Sport Bikes banner

1 - 20 of 180 Posts

·
SV650 WEEEEEEEE
Joined
·
2,680 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I'm semi-new to the forums, and although I do not necessarily have a modern sportbike, I still believe that the Enduros of old have their place. The first bike I ever owned was a 1976 Yamaha 125cc Enduro (race orange and black color scheme) and I moved from that to a 125cc Suzuki Enduro, or as we like to call it 'The Mantis' due to it's slim prayer like design.

Fast forward through another bike, snowmobile and ATV later, our family recieves a 1983 Yamaha XT550, in working condition. Looks...not so much. See, the bike had been in a head on collision with a pickup truck about 10 years ago, and the previous owner who sold us the bike was the rider. He suffered several broken ribs, a split pelvis, 2 broken legs, and a broken wrist from the incident.

After he recovered from the hospital, he opted to have the bike restored to riding condition. I'm going to assume he did not have insurance because all the repairs done were pretty ugly and for function, not for beauty's sake. Among the oddities and injuries left were: A sheetmetal screw for the choke handle, 2 sheetmetal screws holding in the rear taillight, A duct taped headlight, A horrible paint job on the tank, huge dents in the tank, road rashed handlebars, and the list could go on. The bike ran like a champ though. With 5500 miles on the ODO, once you got it started, it ran like a monster. I emphasize ONCE you get it started because the automatic decompression works once out of every 3 kicks or so. Torn ACL? Soon to be.

I replaced the oil and batteries on the bike, had the ignition re-keyed, and got the bike inspected. I ran it hard that summer, going with some friends up to the local coal mine silt piles. I had no issue keeping up in 90% of the conditions...but climbing silt piles just is not this bikes specialty. I decided to replace the 60% worn tired with some super knobbies and had them ordered. I ordered 2 turn signals and custom fabricated mounting hardware because no local bikeyards even had my XT550 in. When it came to the week of recieving and having my new tires put on, the bike up and quit one morning. Talk about frustrating.

So after trying to trouble shoot for 3 days, we suspected 2 things; Either the CDI unit went to the electronics heaven in the sky, or the timing chain jumped under acceleration. As intelligent as we may be, we decided to tear the engine down before replacing the costly electronics. This is a choice we now wish we had not made. After pulling the top-end out, and pulling the crankcase off, we measured timing spots and the bike was in perfect timing, heck, the chain looks brand spanking new.

Fast forward yet another year and we come upon current time, in which I've decided I'm sick of letting the bike sit. I want something fun and road legal, not to mention the perk of better MPG. So I've decided to start building the bike back up, and fixing what I can for cheap.

We ended up pulling the engine from the chain this day last week. Trying to apply gasket sealer to the top end components with the stupidly small amount of room Yamaha gave us to work with spelled trouble and mistakes.

The Motor as it sits right now.




We brought the motor in from the garage to the basement of the house because of the miserably cold April weather we've had lately.
 

·
SV650 WEEEEEEEE
Joined
·
2,680 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Here are the two parts that we think might be the actual culprits. The CDI box is a very expensive piece to replace. It's also impossible to find. BNIB OEM CDI costs 400$ to replace. This is the actual one:


The other part is the Coil and connected plug wire. These are not nearly as expensive, but BNIB for both parts is roughly 145$. This is the blurry but general idea of the one on my bike:


The other thing I managed to screw up on my own was the gasket that seals the outer casing of the crankcase to the motorcycle. It's very fragile after being in there for so long, and I was trying to check the pickup coil, and I ended up breaking the gasket. here's the view of the gasket I ended up breaking:
 

·
SV650 WEEEEEEEE
Joined
·
2,680 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
While I'm waiting for my father to work on re-sealing the top end, I decided to do what I could to restore the plastics on my bike. Since it was going to be nearly impossible to find plastics around my area, or even find ones that were'nt just as ugly and faded, I knew I would have to do something I did not like doing; Painting plastics. The reason why I never like painting plastics is because I could never make it look right, and it always flaked off. I luckily found some white Krylon Plastic paint that seems to work flawlessly after you sand the parts down.

All of the plastics on this bike are the originals from even before the accident. Naturally, they had real hard roadrash, large scrapes, and had asphalt still stuck in some of the scrapes. The bike looked like it has seen better days.

I worked on the plastics with 220,320, and 400 grit sandpaper. I wish I would have bought more, as the dried out plastic stuck itself to the sandpaper and made it nearly useless right away, not to mention the melted crayon smell it gave off. I worked all of the major roadrash with the 220, and used it up in short time on the front fender and major rashes of the other plastic pieces. I actually found it easier to use the fine grit paper as it did not 'clog' up so much as the coarser grit did.

The next few posts will have some pictures of the plastics. I didn't take many beforehand pictures as I got to anxious and started to work right away :lao

Here is an example of beforehand with the flash on. This is the rear fender by the tailpipe.


Here is just a NON-flash shot of the same piece.


here is the upper portion in which hides under the seat itself.
 

·
SV650 WEEEEEEEE
Joined
·
2,680 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Here is a Flash shot of a comparison of the front fender (after painted) and the rear plastic before paint.


And a Non-Flash shot.


Here is a flash shot of the rear fender after the first coat and dry was done.


And of course a Non-flash shot:


Now, I made sure to tape over all of the decals, even if they are beat up, because I wanted to keep those original and in as tact as possible. Call it nostalgia and respect for the bikes past :)
 

·
SV650 WEEEEEEEE
Joined
·
2,680 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
As of last night, I pulled the gas Tank. This little steel can took a beating in the initial accident, and looks like it may have been damaged since then as well. It had alot of rust spots (my blistered thumbs can tell you) that needed to be addressed before I layed on a coat of paint.

Unfortunately due to the design of the internal curvature of the tank, I could not find anything to reach the dents and push them out. After an hour of searching and attempting, I decided that this was just my ride around bike until I save up for the FZ-6 I want. So I just sanded down all of the spots that needed to be addressed and am now waiting for the second coat to dry for a third coat.

here are some sample pictures of the road rash and rust spots:



 

·
SV650 WEEEEEEEE
Joined
·
2,680 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
And here are some picture while I was sanding and prepping the tank:




 

·
SV650 WEEEEEEEE
Joined
·
2,680 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
And here are two pictures from last night, in which I threw down the first coat of paint. The paint I chose is working, but it is very thin.


 

·
SV650 WEEEEEEEE
Joined
·
2,680 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Well, inclement weather is still not agreeing with me. I wanted to get outside to the barn and Torch/bend the frame back into the correct position by the footpegs, but it's just to windy and miserable. Damn this nor'easter.

I just took some pics of the gutted bike frame, and cleaned and threw 2 coats of glass black on the right side crankcase cover. it looks like if I hit the whole lower engine up with this, and then do the upper fins with high heat, the bike should look real nice. The frame has very little actual rash on it, and since the bike liked to leak oil, it has been 'sealed' from the effects of most of time.

Here's some general bike pics.






And a shot of a plastic I painted afterwards. If you look closely, you can see the old color right in the sticker, and then the new white.
 

·
SV650 WEEEEEEEE
Joined
·
2,680 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
And some pictures from the engine paintworks. I sanded it down a bit, but there is alot of damage, and I only had so much sandpaper. It's going to get beat up anyway, and who sees minor blemishes at 50 MPH or under mud :banana

Before (It is wet with engine degreaser)




After

 

·
SV650 WEEEEEEEE
Joined
·
2,680 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
ChrisP said:
awesome! Keep us updated, im loving the pics and story.
Thanks alot :) I just bought another can of white to finish off the bottom of the tank, but I forgot to grab the high-temp black for the cylinder head and exhaust pipes. I also decided to grab some course sandpaper foam pads, because these two blisters are infected and reminding me that I don't work on a farm anymore :lao

Tomorrows agenda is to finish cleaning and painting the entire bottom end of the engine, and to sand the pipes and exhaust, then paint those. Also, depending on weather, I might get around to torching the frame and twisting it back into place. I also plan on putting the final coat on the top of the tank, and shooting up the bottom atleast twice. Then I've just got to get a quote for a coat of automotive cleacoat.

All this before 2 in the afternoon :)
 

·
SV650 WEEEEEEEE
Joined
·
2,680 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Well, today so far I removed the exhaust, shot *hopefully* the last coat of white onto the tank, cleaned up more of the lower engine block and painted it down.

