Originally Posted by mtn500
...they have xr500 shocks for $174; don't know if they will work on the xl500.
The XR and XL models had few differences back then, and I don't think suspension was one of them. I can't say for sure, but I think the shocks should interchange.
I should mention that some aftermarket shocks have longer travel than stock. My WP shocks added 1". I put in a Terry fork kit to add a matching inch on the front. Also, if you add travel, chain adjustment becomes very critical. If you use the factory slack measurement, it will bind hard when you hit a whoop. I pull loose one shock from the top mount, then compress the suspension, using a tie-down. I then adjust the chain to have just a little slack- maybe a half inch. If it is any slacker than that, it is too loose when it is at ride height. If it is tighter, it will bind. I finally made a chain tensioner to allow me to use more slack without having the chain jump off. Now, the adjustment is not so critical and is much easier to deal with.
Here is a pic of the shocks. Note the block under the now-too-short- kickstand.