Honda FT 500 Ascot Group

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Fishnbiker, Dec 12, 2019.

  1. OlleHell

    OlleHell Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2020
    Oddometer:
    36
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Thanks! It is so tricky getting the proportions of the bike correct, I'm still not happy with the balance between seat and tank but will iterate on it until I'm happy with the result.

    The headers I bought from a small german company, here's the link: https://www.leiroshop.de/epages/10618850.sf/de_DE/?ObjectPath=/Shops/10618850/Products/KR-FT500

    Two other good thing I've bought:

    improved CDI: https://shop.biollamotors.it/catalo...ECU-HONDA-FT500-Ascot-1982-1983-497cc--905546
    rear master cylinder: https://www.ebay.com/itm/112811619925 (plus a braided steel line).
  2. wiguzziman

    wiguzziman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2015
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Chippewa Falls, WI. 54729
    Rick's MotoElectrics has a CDI unit for the FT500 that has a built in rev limiter with two positions (6800 and 7200 RPM's). It can be set for either limit by a couple of dip switches. If I remember correctly they go for about $100.00 US.
    wiguzziman
    OlleHell and Fishnbiker like this.
  3. FT500

    FT500 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2020
    Oddometer:
    46
    Location:
    den haag, the netherlands
    Small update on my progress installing a XL500R kickstart in the FT.
    I had the cylinder head cover machined to accept the decompression lever and painted everything in a nice 'bare aluminium look'
    20200523 01.jpg 20200523 02.jpg 20200526 02.jpg 20200526 01.jpg
    After installing the new second hand stator and cleaning up my flywheel (broken gears of the e-start system destroyed both) I reinstalled the engine in the frame.
    Always nice to see the bike back in one piece again.
    20200527 01.jpg 20200527 02.jpg 20200527 03.jpg 20200527 04.jpg
    As known and expected the kickstart pedal hits the footpeg assembly and brake lever so I am looking to maybe go for rearsets or something.
    She does kick over very nicely though. I still have to clean and mount my carb but I am pretty confident she would start up nicely.
    20200527 08.jpg 20200527 09.jpg
    OlleHell and Fishnbiker like this.
  4. OlleHell

    OlleHell Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2020
    Oddometer:
    36
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Nice work! The bike looks great, and soon you will have it running again.
  5. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    20,218
    Location:
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA. USA
    I had one you guys may find interesting
  6. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    20,218
    Location:
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA. USA
    05B182DD-A42F-49E6-8391-DA7427B35BF7.jpeg D3C84C46-98A1-4A1A-9873-7123879ED40B.jpeg
    strommonster likes this.
  7. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    20,218
    Location:
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA. USA
    Road raced it at Willow Springs in California. Built to the hilt. Carillo rod, Wiseco 12.5 to 1 piston, huge carb, XR's Only built head, Mike's Pipes, drilled, lightened, sawn, hacked, grinded. There were rules...like use stock seat pan...so I cut some inch or more off the side and shortened it...still stock seat pan. Electric start gone and plated over...had to start it on rollers the compression was so high. Fun bike handled well but the engine was a grenade. I did two seasons in 500cc Singles class and 600cc class. The bikes was GIVEN to me...but I spent around $4000 on it!
  8. FT500

    FT500 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2020
    Oddometer:
    46
    Location:
    den haag, the netherlands
    Awesome!
    I am looking to built another FT for vintage road racing so would be very interested to hear more about yours.
    Espescially any frame strengthening or other changes as the engine will remain mostly stock for reliability and budget (will do headers and air filter)
  9. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    20,218
    Location:
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA. USA
    Didn't do any frame strengthening. The only welding on the frame was rear set Footpegs I set and then welded the mounts in place. I spent a fair amount on suspension with Race Tech!
  10. FT500

    FT500 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2020
    Oddometer:
    46
    Location:
    den haag, the netherlands
    I have cbr suspension and wheels ready to go in so suspension wise I should be covered. (Although I do have to upgrade the cbr forks)
  11. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    20,218
    Location:
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA. USA
    Ahhh....our class rules wouldn't allow those mods. You then had to race in 500 Modified Production and the competition was too tough for the Ascot.
  12. FT500

