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Hi all, short time reader first time poster here. I picked up this bike a few months ago, my first time owning one older than I am. Running, in good shape, and at the right price I jumped on it even though it was the middle of winter. After some issues with a freezing battery I was able to at least take it around the block a few times where it would inevitably die before getting too far. Had the carbs adjusted (not sure if they were ever correctly jetted for pods, PO got it as a barn find with no airbox) and been riding daily since. Had to replace the stock bars with super sport bars after some jabroni hit my bike while it was parked in front of my house, wish I had caught whoever did that...

50E6A76C-42C3-4439-86C4-B31BA04605AD_zps9ldmedta.jpg

I've been coming to terms with what seems like some of the quirks of these older bikes, some oil leaks from somewhere on the head, idle is a little rough and needs constant adjusting, brakes are not the strongest. What's bugging me the most is poor gas mileage, I'm getting about 25-30mpg. Mostly riding in town which is prob a factor, plus I think it's running rich to compensate for the pods. I picked up a stock airbox recently so hoping that will help.

My main goal for the bike is to modernize as much as I can (and can afford) to improve performance. I love the ride as-is for the most part, but I've had problems with the battery/charging system and the suspension feels overly soft even for my size (5'8" about 150lb). I've been told that these motorcycles are really only worth anything as close to stock as they remain, but I wonder if it's worth it for this specific bike: the engine and frame numbers don't match, I'm never going to be able to afford stock or repro exhaust, and the speedo and tach are not original. Would those things make this a better potential candidate for some modernization?

So I'm mostly looking for help as to what will be the best bang for my buck improvements to bring this bike into the 21st century. I'd like to replace halogen bulbs with LED but having a hard time figuring out how to replace the headlight. Signals and taillight seem easy. I'd also like to upgrade the suspension, especially the rear. My mechanic said I should be fine with cheap Emgo shocks but I feel like if they ride like garbage I'm out half the cost of a nicer set. What're my best options for light rider on a light bike? The airbox I picked up has no lid, which I learned after is the tool tray, which seems like I may be waiting to find for a while. Will I have any problems without it, or any easy hacks to close off the box?

Thanks for reading, looking forward to your responses
-Ian
 

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Right off the bat, if it were me, I'd replace the points and condenser with Charlie's Place electronic ignition.
Hagon shocks are a worthwhile upgrade. Service your front shocks with modern fork oil, and perform the 3000 mile tuneup according to the manual.


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Discussion Starter #3
Right off the bat, if it were me, I'd replace the points and condenser with Charlie's Place electronic ignition.
Hagon shocks are a worthwhile upgrade. Service your front shocks with modern fork oil, and perform the 3000 mile tuneup according to the manual.


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I'm fairly certain the ignition was upgraded to electronic by PO, I'll double check on that. Oil/filter and plugs have been changed, front brake pads replaced and cleaned like 3 times (salty roads), carbs adjusted, petcock replaced (leaking) and fuel lines checked. The bike feels like it runs well right now aside from high and inconsistent idle.

Hagon shocks look perfect, thanks.
 

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carbs "adjusted" is a meaningless term. You'll find that out soon enough.

Step 1: get a service manual. In the service manual there will be a section on maintenance. Read it. Read it again, then do all of it.

Step 2: upgrades. IF you are looking to do modern sportbike forks and wheels, forget it. I know people do this, it's a lot more work than even they consider and always more money. Figure out the areas where you want to improve and look for easy approachable solutions.

If I were you here is what I would upgrade:

Brakes:
- dual disc/caliper conversion
- stainless brake lines
- new shoes in the rear

Tires (if needed)
- good brand like metzler, avons, or bridgestones

Suspension:
- hagons setup for your weight (call Dave Quinn motorcycles as he offers this service as part of the purchase)
- forks: fresh 10-15wt oil, cartridge emulators
- fork brace that attaches to the sliders (not a chopper tweak bar that attaches to the chrome tubes)

Chassis:
- fresh swingarm bushings (preferrably bronze: Swing Arm Rebuild, SOHC4shop.com)
- Fresh neck bearings (timken)

Engine:
- stock airbox with k&n replacement filter
- replace garbage 4-2 chopper exhaust with proper 4-1 performance exhaust (not a Mac pipe if you can help it).

Do all this while you continue to ride the bike. you'll find you like it more the better it gets.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
carbs "adjusted" is a meaningless term. You'll find that out soon enough.
I feel that. Rejetting brought bike from unrideable to rideable, but I'm hoping the stock airbox will make it easier to tune, improving mpg and idle

Step 1: get a service manual. In the service manual there will be a section on maintenance. Read it. Read it again, then do all of it.
Manual, Check. Maintenance is new to me, and I have a local shop that is super helpful (they've picked up the bike when it had died on me for no charge) so I'm more interested in riding and doing non-engine upgrades until the end of the season.

Step 2: upgrades. IF you are looking to do modern sportbike forks and wheels, forget it. I know people do this, it's a lot more work than even they consider and always more money.
I'm not

Thanks for the upgrade suggestions. Still wondering, any issue using the stock airbox w/o lid? Will it just dirty the filter faster?
 

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I know its a Yamaha but: Probably the best way I can think of having a modernized classic. Or the Indian


View attachment 58161

or




Compression test, if pass move to Geetoo's post, Might be cheaper to buy something above to have a nice bike to ride.
 

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Thanks for the upgrade suggestions. Still wondering, any issue using the stock airbox w/o lid? Will it just dirty the filter faster?
what do you mean without a lid?

here is the fiche for the airbox for a cb500:



what is the number of the part you are missing?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
honda-cb500k1-four-england-frame-body_bigma000083f36_12f6.gif

Number 8. I haven't seen in person but it looks to me as though the tool tray acts as air box lid as well

elec5.jpg

If I don't need it I'm stoked.
 
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