84 Yamaha IT490

Any IT490's out there? I'm in the middle of restoring one now. Use to own one back in 80's. Actually bought it new from a dealer for about $2500 or so. It was a really good bike to ride. Of course back in those days, being as young as I was, I had to strip the bike down and replace OEM with after market. I ended up getting rid of that bike back in late 90's, but soon got a replacement (The one I have now) from a good friend for free. Didn't do much to it for a lot of years. I've gotten back into riding, and decided to do a full restore on this one. When I got it, it was completely stock and that's how it will stay. Want to take it with my other bikes when I go riding so I use it as an exploratory bike, check out the trails, nothing fancy. It has a speedo, so that's a nice addition to know how many miles you've gone as well as keep track of your gas consumption. Anyhow, would love to hear from anyone out there with an IT490 and get some feedback. Keep it Roostin'

Edited by YZ490-DEVIL

I have an 83 i have partially restored, really not a bad bike for riding! DC plastics makes pretty good plastics replicas, The white can be scraped from the old plastics if you have lots of time. The one i got still had lots of good condition parts as well as a running motor, Only the seat cover, pipe, side panels and rear fender are new. 










cleaned up plastics


Edited by Wild Alaskan

Good job on the restore

love the ITs keep the picture coming

Oh man I remember mine. That was one hell of a powerband. Looped me many times as a young teen!! Looks awesome!

I've been looking for an it engine to put on a blaster

Wild Alaskan:

Nice job on the plastic. I've got my eye out on new seat cover for $35 on eBay with free ship. The plastic, I plan on restoring. I normally use fine wet and dry grit paper, then followed by a buff on the buffing wheel and it comes out like new. The plastic on mine isn't so bad, but does need some work. The frame has received it's first sand blast, but I ran out of media so I'm waiting to get more media to finish the job. Turns out I need to do some minor welding but that's no big deal. So far I've got the rear suspension (swing arm ~ linkage) cleaned up and plan to anodize it. Though about doing it myself, but that's an undergoing, so am looking around for a shop that does it cheap. The front forks are clean up and need anodizing as well. Plan on taking the rear wheel to my local shop that charges $25 to mount a tire, but get this, I was looking through my inventory and found a really old 80's rear tire which is classified as 5.60 x 18. I'm not entirely sure if it will fit right, but it's only about an inch wider than the one that's on now and think I'll be ok. The 5.60 x 18 is practically new and I never realized it was buried beneath a bunch of stuff, so it will be nice tracking with a larger tire. The front wheel and tire is fine, and the rear wheel is fine as well, true and straight. The only thing about the wheels are the spokes have seen better days. So I plan on using a wire "Dremel" brush and cleaning them up. That's going to take a while, but time is all I have right now anyway. The exhaust has a crack on it, so I'll be welding that, but decided first to take the pipe and stock muffler to my local engine machine shop where they're only charging me $30 to hot tank and clean out all the oil and 30 years of built up carbon. I plan on buying some new packing material for the muffler as well. Still have gobs of smaller parts to clean up, but time will do the trick. Engine is sound, or at least it has good compression and turns freely and goes through all the gears, so don't anticipate having any problems with that. Plan on painting it, but the clutch cover is going to get sand blasted and anodized. Boot always wear out the paint there anyway. I've got the original tool bag for it too which makes it really nice. I'm guessing another month or two and it will be in really good shape. Right now it's down to the bear frame. Oh, one good thing to do when you finish painting the frame is let it cure. I leave it for a week or two sometimes even more before riding it so I know the paint cures good. Before you start putting it together, it's always a good idea to run a tap n die through all the screws to clean them up and get any paint out before assembly. Also Ebay has a 62pc screw set for like $25 I want to get to replace all the body bolts. I can't wait to finish it so I can post a picture of it before and after for all you good folks to see. I'm not much in hurry really as my stable is full at the moment. I've had my eye on a 91 CR500 which might happen this weekend. A really nice bike I've always wanted and the seller updated it with 01 parts, so the bike is really clean. I've also got my eye out on a 91 YZ490 I'm thinking of getting for $300 for spare parts. I'd like to update my 83 YZ490 with disc brake options. There's also a YZ250 I've got my eye on for $500 also for parts for my YZ360 Olin. My YZ360 is still missing some misc. parts, and pricing them out on eBay has proven to be more expensive than just buying this parts bike which will yield more parts later in the long run to store for it. During winter, it's the best time to go get deals out there since a lot of people don't ride in the winter as much as they do in the summer and fall out of the sport. I pride myself most of all getting the best deals I can. For example, the 83YZ490, and the white 89YZ360 Olin, both picked up off eBay for only $100 bucks each, what a steal! Here are pictures of the IT490 and so far my stable of bikes which includes my kids KX80 he's out grown, so I also have my eye out on a KX125 for him so he doesn't lose interest. Any thing else you do to your IT490, let me know and give me some more ideas. I want my IT490 to look like it came off the showroom floor when I finish with it. It was the first (not this one as I got it for free from someone that lost interest) "new" bike I bought back in 84 for $2500 from a dealer. It gave me a lot of good years of riding until I finally parted with it. It's was GOD sent that a friend of mine offered me this one for free.



