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Old 03-13-2008, 09:49 AM   #91
MortimerSickle
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Quote:
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.

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MortimerSickle screwed with this post 03-13-2008 at 10:07 AM
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:03 PM   #92
mtn500
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damn mort, your xl is sweet.

the wp shocks are nice, i've been checking them out. got a set priced to me from a local bike suspension shop for $520.

the progressives are ~half price.

anyone know if the progressives are rebuildable?

anybody have them? like them/hate them?
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:16 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtn500
...the wp shocks are nice, i've been checking them out. got a set priced to me from a local bike suspension shop for $520.
$520

I don't remember what I paid for mine, but I'm sure I could have gotten four sets for that and had money left over.



Of course, that was about 25 years ago.





Quote:
Originally Posted by mtn500
damn mort, your xl is sweet.
Thanks, but I should mention that the pic is kind of old. The bike has since had a few years of Adventure, and is beginning to show it. For instance, the time I resculptured the gas tank with my knee.
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MortimerSickle screwed with this post 03-13-2008 at 11:33 PM
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Old 03-14-2008, 03:28 PM   #94
Badger
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Just Got One!!!!

Just picked a '79 XL500S up from the wrecker yard. One of the guys siad it was running two years ago and it got put up in the storage shed since then and forgotten. All the lights and controls are gone or damaged, but it will kick over and looks as if all the mechanicals are there, even the comp/release. Going to run arond a little tomorrow to scrounge parts....Whoo Hooo
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Old 03-14-2008, 04:34 PM   #95
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good bike badger, you're gonna love it
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Old 03-15-2008, 02:49 PM   #96
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mort, what is this terry fork kit that you speak of?

is it critical that you raise the front end if you put on shocks that are longer than stock?

i decided and purchased a set of progressives that are advertised at 17.5". i measured my stock shocks and they were 16". other than the kickstand not being long enough, im hoping they are gonna work without too may problems.
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Old 03-15-2008, 02:59 PM   #97
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I'm gonna need new shocks before long, any suggestions/resorces? The ones on there now are about 17" long and marked "Stroker".

Also, what's the deal with a 6volt battery (need one of those too), how do I run the lights? I want to go with LED's because I'm starting from scratch anyway.
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Old 03-15-2008, 03:13 PM   #98
mtn500
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badger
I'm gonna need new shocks before long, any suggestions/resorces? The ones on there now are about 17" long and marked "Stroker".

Also, what's the deal with a 6volt battery (need one of those too), how do I run the lights? I want to go with LED's because I'm starting from scratch anyway.
well i just bought a set from dennis kirk for a 79-80 xr500 that are 17.5" long. shocks + springs = $233 delivered. they are progressive 13 series shocks and are not rebuildable like the works performance, but are half as expensive; if you don't race or ride really hard, they should be fine.

the deal with the 6V? it sucks....thats the deal. cheapest place i've found for a 6v battery is jcwhitney, $14 for 24 month battery. signal and brake lights run off the battery, headlight runs off of stator when bike is running.

keep me posted on how you get leds hooked up; i would like to add some alternative lighting to mine.
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Old 03-15-2008, 04:45 PM   #99
MortimerSickle
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The Terry fork kit raises the front one inch, and I am not sure whether it gives more travel or just more height. I don't remember what parts were in the kit, but they were few and simple. You have to tear down the forks to do the job, but it is just a little more involved than to change fork seals (do this too, while you have it apart- if they are not leaking now, they will be soon.)
I don't know whether the kit is still available.

If you raise only the rear, the handling will probably be affected to at least some extent. From what I have heard, it would quicken the steering, but I don't know whether it would be a problem. It might just make it turn in easier, or it might make it twitchy.



6 volt battery:

The engine will run without a battery, so probably the only reason you need a battery at all is to keep the lights from dimming at idle. I pulled my battery and lights many years ago, when I XRized the bike, so I am sure the engine will run, but I don't really know about the lights.

You probably could convert to 12v by getting a 12v regulator, ignition coil, and battery, and of course changing your bulbs, but I am just guessing about this part.



Edit: I got to thinking about the 12v stuff, and remembered the CDI. That might be a problem too. Dunno.
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I miss round headlights.

"When I was a young man, I liked to race my horse...." -
G.H.W.S. 1878-1962

MortimerSickle screwed with this post 03-16-2008 at 09:08 AM
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Old 03-16-2008, 05:27 AM   #100
mtn500
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i saw that dennis kirk has a 12v ignition coil for xr500 for $10; its aftermarket so im not too sure of the quality, but for $10 its a step towards 12v for the bike
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:59 AM   #101
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Cool Thread....

Hello All..I'e been running a 79 XL500 For several years now....I had a 250 when Younger, and Have always Loved One Lungers....I just bought a Set of the Progressive Rear shocks as well, I bought stock heighth at 16.5 ....Mine had finally given up last fall...
I'll be installing them in 2 weeks when I get to play with my stuff for a change....I checked out the link someone posted about large cap. Tanks, Does Anyone know what My Stock tank Holds...? I want to say it is around 2.5-2.7gals. I'd love to get the 4.7 or 5.0 for the XR600, but am not sure it would fit my bike without mods to the frame..?

