Friday, March 24, 2017

Project Bike: Dad's XT500 - Sourcing brake parts


I took another trip over to Zdeno Cycle to find some braking components. I picked up a pair of 310mm floating front brake rotors off of a 1996 Triumph Trophy 1200. It took me a while of sifting through the 'Rotor Room' at Zdeno to find a good matching pair of rotors with a mounting bolt pattern that would sit outside of the wheel bolt pattern. I'll only be running one front rotor and I'm going to use the big 310mm rotor on the rear so that the caliper will sit over the sprocket.
I also picked up a rear brake system - master cylinder and caliper off a 2006 Suzuki GSXR 1000. The caliper looked perfect - nice and small and the 2 bolt flange mounting.... But once I got it modeled and stuck into my rear wheel computer mock-up it became apparent that its too wide and will interfere with the cast spokes of the wheel... See image below. Now I need to find an even smaller rear caliper - maybe a motocross style with a single piston.

Project Bike: Dad's XT500 - Up and running!

Another update on the restoration. Dad got the bike up and running and it sounds pretty good for a 40 year old bike. A bit of ticking on the top end so were going to look into the grub screw mod to the rocker box to counter the effects of a worn rocker pivot bore. Cant wait to hear what it sounds like with a new higher flowing exhaust later on in the street tracker phase. Damn it looks good!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Project Bike: Dad's XT500 - Works Connection Clutch Lever

My new Works Connection clutch lever assembly showed up this week for he street tracker build. This will add some nice touch to the controls and bring a little motocross styling to the build. These clutch levers aren't cheap but are well known for being the best. Super smooth action. I ordered it with a hot start lever built into the perch. This will be used for the decompression lever to help with starting the big single... This will also eliminate the extra lever needed for the decompression system.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Project Bike: Dad's XT500 - Restoration re-assembly

Dad has been busy working on the restoration porting of this project. After tearing the bike down to the frame and cleaning everything he installed some new fork seals and mounted up some new to us tires. These tires came from the Supermoto Ontario club which was shut down this year (too bad). While I was the president of the club we setup a program sponsored by Parts Canada and Avon tires where guys could bring their motocross bikes and fit some tires that would work on the supermoto race track to give it a try. The tires are Avon Distanzas 21" front and 18" rear and even though they are a little more street oriented than dirt they will work fine and the price was right... Thanks to Brandon (sister's boyfriend) for picking them up in St. Catharines.
The frame paint is still pretty good and the aluminum rims polished up really nicely.
The fork boots are a little hard and prone to cracking so were going to be careful with these since they are super expensive to replace for some reason...

Engine is in and it's looking more like a motorcycle! I had an extra chain kicking around from my supermoto bike gearing setup so I sent that home with Dad the other weekend to use on the rebuild.

Dad put some more elbow grease into the front fender to revive its finish and even managed to save the ninja turtles sticker that I put on the bike 25+ years ago. He wet sanded it with 180 grit then 600 grit and buffed it out with some Maxima SC1 (new bike in a can) spray...

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Project Bike: Dad's XT500 - Gathering Parts

I've started to gather some parts for the street tracker build. I had a pair of like new ProTaper motocross bars kicking around that a friend gave me that came off a stock YZ250F. They will go nicely with the colour scheme and have "Yamaha" printed in the clamp area which is cool.

I had the Brembo radial master cylinder kicking around from my supermoto racing days. Its a 16mm piston so it will be big for the GSXR caliper i'll be using but it looks bitchin' and its basically free.

Another item I had kicking around were the KTM oversize bar mounts that came off a set of triple clamps I bought previously for my KTM 450 SX.

I picked up an aluminum flat track style number plate off ebay for about $40.

This is the flat track seat pan that my Dad had on the bike 30 years ago. Its in great shape. I think I'll make a couple changes to clean up the mounting. I have the rear light that mounts to the 2 holes in the rear but I think I may go with a smaller LED tail light.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Project Bike: Dad's XT500 - 3D CAD

As a mechanical designer by day I work with Solidworks 3D CAD all day. So I'm going to use this software to model up the front and rear ends to help me design the needed hub adapters.
For the front end the GSXR front end fits a 310mm rotor. So I need to source a rotor of this size and made an adapter to space the rotor properly and line up with the rotor mount holes. Axle spacers will also need to be sorted out. I need to make sure there is enough clearance between the tire and bottom triple clamp for the suspension stroke.
Once of our light suppliers (Hella/Optilux) makes a nice small light bar. I'm thinking this would work good for a headlight. Recessing this light into a front number plate should look good.


For the rear end my goal is to design a single side brake and sprocket setup. I first saw this on a custom XS650 chopper with a similar 19" rear wheel setup. I think it will be a fun challenge to work out this design. I'll likely need to use a pretty large diameter rear rotor so that the brake caliper will clear the sprocket and chain. I should also be able to fit an extra wheel bearing into the hub adapter to better handle the drive and braking forces.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Project Bike: Dad's XT500 - New forks and wheels

I took a trip to Zdeno Cycle last weekend to find some key parts for the bike build. I've always wanted to go with a front end with inverted suspension. I scored a good deal on this fork set off a 1992 GSXR 750 for $200. They need some fork seals and I'm going to have to modify the steering stem to mate up with the XT steer tube. I'll have to design a new top triple clamp plate to include provisions for mounting a set of ProTaper motocross bars.
Since the bike is going to be a street tracker, I had to go with 19" wheels front and rear. I've always liked the look of these 7 spoke mag wheels off Yamaha XS/SR models. They are both front wheels so I'm going to have to design up some hub adapters to mount the needed rotors and drive sprocket.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Project Bike: Dad's XT500 - Chassis tear down

Dad has been working away on the project bike. Tearing down the chassis after getting the engine rebuilt. Needs some fork seals and some seals to freshen up the carb.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Project Bike: Dad's XT500 - Engine Rebuild

$1000 in parts and a couple days of Dad's time later and the engine is all freshened up. It needed a new cam and rocker arms since the exhaust valve rocker wore through the hard surfacing. Also replace the cam chain and piston rings. Its pretty cool you can still get OEM parts for a 40 year old bike. A few parts did have to come from Japan...
I'm getting excited to hear this bad boy run.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Project Bike: Dad's XT500 - Street tracker plan

So here's what my plan is for the XT500 when I give it the street tracker treatment. I want to try and balance its 40 year old styling with some modern twists drawing from my history of BMX, offroad, supermoto and flat track racing. Modern inverted forks, number plates, 19" wheels, big front brake, MX bars, flat track seat pan and more.
Some inspirational bikes: