Is it that time of year already ???? The XT550 story......

Is it that time of year already ???? The XT550 story......

Postby Gosling1 » Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:13 pm

I dunno - there is just something about early autumn here in Canberra, which brings out the motorcycle collector in me..... :lol:

Last year, old mate at work and me were talking about that XL500 I was doing up at the time. He mentions that at his old man's farm - there is an XT550 that has been in a shed for the last 20 years..........hmmmm says I.

Fast-forward to last week - old mate expresses some interest in a Mongoose Mini that I have had for years - it was Ryan's (son) - first pushie - gifted to me back in 2006? by the bro-in-law. Ryan has way outgrown it, so it has sat around for a few years unloved.

Old mate at work does up BMX bikes as a hobby. He wants my Mongoose Mini - so the deal is struck :kuda: :kuda:

Here is the mighty 550 - on the trailer at home after its first decent wash in >20 years. Its complete except for the sidecovers. The tank is a larger enduro style (non-OEM), some spares including the bash-plate in a box. I reckon one good afternoon in the workshop will see this baby up and running pretty easily. Plans - not sure yet. I reckon it would look great done up as a mono-shock TT550 ;)

Image

Image


8)
Last edited by Gosling1 on Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
".....shut the gate on this one Maxie......it's the ducks guts !!............."
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Re: Is it that time of year already ????

Postby h.b.bear » Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:51 pm

Yours as bad as me GOS! See a stray and bring it home :lol: . One thing about those old girls is to give them some fresh fuel, plug, air cleaner and oil change they usually fire straight up
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Re: Is it that time of year already ????

Postby Gosling1 » Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:32 pm

:kuda: I was a bit surprised at how many stock parts were still fitted to this bike. Apart from Farmer Joe's home-made rack on the back and the big tank - most of the other stuff is unmolested. The brakes still work pretty good for drums (just rolling down the driveway) - suspension feels like it will need a re-fresh.......hanging out to hear it running. Stand by for an update on Sunday ;) ........... you are dead right, normally its just those simple things and it should roar straight into life.......

8)
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Re: Is it that time of year already ????

Postby Gosling1 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:40 pm

Got the old jigger started this afternoon - complete with a carbie conversion and all :kuda:

after some digging around on the US thumper forums - there were a few punters talking about using ZZR250 carbs instead of the OEM 26mm YDIS carbies ( a really poxy design - one side a normal slide carb, the other side a CV-style. Total pain to get working properly...)

So today I dropped into the local wreckers - picked up a new L inlet manifold rubber intake (the old one was split almost in half, disguised by a very old repair) - and a set of 30mm Keihin CVK semi-flat slide carbs from a ZZR250. The overall outer diameter of the carbs was only slightly larger than the OEM jobbies - but the spacing of the throats was identical :kuda: :kuda:

here is a pic - out with the old (right ) and in with the new (left)....

Image

In this shot - OEM shitters on the left, 30mm Kawasaki goodness on the right :kuda:
Image

The stock XT550 throttle cables fitted straight onto these carbs, as did the choke cable. Really happy not to have to fuck around with this. its so much better when stuff just bolts up without mods.

The carbs are a tight fit in the inlet manifolds, but fit really nicely. They are a tad shorter front-to-rear and the rear bellmouth for the airbox rubbers are a fair bit larger than the OEM size - so I will have to knock up something to suit this conversion - I want to use the stock airbox and airfilter as the CV carbs work a lot better when they have a steady still-air supply.

Once all the carbie stuff had been completed - I bolted in a new battery and dodgied up an ignition switch ;) . It took a few kicks before any signs of life - but the signs were there .......a fart here a slight backfire there.........and all of a sudden it just roared its head off!! blew a shit-tin of dirty brown smoke out the exhaust - but this was gone within a couple of minutes. Adjusted the idle - and she just sat there idling perfectly !! The throttle response is really crisp - I can't wait until the chain & sprocket kit turns up so I can go for a fang.

Got some work still to do though - need tank mounting rubbers, a new kickstarter (the old one works but is loose as buggery) - some of the bulbs don't work - and it needs new tyres - but altogether I am really happy to get this bike up and running in less than a week. Especially given the carbie conversion - which was really just a shot in the dark :shock: .

8)
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Re: Is it that time of year already ????

Postby Gosling1 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:25 pm



:kuda: :kuda:
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Re: Is it that time of year already ????

Postby h.b.bear » Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:31 pm

sounds all good + you should get a bit more oooph aswell if I am thinking right, like your steelcaps aswell as I should wear them more often myself
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Re: Is it that time of year already ????

Postby Glen » Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:42 pm

Nice work Gos. Sounds good.
It's really all about standing around drinking Dave's beer.
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Re: Is it that time of year already ????

Postby Gosling1 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:26 pm

h.b.bear wrote:.....sounds all good + you should get a bit more oooph aswell if I am thinking right, like your steelcaps aswell as I should wear them more often myself.......


I think it should go real good mate - heh are you coming down for the VJMC Rally next weekend ?

Glen wrote:.....Nice work Gos. Sounds good......


thanks Glenno - up and running in 6 days after not running for almost 25. I should put more time into the H2 :lol:
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Re: Is it that time of year already ????

