Sunday, April 1, 2018
1977 XT500 project
We picked this bike up last summer some time, I've wanted one of these 500cc 4 stroke singles for a long time. We answered a want ad while on the road, some back and forth and we decided to take the ferry ride to go look at it. It was an abandoned farm bike, stored in the long-disused milkhouse, very neglected looking, tires flat and covered in sawdust but the engine did kick over.
After some disapproval and disappointment sounds, our $200 offer was accepted and it was quickly loaded into the van. After installing new points and condenser and some carb cleaning it kinda ran. For the last few months we occasionally fiddled with it but then in quick succession, the community came through, a couple of carbs were donated to the cause (thanks, Duck!), a carb rebuild kit and seat cover sourced (thanks, Andre!) and a very generous offer of free ultrasonic carb cleaning (thanks Greg!) and we put it back together yesterday. It started immediately and ran pretty good up till about half throttle- despite discovering we had failed to install the main jet. In case you're wondering, it runs great unless you want to go fast!
We rode it around the farm for an hour or two today and can report that it works pretty good for a 1970s farm-bike that probably never had any maintenance! Still looks like crap but that's coming. Stay tuned...