Darn, so much to say, that I forgot to ask, have you rebuilt your mono shock? I normally don't get into it that deep. I mean I'll tear the motor apart, but you have to have specialty tools to do work on a mono shock not to mention you have to recharge it too. That's another thing I have to check out and see if there is a local shop in my area that work on them, and most importantly, see how much they charge. I've got to assume that after 30+ years, it would need a rebuild by now, so plan on that as well. Front forks, I think I can get by just by replacing the seals. But that mono shock is a whole different ocean unless anyone out there has any insight on rebuilding it yourself. Like as in a kit for it, and how to recharge the bottle with that decarbon stuff it takes. Also, is that a new chain I see on your rig? Look nice. I was thinking about replacing it, but between all the stuff I'm already doing to it not to mention replacing for example small rubber grommets that back in the day were only $1.25 to replace, now they're like $9.95+ each to replace, really sucks how the economy has gotten these last few decades. I suppose no one can make any money selling $2 items anymore. Still sucks if you have to replace half of dozen of them and you have to fork over $50+ to replace everything. Oh, and looking at your picture Alaskan, I noticed another Blue bike in your stable. Is that an older IT I see?

That bike in the back is a 1977 DT250!. I have not rebuilt the shock on the 490 yet, although I have rebuilt several other modern bikes mono shocks and they aren't too difficult. there are some good guides on the internet that may also apply to this older shock as well depending on how its assembled. 


You have a nice collection!

Edited by Wild Alaskan

Here's another thing that came to mind. I would love nothing more than to add fork gaiters, but now a days finding the right one is really difficult if not just to get the right color which should be yellow. On ebay I saw a seller selling them in Australia, for like $35 + $7 us to ship. A little expensive, not to mention you'll probably have to wait for a couple of weeks if it doesn't get lost in transit, but here's a nifty accessory I came across that has my eye, fork sox, Velcro type so you can easily remove them when you wash the bike. they look nifty and though I want to keep the bike perfectly stock, I just might cheat a little and go for the fork sox, hell maybe both and enjoy them both. What do you guys think about fork sox and any bad or good experience with them as opposed to rubber gaiters?

Alaskan, thanks for the tip and compliment, specially on mono x rebuild. I'll scope out the internet on which I never intended to do because it just seems a little difficult. Well the only thing that really stumps me is how would you recharge the reservoir bottle and where do you get the gas for something like that? I looked at the stem where you supposedly recharge it, and it's just a simple screw, so I would think you would need special equipment to recharge it. If the price is right to have someone just rebuild if for me, I might go with that instead, but if it's something ridiculous like $200 +, then screw it, I'll have to figure out something else. Just how to recharge it is the main question. By the way, is that a new chain you got there on your 490? Looks nice how much did it run you. I want to replace mine, but I've never had issues with chain, unless the o rings deteriorated, but the one that's on my IT seems to have good o rings. It might be a little stretched, but dang it, in 30 years of having numerous bikes, chains have never been an issue for me. I just keep them maintained and they seem to last forever. Oh before I forget, there was a guy on Craigslist selling an older 79 I think TT500, you remember those? The price seemed good, but the guy didn't include a picture, only a picture of a stock one you get off the internet, hell not even a photo really, more like a newspaper clipping, so that kind of set off red flags. The guy said it was rusted up really bad, but you know, all I saw in the back of my mine was a diamond in a rough. That bike for me would be more of a collector bike. Weren't those Yamaha's first 4 strokes dirt bikes back in the day that had everyone bewildered?

The chain I have on there is cheap new o-ring chain I think it might be Volar brand. I have never used fork socks and you probably noticed i wasn't able to find the yellow covers, i still have the old ones and they cleaned up to pretty good shape.


