1982 XL500R Shock Help Please!

hello all,


so i recently purchased a 1982 xl500r. i am a big fan of these old thumpers. the one that i had purchased looks to have a rear shock of a later model. i have come to figure this out because it has a reservoir attached to it. also, i removed it to do some cleaning and an overall run through of the bikes condition. now here is my problem. i can not get the shock back into the bike.. any suggestions? it seems to be about an inch too high to get it into the correct location.. any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. do i need to compress the spring in order to shorten the shock temporarily to get it in? 


i look forward to your advice!

If it came off, it should go back on

my thoughts exactly. unfortunately a couple hours later i still could not figure it out. i have ordered some spring compressors, so i will attempt to use those while installing. 

A spring compressor,,Get the bike up on a box ,,ie under the bash plate so the rear wheels totally off the ground..In fact remove the wheel then do what I said,,then..Pull the seat/rear end up so everything's stretched to the maximum..Jam a length of wood or something in there so it remains at that..Wonk the shock in and start by attaching the shock to the bottom pivot point..take it from there..They can be a bit pain if it's using a longer shock,,start at the swingarm end..that's where the problem will be..Bolts down there may need removing and fiddling with to get it on,,rubics cube job..Fiddle enough and you'll work it out..

Edited by Horri

thanks for the input horri! ill post some photos of my attempt!

Yip,,be good to see them..While I didn't have a longer shock on my XL500r when I owned it I did put one of the XR600 canister shocks on my XL600. They are a good inch longer than an XL shock and getting it on was quite a problem..I'm sure even though your bikes the 82 XL-R the issue will be much the same as even though they are different in years the shock pivots down on the swingarm are much the same between the two bikes..As I say you have to fiddle around removing some of those bolts down on the swingers pivots to get the bottom of the shock sorted out and attached..It's nothing that can be explained as it's a sort of hit and miss thing..You'll probably find one of the bolts is directly in line with the insides of the swingarm making you wonder how the heck you're supposed to get it in or out to attach the shock..What you do is move the swingarm/pivot arrangement up or down till you can get at it..Once shes all attached you just push the swinger with shock attached up to get in into the top shock mount point..


The shock obviously should be in its alignment area so it can be attached to the top end point..ie,,shock needs to be in where it normally would sit before you start trying to attach the thing to the bottom pivots to achieve the result. You wouldn't attach the shock then try and get it up the alley way..doubt it'd go in like that anyway..

Edited by Horri

Yeh,the linkage can be a MF'er.  Gotta go back in a certain order or it won't line for the last attachment. 

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