It really is amazing how well the GUNK foamy engine brite stuff works. That grease has to be 10-15 years old and baked on, and this stuff cut through most of it in a matter of minutes. It still didnt make cleaning the engine easy because I could not use water to wash it away, just a brush and a towel. Again I taped up the items I thought should not get painted gloss black.

Here, you can see the difference between the painted area and the non-painted.



Then after I scrubbed the block down and wiped away with a towel. I used a razor blade to get the thickest stuff off I could. I also ended up respraying it with oxyclean to make sure what greases could be removed, was removed.


And finally, some shots of the engine after it was sprayed down. I think it turned out alright. I think I won't be able to do much about the front sprocket area without a pressure washer, so I'm going to work around it.


 

·
SV650 WEEEEEEEE
Joined
·
2,680 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
AQCZ said:
this is looking good so far. plan to do a project like this some day.
Thanks alot :) I'm happy with it so far. That first rock chip is going to hurt though :)

Haha, whats great about this project, I'm doing it out of impatience :lao My dad is real busy with work right now, so he can't find time to re-do the top end (although he asked for torque specs today, maybe he found time). Once he rebuilds the top end, I'm going to be VERY VERY anxious to get the bike back together and start troubleshooting electrical. So far I've been on this project for atleast a week, even if some days were lazy, like today. Didn't get a whole lot done. I also woke up 2 hours late haha.
 

·
THE BIG CHEEZE
Joined
·
2,744 Posts
looking forward to seeing this bike on the road... :)

if u need a hand give me a holler
 

·
SV650 WEEEEEEEE
Joined
·
2,680 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Haha, ya me too. I can't wait : )

So, last night after work I wasn't tired, so...naturally I worked on the bike...til 2:30 am I ended up finishing off the second coat on the headers and sanding down the rear exhaust piece/muffler. It was dirty times. The rust in some areas is deeply pitted and hard to sand into. Another tough spot is inbetween the split. I got as much of it as I could with the tools I had, and just double sprayed that area to make up for it. The coarse grit foam pads were a lifesaver on this particular area of the project.

Before I even touched anything.



Here is 2 mid sanding shots.



And the finished headers.



I just hope that they wait until the end of summer to rust again.

Even more good news; You can get a Town and Country for only 159 a month!
 

·
SV650 WEEEEEEEE
Joined
·
2,680 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I also worked on cleaning and prepping the bottomside of my motor for paint. Here, I made a big mistake. See, our family swears by 2 engine cleaners made by the company GUNK, Foamy engine degreaser and Engine Brite. So I used it on the bottom side of my motor.

Well, apparently I did not leave enough time for my other paint to dry, or the Engine Brite is very corrosive, because it began to eat away my new paint as I start cleaning off the bottom. It also turned the lifted paint into a greasy texture, which made it harder to clean.

After some extra cleaning and a few seconds to mourn the loss of an otherwise decent paintjob (for dirt cheap) I taped the appropriate areas and sprayed her down. Here's a picture from this morning.


Now all I have left to do on the engine is get the top-end rebuilt (finally got the specs from the dealership) and then paint the fins with high heat.

Also, here is the 90% finished product of the gas tank. All I want to do is have one coat of automotive grade clear coat thrown on because it seems that petroleum products eat this paint up fast.

 

·
SV650 WEEEEEEEE
Joined
·
2,680 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Alright, sorry about not posting but I haven't gotten much done. Today I finshed painting the cylinder head, painted the left side crankcase, and put 3 coats of clearcoat on the tank. The clearcoat did not agree with the paint I used, and in some spots, it's clear and glassy, and other spots the paints wrinkled up and I had to sand it down and recoat it. I'm a little upset about that, but you learn as you go sometimes.

Other than those last few items, I only have to touch up the frame, clean, sand and paint the trailing arm, and put the engine back together and into the frame.

I'm just waiting on a 8.94$ crankcase gasket to come in hopefully monday.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,997 Posts
I have a complete XT550 sitting in my shed. I used to ride it quite regularly until the chain snapped and broke the left side case cover. It has something like 6k miles on it and ran perfectly. Would you be interested in a parts bike?
 
1 - 20 of 180 Posts
Top