I am actually in a different state than this bike bike so cant say for sure on the shock situation, Most modern shocks have a shrader valve that you can have filled at most moto shops, i looked at a diagram for this bike and it doesn't seem to use that system.

Hey Alaska, well the It490 PIPE, MUFFLER, and BAFFLE went to the HOT TANK today, so I should have them back next week nice and clean. I'm going to have to check with my local shop regarding the mono recharge / rebuild thing and see how much that cost. It would be nice to rebuild the mono myself, but I've been looking around the net and can't seem to find anything in regards to rebuild kits.

Thought for the fun of it, I'll take pictures along the way of my restore and post it here for any IT490 enthusiast out there that might enjoy it. Today, picked up more media and finished sand blasting the frame the second time around. Had some light welding to do on her which was basically two (2) exhaust mounts, and lower frame brackets that protect the lower part of the engine. Painted it with enamel engine paint (Black) and it will sit now for a week or maybe two curing. While she hardens, I'll take the opportunity to continue refurbishing the parts that will be going on her in the coming weeks. So far I have the front and rear suspension (including linkage) cleaned up, rims are clean, but the spokes need some attention from my Dremal which I know is going to take a lot of time. But little by little. I figure if I can do a few spokes a day, in about 3 weeks or so I should have them cleaned up. That's why I can't emphasize enough to take care of your spokes and keep them oil and oxidized/rust free. Need to run the rear rim over to the shop to have another tire mounted, and the front is in descent shape that doesn't need replacement. I've decided to instead paint the brake plates, I'm going to leave them bare and just try to polish them up. Magnesium is a bitch to care for, but if you keep them polished up, they should retain their luster. Next on the table tomorrow is plastic that needs gritted and then buffed. The tank is usually the hardest because of the gas stains it has from the three (3) decades of use. It's too bad some people don't take care of their rigs and let it go. It's after decades that the bike starts to deteriorate to the point where too many things such as bushings, rubber grommets, etc. need replacement. Since I got the bike free, I plan on laying a few hundred dollars into it to replace a lot of these small tidbits. I've decided to rename her from Blue to "Enterprise". Don't ask, it just came to me today for some reason. I figured this bike will mostly be my exploratory bike to just chug around in and explore open desert, so why not Enterprise since it was a ship of exploration. Till next time. Keep it Roostin'!



Had one back in the day.  Tremendous power, too much for tightwoods riding around here, but I liked it anyway.  If it was running at all, it was making 35 ft.bs of torque.  I put a 3.25x21 front tire on mine just so I could get it to turn.  I would short shift it like it was a 4-stroker and it would pull the front wheel in 3rd for 200ft or longer.  Suspension was wonderfully soft, but I hated the turn-up at the front of the seat onto the tank.  You could slam youself into that if you weren't careful.  It had the double leading shoe front brake like some street bikes.  Some liked it, some hated it but you could do stoppies before they were fashionable.  Looks like this owner changed to a YZ disc front.  Sold it about 1995, and the guy I sold it to has it for sale now on Craigslist.  So if you want a good bike:

Edited by ronbuell

had one back in 95....now have a basket case (less mtr) to assemble which came from a cart guy.......he has 5 or 6 mtrs he wont part with,such a waste imo

Looking good devil! 

Well, the process has been a little slow for me because I haven't been feeling well these last few weeks, but I managed to make a dent here and there. I started putting it all back together from the frame up. First thing that went on was the air cleaner assembly. After that, laying out the electrical. Next will be the engine, but I decided to tear it apart and inspect the trans and gears, so it's getting a complete tear down. It had a bad head gasket, and the previous owners wondered why it was so hard to start. Once I have the engine sorted, it goes on with the rear suspension followed by the front suspension and it's all down hill from there. A lot of the components I'm refurbishing to make it look new. For example, the air cleaner assembly was a real mess. The previous owners instead of fixing the exhaust where the muffler had broken a stay point on the frame, didn't do anything and the pipe not only melted some of the plastic, but damaged the air cleaner in the process. So it was epoxy, followed by two good coats of plastic dip. The results were pretty impressive. Not only looked new, but smelled it too. The rest of the pictures of the parts that need to be serviced before they go on the frame. Little by little, but I'm guess at this pace, I'll have it all done hopefully by the end of November.








Wild Alaska, can you fill me in on how you made the fuel tank look so good???  I am in the middle of putting a 83 IT 490 together, and need to make my tank look like that.


Thanks Smitty

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now