Yamaha XT500

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by TimberlineAdventure, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. dsilver1007

    dsilver1007 Been here awhile

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    there is a 38mm on the 1980(1981ish) xt500 in the garage that has had the same set up for 20+ years and it runs flawlessly
  2. Pigford

    Pigford British

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    SJ - it could well be the engine was not run-in right & the bores have "glazed".

    If a quality synthetic oil is used for the running-in period, this can effect the rings bedding in and the ring/cylinder seal does not happen :huh

    A fresh light hone may help if this is the problem - then run-in for a few hundred miles using a cheapo/basic mineral oil :deal
  3. pabloxt500

    pabloxt500 Adventurer

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    you'll be happy to know you can get a new correct front mud guard for your bike.
  4. xt500nz

    xt500nz Adventurer

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    a detuned 38mm will run well enough on a stock bike, but a 34mm oem with a proper tune will do the same. pumper carbs over two stroke 38mm when tuned by the right person!
  5. Rd650

    Rd650 Been here awhile

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    I agree with what you are saying, but the bike he refers to with the the 38carb has a 540 Arias piston, White Brothers WB1 cam and a full exhaust.
    It would smoke most of the XT/TT500s I have come across in the last 30 years. DSilver is correct we never got his runnung to its full potiental.
    Broke in on GTX 20w50
  6. Sidecar Jockey

    Sidecar Jockey Been here awhile

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    I picked up my second xt500 last weekend. This one is a 1978 xt500 E. I bought it from the original owner, with 10,500 miles on it. It looks to be mostly original, and is in great shape. The only problems are 1) dry rotted fork botos and 2) 2 slight dents in the right side of the tank.

    I bought the bike not running, but after changing the fluids, adjusting the points, cam chain, and valves, and cleaning the carb it fired up! I took it for a ~90 mile ride and its great!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I also have a 1975 Honda xl250 and a 1976 Honda xl350. I bought the hondas about 1.5 years ago and have been enjoying the heck ot of them.

    To compare the xt500's to the smaller Hondas is probably an apples to oranges comparison, but here goes. The sideport (1973-75 Xl's) feel much smaller and lighter. Their seat height is about 4'' lower and they weigh about 40 lbs less. They are great on rough and twisty trails, but really lack the power or size to cruise at 50+ mph comfortably. They have WAY less torque, and require constant shifting on twisty or hilly roads / trails.
    The centerport (1976-78) Honda XLs feel a lot like the Xt500's. The frames are similar designs and sizes, and the xt500 only weighs about 25 lbs more than a honda 350. The xt500 and centerport Xl350 feel and handle very similar. The centerport Hondas feel more stable on the road at 50+ (compared to the older sideport frames), although a 350 with stock gearing struggles to maintain 55 mph with hills, headwind, or heavy gear on board. The xt500 is MUCH better on the open road. I think I could cruise at 55 mph on my xt500 for hours, and it is still great for the fire roads and trails!

    (Both Hondas will go up for sale this spring after I get my other xt500 up and running... it is currently taken apart and getting new piston rings and a hone/deglaze)
  7. wrryder

    wrryder Been here awhile

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    Very nice! Love the swingarm and headlight.


  8. wrryder

    wrryder Been here awhile

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    Eye Candy!! WR426 forks but where do you get the triple clamps that will work with the stock tank??? Custom made ($$$)?????




  9. teledan

    teledan Adventurer

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  10. Sidecar Jockey

    Sidecar Jockey Been here awhile

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    Does anyone know where I can get a rear rack for my xt500?

    Or, could someone post pictures of a rack they have so I can look at somethig to go from to build one?

    Thanks!
  11. JAB

    JAB Unsprung Weight

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    Have a look a mine. No stickers or stamps so I don't know who made it, but it seems mass produced rather than one-off.

    [​IMG]
    Seems decent size. Doesn't really stick out anywhere.

    [​IMG]
    Mounts to the turn signal bosses and the rear fender loop. Guessing the loop was drilled for the install.

    [​IMG]
    Detail of the loop mount. Pretty sturdy, I can pick the bike up with it. I'd trust a 6 pack on it.
    Let me know if you have any more questions.
  12. vudu

    vudu Been here awhile

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    I have seen these guys sell them from time to time.

    Manracks
  13. Sidecar Jockey

    Sidecar Jockey Been here awhile

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    JAB,
    Thanks for the photos. Thats exactly the kind of rack I want.

    It looks pretty easy to make... I can probably weld one up from 'scrap' sitting in the garage. It looks like a small diameter piece of steel tube and some steel flat stock is all I'll need.

    I just want it to hold a 1.25 gallon gas can, and a small bag of food and supplies, all of which probably weighs less than 15 lbs. Your rack looks plenty sturdy for that.

    I'm thinking that I might add an extra loop of steel tube to each side of the rack to make a tiny 'crash bar' for the turn signals. I'n tried of breaking off turn signals every time the bike goes down.

    Thanks again!
  14. JAB

    JAB Unsprung Weight

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    I think you will be fine with 15 lbs. I can push/pull on the rack and it does not move. Seems we have the same bike in similar shape. Missing a few bits and bobs, but the motor is quiet and has good compression. Just got to push a few things around and get it on the road. Good luck with the rack. Post up a pic when you are done.
  15. Sidecar Jockey

    Sidecar Jockey Been here awhile

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    This might be a stupid question... but does anyone know the differences between the C, D, E, F, G and H models of the xt500? I thought it indicated the year of production, but some letter codes were sold in multiple years.

    For example, all 4 of my xt500's are "E", but one is a 1977, two 1978's, and a 1979.

    My buddy has a "F" 1979 xt500 and it looks identical to my "E" 1979, except the exhaust because he has a supertrapp...
  16. stteve

    stteve Been here awhile

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    Found this, but not sure if this is completely correct:
    http://www.topspeed.com/motorcycles/motorcycle-reviews/yamaha/1976-1990-yamaha-xt500-ar37550.html

    Yamaha started producing its first 4-stroke enduro in 1976 and it was named XT500C.This bike started the rich heritage for the next generation of reliable enduros.
    In 1977 the bike became brown and to mark its evolution, Yamaha added a “D” to the name of XT500. It had the same technical features, wheels and structure.
    As you probably guest, in the following year, the bike was called XT500E. The U.S. model sported the first polished aluminum tank. I should also mention the addition of black fork gators in 1978.
    The 1979 XT500F model added new rubber turn signals and a brand new kick start indicator.
    In 1980, the bike was not improved and 1981 XT500H was the final production version of the XT500 in the United States.

    At the European models we notice the new skid plate and head pipe. The European 1978 XT500E had a new red and white color scheme in stead of a polished tank and black fork gators that were also added that year.
    1981-1985 XT500H had a new rear fender and headlight.
    Again, there was little change for the XT from ’86-’89 but we should notice the newer style rims.
  17. Sidecar Jockey

    Sidecar Jockey Been here awhile

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    Does anyone know where I can buy a new (or rebuilt) stator for my 1979 xt500?

    I know there are a bunch of used ones on Ebay... but a would prefer to buy a new or rebuilt one from a reputable source.
  18. JAB

    JAB Unsprung Weight

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    Ricky Stator does rewinds. You might check locally with a alternator/starter rebuilder to see if they can do it.
  19. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

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  20. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

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    :lol3 JAB beat me to the punch.