1980 Honda XL500s refresh

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by victory80, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. victory80

    victory80 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    sf bay area california
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    Well I thought I was done with street riding but this 1980 XL500s practically fell onto my lap. I didn’t know much about this model before picking it up but it ran, was currently registered and came with an original California blue license plate, cool!

    The bike seemingly is mechanically solid; chassis straight, the clutch is meaty, shifted to 5th and 60ish just fine. Can’t beat Honda reliability and familiarity! It does have the normal XL top end oil leaks that I’ve read about and god awful front brakes (my first experience with cable drums).

    Also from my quick research of XL500s models, it looks like they originally had 35mm forks and a solid bar mount top triple. BUT what I have looks to be 39mm forks and a rubber mounted top triple. Cross referencing, I may have 83-87 xl600 forks with 84-85 XL350 clamps?

    The theme is to keep it cheap and to try and use anything in the spare parts bin that I can. The quick and dirty:

    -Clean the crap out of it
    -Fix failed helicoil repair on right foot peg mount
    -17/17s with Heidenau k66
    -grips, sprockets, chain...
    -Sand paint off tank and polish it?
    -Paint fenders and side covers
    -Address oil leak
    -Freshen suspension

    Pictures for now. She’s crusty but should clean up nicely!
    #1
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  2. victory80

    victory80 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    sf bay area california
    14EBAAF7-9BD9-44B9-BF1E-984E50C7FE4A.jpeg 4C3EAAC1-DDF8-4C1A-A852-A2EF3DF72E09.jpeg 5F0B6CC1-FB90-49DB-A63B-26679CC3DA1A.jpeg Quickly mocked this 1989 nx250 front wheel and disc brakes and to my surprise, it fit perfectly. Goodbye 23” and drums! Now I can safely stop-pie!
    #2
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  3. victory80

    victory80 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    sf bay area california
    AED03342-233E-439D-BBDF-59E0B22C4AB6.jpeg 0DDE0165-95EB-4CCB-9BCE-FF7B979778A8.jpeg 27487515-3673-4E34-8C57-267060B06C73.jpeg 3096E7BA-A49A-41EE-9124-150AA9653F0F.jpeg So the ‘keep it cheap’ theme quickly went out of the window... Shinyribs own XL500 resto and Eric Feron’s xr500only website made me want to build this thing up proper!

    Currently gathering a ton of parts and now the theme is ‘pimp it out’! This twin shock vintage Honda deserves it.
    #3
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  4. victory80

    victory80 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    sf bay area california
    67FA320E-EA23-4BA7-A545-4B2BE0E3E632.jpeg 3EF3A888-4A77-4F20-9D91-3021B70529E7.jpeg FC5F2B64-0A47-47D8-9C36-6FA7CD8861EA.jpeg 4CB594B5-E940-45FC-9CFE-CD7F74A5EEF9.jpeg How she sits right now, retro supermoto mode!

    Revised plan:
    -Engine topend refresh-Piston/rings, megacycle 144-30 needle bearing cam, hardwelded rockers, clutch...
    -21/19” dirt setup
    -Noleen resi shocks?
    -Ebc 320mm front rotor?

    Thanks so far to:
    Lisa/Barbara at Megacycle
    Lance at Sprocket Specialist
    Chris at Wheel Works Hayward
    #4
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  5. Dread_lion

    Dread_lion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    337
    hahaha, that went overboard quick :clap
    i friggin love it! sand that tank back to original though. Looks to be an aftermarket bigger plastic tank? anyway, cool bike, i love my XL600RM, but all the XR/XL series are pretty damn cool!
    dont mod it into something else though, they deserve better ;)
    #5
  6. victory80

    victory80 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    sf bay area california
    E00B9B1D-94B2-4399-8223-BAFCB75378C2.jpeg 0B1F8946-3D51-4420-BF5E-0A5948D19220.jpeg DFFA8B46-6BC1-4607-B93A-4EE855A05D22.jpeg EB5ECBE1-00F3-4E25-8AC8-C222C8DE6F1A.jpeg Cool Bronco!! So I’ve been itching to ride the thing so I’m going to continue cleaning what I can, put it together, ride for a few weeks then send off to John at Performance Cycle to freshen the engine and install the Megacycle goodies.

    I got the rockers back from being
    reconditioned and hardwelded, another big thank you to Megacycle.

    Not a lot of progress to show, but got the paint stripped off the tank. Anyone have tips to bring some shine back to this faded plastic?

    Lastly my dirt setup 19/21, still need to find a rear hub. Anyone have one?!
    #6
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  7. victory80

    victory80 Been here awhile

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    Location:
    sf bay area california
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    #7
  8. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,983
    Location:
    Da frozen tundra eh? 1.5 mile west of Lambeau
    Retromotard! I like it. My 83 XL600R will someday become a big ol' retromotard. Torque curve like a tractor. Easy handling for city and back roads.

    Anxious to see the final results.
    #8
  9. Todd157k

    Todd157k Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,801
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    My brother @Carl57y is doing his 79 right now too. Hardest part of the engine rebuild was finding the cam chain guide. Ended up using the old one that was 'less' broke up than any replacement he could find.
    I think the sumo thing is going to look really good.
    #9
  10. victory80

    victory80 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    sf bay area california
    2CD82FB5-4423-4CC0-B01E-00F6D211B5FF.jpeg 960A92A9-0E03-4843-9331-0E1956BCEBA2.jpeg 72526FA8-FB38-4949-8738-2C59CBCD6C17.jpeg 6047C62B-4060-4128-9164-E849151153CB.jpeg Thanks guys. Andyvh1959, yes this tractor like mill is awesome! Granted she doesn’t rev high but she has power everywhere! I think the needle bearing cam should free up a few more revs.

    Todd157k, does your brother have a build thread or planning to start one? Searched and couldn’t find one. Always nice to see others builds.

    ———-
    Vintage riding bliss here. So fun riding something simple and well designed. Even though the suspension is decades old, it is sufficiently compliant in the canyons and rough stuff. The engine a true gem, I got lucky with this one I think. It feels nice and tight.

    I’m thinking a light weight luggage and pannier rack and PC’ing the whole thing in white. I loved my 701 white trellis frame.

    *had too much fun and got my friends NX STUCK :)
    #10
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  11. pigjockey

    pigjockey Hognuts the T-bagger

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    Jan 25, 2014
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    Location:
    Wisconsin A half dozen miles from ROAD AMERICA
    #11
  12. shinyribs

    shinyribs doesn't care

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
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    2,621
    Location:
    The South
    Dude, this is great! I just spotted this thread. Damn, you move fast. I'm still twiddling my thumbs :D
    #12
  13. victory80

    victory80 Been here awhile

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    Haha thanks! Mine is more slapped together than a proper build such as yours!! :)
    #13