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Discussion Starter #1
Latest video is on page 2 (or) http://www.myfamily.com/shares?aid=BUhZmNQGuY3L-Rrv5Aq_ww$$

Time to jump in. Spring is on it's way and I had an itch I just had to scratch. Been wanting a 650 special for a long time, but stumbled onto this TX500 that ran great for cheap. After some research I found out it's lighter and slightly more powerful than a 650 anyway, so that was good news. Video of it running: http://www.myfamily.com/shares?aid=7KNbs9oHW1MRWLJ9_cLLlw$$

After learning that the new Norton Commando 952 wouldn't be happening, I'm left to improvise. My brother picked up an 850 special the same week I got the TX so we're having a little biker build off. He's going more street tracker, mine was supposed to be a mix, but as you can tell, it's got a touch more cafe racer in it.

Here's the "TX massacre" as I've dubbed it, the day I picked it up, and then a photoshop of my intentions. We'll see how well I execute this summer.


 

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Sometimes, the name comes first and you build around it. Inspiration's got to come from somewhere. This will probably be the most fun paint job I've ever done. The splatter on the front of the tank is supposed to tie in the TX massacre idea, and I want it to look like the bike just flew through something at 100mph and kept going. So I think I'll hang the tank from the ceiling, facing up, dip a sponge in the paint and throw it at the tank. Should be fun, Jackson Pollock style!
 

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I cannot say I've ever owned one of those 500's but if they are both lighter and stronger than an XS650

I'd like to. I bet they quake less too.

I've never built a bike that didn't have a name, but it seems mine have all been named after they were going down the road.

My daily rides are GTB* Flat Nekid and The Iron Pimp Of Pain.

Still getting bugs worked out, the Spanxter...... half sportster half almost Manx.



*don't ask
 

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Looks like fun, it'll be neat with the splatter on it. The pic looks orange to me. Are you going do orange accents or red?
Good luck on the build, it'll be fun watching that with your ideas. Just keep taking pics.

I have a name for my old XR-400: the White Pony (Deftones Album)
My girlfriend wanted to call my DRZ Thunder Horse, but its not really sticking...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
LOL! Spanxter...it'd be stupid not to, that's all I can say.

There's nothing wrong with your screen, the accents are orange. I think it throws in a little unexpected twang. Granted, not many things bleed orange. I hit a deer on my first bike years ago, a Suzuki GS450, and this is the most similar bike I've had to it since, so there's a little vengeance in it as well.

As for dirt bikes, I had a KLR650 with the big desert tank on it I called the Camel. Man, I hated that bike.

I'm kinda hoping to pull some other TX owners out of the woodwork. I've found precious little on the bike, but what I have found has taught me that stock the 500 is 50 pounds lighter than an XS650, with 5 more horses. But nowadays there's a lot more aftermarket available to the 650, so I doubt the performance difference is very legit anymore.
 

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quote:Originally posted by 73tex
I'm kinda hoping to pull some other TX owners out of the woodwork. I've found precious little on the bike, but what I have found has taught me that stock the 500 is 50 pounds lighter than an XS650, with 5 more horses. But nowadays there's a lot more aftermarket available to the 650, so I doubt the performance difference is very legit anymore.
Actually, according to some literature I have around here (reprints of Yamaha specs in my Clymer's manual for the XS650), there is not much performance difference at all between the 500 and the 650. The TX650 in 1973 weighed 429 lb., the TX500 weighed 425. Both put out 48hp at the crankshaft. The 43 figure you often see cited for the XS650 is rear wheel hp.

Despite the fact that the XS650 appears to be more popular than the TX/XS500, here in Houston, TX, I have yet to see another XS650 on the street (I've been riding mine for eight years), but I do see the occasional TX/XS500. Go figure.

Your project tweaked my curiosity, though, cuz I don't really know much about the TX500s, although most folks I've heard who speak of them, do so with fondness. The higher-tech aspect of the 500 also intrigues me. So I did a bit of googling, looking for mailing lists or forums. Didn't find any dedicated to the TX/XS500, but I did find this one forum, mostly Brit riders, where the subject of the TX500 has come up a few times:

http://www.yamahaclub.com/forums/

Also found this Irish forum that kept turning up with google hits:

http://www.irishbikerforum.com/forums/index.php?act=idx

I'm working on a similar project as yours, except mine is an XS650, which I hope to have completed by this summer. I'm looking forward to watching your progess.

Best,

Michael
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Michael. I wondered if the 500 was somehow lighter than the 650 with more power, why wouldn't IT be the popular bike? Anyway, your info helps a lot. And makes more sense. Wherever I looked had the 650 at 475 pounds, and the 500 at 425, with 45hp for the 650 and 50 for the 500.

I've also found good reviews where there actually ARE reviews, but then found out their weakness is a head that cracks. Doh! Most of the good seems to be from the crank driven balance shaft that apparently makes the 500 perty smooth. I can tell it's more top heavy than the 650 though, which may not be great for handling. Either way, it's going to be a fun project. I'll keep it up to date here.
 

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From what I have researched the later model head from the XS500, the one with square styling pretty much fixed the issues with the head. I test rode a used one way back when and it was eerily smooth...very silk and had decent power for the time. I like 'em. I have a parts bike. A '72 I think.
 

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OOooo, that's good to know. So I'm free to rap it out to 9k and then start looking for an XS500 head. I don't suppose your parts bike is anywhere near Mt Pleasant, MI?
 

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Steve, did you ever get to do any playing with the exhaust on that one? Is it still wearing the looooong pipes?

Clean ride and it would be work to make it much more naked and still be street legal. I like.

BBToast, thanks, most all of them are still around and quite a few have sprouted since those days. Guess I've only gotten weak a few times and managed to let a few of them get away.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi Steve, thanks for rubbing it in. Actually, if it gives you warm fuzzies, I found your bike on here right when I bought my bike and started combing the web for TX500s. Yours is the coolest one I've seen. It's been on the site my brother and I are using for our build off for a month or so now. He said, and I quote, "man, I'm not a big cafe racer fan, but that's the coolest one I've seen. I'd ride that one."

I remember you mentioning in a post somewhere that with those open pipes it sounded like a WWII fighter plane, which got me excited because I hadn't heard a TX yet. My shorty megaphones just got here this week. When the handlebars arrive I'll fire it up again with the shorties on it and put up some video.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Handle bars and shorties came in. I'm not so sure I like the look of the drag bars, but the riding position feels good. I must have cursed my starter switch when removing the old handlebars. I don't even get a click from it now. So I kick started it to hear what the new shorties sound like, and it's only firing on the left cylinder. I think it's fuel, but haven't had the time to do anymore investigation yet. One thing I know is this will be a LOUD sucker. Just running on the one cylinder it made an evil echo in my garage that sounded exactly like the Savage 650 I used to have. I'm gonna have to pack these mufflers with something. But they look cool! My airtech seat should be here in another week.

 

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Nice fucking pictures we (I, anyway) can't see!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Nice vocabulary. Works fine on my screen. Anyone else have this problem?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
What about the pictures at the beginning of this thread? Can you see the grey/orange cafe bike? I inserted them the same way, so I'm wondering if they're not showing up now too?
 
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