XL500Scout- Restomod

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by shinyribs, May 12, 2018.

  1. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,018
    Location:
    The South
    That's a good point, and I'm always leery about factory chain slack specs. Most of the time it seems they err on the side of caution and call for much more slack then needed. I'll remove the shocks and align the output shaft, swingarm pivot and rear axle centerlines with a string. That will be the longest distance for the chain to reach. I adjust there, then measure the bike reassembled and sitting on the side stand for future reference.

    Even on my brand new FZ07 I did this, and I ended up running the chain tighter than Yamaha called for. I don't have the snatchiness others complain about on those bikes. Nice and smooth :thumb
  2. Salsa

    Salsa Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,183
    Location:
    Arizona, Alaska
    If you adjust your chain at the tightest point in the travel, you don't have to read the book. It works for all bikes.

    Don
    Roofchop and Honda-50 like this.
  3. MortimerSickle

    MortimerSickle Semi-Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    16,405
    Location:
    Rainville, Orygun, where moss is a road hazard.
    That is the method I used to find the proper measurement for sufficient slack, but on my particular setup, it also left me with enough slack to occasionally lose the chain. Just another case of modifications causing problems to be solved.

    Fortunately, my solution worked well.
    shinyribs likes this.
  4. DeepBarney

    DeepBarney International Bumbler

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    2,668
    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    Except shaft drives. :zilla
  5. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,018
    Location:
    The South
    Oh. Yeah, I gotcha now. The chain guide on the XR250 arm will keep things from wanting to skip off out back, but you could still run a chance of the chain jumping off the front sprocket and eating cases. A spring loaded tensioner might be needed after all. Thanks for driving the point across until it finally sunk in. :bash
  6. rexelstar

    rexelstar Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2014
    Oddometer:
    98
    Location:
    Netherlands
    My own creation, perhaps a bit overkill.... IMG_0651[1].jpg IMG_0652[1].jpg IMG_0653[1].jpg

    Need a xr500 frame, so the bracket can be weld as one part, also for a bung weld in the gusset plate frame;)

    Wonder if the spring tensioner is needed now actually.
    It is welded on to the frame, originally to the swingarm itself. So spring tension will change with up and down..
    Perhaps with a bearing roller on the upper side chain mounted on the frame like on the xr250r is a thought.

    The ktm front slider will prevent the chain from doing harm and jump off and it levels free.
    brucifer and shinyribs like this.
  7. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,018
    Location:
    The South
    That is beautiful! Wow. Is that nylon?Delrin? Looks to about a 8mm bolt being used for the roller axle?

    What shocks are you running?
  8. rexelstar

    rexelstar Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2014
    Oddometer:
    98
    Location:
    Netherlands
    http://www.gazisuspension.com/products.html

    Will have a first 100km trip tomorrow...hopefully all works well for another 300km planned this weekend;)

    I removed the nylon roller, reason is the chain 'eats' in it during testing and lots of sound. Changed with a oem honda roller. The oem upper one of the xr250r version, more rubber like but expencive. Like the roller on the tensioner arm.
    8mm correct.
    shinyribs likes this.
  9. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,018
    Location:
    The South
    @rexelstar , thanks for the info and link.

    I got the chain roller sorted out tonight, but imgur is being weird so I can't upload anything.

    Been thinking about the shock and I have a hard time paying $300+ for a pair of Hagons that I can't adjust or rebuild. Not that I expect this bike to have/need premium suspension, but I do enjoy tuning suspension and getting the most out of my bikes. With that in mind I've been wondering about the "cheap Chinese" RFY shocks you see all over ebay.

    [​IMG]

    For less than a third of the price( about $80-90) I can have a shock that I can work on. Maybe they aren't premium quality ( they admit to come charged with air instead of nitrogen), but revalving and charging a shock is no trouble. I see lots in the 400mm +/- range that I need, but they only have about 70mm stroke. Not sure how much stroke length I need, but I'm not seeing anything long travel. Anyone have any experience at all with these?

    I mean, as long as the chrome shafts don't peel...what could go wrong? It's just an aluminum body. Everything else inside can be adjusted as needed. An option I don't have with high dollar Hagons.

    EDIT: I need 100mm of stroke and these offer 70mm. Lots of shock can be lengthened slightly internally. I see a pair on ebay for $63. Tempted to order them just to experiment with.
    yehaaa6 likes this.
  10. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,018
    Location:
    The South
    A look inside the RFY's: http://chrislivengood.net/wp/rfy-shocks-overview/

    [​IMG]

    So there are shim stacks that can be adjusted. That's a plus. And the rebound bump stop is MASSIVE! Lots of top shelf suspension runs thick o-rings as bumpstops. I could order a slightly shorter shock than what I need- say about 380mm- and replace that very long bumpstop with an o-ring. Assuming that's about a 14mm shaft, that bumpstop would give up roughly 20mm of shaft travel. Hmm....coupled with a slimmer outer bumpstop and this isn't so far off.


