attaches to it, or where does it hang out? Also, if I didn't want to reinstall the box, does anyone have a creative way to hang a 6v battery? Also, is it possible to just run the signals off the stator? Are 12v systems possible without front end/fork swapping? Any ideas for the young cheapskate are appreciated.

#3 I've had a hell of a time finding a replacement decompression cable for this thing. I have an okay time starting it, but it is pretty finicky when it's hot. Will a decompression cable solve this? If so, is that something someone out there can make or am I at the mercy of the eBay? Or is it a matter of adjusting points?

#4 How do I find a rack for this thing? I see lots of racks for older enduros out there, but I'm not sure how they measured these. If you have some wisdom, help me out!

#5: No speedo, can I use other bikes speedo, or does the 23" tire mean only 79-81 XL/XRs? GPS? Bicycle computer?

Thanks for looking, I'm sure I'll post some pics as I'm building it up. If you're in the Veneta/Eugene area, send me a PM; I'm always trying to learn more about these awesome bikes.

Here's a pic:
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Old Yesterday, 08:26 PM   #2
Beastly Adventurer
brucifer's Avatar
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Eureka, Ca.
Oddometer: 2,527
This bike has no points--cdi ignition.
Your muffler looks like it's the one Honda used to offer in their Power Up kit they used to sell back in the day. If so, that's a rare muffler.
I believe these bikes had a battery box that kinda bolted to the frame right behind the left rear shock if I remember right.
With the auto-decompression cable attached and adjusted correctly, these bikes are one of the easiest starting big four-strokes ever.
2014.5 Kawasaki KLR650 NE-2006 Buell XB12SS-2002 Husky TE570-2001 Husaberg FE650E-1993 Kawasaki KX500-1984 Honda XL600R/XR650L Hybrid-1984 Yamaha TT600L-1980 Honda CB750F
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