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Old 02-16-2010, 12:26 PM   #1
XTwarrior OP
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Location: Allentown PA
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Thumb The XT550 Thread: Info, Stories and Mods Inside!

Hello all! For those of you lucky people out there to own arguably the most superior motorcycle ever , I'm sure you have at one time wanted to find a safehaven where you can share your XT550 stories, what companies still make mod parts for this bike, what you can customize or swap from different bikes, and general information that may be somewhat hard to find without calling your local dealership or knowing somebody. Alteast I know I do! So here is that thread, on this wonderful forum, for just that! I mean, it isn't fair the XT500 and XT600 have their own thread, right?!

I'm going to keep the first post for informational purposes and reference so searching will be far easier. I've quite often tried to search for information on this bike and found it hard or impossible to find, so hopefully this will be your one stop information spot! Post up your stories and projects, whether it be just an OEM restoration or full custom!

Also, don't hesitate to PM me information to update or post it in this thread! The point is to share what you can to better the XT550 community!

Yamaha XT550 General Information and Specifications:
Years of Production: 1982 to 1983
Category: Dual Purpose / Enduro
Displacement: 558 CCM (or 34.05 cubic inches)
Cam type: (OHC)
Cylinders: 1
Stroke: 4 stroke
Horsepower: 38 HP at crank @ 6,500 RPM's
Compression Ratio: 8.5:1
Bore x Stroke: 92MM x 84MM
Valves: 4
*Stock clearances:
Intake: 0.08mm
Exhaust: 0.15mm
Fuel Control: Carburated (2-stage)
OEM Carb settings:
*Main Jet Primary Carb: 125
*Main Jet Secondary Carb: 125
*Pilot Jet Primary Carb: 48
*Needle Jet Primary Carb: V00
*Needle Jet Secondary Carb: 00
*Jet Needle clip Primary Carb - 5C33 fixed
*Jet Needle clip Secondary Carb: 4A70 fixed
*Slide Cutaway: 4.5
*Float Level: 26mm with a tolerance of + or - 2.5mm
*Fuel Level: 6mm with a tolerance of + or - 1mm
*Idle RPM: 1,200 RPM's
*Max CO2: 7%
*Max HC: 500PPM
*Set CO: 5.5%
Type of cooling: Air Cooled
Gearbox: 5 speed; 1 down 4 up.
Drive Type: Chain (Link size: 520 / Links: 98)
Front Sprocket Size: 15 tooth
Rear Sprocket Size: 42 tooth
Dry Weight:
Wet Weight: 145 Kilograms -or- 320 Lbs.
Front Tire: 3.00/21
Front Rim: 1.60/21
Rear Tire:4.60/18
Rear Rim: 2.15/18
Front Axle Diameter: 15MM
Rear Axle Diameter: 17MM
Front Brake System: Expanding Drum Brakes
Rear Brake System: Expanding Drum Brakes
Front Suspension: 38MM Air adjustable Fork tubes; 10 weight oil OEM. 369CC's of oil PER fork when serviced.
Fork Spring Rates: Free Length 21.87 Inches / Outside Diameter 1.45 inch. (unconfirmed)
Rear Suspension: Nitrogen and Oil charged shock; non-adjustable and non-rebuildable.
Rear Spring Rate:
Top Speed: 92 MPH reported...downhill...with a headwind.
Fuel Capacity: 3.17 Gallons
Oil Type: OEM recommends 20W40
Oil Capacity: Dry - 2200cc / Oil and Filter Change - 1900cc -OR- 65 ounces / Oil Only - 1800cc

Yamaha XT550 Service Intervals:
Valve Clearance: Check every 2,500 miles
Spark PLugs: Check every 2,500 miles; Replace every 5,000 miles
Crankcase Hose: Check every 5,000 miles; replace if cracks formed
Fuel Hose: Check every 5,000 miles; replace if cracks formed or leaks
Exhaust System: Check every 2,500 miles for leaks or bad gaskets.
Idle Speed: Check every 2,500 miles; adjust cable free play if necessary
Decompression System: Check every 2,500 miles (after valve clearance adjustment)
Change Oil: Every 2,500 miles; factory recommends 20w40.
Change Oil Filter: Every 5,000 miles; Make sure to check downtube strainer at the same time!
Change Air Filter: Every 2,500 miles; wash and oil type foam filter
Check Brakes: Every 2,500 miles; adjust free play or replace shoes if necessary
Check Clutch: Every 2,500 miles and adjust any freeplay
Check Drive Chain: Every 500 miles; adjust for 2.4" - 2.8" of play
Check Control and meter cables: Every 2,500 miles lubricate and adjust
Lubricate Pivot Shafts: Apply lithium grease lightly every 5,000 miles.


Yamaha XT550 Manuals, Flyers, and Useful Sites:
Stock Axle Diameters of Popular UJM Bikes (Link)
XT550 DIY CDI (rough English but do-able): http://www.transmic.net/en/home.htm
Stock Fork tube Diameter reference list: http://www.ohiocaferacers.com/OCRTubeSizes.pdf
XT550 Service Manual: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=XGH4OVO0 (Thanks to NetJustin for his work!)

