Honda XL500 a Waste of My Time and Money?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Dirtgrain, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. Mr Kawasaki

    Mr Kawasaki Sardonios Irritatus

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,346
    Location:
    Springfield, MO
    Cool looking bikes.

    [​IMG]
    #21
  2. HighwayChile

    HighwayChile greetings from Wa state

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Oddometer:
    4,629
    Location:
    Bow, WA USA
    nice bikes,

    IMO, skip the pipe for now, grease all external bearings, yeah its some work,, but if somethings buggered, it could cause problems at speed.

    next i'd keep an eye out for a used later model front end, w/ disc brake. prep the rear brake with grooved shoes, if you do it dont breath the asbestos ( hack, weeze, hhmm what's this growth?)

    give me a bike that handles well and stops over 2 more hp, and more noise.

    sounds like you have a real find. even if you find your not riding it after a while, bikes like this are great to stuff in a remote area, say the southwest and your in the crap weather, take a break in the winter and get out and ride . :1drink
    #22
  3. Mr Kawasaki

    Mr Kawasaki Sardonios Irritatus

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,346
    Location:
    Springfield, MO
  4. BikerDave

    BikerDave Greybeard Rider

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    336
    Location:
    midstate Vermont
    I recently bought a front end off Ebay from an 83 XL600R thats a direct bolt on to the XL500R....trees and all! Both use the same head bearings, the new front end is set up for disc brake and makes stopping a two fingered affair now!! Very nice...:thumb
    #24
  5. WestRider

    WestRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    787
    Location:
    Back in Idaho!!!
    Just a thought here but has anyone found a bolt on front end swap for the XL500s? I see the suggestion for a direct swap on an XR500r swap.

    It would sure be nice to swap a better set of forks and disc brake on old big red....
    #25
  6. PapaYolk

    PapaYolk happy camper

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,519
    Location:
    Roswell Idaho
    Had a XL350 back in '75. It was a rough ride but took me from San Deigo to Key West via many a back road just fine. I think my butt's still sore.
    #26
  7. BigBob

    BigBob Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Oddometer:
    449
    Location:
    Chicago, IL

    Awesome. I've got one and someday it'll look a lot more like that. Nice job!
    #27
  8. xr400r

    xr400r Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,832
    Location:
    riding usa
    23" front wheel. wow. buy it, i would.
    #28
  9. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, slow

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    30,755
    Location:
    Not yet far enough away from town
    Buy it for $500. Toss in another $1,000 to trick it out and repair what has been allowed to fail, and for $1,500 you have a brute of a dp bike. Plenty of power at a reasonable weight. A killer bike for $1,500 total cost . . . . how could you go wrong?
    #29
  10. Flood

    Flood F5lood.

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    10,161
    Location:
    Austria
    Those bikes are fun. I own an '87 XL600R I bought for 600 Euros which is essentially trouble-free, apart from a broken stator coil I had fixed. All PD03 do that sooner or later.

    My friend's got a Xl500R PD02 pro-link he bought for 100,- that needed nothing more than a service. They like to weep oil from the head but don't bother, they all do that. Just wipe it off.

    AFAIK the only proper forums are the german ones:
    xl500r.de and
    xl600r.de

    but don't be shy, ask questions. There are a lot of specialists and a german part supplier posting there (Erik from alttec-classics.de) and at least some of them write good english.
    #30
  11. Possu

    Possu de-nOObed!

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,230
    Location:
    Oxford, UK
    23" front wheel, crap brakes but amusing. With a bit of practice, I once managed a stand on the pegs in 3rd gear wheelie. Tried it again, thought I was in 3rd but was actually in 2nd, clocks nearly hit me in the face and came close to crashing, never tried it again - fond memories. :thumb

    I also managed to start it by hand after the decomp cable snapped, it kicked back, foot slipped & the serrated pegs removed the skin from the entire length of my right shin through my jeans - not so fond memories. :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry
    #31
  12. BigBob

    BigBob Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Oddometer:
    449
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Anybody know where I can get a luggage rack for one of these? I saw one on eBay a while ago, should've grabbed it but I didn't.
    #32
  13. montesa_vr

    montesa_vr Legend in his own mind

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,911
    The way the rear frame loop meets the fender on an XL500 allows the creation of a cheap rack with a couple of u-bolts and a square of plywood. I padded the frame with inner tube where the u-bolts were clamped and countersunk the nuts into the plywood so the rack had a flat surface. Once you paint it black noone will notice it's made of wood. Put an eye-bolt on each of the corners -- makes it handy for bungy cords.

    Sorry, no pictures -- that was a quarter century ago. But I did it in about an hour for about $5 worth of stuff I had lying around, and it worked as well as any of the factory or aftermarket racks I ever bought.
    #33
  14. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,556
    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    I had one for years----it was a great bike that will take you most anywhere.

    Of course it's old school and newer offroad dualsports have better everything. It's still a great bike and the stock gearing will really let it motor down the road with ease.

    It's 6 volt-----it has a battery but if it's dead the thing will still run and the headlight will work as the headlight is not powered by the battery---it runs right off the stator on it's own winding.----Pretty neat--why don't they still do that ???

    When it's not running and you turn on the key---the headlight doesn't light.

    I wish all bikes would run with a dead battery----my KLR, DRZ and Husky 610 will as with most offroad bikes. But the bigger bikes won't ----especially the fuel injected ones.
    #34
  15. Wufnu

    Wufnu Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    92
    My first bike ever I got when I was about 13-14. It was an '82 XL100S. Mmmmm, what fun I had on that machine. I don't think I ever changed the oil, I don't think I ever tightened the bolts, no maintainence at all, etc. I just turned the kick, kicked it, and rode off.

    If the bigger XL's are anything like the 100 I had, they're great little bikes. For $500, can't go wrong there.
    #35
  16. snowrider

    snowrider Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,101
    Location:
    Wisconsin

    That's not true. My uncle had an XL500R, first year of the monoshock. He lives in Iowa. He probably still has it, though I know he was looking at new bikes recently.
    #36
  17. BigBob

    BigBob Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Oddometer:
    449
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I've contemplated similar ideas. If I can't find an old purpose-built rack I've got an idea involving some 1/2 inch right angle steel and a pair of .50 caliber ammo cans.
    #37
  18. Argus16

    Argus16 ThReAd KiLleR

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    766
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Anyone looking for parts can email me. I've got one stripped down, just needs a new head and cam and a few other things. BTW the bike rocked when it ran, but the idiot who owned it before me never changed the oil enuf... got an XL600R now and is ridden daily, Honda still stocks parts for both.
    #38
  19. Watty

    Watty Guest

    I had two in the early 80's. Had a very bad run-in with a motor vehicle, end up 9 months in the hospital, bike was also a goner.

    One of the things to look for or test is piston slack, and the more obvious wear on the sprockets, especially the front one. These were the things I remembered that went first.
    #39
  20. maxplay

    maxplay Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    118
    Location:
    Middle-of-Nowhere, KS
    My first bike was a '77 XL100 and I wanted to get an '80 or '81 XL500, but let my dad talk me into going with a 550 Maxim. Wish I'd bought the Honda and never sold it! I miss round headlights and dual-analog instrumentation...
    #40