Re­built Yam XT500 hits the road again

min­is­ter the the last time si­mon rode hisxt john ma­jor was prime min­is­ter…

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

Well it’s good news on the XT front – af­ter 22 years of ne­glect, lan­guish­ing in a host of garages, it’s fi­nally all back to­gether and up and run­ning. It took a bit of heavy-duty kick­ing first time as I did not have a de­com­pres­sor ca­ble fit­ted. I also dis­cov­ered the tim­ing was too far ad­vanced. Boy, did it kick back! But it started, and I watched in sat­is­fac­tion as a 22-year-old cloud of rust ex­ited the Su­per­trapp ex­haust.

With four de­grees turned back on the tim­ing it now runs and starts sweetly, and with a fresh de­com­pres­sor ca­ble on its way from Yamaha, life will only get eas­ier.

The XT passed its MOT with fly­ing colours, even with the 24-yearold bat­tery, which be­lieve it or not, charged up af­ter all that time. Now all I needed to do is put some miles on it to bed in the new pis­ton rings.

The last time I rode the XT, 4-star petrol was still in ex­is­tence so things like pink­ing were not a prob­lem. I soon found out the en­gine was not happy on the stan­dard 95 oc­tane un­leaded when put un­der load and I could only feather in the throt­tle.

For the next tank full I changed to su­per un­leaded. This was not a com­plete cure, but it has helped.

In two weeks, I man­aged to rack up 300 miles, enough for a swift oil change and a new fil­ter, as I had plans – big plans. The XT was off on a 600-mile round-trip to the Lake District, with a spot of off-road­ing whilst up there. Im­pres­sively, the XT ran per­fectly all the way up, and only re­quired a spray of chain lube and sip of oil through­out.

Off-road the bike felt just as I remembered it but with two big im­prove­ments, one be­ing the Con­ti­nen­tal TKC80 rub­ber (www. con­ti­nen­ which of­fered up plenty of grip, but the amaz­ing dif­fer­ence was the Ikon 7614 shocks (£455.42, www.ikon­

Over all sorts of ter­rain the shocks kept the rear wheel in con­tact with the ground, of­fer­ing al­most con­stant trac­tion, some­thing I had never ex­pe­ri­enced with the bike be­fore.

Fun over and the ride back com­plete, I am so pleased to have the XT back up and run­ning, ready for the next ad­ven­ture, even if it is only down to the shops.

‘The XT was off on a 600-mile round-trip to the Lake District, with a spot of off-road­ing’

Part sports­bike, part commuter. James loves it

Back on the road af­ter 22 years in the shed With mod­ern shocks and tyres the XT feels bet­ter than new OVER­ALL RE­BUILD COST


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