Honda XL500 a Waste of My Time and Money?

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

  1. patracy

    patracy Broken...

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    416
    Location:
    Bremen, GA
    After a search I found out what it's missing.

    http://www.angelfire.com/ca/TORONTO/VIN/hondacycle.html

    JH2 is the beginning.
    #61
  2. The Rev.

    The Rev. n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3
    Wow I just came across this site. I've been riding around my yard for the past 2 weeks on a xl 500 s that i bought from a dude that inspected my truck. it was sitting in his garage and offered it to me said it hadnt run in years. I took it home soaked and rebuild the carb and the thing runs like a bear. I didnt know what it was or how popular it was. and I bought the bike for just 50 bucks. it needs a couple cosmetics but its now my favorite toy.

    The Rev.
    #62
  3. patracy

    patracy Broken...

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
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    Bremen, GA
    Sounds like you got an even better deal than mine!
    #63
  4. The Rev.

    The Rev. n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3
    Does anyone one what other model header pipe will fit this xl500s? And also does anyone know where I can get some side covers and a front sprocket cover?
    #64
  5. Hair

    Hair Outside the boxer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Northern New Mexico

    Your a good man.
    XR ride all the same. Althrough I liked mine much better after I pushed the bars forward.

    Twin carbs are a pain. If yours has that you might want to think again.

    Some had 23 and 25" fronts. If yours has that you might consider changing back to a 21" rim.
    #65
  6. WestRider

    WestRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    787
    Location:
    Back in Idaho!!!
    There are a couple of other sites you might be able to catch some info on your bike like www.xlintperformance.com for some compatible parts and http://xlboard.aimoo.com/ for general information. I picked up a BSM replacement exhaust (slip-on) to fit my existing header...I've seen a few headers for sale on eBay without the muffler as that's what rusts out first. My muffler is completely shot...that's why I bought the BSM. I picked it up online from David Silver Spares in England...they shipped it to me in Utah...got it in 4 days!

    As for the other stuff...I've found most of my parts on eBay...be patient. There seems to be someone parting one out at least once per month. I've managed to find shocks, speedometer, headlight bucket, turn signals, perch and controls, and some misc stuff from eBay. Look for XL500s from '79 through '81...don't know of anything else that fits the "s" model.

    Good Luck!!


    #66
  7. WestRider

    WestRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    787
    Location:
    Back in Idaho!!!
    I've never seen that tank before....any body know what years/models for that tank....doubt it would fit directly on my "s" but I want one!!


    #67
  8. rideLD

    rideLD The further the better!

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,412
    Location:
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Here I am on my 83 XL600R
    I bought it brand new on my 16th birthday after saving for 4 years, it was my first street bike. I loved that bike. I put almost 50,000 miles on it. I guess I spent so much that I could not afford pants that were my proper length :lol3

    <IMG SRC="http://rideld.smugmug.com/photos/121550737-L.jpg">
    <IMG SRC="http://rideld.smugmug.com/photos/121550751-L.jpg">
    #68
  9. dorkpunch

    dorkpunch Oops...

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    dont feel to bad about the highwaters... i looked pretty much the same at that age. I STILL have a hard time finding pants long enough. usually i just buy the closest i can get and low-ride 'em a bit. :D I wasnt allowed to have a bike until i was out of the house, but if i coulda i woulda done the same thing! awesome first bike!
    #69
  10. The Rev.

    The Rev. n00b

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    Jan 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3
    Thx for the info guys gonna try and get this bike ready for a daily rider for the spring.