    FT500 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2020
    Oddometer:
    46
    Location:
    den haag, the netherlands
    We are not allowed to change-out the rear swing arm (allowed to strenghten it though), apart from that you can modify the suspension, not to an USD front fork though. Engine wise you are not allowed to do a big bore kit. (1st or 2nd oversize is allowed). Brakes can be modified but not to more than 4 pot brake calipers. Everything has to at least appear a bit period correct.
    It are also demo races where you get scored for consistancy so even an underpowered thumper can win ;)
  13. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    20,218
    Location:
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA. USA
    We could bore out to 660! To me the bike handles well with front springs for your weight and gold valves in them, race sag set. Rear I got springs for my weight and set sag. Even the stock bike I couldn't outride in the canyons...it's a great roadholder. I dropped the front fork legs down dramatically..more to decrease the rake than anything. I lifted the rear a tad with longer shocks. I think money spent on suspension is well spent...I felt the oem front brake worked well, the rear I rarely used....in fact I had the disc skimmed very thin. I went on a bike weight reduction storm looking for ounces! I even drilled holes in the webbing of the wheels. Even removed the rear brake master cylinder and replaced it with a simple stand up plastic tube! Cut all tabs off the frame, footrest mounts, stand mounts.
  14. FT500

    FT500 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2020
    Oddometer:
    46
    Location:
    den haag, the netherlands
    Mine will be going on a strict diet too ;)
    In the netherlands the knowledge on racing the FT is very low (not a lot imported back in the day and definitely not raced a lot) I am trying to contact the guys that have been racing the FT in the AHMRA to get to know more about the suspension and frame mods they have done but so far no luck.
  15. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    20,218
    Location:
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA. USA
    They are not big in AHRMA..in fact never seen one...most AHRMA road racing is pre 1978 manufacture. We had a 500 singles class at WSMC but that outfit has now disbanded. Contact XR's Only in California...it's the same engine. They did a lot for me. Also Race Tech in California for suspension. Quality head work, a rebore and high compression piston is a good start...perhaps a bigger carb. Gearing is important for various tracks. A selection of front and rear sprockets.
  16. FT500

    FT500 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2020
    Oddometer:
    46
    Location:
    den haag, the netherlands
    Thanks for the tips.
    I did see your oil cooler. That's a mod I would consider too to keep the head cool.

    Regarding the AHRMA, they apparently have a class called vintage superbike lightweight in which a lot of FT500s compete and are pretty competitive.
  17. wiguzziman

    wiguzziman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2015
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Chippewa Falls, WI. 54729
    Yes, the superbike lightweight class is/was quite popular with AHRMA racers in certian parts of the country. I live in the upper mid-west (Wisconsin), US, and the local track (Road America) used to host AHRMA races once a season. Five years or so ago the FT500's were quite popular in that class. Because I have 2 FT 500's I made sure to check out all the FT 500's in the pits. There were a couple of the FT's that were VERY fast and competive in the class. One racer in particular
    that I spoke with had a highly modified FT 500. He had mega bucks in the motor (over $1,000.00 in just the head alone!). Sadly the FT 500's have kind of faded in that class and you don't hardly see them anymore. They just couldn't compete with a lot of the 500cc twins that became eligible to run in the lightweight superbike class. wiguzziman
  18. FT500

    FT500 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2020
    Oddometer:
    46
    Location:
    den haag, the netherlands
    Too bad, would love to somehow get in contact with one of the old builders of the fast FT's to pick their brains
  19. Fishnbiker

    Fishnbiker Tire smuddy, hook swet

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,533
    Location:
    Campbell River, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
    Anyone out there have a copy of the old Yahoo Groups info & a place to offer universal access? I have the package, but not set up to offering in a coherent manner. I could send by WeTransfer to anyone who can host it. It's some 34 Mb of mostly PDFs, TXTs, & JPEGs covering pretty much all of the mechanical & tuning issues discussed over at Yahoo. PM me if interested.

    Thanks,
    Ken/Fishnbiker
  20. FT500

    FT500 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2020
    Oddometer:
    46
    Location:
    den haag, the netherlands
    Ooooohhhh YEaaahhh.
    It took a total of 4 kicks and there she roars!!!

    Really happy that she starts so easily.
    There is a slight tapping sound from the cilinder head so will have to check the valve clearance, apart from that she seems to run very smooth!
    Still need to figure out the footpeg situation but at least the bike starts again.
    The new stator works like a charm, really have a very nice and strong spark.
    Funny to be able to start the bike without a battery in it.
    OlleHell and Fishnbiker like this.