Project XT500 Supermoto

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by JonW, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. Pigford

    Pigford British

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    Sep 27, 2009
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    997
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    North Dorset, UK
    Mutz - That bike of yours always makes me grin - well smart :wink:
    #21
  2. JonW

    JonW Been here awhile

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    Absolutely thats a great idea, I cant think of too many places where you would find two XT SMs in one place, would be a hell of a fun day out too :)

    I'll give you a shout when mine is finally built and tuned and lets hook up.
    #22
  3. BigDave75

    BigDave75 Will Work for Food!

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    Beautiful Bike!!!
    #23
  4. JonW

    JonW Been here awhile

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    Thanks Dave, tho I fear you mean Muzz not me... LOL

    Great news! My wheel spacers have arrived.

    [​IMG]

    While my bike has looked quite complete for a while, the wheels are only loosely fitted as the spacers are only what I made up quickly to get sizes and check the chain run. I would always need to replace them with proper units before the bike was completed.

    As usual with those who build customised bikes, I struggled to find someone who would make me up some spacers and I didn't have anything the right size lying around.

    I know many guys say 'just ask your tame local engineering firm, they will knock some up in their lunchtime for beer money' but A) I don't have a tame local engineering firm, and B) the no-so-local firms just didn't want to know, so are not tame. It certainly seems that where I live in Sydney, the concept of old-skool engineering firms helping out a biker in a lunch break is a thing very much of the past, no one offered to whip some up for me for a 6pack or donation to the tea fund, they all wanted to quote the job on paperwork with an hourly rate. Sigh.

    So... I gave up locally and I asked around and found a mate of mine would make them, in fact he has been making stuff like this for people for years as he does all sorts of stuff on his mill and lathe and was thinking about offering the service on the forums and sales sites etc. as he is a biker and knows people struggle to get this sort of stuff nowadays. The downside, he is in France. Well, not so much of a downside as he is quick and dependable and post only takes a week, and to be honest the time I saved not having to drive all over Sydney was well worth it! Plus he was cheaper per spacer than anyone locally!

    I actually had him make me a couple of different sizes as I wanted to have some leeway to get the chain run and fork widths just right. He was up for that and offered me spacers in steel, bronze, brass or alloy, he wont do Ti as he finds working with it a bit of a pig, and I wasn't that fussed on Ti to be honest, the weight saving on a spacer is minimal considering the extra costs of the material and amount of work involved. Bronze/brass was interesting, and something to keep in mind for a future project, or maybe some spacers that were not on wheel axles, so could be kept clean and polished.

    In discussion he has said that he will do a webpage soon. In the meantime if anyone wants anything like this done and cant find anyone locally I can recommend Andy who can be contacted on, Engineering@taboulet.com and his site is: http://www.taboulet.com/engineering/Site/Home.html

    [​IMG]

    So, these arrived today. It's a shame the seals and bearings I ordered the same day from the UK (I wanted SKF bearings, and the best priced seller was in the uk) haven't arrived yet or I would have them fitted already. Grr...!

    In other news my NOS seat arrived from Yamaha. Its an 81-on unit and so is longer than the original. Interesting when I flipped it over you can see how Yamaha extended it with a crude rivited on section supporting the longer foam and cover. I fitted refubished hardware as this all NLA now of course.

    [​IMG]

    I still don know if I will use this seat as its a bit long and not the idal look for the bike, but it is supercool to have an original Yamaha seat in one piece, its amazing what you can find for these bikes!
    #24
  5. JonW

    JonW Been here awhile

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    Slow progress, but still progress...

    I did a bit to the XT the past week, mostly prompted by the wheel spacers being here, but really only when a few other wheel/brake parts arrived so it was worth pulling the wheels.

    I pulled the rear wheel, cleaned it up and then fitted new SKF bearings and seals. I installed new rear brake pads and fabbed and fitted a guide for the rear brake hose. Making the guide/clip took ages, drilling and tapping was quick, but not easy with the shocks fitted of course, there isnt much room to get in between the forks of a swingarm with a drill. I scrubbed the tyre edges and refitted the wheel and tightened the swingarm pin and axle with the weight on the ground. Nice and solid!