Postby h.b.bear » Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:04 am

No I cant make it this year :cry: , I would like to get down and catch up but hopefully next year ;)
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Re: Is it that time of year already ????

Postby MadKaw » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:47 am

Luv ya work Gos...
that sounds very crisp for a dunger.. :-)
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Re: Is it that time of year already ????

Postby Glen » Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:06 pm

MadKaw wrote:Luv ya work Gos...
that sounds very crisp for a dunger.. :-)


You talking about the bike or Gos? Probably applies for both :)
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Re: Is it that time of year already ????

Postby Gosling1 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:07 pm

cheers Boss :kuda:

this morning - full choke - first kick and immediately running .....sounded great.

Time to find a YZ465 swingarm and convert that ugly steel shitter to a sexxay aluminium number !!

8)
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Re: Is it that time of year already ????

Postby Gosling1 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:31 pm

well a further update on this old dunger.......fitted the tank, and the chain that came with the spares. Its old but it cleaned up OK and was fine to use for a quick shake-down test strop on my local private test facility ;)

Happy to say that the gearbox/clutch is fine - all gears select without a problem, clutch feels 100% . Bike started first kick this morning - full choke no throttle and she just sat there idling perfectly - I am pretty happy with how the carb conversion has worked. Managed to give it some full stick in a couple of spots - first impressions are that the jetting seems pretty close :twisted:

Getting some minor relpacement parts from ebay before I run this rig through a rego inspection - yes, it will get 3 months normal sticker then go straight onto club rego. Its been years since I commuted to work on a big-banger 4T single (had a TT500C in Newie back in the mid-80s) - so I think having this bike as a back-up for the odd run into work will be a lot of fun....

8)
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Re: Is it that time of year already ????

Postby Gosling1 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:37 pm

Had a bit of an issue last weekend out at my sisters place with the 550 - started first kick as normal, but when I was getting on the gas - it started to chug-chug-chug really badly. Right on the transition point to the main jets......pretty clear it was running far too rich. I had fitted some 140 mains, thinking that the OEM main for the GPz250 - 105's - would be too small. Turns out the 140's are far too big, so I took the bike home and did the re-jetting today. Took the carbs out, changed the 140 mains back to 105. Fitted them back up and installed the extra rubber boots to seal them off to the airbox rubbers.......and it still wouldn't start !! Culprit turned out to be the shitty spark plug that was in the bike when I got it. Kept wet-fouling while trying to start......so I had a dig around the spark-plug drawer and wouldn't you know it - the OEM plugs from a V6 Prado are exactly the same size/length - with a dual-ground electrode . With one of these in - started first kick.

Went for a test fang - and all of a sudden the carbie conversion is workling really well at speed the bike pulls hard right through to redline and sounds great as well.

I do want to change the OEM muffler to a better style - so may have to fit some 107.5's or maybe even 110's - but for the time being, it looks like the jetting is sorted. Just waiting on a new air filter now. This bike will get very little other bling - possibly a better CDI system which can be programmed, as well as the muffler - but that will be it.......well maybe a better rear shock as well .......

8)
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Re: Is it that time of year already ????

Postby Gosling1 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 6:09 pm

Been a couple of months since the last update - and things are moving along nicely with this rig :kuda:

The carbie conversion is pretty much finalised now - the bike starts first kick with full choke, only needs 20-30 seconds on that, then runs and idles nicely. I still have to fit an iridium plug, but have installed a proper air-filter element in the stock airbox. This has helped a lot with idle and low-down response.

There are a few parts coming in from ebay - new wheel bearings, brake shoes and a chain & sprockets - but for now, the current bits are going OK. Last weekend, the old dunger fired its first shots in anger at a local Vinduro event - the Yass VTR Vinduro. This was held at Watto's place, just off the Hume Highway. Its a great property with a massive MX track as well as a shitload of enduro trails. Here are a couple of photos :kuda:

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The 550 after popping its Vinduro cherry last weekend :kuda:

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Image


The vinduro loops were heaps of fun - due to the rain over the preceeding days, there was nil dust, the tracks were nice and loamy and not a lot of mud around. Just great for a good strop. I did the shorter loop first - had an issue with the gearlever moving around on the selector shaft which was a pain in the arse - fixed that between loops, then did the longer loop. This had one excellent difficult technical section along a creek - lots of drop-offs, greasy rocks and jumps etc - somehow managed to get through here without stalling once which was a miracle :lol:

Got back to the parc ferme, where my arms felt like jelly. The weather was starting to close in, even though it was only early afternoon - so I decided to pack up and bail out. Had enough time for a second shot at the shorter loop (only 14 km) - but will get 3 or 4 loops in at the next Vinduro.

Really happy with the bike - it pulls like a train up shitty inclines, needing only a bit of clutch work to keep motoring. The suspension seems to be fine, although some new fork oil is now on the menu. The rear shock is OK but a good Hagon or YSS unit would be an improvement ;) . Apart from the wheel bearings, brakes and chain stuff - nothing else needs to be touched. Having a big enduro tank is just a bonus.

Next Vinduro is at Canowindra in August - looking forward to this and I should have some decent footage next time out as well ....

8)
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