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Old 02-10-2013, 06:56 PM   #1
Bob Tosi OP
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1985 Yamaha 490

Found one of these on the local Craigslist. Been sitting along time. Would need a good going through. They're asking $600.


Given it will probably need a rebuild, is this s good deal for a starter bike for the kid. Would be a father/son project thing. What about parts availability?
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:14 PM   #2
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Is it an IT or YZ? Either way I don't think $600 is too far off so long as its mostly complete and running. I would pull the top-end and inspect the piston. The 490 was known to ping (pre-detonate) and too much of that will cause premature wear--check for cracks on the skirt and such. There are a few things you can do about the pinging Eric Gorr's head mod is popular and I recommend a tuned in Keihin PWK carb. Replacement wear items are out there however plastics might be tough to find.

I think it would be a fun project as long as you're willing to spend the time and money on an old bike. Be sure to take us along for the ride if you do pick it up
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:31 PM   #3
MotoMind
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Two-stroke 490 father/son project? Did you not save enough for college?
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:37 PM   #4
joexr
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A big bore 2-stroke is not a starter bike for anybody. That thing will lift the front wheel in at least the first 4 gears.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:28 PM   #5
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If it's got the original carb I can't imagine it would be easy to tune. It's not an easy bike to kick over. That was kind of a sticking point with my XRR, whenever you tried to diagnose something, it was a 2-3 step process just to check....if it started at all. It got old, quick. But maybe that's just me being a pussy.

If you are young, have a good right leg or don't give a shit about such things, there are worse projects to do, great bike!
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:31 PM   #6
miguelitro
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I used to race a, 82 yz490 and it was actually a great bike except for the lack of any kind of decent brakes
do you hate your son or something?
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:47 PM   #7
It'sNotTheBike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Tosi View Post
Given it will probably need a rebuild, is this s good deal for a starter bike for the kid.

Seriously, this bike is no more a starter bike for anyone ( kid or not ) than a .44 magnum
is a beginner pistol for a person who is interested in becoming a marksman.


If you goal is to have fun riding with your son, pick a different bike. Those old 2-stroke
race bikes had absurd levels of power and lousy brakes and they could hurt you very
quickly ( I used to race Huskies in the open class, I speak from experience ).

I don't mean to rain on your parade but I don't want to read a tragic story a few
months from now about what happened with the bike, either.


FInd a Honda XR200 and enjoy riding a simple safe bike which has close to
perfect power for a beginner. You can always go bigger later once the rider has
developed some skills.


.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:48 PM   #8
Afry
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joexr View Post
A big bore 2-stroke is not a starter bike for anybody. That thing will lift the front wheel in at least the first 4 gears.
You mean all four gears?

To cheaply fix the ping just run 2 OEM copper head gaskets stacked which will also help with the kick starting and tame her down for better hook up hard pack or anywhere but perfect dirt.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:02 PM   #9
Rutsref
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Thumb Yam 490

Hey Dad, Kudos for you! Great project assuming it's complete and especially if it's in running condition. Also assuming.. 1. You are familiar and willing to pull apart the carb and "boil it out" as it'll likely have been sitting for years with crap fuel in it. 2. You can afford to do the top end and possible crank. (again alot depends on how long (if at all) it's been sitting, and where, outside in the elements or in a cozy garage dry etc) 3. As far as power goes, not knowing your son's age size and experience makes it impossible to judge whether he's able to ride it. That being said, I've owned these in the past and they have very mellow powerbands, easy to kickstart, and will chug up any hill as good as a fourstroke if jetted properly. Also, since they are aircooled they are SUPER easy to work on. You can rebuild one with a rock and a screwdriver in the back of a pick up truck in 20 minutes. And they are quite bullet proof unless you race them and thrash them mercilessly.
GOOD LUCK and go for it!
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:51 PM   #10
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another bike that falls into the old school category of leg breakin' man killer. ok as a rebuild project, but as for a ride... you first
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:20 AM   #11
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The jetting needs on a YZ490 can change quickly with temp/altitude differences.
Yamaha gave Broc Glover one,its still brand new as he could never bring himself to ride the pinging monster.
,they arent the best example of an early big bore 2 stroke.
mid 80's is old enough for parts to be an issue,ebay has some but not too cheap.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:46 AM   #12
mcma111
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I have a 1986 YZ490 that was ported by Pro Circuit and I finally figured out how to do away with the pinging. Yamaha lists different slides for the carb. I installed the next one up with more cut away. BAM! No more pinging. Out on the fire roads going over rises at 75mph lofting the front end is BIG fun.

I call this bike The Widow Maker. I let a fella borrow the bike and the next time I saw him he had a broken collar bone and a fractured elbow. The bike needed a new set of bars.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:50 AM   #13
Bob Tosi OP
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Good advice all. Some pretty funny stuff too. Here's the bike, it looks like a four stroke with a left side exhaust but I'm not an expert. Looking for a cheap starter.

http://redding.craigslist.org/mcy/3560390732.html









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When you're lost in the wild and scared as a child. And death looks you bang in the eye, and your sore as a boil, its according to Hoyle to cock your revolver... and die. But the code of a man says "fight all you can" and self-dissolution is barred. In hunger and woe, its easy to blow... Its the hell-served-for-breakfast thats hard........Robert Service
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:52 PM   #14
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Agree wholeheartedly with the detractors. I had an '86 YZ 490 some years ago, head mod, heavy flywheel, Pro Circuit exhaust system aimed at low end of the power band. This bike kicked my ass frequently when I wasn't looking, finally got rid of it after two years of self-abuse. As said, ridiculous power that was difficult to control, no brakes. NOT a beginner's bike.


EDIT: Forgot to mention the world infamous "Yamahop" from the rear suspension which would send you over the bars with absolutely no warning whatsoever.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:45 PM   #15
Bob Tosi OP
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Yeah this is all good stuff. He is motivated enough to sell his Xbox and BMX bike.
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When you're lost in the wild and scared as a child. And death looks you bang in the eye, and your sore as a boil, its according to Hoyle to cock your revolver... and die. But the code of a man says "fight all you can" and self-dissolution is barred. In hunger and woe, its easy to blow... Its the hell-served-for-breakfast thats hard........Robert Service

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