    The next day I did much the same to the front wheel and cleaned up the front caliper as it was binding, and again fitted new pads as it was probably those and the sliders that were binding.

    I also fitted a new smaller front master cylinder reservior from Tyga and used the same unit (it has an angled exit) on the rear as well.

    With new bearings and proper spacers and the bolts all done up, the bike feels more planted now and much more 'together' of course, tightening up axles and pins will do that LOL!
    #25
  6. Valleyrider

    Valleyrider I Survived The '60s

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    More pictures!!!
    #26
  7. JonW

    JonW Been here awhile

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    haha! too funny Willie! It looks the same, just dustier now... :cry
    #27
  8. norton73

    norton73 drinkin'

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    Beautiful Downtown Springville, Alabama
    :raabia
    #28
  9. JonW

    JonW Been here awhile

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    me too norton, I hope mine comes out as nice!

    Put oil in my bike today, after a few mins I congratulated myself on a job well done as there were no leaks... 20mins later I nipped back into the garage and there was a small pool (Aus 50c/UK 50p/2Euro piece) on the floor... damn... seems I hadn't done the frame drain bolt up... LOL. two twists of the spanner and its been drip free all arvo...

    no word on the tank yet... hmm...
    #29
  10. Valleyrider

    Valleyrider I Survived The '60s

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    Hmmmm.... Seems someone recently told me "Righty tighty, Lefty loosey"

    Wonder who posted that?? :evil:evil

    Glad you didn't spinout in the oil!!
    #30
  11. JonW

    JonW Been here awhile

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    hahahahaha :rofl:clap

    I don't take my own advice, that would be madness my friend! :evil

    I really want to have this bike up and running, and Its sooo close now. Just need the tank and a few other small things and its done... well, 'done for now'. Im still not sure on the long seat. I also ordered an SR aftermarket and lightweight chain guard as right now its all open there and no way would I pas an inspection like that, but really I think im now pretty close. So close and yet so far... So, Ive started building up my XL500R in the meantime, its going back to standard and will not be anywhere near as pretty or expensive as the XT, I like the XL, but I love my XT! :D
    #31
  12. muztt500

    muztt500 Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
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    hunter valley, wine&dirt
    any updates on the tard?
    #32
  13. JonW

    JonW Been here awhile

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    Sadly not really anything good as such....

    - Tank still at Collideascope... hmm...

    - Finally found my issue with my brake light... the aftermarket loom wasnt soldered in the middle... wtf?! Fixed now, but very very annoying!

    - The Forkseals were leaking so Ive got them apart now... The Pyramid parts seals dont fit, they are too tall! Ive cleaned the old ones and will put em back in. sigh....
    #33
  14. dongie

    dongie Brraaap

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    Chicago
    Nice project! :thumb
    #34
  15. JonW

    JonW Been here awhile

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    I lost this thread, but now Ive found it I will copy over the updates form elsewhere.... yes there is an XT forum LOL!

    Last week I went up to the place doing my tank. Mostly as the next day it would be exactly a year to the day I dropped it in... 6months ago they hadnt started it due to work load. I always knew it would take a while and I agreed to be patient, but it was getting to be tooooo long as the rest of the bike has been pretty much done for a long time... long enough for me to snap off a couple of indicators and it to gain a layer of dust in my garage, hmm. So, I figured I would pick the tank back up, filler it and paint it white all over, ignoring the sexy alloy just to get the bike finished... To be honest, I really do need to complete some projects... sigh..

    The reception boys didn't know anything, and certainly didn't seem to want to let me 'back stage' where I insisted they had my XT500 tank. I persisted and they called one of the owners to come to the office - probably to tell me to f-off LOL. Anyway, the bloke looks at me like he's just seen a ghost when he walks in... He says 'Er... ohhh! XT500 tank! Well... We lost your details... but.... it's mostly done!'... And... then he shows me... OMFG!!!.... WOW!!! Its not totally finished... but you I could immediately see it really is a work of art.... I need to drop colour samples of the rest of the bodywork in and they will complete it next week, but I'm stunned... it's beautiful!

