84 XR500 build in progress. W/pics

Hello everybody,

This is my first post on TT (long time browser), so i will use it to introduce myself and my project that I started around march. My name is Wade, and I am a senior in the industrial design program at the University of Kansas.

I picked up a 1984 XR500 with title for $200. It was missing quite a few parts, but the good stuff was still there. I half assed put it back in dirt bike form, and enjoyed it for a couple months. I am now college budget building it into a street bike in the vast area that is my apt. bed room. My budget is roughly $100 a month for this bike, so the materials going into it are either cheap, found, given to me, or (s)crap.

I've got to set up a file hosting account, and I will post the pics I have up to this point, and update as i go along.

sounds sweet, definitely looking forward to seeing the pics. good luck.

Thanks Bobby,

Okay, These pics are from day one. My roommate and I dragged it into the apt. and started the disassembly. BTW guy in pics is my old roommate.






The motor probably would have ran just fine based on how clean it was,

but a minor rejuvenation couldn't hurt.






ugh f my image hoster :)

Try image shack?

K i got set up on Photobucket. here are some pics of the engine tear down. I installed new rings on a fresh hone, new top end gaskets, lapped the valves, new valve seals, and cleaned the carbs. ~$100 for all of that.








I picked up the header off ebay for like 25 bux. and reassembled the bike with what i had.



Ok, I managed to find a guy on craigslist that was parting out the same bike, and was able to pick up the tank, seat, foot pegs, headlight, and all the other stuff that was missing, except the muffler. All for $100 again. I ordered a cheap set of air filters off ebay, and welded up a quick, i do mean quick, muffler out of a 2" cherry bomb that one of my buddies had laying around, and a crush bent piece of tubing I found in the school's metal shop.

Be warned this bike is UGLY! but i got to break in the motor, and it looked street legal enough for the cops to not pull me over.





I did a pencil sketch and rendered it out in photoshop. Here is what im working at:


Time to get at the front end


5-1/2 inces were cut off of the front fork springs. by my calcs this would give me roughly a 30% increase in spring rate.



5-1/2" spacers were added to the dampener rods to make up for the length cut from the springs.


re assembled temporarily. till i get new seals


A 19" front rim from a 72 cb500 (had it in my closet) went on just to mock it up.




Edited by beebo777
added my sketch rendering

I got my deposit back from the energy company. Guess where it went.....PARTS!!!!! :)

brand new 19x2.15 excel for $11 off ebay - this deserves another banana :)


kenda k761


bates 5-1/2" headlight


knockoff rezzy shocks whatever


Foam mockup of tank and seat pan. I initially planned on vacuum forming the tank out of HDPE, but this proved to be a HUGE pain in the ass. wasted a lot of time and money. got frustrated and threw the tank mockup away. ;)


No turning back now! hacked off the rear subframe, and de-tabbed the main frame.


Got a deal on some 4130 chrome-moly from the schools metal shop 6 ft for $12

welded up the rear sub frame, made suspension mounts out of scrap steel, cut crossbar from handle bars.




Went and visited my folks in dallas for a couple weeks this summer, and my dad gave me a fiberglass tank that wouldnt fit on his kz900 build. plus it had leaks like mad. whatever. It looks way way way better than i thought, especially with the seat pan mold that i was about to scrap. here are some pics.





Cool project bike! I love seeing this sort of stuff. Can't wait to see the finished product :)

I had a 16"x10' roll of carbon fiber fabric and a quart of epoxy left over from a previous failed attempt at making carbon parts for my car. This turned out ok. I also used the a lot of the epoxy to seal and reinforce the areas of the tank that were leaking. Motor is resting in the frame, and tires were put on the rims(no tubes, just mocking up)






This is where I am currently stuck. This thing and my girl have sucked my wallet dry, and now that school has started, i am not able to work as much.

I was able to finish the seat pan, and get some primer on the tank, maybe ill get some pics of that tomorrow.

Take care TT peeps.

Awesome bike but, don't get mad.....the tank is too big

I did a pencil sketch and rendered it out in photoshop. Here is what im working at:


Time to get at the front end


5-1/2 inces were cut off of the front fork springs. by my calcs this would give me roughly a 30% increase in spring rate.



5-1/2" spacers were added to the dampener rods to make up for the length cut from the springs.


re assembled temporarily. till i get new seals


A 19" front rim from a 72 cb500 (had it in my closet) went on just to mock it up.




do you do industrial design?

dude ur pretty wild...sick imagination and designing...i mean im sure there are people that would do things dif. but if i could fab like u...id be happy with myself

goodluck pullin wheelies on that thing tho

Thanks for the compliments and criticism guys.

JJ-mo, Yes I am going to school for I.D.

Yeti - taking criticism about my work is what i do. No offense taken, I actually agree with you, but as of right now I don't have too many options. this one or the stock one. which is a no brainer.

Alright heres the pics of the finished seat/tail piece. Also in the works, is the exhaust mockup. I have cut the header into sections. this allowed me to rotate the pre collector sections and raise it up a bit. after i weld it back together, it will be a straight shot back through a 1-3/4 exhaust with a reverse cone megaphone at the end.





I'm keeping up on this build. I think your gonna end up with a sweet ride.

:) Good work man. Along for the ride:thumbsup:

I've got an 84 also. It just sits in the garage getting dusty. I've considered transforming it to a flat-track motard look but don't have the skills to do it myself or the money to have somebody else do it for me. I'm liking what you've done so far. Keep up the good work!!

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