1976 xs500
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Thread: 1976 xs500

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ruri's Avatar
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    1976 xs500

    I finally found a project bike in the 500cc range.

    xs500 1976.jpg

    Has ~21,000 miles, brakes are locked up, engine turns and has good compression, electric starter is out I believe. Gas tank is a bit rusty...

    xs tank.jpg

    It's soaking now, already I can see the tank clearing up so I don't think there is much corrosion. Petcock's were a bit grungy and are also soaking in gasoline right now. Probably need a rebuild kit for both. I planned on opening the carbs today and cleaning them up, but I have not been able to find a gasket set and I hate tearing into something and leaving it apart for weeks so I might hold off till I find the kit.

    Any chance, any of you fine people know where to look? I ran some basic google searches but mostly found XS650 kits which I do not know if they are compatible.

    Anyone have experience with this particular bike? I going to post on the actual XS500 forum as well, but their community isn't quite as big or active so I thought I'd ask around here first. I am super excited to get the bike opened up and start rebuilding it.

    Lastly anyone around here do any ground up custom builds? I am going to have to replace a lot on this bike and I wanted to use newer parts where possible but do not know about compatibility and such. Mainly brakes, levers, and tires. I hate the OEM replacement rubber and really want to try and fit something else on the rims. Brakes are done and will definitely need new pads, if not entire new assemblies. I definitely want to give it a tracker feel. Give it some dual sport tires, weld on some nice mad-max style brackets on the rear so I can attach panniers if I feel like going on the road for a few days.

    As always any suggestions or tips is greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading!
    jtomelliott49 likes this.
    -Ruri

  2. #2
    Member Weldangrind's Avatar
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    Float bowl gasket: http://www.bikebandit.com/aftermarke...-gasket?m=8265
    Diaphragm: https://www.jetsrus.com/individual_p...07_774_su.html
    www.rockymountainatvmc.com is a terrific place to research part numbers, allowing you to do a Google search if they don't sell a specific part.
    jtomelliott49 likes this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member arbolmano's Avatar
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    Great bikes. Sorta a transitional to the familiar XS400. Don't mess about, near all rubber will be going south, like seals. Gaskets too.
    Ive run those type rims tubeless successfully. Watch out running lean on modern fuel. Sleuth long enough n you'll find parts. Price?
    Close your eyes and make it happen.
    jtomelliott49 likes this.
    Tonto
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  5. #4
    Senior Member Ruri's Avatar
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    Got it for $300 with a title which I really didn't expect he would have. Very happy with the price.
    jtomelliott49 likes this.
    -Ruri

  6. #5
    Senior Member jtomelliott49's Avatar
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    Score!!!!!
    Tom in Wichita

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  7. #6
    Senior Member Ruri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtomelliott49 View Post
    Score!!!!!
    I called him on it about an hour after it was posted. I had to drive an hour to get to where he lived. He said by the time I got there he had 2 more offers on it. He jokingly said "I should have set a higher price" but then was quite serious about "but I already posted it at $300, so I won't change it now." Very nice older guy in his late 70's. Got it from his sister-in-law a number of years ago and just never got to restoring it. Needs everything replaced. Really it's just an engine, frame and title. Gas tank too is a score. Those XS gas tanks are badass and I could hypothetically sell it for $200 on it's own now that I got all the rust out.
    Weldangrind likes this.
    -Ruri

  8. #7
    Senior Member Ruri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGman View Post
    Living the Yamaha dream!

    This bike was known as one of the Genuine dogs that Yamaha produced! Over complicated for the time, chain driven everything, poor oiling and had a reputation for grenading engines over here in Australia. Don't mistake this bike for the legendary XS650.

    Having said that, I would not hesitate to own one and restore it and think you paid a fair price for it. Any problem can be engineered out and I have heard that the inherent problems with these bikes can be fixed and when done they will run fine with excellent reliability. I will see if I can dig up the community that works on them...there always is!
    I found the XS500 forum but the number of users is small and not many posts in the last year. I met a guy who lives very close to me and is an expert on vintage yamaha's. He is a walking encyclopedia of motorcycle knowledge. We are working on meeting up and spending some time on the old 68 DT1 I found a few weeks back. I am hoping to really spend some time with him and rack his brain for info. Unfortunately he is busy for the rest of summer/fall so hopefully winter time I'll have a professional helping me on a one on one basis.
    -Ruri

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