    Now that the tank for this bike is close to being done Ive been forced to remind myself what was left to finish on it... hmm...

    Today its back on my lift and the rear wheel is off for me to find a way to fit the aftermarket stainless SR chain guard and to fit new indicators... the M-factory units i bought a while back were junk really. I didnt notice when i fitted them but in the last year even with the bike safely at the back of the garage two of them had managed to get broken... Imagine that in use they would be in more danger and I figured i needed to work out what was going on. Seems... the reason being that they are plastic bodied and the screw thread part is bonded to some rubber that is bonded or glued to the housing to give them some flex. What happens though is that as the amount of material used to bond/glue them to the body is minimal and it tears, leaving you with a dangling turn signal... hmm.... So... dont buy these. And if you have, contact me if you want 2 or 3 usable spares for the price of postage... sigh.

    So, Ive been fitting some new units that were advertised as CNC alloy... they seemed too heavy to be alloy on my initial handling, so I stuck a magnet on them... or actually I didnt, they really are alloy. Im less sure if they really were CNC'd as they arent as sharp as id expect from that process, but hey they seem more solid than the last set LOL. I did notice the threaded steel part was a but loose in the housing needing some locking compound and I added some 5mm slices of silicone hose to give them some movement as they bolted on rigidly otherwise.

    Had word that my custom side panel decals are done today and will be fitted to the panels this week and I should collect all the bodywork early next week all being well.

    I will continue to solution the last bits and hopefully get the majority of this build finished by the end of next week, seat not done in that timeframe of course... and, time and other jobs/projects allowing... will be nice to have one done, even if it does still need tuning and the front brake upgrading still.



    Spent all day on this bike in a big push to tick off some of the outstanding jobs... The list was pretty long actually and filled with jobs I just couldnt get right the first time LOL

    Rear brake - A simple clean up really... just got missed last time round. I finally also loctited the rear master bolts in place now that the placement is done. As I dont have any news ones, and these were newish just grubby, I just tidied up the pads and cleaned up the caliper and hanger as they still had some red dirt on them from the 'noughties. It just needs bleeding now and its done.

    Chain guard - what a nightmare of good intentions gone bad... This is a cool unit in stainless steel that is really for an SR400/500. What I wanted for this part was the simplest chain guard possible, no frilly clever parts OTT looking, just a simple bit of folded sheet. I certainly got that in this unit, its as simple as you can get, one long piece of steel, curved at one end, and fitted with two straight brackets that are riveted on. It came from the same seller as the swinger so I thought it might fit that ok... er... no... Neither of the bolt holes was designed to fit the bolts/holes that appear in the same places on the swinger, maybe they work on the SR with a standard arm, who knows :/ I had to drill and tap the back of the suspension mounting bolt... which is stainless. I broke the tap off and rounded a bunch of drills but finally managed it. The front edge I decided to drill out one of the chain slider mounts, retap and use that. Turns out it was a timesert type fitting, so I had to drill it out and fit a larger size instead, lucky i have a kit of these. I also needed to grind out more space for the wider tyre as fitted to my KTM 'motard wheel. I also had to cut into the lower fender guard to make room for the new chain guard to move up and down. All of this was a slow job with a dremel. All in all it fits nice now its done, but it was slow work, especially drilling the allen headed bolt to M6 to allow it to also take the screw for the chain guard.

    Tidy up the wiring loom - one of those jobs that didnt get completed after I fixed the intermittent fault in the loom as supplied by Kedo with a un soldered branch. Sigh. Easily done and looks better now and much further away from the exhaust.

    The front brake was binding... bizarrely after cleaning it up and refitting it's still binding... i think its an issue with this disk and caliper combination as the caliper doesn't look straight on the disk or the forks really, strange as they came from the same bike, tho the disk is newer. Its a moot point as I will fit a bigger rotor and 4pot caliper soon, I just haven't bought them yet... The bike rolls well, the front wheel just doesn't spin as freely as id like.. its not like it will be on the ground much tho I guess LOL!

