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SR500 - finally the visuals

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by mattb, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. It's taken six months (since I posted up a "my new bike" thread) but finally here are some pics of my SR500, taken on Sunday at the summit of Mt Donna Buang. The bike has constant little niggles, mostly electrical (they are the original 1978 parts after all!) but otherwise has been 99% reliable as my only transport and my recreation. My opinion of it after six months? -My back hurts, but I absolutely love it! It's got the feel, its got the sound, and its got the look! Adequate power, low-revving with a deep thump, capable in the corners, simple and cheap and (usually) fun to work on.





    Plus more http://picasaweb.google.com/damiensawyer/MtDonnaBuang (third last is a visually bad video with a good (if hollow) sound recording)
  2. Dead cool... Ride on!

    (moved to bike reviews) ;)
  3. Yeah, that bike looks cool, man. I wanna ride it...
  4. Even got the jacket to match, very Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli all you need is some engineer boots :cool:
  5. Nice bike...the Brando jacket makes it complete! :cool:
  6. Sensational effort - looks great :cool:

    So you going to give us a write up of what you've done?
  7. WOW that is a damm good looking bike.

    Are those the original wheels?
  8. Very cool bike. Classic. Are you sure you're not Marlon Brando? :cool:
  9. Nice ride there, old school to cool, good taste mate, keep that loctite handy ;)
  10. That's a really tidy example. If you're have dramas you might want to PM Chairman, he's been known to rebuild his SR500 carby by the side of the road with toothpicks and snot so should probably have a suggestion or two.
  11. Thanks for the responses all.

    Actually I’m pretty sure I am! :grin:
    Yeh. In other countries and in later years you could get spoked wheels, and drum brakes all round – look really nice, and a *modern* drum would be fine for my style of riding, so I hope to get a set eventually (actually, will try to get some spoked wheels cheap, off for instance an old RD).

    I’ve not done too much actually. Before I bought the bike, I intended to do café racer-style modifications, but I like vintage Brit bikes and decided to stay with something a little more traditional. The prior owner had that exhaust made up and fitted, fitted the tombstone tail-light with rego plate holder, and recovered the seat; and in the past the tank was painted straight black. When I got it I just did a major service (fluids and filters, pads, bulbs, refitted indicators etc) and am slowly continuing that – swing-arm bearings soon for instance. Basically everything is 30 years old, though obviously the bike was stored well for a long time and it’s in excellent condition, with only 48,000km on the chassis (54,000 now). But I suspect it could do with a new ignition coil and CDI and wiring, as well as perhaps a new carburettor, to make it go much more nicely. Cold it starts first kick, but it is prone to stalling once it has warmed up. I’ve been cleaning up the wiring for the lights, and am replacing the switches with new vintage replica parts off ebay, because the original parts are faulting easily (Royal Enfield aftermarket parts are really cheap and perfect for this bike). I’ve replaced the original super-70s indicators with cheap bullet ones. The wiring was different, so I had to burn a few bulbs working it out! :grin: I fitted a car horn which is much louder. I fitted drag bars, good-looking and provide a nice compromise between comfort and handling, as well as bar-end mirrors. I want to rear-set the foot pegs an inch or two back to where their bracket bolts in, but I have to get a different kick-start first – will play around at the wreckers. I want to make some vintage-looking saddle bags up, using plastic containers onto which I’ll glue the appropriate-looking material. I’m ordering a dual oil line from Thumperstuff in America, which will feed oil to the intake rocker-arm as well, as opposed to the exhaust area only. I had a car mechanic pull the head off, in response to a loud tapping, and the rocker arms and associated parts were worn and pitted, so they were replaced. I want to fit an oil cooler as well, which will help with this and the bike’s misbehaviour when she gets too hot. Basically, when I was bike buying, I wanted something I would desire to keep long-term, such that I was happy spending money on it. That’s the case with the SR, so I’ll slowly replacing everything with new parts, and even get a spare engine and recondition it (when I’ve built up the skills). One thing about trouble-shooting and reconditioning a single: there's only one of everything to concern yourself with! Makes it cheap and simple! :) It's great for those of us who are unknowing about mechanics but enthusiastic to learn.

    As my only transport, I must say the bike is quite reliable, though you have to be patient – she is prone to stall, and sometimes she is a cantankerous starter (kick-start only, kicking a 500cc single!). I need to fix the stalling problem : the bike is especially prone to it when I go from open throttle to idle, and can do it while idling, which means – given the fact that it’s a testy kick-start – that I have to work nervously hard with the throttle (especially when lane-filtering), and this is straining my wrist…I think I’m in danger of RSI if I don’t get this worked out (right now I’m slightly sore!). Also I’ve a bad back, and when she won’t start I have to struggle to the point of putting my hips out and hurting my neck. Both of these are problems I cannot stand long-term, but I’m quite confident that given a reconditioning of the ignition system and carbie the bike will be running very nicely. Certainly the bike is already so nice to ride that I’m prepared to put up with a lot: believe me the sound and feel of the bike equal the look. A low slow thump that goes through your whole body with such a feeling that you really don’t care what speed you’re doing, it just feels good to be in motion! http://picasaweb.google.com/damiensawyer/MtDonnaBuang/photo#5155454369200041074
  12. Thanks for the detailed reply

    For someone who didn't do too much, IMHO, you did HEAPS!!

    Love seeing old bikes restored and yours looks great
  13. It's interesting that you mention the stalling when you come off full revs, my olld SR250 had the same habit. And when I came off a long highway run it would sometimes take a couple of minuted before it would fire up again.