Mort, You are Local here in Eugene....? you get to ride that XL/XR much...?

Once weather gets nicer, We run To Cottage Grove at least once a month and ride the Mines....Lots of nice billygoating to do down there...And it's pretty Country as I am sure you know...Pm me if you would like to join us.We usaully have 2-3 of us trailer down there on my flat bed.

AS for the rest of You, I'll post here once I ride on my New Shocks....

Chat soon, John
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:08 AM   #102
MortimerSickle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubaruJohn
Hello All..I'e been running a 79 XL500 For several years now....I had a 250 when Younger, and Have always Loved One Lungers....I just bought a Set of the Progressive Rear shocks as well, I bought stock heighth at 16.5 ....Mine had finally given up last fall...
I'll be installing them in 2 weeks when I get to play with my stuff for a change....I checked out the link someone posted about large cap. Tanks, Does Anyone know what My Stock tank Holds...? I want to say it is around 2.5-2.7gals. I'd love to get the 4.7 or 5.0 for the XR600, but am not sure it would fit my bike without mods to the frame..?

Mort, You are Local here in Eugene....? you get to ride that XL/XR much...?

Once weather gets nicer, We run To Cottage Grove at least once a month and ride the Mines....Lots of nice billygoating to do down there...And it's pretty Country as I am sure you know...Pm me if you would like to join us.We usaully have 2-3 of us trailer down there on my flat bed.

AS for the rest of You, I'll post here once I ride on my New Shocks....

Chat soon, John
You are right-on about the tank; it is 2.6 gal. with a half-gallon of that in reserve. If you are wondering about range with the stock tank, you should be safe for 70-80 miles off road, and 125 or more on the pave without needing reserve. I once did 100 mostly-fireroading-a-little-bit-of-trail miles without hitting reserve.

I got an XR600 a little over three years ago, and have had the 500 out only a couple of times since. I keep it mostly for sentimental reasons.

I have ridden around Eugene only on the pavement. I live in the Portland area, so Cottage Grove would be a pretty long haul for a day ride on the trail. I do almost all of my dirt riding in the Tillamook Burn. You might want to look up peterman; he probably has memorized every inch of dirt in your area.
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Old 04-05-2008, 02:46 PM   #103
mtn500
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so i received and installed the progressive 13 series shocks. I like them. they are WAY better than the stock shocks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MortimerSickle
. 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.
hey mort, would you mind giving some details on the chain tensioner that you made; chain slack is definately an issue with mine at the moment. thanks
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If... the machine of government... is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.

When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, "This you may not read, this you may not see, this you are forbidden to know", the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how holy the motives.


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Old 04-05-2008, 04:06 PM   #104
MortimerSickle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtn500
so i received and installed the progressive 13 series shocks. I like them. they are WAY better than the stock shocks.



hey mopics later. I will prepare you though by saying it is crude, but effert, would you mind giving some details on the chain tensioner that you made; chain slack is definately an issue with mine at the moment. thanks
I am headed out the door right now, but I will post pics later. Let me prepare you though by saying it is crude, but effective.
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I miss round headlights.

"When I was a young man, I liked to race my horse...." -
G.H.W.S. 1878-1962
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Old 04-06-2008, 03:34 PM   #105
MortimerSickle
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Crap, I seem to have lied about having pics to send, and the bike is now in storage at my son's house. So, I won't have any pics of the finished tensioner until I get over there again.

Here is a pic of a leftover scrap of the plastic I used.



I got it at a local plastics wholesaler. I don't how much it would cost, because it was a piece of scrap they had in a barrel marked... "scrap." I was there on other business, and when I asked the price of just the one chunk they said, "Just take it." That was cheap enough for me.

I will give you a rough description of what I did (Please pardon the imprecise measurements. I will have to measure and photo it one of these days.) After a little head scratching over what I expected would be a complicated project, I realized that it would actually be surprisingly simple.

I cut a piece probably about an inch by maybe 1/2" or 3/4" and about a foot or so long (the leftover shown is about 13" so maybe it was that.) Then, I cut a piece about the same cross-section by about an inch or an inch and a half long (I don't remember whether I cut this from the foot-long piece, or if that is what made it a foot long.) I then cut a trough in each of the pieces the width of the chain. I think the trough on the longer piece ran only a few inches on the rear end and a shorter distance on the front. I just jammed the end of the tensioner in between the bottom run of the chain and the frame (I think at the swingarm pivot.) I pushed it in until the end was at the front sprocket. A frame web near the front sprocket had a hole already in it. I drilled a hole in the tensioner to line up with this hole, and ran a bolt through to hold the tensioner in place. I then used hose clamps to secure the shorter piece of plastic upside down on the rear end of the tensioner. That keeps the tensioner aligned with the chain.

I know all this sounds incredibly flakey, but it isn't quite as ugly as it sounds, and it works very well. The single-bolt mounting secures the unit just fine, and binds it over the frame in such a way that it has just the right amount of upward force on the chain.

I can now be fairly lax in my chain adjustment, and have not had the chain jump off once since installing it.
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I miss round headlights.

"When I was a young man, I liked to race my horse...." -
G.H.W.S. 1878-1962
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