Yamaha XT550 Aftermarket Parts Manufacturers (both OEM replacement and high performance):
Clark Gas Tank: http://www.justgastanks.com/store/in...7eeq4kura30k93
SuperTrapp Aluminum Exhaust:
Hyperpak CDI Ignition (Wayne Gum; sold only on Ebay but work great!): www.ebay.com
K&N High Flow Filter: http://www.bikebandit.com/k-n-unique...=8687&t=1&td=1
WP Suspension front fork springs(Pro line):
Works Suspension rear Monoshock (direct replacement!): http://www.worksperformance.com/pdf/.../dirtbikes.pdf

Yamaha XT550 Swappable Parts From other bikes:
Small thread with useful info on XT/TT600 engine swaps: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=549363
Swapped front end with KLR650 (38 MM fork versions)
Swapped Front end with Yamaha Tenere 1VJ.
Engine Swap; XT/TT600 into XT550 frame compatiability and issues: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showp...5&postcount=22


Yamaha XT550 Tips and Tricks:
Changing and reading the motor oil in your XT550: (Link)

Yamaha XT550 Projects:
XTwarrior's Quasimotard: http://www.sportbikes.net/forums/pic...l-journal.html



Remember; please let me know if you have any information to add, the more the better!

(This post will be updated regularly with new info as it comes in)
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XTwarrior screwed with this post 04-06-2010 at 01:26 PM
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:08 PM   #2
XTwarrior OP
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Well, I'll start off with my own XT550 project. This bike was received in barely road legal condition. The previous owner had been in a head on collision and used the money he received to fix the bike to just barely road legal condition.

At first this was just going to be my bike for learning to ride on the road, and it quickly became my favorite project even though I did not have much money. I spent about $700 total to get the bike to road legal form and I still have a few more things I'd like to do.

This year the bike gets some TLC and some swapped parts for road duty.

Link to project: http://www.sportbikes.net/forums/pic...l-journal.html

Here are some pictures of before and after:

Before:




Midway:





Currently:


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Old 02-16-2010, 02:33 PM   #3
clapped_r6
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had an 82



the cdi was toast, got an aftermarket one off of ebay that worked good.
the dual carb setup was a major pain to get dialed in, i think my "cv" carb with it's metal slide was too worn, and it didn't work as it was supposed to. major lean condition at 55+ and part throttle

looked into single carb swaps, but the shock is sort of in the way!
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:10 PM   #4
XTwarrior OP
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Location: Allentown PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clapped_r6
had an 82



the cdi was toast, got an aftermarket one off of ebay that worked good.
the dual carb setup was a major pain to get dialed in, i think my "cv" carb with it's metal slide was too worn, and it didn't work as it was supposed to. major lean condition at 55+ and part throttle

looked into single carb swaps, but the shock is sort of in the way!
Yea, I've read the carbs can be quite a pain when they do need servicing. Luckily all I've had to do to mine is take it apart for a quick cleaning and that's it. The previous owner had it jetted rich and it seems to work great with the pipe.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:36 PM   #5
AKcruiserfreak
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Man, this thread makes me miss my old 1983 XT550. I should have never sold it. It was a wheelie monster, and great daily driver.

TK
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:01 PM   #6
XTwarrior OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKcruiserfreak
Man, this thread makes me miss my old 1983 XT550. I should have never sold it. It was a wheelie monster, and great daily driver.

TK
Can't lie, I just sold my CBR900RR last Friday (for profit ) and it just did not suit my riding style. I bought it for a steal, and it was a fun project, but I enjoy riding my XT550 on everything but the highway alot more. With some suspension mods and eventually a better seat it would be fantastic!
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:02 AM   #7
Zecatfish
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Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Arkansas USA
Oddometer: 7,919
The XTique

My mild mannered XT550 was a CL find in Memphis and sat in a dank u-rent it shed for several years.
After some carb cleaning she was running mostly ok.
From Arkansas Ozarks

It didn't take long to figure out that my choice of riding was not its favorite thing to do. So let the metamorphis begin.
Stinkbug mode. I added a YZ465 shock. That raised the rear 4".
From XT-Morph

So I had to do something with the front, and I found a solution behind the local bike shop.
I thought I'd picked up an old honda XR600, but after I got it home it was a bastardized XL350 with XR350 suspension. It was a real POS. But it gave me 41mm Showa forks and Disc brake.
From XT-Morph

With a little measuring and a visit to the local machine shop I had the front end mounted to the XT. I also replaced the round light with a Baja Designs Halogen headlight.
I also replaced the donkey dick Slip on muffler with the Keyway-Cobra USFS approved spark arrestor.
From XT-Morph

Its a little noisey compared toe the slip on, but at least its forest legal now.
I had expiramented with a Tenere conversion. I got an 8 gallon tank from XT600 but that moved the rider to far back and with the short 550 swingarm it was a tough to keep the front wheel on the ground.
From XT-Morph

So it came back off.

I killed the 550 mill, well almost, I hypercooled the cylinder last summer and it started using oil, 1qt to 60 miles. So since I had a second project a TT600 sitting there collecting dust. I decided to use that engine.
So the XT550 is powered by the TT600 mill. I can say that the torque increase is awesome. Just crack the throttle it surges forward regardless of the hill.