    The Rev.
    #70
  11. speedwobble2

    speedwobble2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Western Queensland
    I had a XL500SA the first model 500 bought into Australia, had a 23" front wheel which limited the choice of rubber.Had no problems with it what so ever,it was a great bike , travelled a lot of dirt roads and often 2 up with my wife.
    The only thing, it didn't like to slide on long sweeping corners and was a little twitchy,never worked out whether it was the front wheel, the rubber or the frame, this only showed up at 10/10ths and wasn't a problem if you kept it in mind.
    The only mods I did to it was build a pipe, rejet and put a vesco tank on it, and gear it up a little to make it a little more comforatable on the road
    #71
  12. fully_geed

    fully_geed Listens to Tom Waits

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Hi all - Fun thread. I suffer the affliction of wanting a 1981 or earlier XL500s but have not found anything yet.

    So I've been looking at my local craigslist and eBay for XL500s. So far not many postings. Are there any other places that you'd suggest that I might try looking (I live in Northern CA)?

    Thanks a bunch!
    #72
  13. MY1980XL500

    MY1980XL500 n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1
    Is it possible to remove the clear plastic cover without breaking it? looks like it is glued to the case.

    thanks.. I bought a dremmel toolkit...:-)
    #73
  14. Airguitar

    Airguitar Thumpin'!!

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    Apr 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    425
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    Hi Boys and Girls !!

    I have restored a XL500s, see it here. http://www.bluemountain-guitars.de/xl500s.htm

    Anybody needing me to source parts, send a Private message or email.
    I live in Germany where there is a large group who lovingly rebuild these bikes, so parts (Some new, some Used) are available, even that hard-to-find 23" front tire.

    It's a great Bike and a piece of Enduro history. There is also a way to practically eliminate the usual tappet cover oil leak too.
    :freaky Nice to see so many entheusiasts out there!
    #74
  15. chasmyfld

    chasmyfld n00b

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    Dec 6, 2006
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    Does anyone know where to purchase a 23" tire and tube for the XL500 Honda?
    #75
  16. dorkpunch

    dorkpunch Oops...

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    Blackfoot, ID
    any motorcycle store or any place that sells motorcycle tires. cheng shin makes a knobby for it and i think briidgestone has a more streetable 23'' tire for it.
    #76
  17. MortimerSickle

    MortimerSickle Semi-Adventurer

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    Location:
    Rainville, Orygun, where moss is a road hazard.
    Dennis Kirk lists them.
    #77
  18. RLK

    RLK RLK KLR

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    Nov 22, 2004
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    Location:
    CSprings
    Is it stuck at zero? Does the odometer work? Your spedo drive cable is probably broken. Its WAY more likely that its a broken cable than it is a stuck needle. Please don't go Dremmeling away on the plastic before you check the cable.
    #78
  19. devian

    devian DBALL

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1
    Location:
    Wilmington N.C.
    I just purchased a xl500 that had been sitting for 5 years and I can't get it to start. I did get it to fire up once with some starter fluid, but nothing after that. Changed the plugs and new battery. Plugs are getting gas because I took it out and it was damp. Got a good blue spark, new gas. Can anyone help me on this.
    #79
  20. Airguitar

    Airguitar Thumpin'!!

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    425
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    You covered 2 of the 3 essentials, number 3 being compression.. have you done a compression check? This can be misleading because there is an automatic decompression when kicking the bike over. This needs to be disabled before an accurate compression test.
    My guess is the compressions ok, but check it anyway.

    The wet plug is a better clue. It seems your bike is flooding.

    Check that the choke is going to the full open position when pushed fully in. Once again a difficult task but best checked visually by removing the seat, and probably the tank too. It could be that the choke is stuck closed and causing flooding.

    Is your carb in good condition? Old XL's have a needle type carburettor. As the throttle is opened, a tapered needle is pulled out of a hole in the venturi, which meters the amount of fuel sucked into the venturi from the float chamber. This tapered needle is made from brass, and wears down with time, due to the high vibration of the thumper. If it wears down excessively it will meter too much fuel to the combustion chamber, causing flooding.

    Failing that look for other things which may cause too much fuel to flow. eg. the float chamber, etc.

    The carb on this bike is a pain to work on, but I'm sure you can get this baby going.

    Bon Chance ! :1drink
    #80