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Yamaha XS500

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Investigating problems with the 1978 Yamaha XS500. Currently know of one locally with about 25,000 miles and it has a 100 percent leak down one cylinder. Seems that the exhaust valve is pretty much toast. I am trying to find out if this is a common problem for this vintage of the XS or maybe just on the 500 of this era? Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated.

David

2006 Yamaha FZ1

1998 Yamaha Vmax

2004 Honda CRF250X

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I wouldn't say the entire XS line is a problem. In fact it was a dam good model line up for Yamaha for a long time.

The XS500 and the earlier TX500 of 1973-1975 did have serious problems, as did the TX750. These two bikes did have a bad reputation and had several recalls from the factory. IIRC the head was poorly designed and frequently overheated. Also the heads were too thin between the valves and often cracked there. The 1978 model was the last produced, and I don't know if Yamaha ever addressed the problems by then.

People that ride a TX/XS500 should use a quality synthetic oil to help keep temperatures down.

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Investigating problems with the 1978 Yamaha XS500. Currently know of one locally with about 25,000 miles and it has a 100 percent leak down one cylinder. Seems that the exhaust valve is pretty much toast. I am trying to find out if this is a common problem for this vintage of the XS or maybe just on the 500 of this era? Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated.

David

2006 Yamaha FZ1

1998 Yamaha Vmax

2004 Honda CRF250X

Total Control Instructor

www.totalcontroltraining.net

MSF Rider Coach

MSF Dirt Bike Coach

ATV Instructor

I have a 1975 xs500b, which has the same oil leak. My only suggestion is that you find and purchase any gaskets you can. I cannot find gaskets for my 1975, which is only 3 years older. I acutally have two of these bikes, and they both leak oil.

Good luck.

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People that ride a TX/XS500 should use a quality synthetic oil to help keep temperatures down.

Correct me if i'm wrong, but shouldn't you avoid full synthetic on a wet clutch bike like this? Won't it be too slick and you'll have trouble changing gears?

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Correct me if i'm wrong, but shouldn't you avoid full synthetic on a wet clutch bike like this? Won't it be too slick and you'll have trouble changing gears?

you sir, are correct

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you sir, are correct

Has to happen once in a while! :D

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Has to happen once in a while! :D

bask in the glory of rightousness, but don't get burned

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As much as I hate to "wake the snake" on one of the most common causes of Motorcycle Forum Flame War, you are only half right. It is true that synthetic car oil with friction modifiers (thank your politicians and the EPA) can do bad things to our clutches. So don't use them. However, using a motorcycle-specific synthetic is a good idea. I have used synthetic oil in all my 4-stokes and those of my friends, and without fail, every one of them shifted better after the switch. I have never seen a clutch problem as a result of using bike-rated synthetic. As an aside, I leave the stock oil in a brand-new bike for the break-in period, then switch to the good stuff. There is a plethora of info on this very topic at www.amsoil.com.

--rd606

"Smoke 'em if ya got 'em"

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