I had to rebuild the rear wheel, I had a cracked rim and several busted spokes. So a phone call to Buchannon Spokes and $120 lighter I had a set of stainless spokes and nipples. I had an old Zuki TM250 chassis out back and guess what the hub was very close to the same diameter as the 550. So here we go, strip it down and lace up the new used wheel and make a visit to Bill at Conway Allsport for truing and all is good.

My next issue is the fuel range. 3.1 gallons just doesn't quite cut it. I had an extra tank, I cut it open and went to work enlarging a stock tank. It is now at 5 gallons. I've got a few leaks to fix yet, but the welding is 98% done. It is ugly, but I wasn't trying to win a beauty contest.

From XT-Morph

From XT-Morph


Once its done, I will add a speedometer again, maybe an AceWell or a Trailtech vapor. I also need some better mirrors.
It needs the TT600 carb put on it as the XT550 carb is to lean for a 600 mill with free flowing exhaust.
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:21 AM   #8
XTwarrior OP
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Wow, that is awesome!

What is the front end? Is it all an XR350 front end? How hard was it to fit to the XT550? I am very interested in it for the near future...is that a 19/18" front?

Either way, great ingenuity with that bike! Looks fun to ride, how much better was the rear shock swap? I've seen it before but was wondering how much better it is on and off-road.

Zecatfish; I also added a thread with some info you posted from your experience with the XT/TT600 swap, thanks :)
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:51 AM   #9
Zecatfish
XTique Rider
 
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Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Arkansas USA
Oddometer: 7,919
Quote:
Originally Posted by XTwarrior
Wow, that is awesome!

What is the front end? Is it all an XR350 front end? How hard was it to fit to the XT550? I am very interested in it for the near future...is that a 19/18" front?

Either way, great ingenuity with that bike! Looks fun to ride, how much better was the rear shock swap? I've seen it before but was wondering how much better it is on and off-road.
The shock swap takes a little frame grinding. It is an external reseviour shock. It has better fell than stock, but it also uses a heavier spring and the XT550 swingarm is shorter than the YZ part.

Its 21/18 wheel size.
Its an XR350 front end.
The shim:
From XT-Morph


Now thats where it gets interesting.
This allows use of the OEM lower XT550 bearing on the XR350 stem.
The top bearing is actually the XR350 bearing in the XT550 race. I measured it and compared bearing height and how it set in the race, it fit just like it did in the XR frame. So I figured lets try it. No faults yet from it.
I abuse my poor bike. If I decide to go, it goes. Rocks, mud, you name it.
Two things I havn't done yet that it needs:
I need to replace the chain guide.
It also needs a spring loaded roller added under the chain it will jump a tooth once in a while when rear suspension is unloaded, like trying to work out of the mud or something. With the extreme angle of the swingarm you have to run the chain very very loose when unloaded to keep from killing the chain or rear bearings or the countershaft.

I don't think twice about much like this old Logging road.

From 10-31-09

Safteyfifth wasn't happy about it when we wandered into it though on his KLR.
From 10-31-09

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Google Earth GPS Howto (still a work in progress) use USGS TOPO Maps to layout trails.
http://home.windstream.net/catfish/GPS


The Early Bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
https://sites.google.com/site/ozarkadventuretours/

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Old 02-17-2010, 11:59 AM   #10
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Haha Nice! Looks like loads of fun, and thanks for the Shim diagram, I'm sure it'll help out a few members or google searchers I miss the days when our local trails and mudpits weren't gated off; thanks to urban developers moving outward from Allentown, they bought all the land with trails on them and shut it all down
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:53 PM   #11
Zecatfish
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One more picture.
Rock ledge beside the North Illinios Bayou, North of Hector Arkansas.
Plus it shows the ADV sticker.
From 10-31-09
__________________
Google Earth GPS Howto (still a work in progress) use USGS TOPO Maps to layout trails.
http://home.windstream.net/catfish/GPS


The Early Bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
https://sites.google.com/site/ozarkadventuretours/

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Old 02-17-2010, 01:59 PM   #12
G600
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XT550 thread…. Yes….

I just bought a ’83 XT550 and plan to restore it.

Useful links:

DYI CDI
http://www.transmic.net/en/home.htm
XT550 article (in german)
http://www.motorradonline.de/de/moto...-xt-550/280264
Pics
http://bianchi29.interfree.it/collage.htm



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Old 02-17-2010, 03:16 PM   #13
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Welcome G600 and thanks for the contribution! I threw the DIY link up in the first post as some may find it useful

Keep us updated on your project, or if you need any help we may be able to provide some.
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:33 AM   #14
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All of this snow and cold with no garage is annoying me as my itch to make some progress on the XT is getting stronger

Also, can anyone access the WP suspension site? It was working fine a few days ago, but now it says cannot find server and I wanted to add the link to their pro line springs they have for the XT550.
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:18 PM   #15
jiiassa
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http://www.heikkil.net/tenere/tech.htm

Little bit something XT 550 history etc, Finnish language..
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