    So I'm inching closer to being done... still some work to do, but its nice to think I'm completing things now. Conversions are never easy and fitting a disk brake fat rear end to an XT isn't normal I guess. Ahh well, it looks killer and will go round corners like a loony, thats what counts!

    Rear brake... Ran out of time yesterday to bleed the rear brake system as I had removed the caliper to fully clean it up and new fluid is always a good thing anyway. So, today I ran new fluid into the system and at the same time cleaned up the reservoir and line. Brake works like a charm. The heim joint could do with replacing at the bottom of the Brembo master as its a bit rattly, but it does help the lever have a bit more travel, its quite abrupt... Perfect really, as I wont use it unless Im in serious trouble... Or maybe backing it in... Er...

    Here it is... It looks less gold in real life... luckily...

    [​IMG]

    During testing I also noticed that the re-bent lever is still not really sticky-out (technical term) enough as I skagged the paint off the repainted engine cover with my boot. Not happy.

    [​IMG]


    Front brake... Bled this as it was running fluid from last year, never any harm to run more fluid through our old brakes, it had discloured a little so it felt right to do it while i had the bleeder and new fluid out.

    I still wasn't really happy with the front wheel and was rolling it round on the lift thinking 'that really doesn't sound "pad'y".... More like gentle steel on alloy...' Turns out I was right. The caliper bracket was touching the disk where the disk spins through the pad locating part. This is an aftermarket disk and I think its a bit thicker than OEM. Lots of filing later and the 1mm step is gone on the Brembo adaptor, and im even wondering if the adaptor was just cut badly as really there was no need for that 1mm step that place. Hmm... Wheel spins much more freely now.

    [​IMG]


    Next job was another from my old hit list; adjusting the timing chain. Ive always hated adjusting timing chains. The can chain has the ability to stretch then flap around, messing up the cam timing (bad for the engine) and if you neglect it it will snap and take chunks of your motor with it (worse for your engine). Hence I love two strokes, no cam chain to incorrectly adjust... Dont get me started on twim cams or serpentine belts with idlers on cars... Anyway...

    So, Thinking I was clever (is that that the same as being clever?) and spending money on this project anyway I bought a very swish (read expensive) modern solution; A hydraulic adjuster. A simple 'fit once and then forget' as it will do the adjusting for you... But can you see the error in my plan? Yeah... It was the 'fit once' part.

    Looking on line and it seems no one uses these. I guess the XT guys are real men who don't need no stinkin oil filled device to keep a cam chain adjusted. I mean, if you can kick start an XT and change it's oil now and then, then adjusting the cam chain is the least of your issues. Hmm...

    Talking to the (German) manufacturer the plan on fitting, if google translate is to be believed, is to fit it just like the OEM one... Cant get simpler than that! What followed over a year ago was a baffled me reading the Haynes, Clymer and OEM manuals not really understanding them. Everyone said 'it's easy...' and I reckon I must have been over thinking it as I found the task impossible. I always thought it must be like fitting the aftermarket Clutch Pusher bearing device on an RZ, fine when you know how to do it, but looks like you need an engineering degree until that 'Euerka!' moment.

    Needless to say Ive fitted it what I think is properly now. The end of the push rod (in my case the hydraulic part) sits flush with the end nut when its tensioned, you then tighten up the big nut against the cylinder to lock it all in place. Well that's what ive done now, if its night right im giving up and pulling the old OEM manual tensioner out of the spares box...

    [​IMG]

    How easy is it to adjust an XT timing chain? Easy... Loosen the 5 bolts holding the flywheel cover then find TDC backwards... You need to run anticlockwise so you leave the slack on the adjuster side of the chain run. Then undo the locknut, wind the adjuster in until its flush, and then lock it up. At this point youre meant to check it by running the bike up and feeling / seeing if there is movement on the tensioner plunger, it should pulse slightly and not be solid. I dont have my tank yet so that will have to wait. Amusingly, thinking i knew better than 3 manuals and the assembled knowledge on a bike that's been around almost as long as I have, I thought I could do it a quicker and easier way by removing the timing plug on the other side of the motor, but you can only get TDC clockwise that way... Damn! That meant another 6 bolts to remove the bash plate... Simple. Er... Anyway, RTFM guys... I should know better.


