VT500 Ascot for tracker or dual sport?

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by Unsung, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. Unsung

    Unsung Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    60
    Found a VT500 Ascot very cheap, was thinking of buying it and turning it into a dual sport. Specs say 390ish dry weight, about 50 horsepower from it's 500cc vtwin. Attached is a picture of what it looks like stock, following by one that's chopped down. Anyone think this would make a cool on/off road bike? Top speed is about 100, it's also a 6-speed. Shaft driven. Has a 31" very low seat height. I'd probably want to jack it up a bit. Wanting to build a tracker or dual sport type bike. What you guys think?

    [​IMG]


    This next picture is one chopped down a bit. Looks like a neat little Evel Knievel wannabe tracker.

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. Lomax

    Lomax Nanu-Nanu Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Oddometer:
    9,461
    Location:
    Westminster Colorado
    #2
  3. TrophyHunter

    TrophyHunter Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,359
    Location:
    San Diego
    1 vote Tracker
    #3
  4. kenstone

    kenstone newb

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    841
    Location:
    Boysee
    #4
  5. Hughlysses

    Hughlysses Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,503
    Location:
    Summerville, SC
    Technically, it's a tracker already.

    Ascots are fairly rare bikes, so if it's in decent condition with a good gas tank, side panels and rear tail section (ALL of which are nearly unobtanium now), I'd be hesitant to modify it much. If you do decide to modify it anyway, there are plenty of people that'd be glad to buy those parts from you if you don't use them.

    Check out the Yahoo VT500FT Ascot Enthusiasts Group at: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ascotvt500enthusiasts/info for questions/info on the bike. Some guys have parts bikes, so the group can be a good source for spares.

    The main issues with older Ascots are the gas tanks tend to rust out on the bottom, and replacements are impossible to find. Your best bet for that is to have the gas tank professionally repaired; there are shops that specialize. The only other tank that is a near-direct swap is the larger tank from a VT500C Shadow, but the Ascot side panels won't fit up to it properly so they'll have to be modified or left off.

    The other issue with older Ascots is weak ignition coils. This will show up as the engine dying at idle or being difficult to crank in hot weather, and as a high speed miss under the same conditions. Don't waste your money on used coils; they'll have the same problem. New coils are still available from Honda (about $170/pair IIRC). Dyna also makes coils that will work but you'll have to make some simple brackets to mount them.

    Good Luck.
    #5
  6. NorthBayPete

    NorthBayPete Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2013
    Oddometer:
    21
    Location:
    North Bay, Ontario, Canada
    This is my 84 "Ascot Adventure". Custom 3" taller and longer (forward) seat, MSR high ATV bars, heated grips, homebuilt pannier brackets, auxillary gas tank, auxillary LED lights, Shinko 244 tires, vent for shaft drive hosed up under the seat, new bearings in wheels and steering head, fork seals with gaitors. Still have to build a skid plate to protect the water pump but for the most part I am pretty well done my build.

    Attached Files:

    #6
  7. dpforth

    dpforth no inline fours

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    349
    Location:
    Fantasy, I mean Vancouver Island
    Rescued from a bad attempt at bobbing.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. Hughlysses

    Hughlysses Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,503
    Location:
    Summerville, SC
    ^ Nice job!
    #8
  9. dpforth

    dpforth no inline fours

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    349
    Location:
    Fantasy, I mean Vancouver Island
    Thanks. I'm pretty pleased with the result, but wish it was chain drive.
    #9
  10. dirt hokie

    dirt hokie Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    750
    Location:
    Eastern shore of MD
    how much range of motion can you get out of the drive shaft joints

    Say it has 3" of suspension travel in stock form, can you increase that to 6" or 8" just by modifying the shocks?
    #10
  11. Bambi

    Bambi Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    730
    Location:
    Linz upon Rhine, Germany
    Hello dpforth,
    very nice bike, indeed!
    Kind regards from Germany, Bambi
    #11
  12. dpforth

    dpforth no inline fours

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    349
    Location:
    Fantasy, I mean Vancouver Island
    I'm no expert, but there are limits to u-joint angles, and life span plummets as angles increase. Shaft speed is a factor also.

    Again, I'm not really sure, but I think early BMW Dakar bikes ran some pretty extreme angles.

    Here's one reference I found.
    #12
  13. dpforth

    dpforth no inline fours

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    349
    Location:
    Fantasy, I mean Vancouver Island
    Thanks from Canada
    #13
  14. Hughlysses

    Hughlysses Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,503
    Location:
    Summerville, SC
    With a conventional U-joint as used in the Ascot, the rotational speed of the "output" side of the U-joint varies throughout each rotation compared to the rotational speed of the "input" side as the U-joint is "flexed". The greater the angle of the U-joint, the greater this variance in rotational speed. This will show up as vibration as the engine speed tries to remain steady while the rear wheel speed tries to vary through each rotation. Rear wheel drive autos and trucks use U-joints in pairs arranged so that the angle/rotational effects of the front U-joint are cancelled out by the angle/rotational effects of the rear U-joint. You still get some vibration as the driveshaft speed varies, but it's minimized this way.

    "Constant velocity" U-joints are used in front wheel drive cars to virtually eliminate the effect. CV joints are of a much more intricate design and keep the input/output speeds constant.

    The Ascot final drive only uses one conventional U-joint adjacent to the swingarm pivot, so it's subject to non-constant driveshaft rotational speed as the swingarm moves. All that said, the stock Ascot rear suspension travel is 4.3 inches (see original road test articles), which isn't too bad.
    #14
  15. Old fart

    Old fart Keen AG100 rider

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    842
    Location:
    South By Southwest near the dotted line
    Similar set up on XLV and it has mebe 6" travel?
    #15
  16. Bambi

    Bambi Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    730
    Location:
    Linz upon Rhine, Germany
    Hello old fart,
    I think you're talking about the XLV from the early eighties (not of the later Africa Twin). Comparing this pic http://www.motorradonline.de/sixcms...da_XLV_750_R_im_Vergleich_110.jpg.2078445.jpg to the first of this thread I have some doubts. Frame- and Swinging-arm-arrangement doesn't look very similar to me. But I might be wrong, I can't really talk of the tech-details with knowledge ...
    Kind regards, Bambi
    #16
  17. TheOtherBart

    TheOtherBart Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,056
    Location:
    DeKalb County, Illinois
    Now that's a proper street tracker, beautiful!
    #17
  18. kenstone

    kenstone newb

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    841
    Location:
    Boysee
    Update:
    OK, I rode it for a while and found the front wheel washes out easily (could be the tire) and the drive line un-sprung weight makes for a harsh ride, even on small bumps
    This also could be the rear shocks, but I didn't want to throw money at it to find out.
    I've since bought a proper dirty bike for my riding, and keep the Shascot for local road riding.
    Quoted myself:eek1
    :lol3
    #18