Monday, July 11, 2016

Project Bike: Dad's XT500

I'm reviving my blog to document the progress on my new project bike. Please follow along...

I've been wanting to start a project street bike for a number of years now. One of the many discussions with my Dad about what kind of donor bike would be best he remembered his old 1977 XT500 was still in my home town and owned by a friend of his. It took a year or so of bugging the owner to let go of it. Today it finally made its way back to our family!

My Dad bought this bike used in 1982 and put 50,000 km on it riding back and forth to work. Dad had it set up as a pretty cool street tracker with a SR500 front end, low flat track/speedway style exhaust, big riser bars and the signature flat track tail section.  Check out the picture below of my Mom holding me as a baby on the bike.
Dad had this bike for a number of years. I remember going for rides on it with him. He made a set of foot pegs that he could screw down to the frame rails so I had somewhere to put my feet when he sat me in front of him. Even the ninja turtle sticker I put on the front fender is still on it!
Dad sold it to a friend that later sold it to George Schamott. He rode it for a bit then its been sitting in his backyard shed for a long while. George had plans of restoring the bike but realized its not likely going to make it to the top of his to do list. Wanting to see the bike go to a good home he actually gave us the bike for free!
George and my Dad with the bike when we picked it up this past July

Its still in great shape for a 39 year old bike

So the plan for the bike is to tear down the engine and bring it back to life. We know before pulling it apart there is a ticking noise in the top end that needs to be addressed. Phase one is a light restoration to be completed for the Canadian Vintage Motorcycle meet next year for its 40th birthday. Then I'm going to tear into it and make the street tracker project bike that I've been dreaming about and planning for years. The XT500 is a great base. Big, simple air cooled single cylinder that is easy to work on, lots of parts available and has a killer story to go along with it. Stay tuned for updates as it progresses.
Back in the family. So cool...