    Beside, you gotta admit, piggybacks just look cool :thumb
    DeepBarney likes this.
  11. DeepBarney

    DeepBarney International Bumbler

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    2,668
    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    Those look very similar to the cheap Chinese TEC shocks I have on my Bonneville. They worked better than stock (not a difficult feat really). The aluminum is fairly soft and scars easy. It's not failed anywhere to my knowledge, but something to be aware of. After being subjected to some washboard roads they started to leak at the shaft seals.

    Still I think they're a decent value for certain applications. If you don't mind opening them up and working on them I think they'll do alright for you.
    shinyribs likes this.
  12. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,018
    Location:
    The South
    Thanks for that. Did you replace the seals?

    I wonder if the seals they used didn't hold up to dusty conditions ( I'm assuming washboard= gravel roads) or if something else failed. Seals should be easy/cheap enough to upgrade if that's their biggest weakness.

    I messaged an eBay seller asking if they offered a long travel model. They replied that the working motion is adjustable and the shock will accommodate up to 100mm travel. I don't see how that could be possible without modifying the stops like a mentioned before, but I asked for more info on that and am curious to see what comes up.

    Saw a pair at $63/free shipping obo so I took a punt and offered 50 bucks.

    Looking around the interwebs shows lots of positive things about these shocks. It'd be a shame for this company to keep using cheap seals and never earn a name for themselves. I'm sure we'll never see RFY equipped bikes from an OEM, but dangit, they could try. Another $10-20 per pair of shocks to use better seals and assembly techniques could only help their business, and the price would still be "cheap".
  13. DeepBarney

    DeepBarney International Bumbler

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    2,668
    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    I have not yet gotten around to it. But I don't believe RFY or TEC actually manufactures or designs. More of a they order an existing product from a Chinese manufacturer and have their name put on it. They may or may not have it made to their specs though.
    shinyribs likes this.
  14. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,018
    Location:
    The South
    Here's my chain roller. Not nearly as glamorous as rexelstar's, but it fit's my budget of free :D

    Skateboard wheel leftover from an old axle slider project, and some bearings leftover from an old hydraulic clutch conversion I built for a SOHC CB750 a few years ago.

    [​IMG]

    The skateboard wheel was interesting material. Felt like hard plastic in your hands, but a little softer to dig a fingernail in to. "Machining" it peeled off material that looked,felt and moved like strips of rubber. Weird stuff. Doesn't machine very consistently, but hey, it's a chain roller- the surface finish is gonna get chewed up anyway. Couple arbors and a axle spacer to locate the bearings and pinch the inner races properly.

    [​IMG]
    Bad pic, but chain clears the case nicely.

    [​IMG]

    Needed a support structure to hold up the other end of that 8mm bolt being used as the axle. I will own a mill one day, but until then I will keep making do with the trusty Sheldon and some dodgy clamping :D

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Pretty happy with the results. Should be plenty sturdy and weighs near nothing. Surface needs cleaning up. Trip through the blasting cabinet should handle that. Need some better hardware, but I'm calling this job done.

    [​IMG]
    One angled washer on the outside of the frame tab to accommodate the bend for the sidestand.
    [​IMG]
    rexelstar likes this.
  15. MortimerSickle

    MortimerSickle Semi-Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    16,405
    Location:
    Rainville, Orygun, where moss is a road hazard.
    I love finding I have just what I need, sitting in a coffee can somewhere on a shelf, especially if it has been sitting there 30 or 40 years.

    What I don't understand is how I can remember I have that, but I can't remember where I set down my wrench 15 seconds ago.
    2a2gtis, rexelstar, Salzig and 6 others like this.
  16. rexelstar

    rexelstar Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2014
    Oddometer:
    98
    Location:
    Netherlands
    After about 300 miles on the Dutch xl/xr meeting all went great with the chain rollers and chain tensioner setup. 50% road and 50% off-road. High speeding off-road 80-100km /hour... am I getting to old for this...?!

    Chain tension still the same with the DID enduro narrow x-ring VT2 chain.

    Did get offered the 1979 twinshock XR250z/XR500z fender 61100-434-000ZA.

    Found a NOS duck fender on ebay italy see pb.

    Great job btw on the chain roller ! Looks perfect !
    shinyribs likes this.
  17. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,018
    Location:
    The South
    Thank you very much for the link and the pm. I'm going to go check on that now.
  18. GR0NK

    GR0NK Got some screws loose!

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    10,058
    Location:
    Stuck in 80s
    Not sure if you pulled the trigger on some shocks yet but have a look here.

    https://www.japbikespares.com/catalogsearch/advanced/result/?name=&description=&short_description=&sku=&price[from]=&price[to]=&manufacturer[]=587&model[]=179&year[]=81

    I ordered a set of 400mm shocks for my CT90 project and they are decent units. The link is sorted for 1979 Honda XL500 and those 400mm units have 110mm of stroke. Well the non-reservoir ones anyway.

    They are on Ebay as well. http://www.ebaystores.com.au/japbikesparesoz





    Sean :-)
    shinyribs likes this.
  19. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,018
    Location:
    The South
    I can't get that link open, but it may have something to do with the hotel WiFi where I am. But dude, that sounds awesome. Thanks a ton for the heads-up.
    GR0NK likes this.
  20. GR0NK

    GR0NK Got some screws loose!

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    10,058
    Location:
    Stuck in 80s