    For those who were interested (I'm not even sure if anyone is even reading my posts here but hey talking to yourself isn't a sign of anything much these days!).

    ...here are the new and old indicators:

    [​IMG]

    And the reason I had to get the new ones:

    [​IMG]

    ... and here is the PITA chain guard:

    [​IMG]

    Tank is back..... So what do you think guys? (before pics are on the previous page I think)

    (apologies for the naff pics, its an overcast day and now its raining here :/ )

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I also had them do me a set of custom side panel decals which they also fitted:

    (Tail piece was there as they colour matched the tank off that, its an OEM Yamaha part bought new... as were the side panels, its amazing just how much you can get for the XT500 from Yamaha these days)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So, for those who are keen to know... no, it wasn't cheap to do this work, but it was worth it. I had it done locally to me by the only place anyone I asked told me to go to. Sadly most bodyshops I spoke to just wanted to cut the bottom off the tank, bash out the dents from inside and then weld the bottom back on, these guys didnt do that, they made tools and worked each dent one by one until it was done from the inside.... Artists for sure. I met the guys do did the work and they loved and hated my tank in equal measure i think, but both were proud of what they had acheived, and rightly so... The result is stunning, bright shiny and clean. Im very happy with their work, the bill is (almost) already forgotten. :smt023

    Work was done by Collide-a-scope ( http://www.collideascope.com.au/ ) if anyone wants something doing there. Id love them to do me a set of RZ bodywork, but being as good as they are also means they are out of my pride range I fear. I did see a full set of FJ panels they had done, they looked amazing. Maybe i will buy a lottery ticket this week....

    Bodywork is now on... I used a nice CNC fuel cap and for now a long breather hose.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I just need to sort out my seat now... I have two seats:

    1, A short seat that came with the bike and is probably correct for the 1980 Aussie bikes, but someone tried to cut the foam down and its become a nasty uncomfy thing as there is no padding on the part where your thighs pass over the edge, and imho it just looks funny, its in a few pics on this thread. I spent ages looking at other peoples SM seats and started messing with it, adding take and bits of wood to get a line that i liked, and ended up with... pretty much a lowered version of the standard seat, grr... Anyway, last year I chatted to a local boat/car trimmer who also does off road (adventure bikes) seats and I can have it all done up with new foam and gripper or normal cover, or a mix, but its about half as much again as getting a normal new foam and cover and stapling it on myself. hmm...

    2, In the meantime, it took a while for the tank so I bought a few bits n bobs LOL, I got a new yamaha long seat. Its stunning and clean, but... its way too much seat for this bike. :(

    So... I took a couple of pics with the huge new OEM seat fitted... sorry the camera wasnt happy when i was doing them, this is the best of a bad bunch :(

    [​IMG]
    #35
  16. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
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    2,563
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    Nice build , Jon--looks great! :clap

    The tank came out beautiful! :drif
    #36
  17. daddysmut

    daddysmut n00b

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
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    9
    this is a great build!
    #37
  18. JonW

    JonW Been here awhile

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    Thanks guys!

    I still catch myself looking at the bike out of the corner of my eye thinking 'I cant quite believe i own that...!' :clap
    #38
  19. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen

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    Feb 16, 2012
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    Da frozen tundra eh? 1.5 mile west of Lambeau
    Wow! Beautiful! That fuel tank is stunning, a great compliment to the other shiny bits. But, for me, that taillight has gotta go. I know it is classic 70's vintage but gawd it is huge on that slim profile of the bike.
    #39
  20. JonW

    JonW Been here awhile

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    Thanks too funny! I love that light, it's proper 'of the era' as you say LOL! Looks better from other angles I reckon. Still laughing at that, too funny. Thanks mate!:clap
    #40