YAMAHA SR500 turned XT Vintage Enduro


When it comes to single-cylinder off-road vehicles, the mind immediately goes to the XT500, by now it becomes an icon, macque to satisfy the interest of the American public in this type of motorcycles.

His myth is also based on his participation in the first editions of the grueling Paris Dakar desert race.

Having now become a rare and expensive vehicle, it is almost impossible to find a good market and for the project that the Polish guys of 86 Gear Motorcycles had in mind, they chose a similar base but a less important coat of arms.

It is Chistian Boosen Aleksander Ilcewicz who tell us about the creative progress of this bike.

Our idea for this project and the process:
We were approached by a client who wanted to build a period correct 70’s Yamaha scrambler bike, but did not want to invest into an original XT500. We took up the challenge and picked the 1982 SR500 as the donor bike. While we were halfway through the build, the owner changed his mind and decided to give it up. It changed hands twice, and spent almost two years in storage. Finally, another customer saw it as an opportunity and commissioned us to continue its transformation. 

The vintage scrambler look was achieved mostly thanks to the custom made seat and an original XT500 tank. To fit the parts altogether, we had to reposition the mounting points for the tank, and rework the subframe to fit the new seat. 
To make more room for the tank, and keep the full maneuverability triple trees were also sourced from the XT500.  

The front suspension with the front wheel was borrowed from a 1980 xt500 and upgraded with progressive springs. We left the rear wheel stock, but the rear suspension was upgraded with a new set of YSS shocks which are longer than the original suspension. This required the swingarm to be retrofitted with a chain tensioner (stock SR500 swing arm doesn’t come with one) 

The bodywork was completed with a vintage replica of an ufo enduro headlight, an original XT500 front fender, and a customised rear fender fitted with a TT500 replica tail light. 
In the end we attached the famous Supertrapp 3`` series dirt bike exhaust and set it up to work with the carb. 
This project took about 1 year to complete.

To improve the bikes reliability and performance, the engine was rebuilt, the carburetor was equipped with a new set of jets. The airbox was replaced with a K&N pod filter. Wiring loom was modified to keep all the cables nearly invisible. There is no battery anymore, just a condenser.

The bike is light, nimble, and has a strong pull. The exhaust sounds pleasing to the ear on the low and medium rpm’s and is not too loud on high revs. It is quite easy to start, once you get the idea how to do it correctly. Its torquey engine and comfortable riding position makes it a functional enduro bike for light trails and occasional jumps.

We wanted to recreate the paint scheme originally used on the 1980 xt500g US-model - monochromatic white/black/brushed metal.

Tank - 1983 XT500 alloy tank 
Enduro seat cowl – fabricated to match the tank

Frame - repositioned mounting points for the tank
Subframe – modified and shortened

Rebuilt Engine
XT500 exhaust headpipe with slight modifications
Custom air intake
K&N pod filter
Supertrapp exhaust system

Custom made wiring loom 

Front: UFO replica
Rear: TT500 replica

XT500 front wheel 
SR500 rear wheel
Continental TKC80 tires: 3.00 -21 front / 4.00 -18 back

Stock xt500 rear brakes
Stock sr500 front breakes
Oil temperature gauge

Partners who took part in this project:

Adrian Figura from Scrambler74 – welding
Bartek Zaranek Photography - photoshoot

86 Gear Motorcycles | www | fb ig 

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