1979 Honda XL500S – Exhaust baffle

1979 Honda XL500S – Exhaust baffle

Now that the bike has a running engine I have been concentrating on tuning it and riding it around to see how it handles.

The first issue is that it is loud – very loud. Personally, I think it sounds awesome in a 500cc single, straight pipe sort of way but it will need to be sorted out.

The second issue is that the engine leaks oil out of all of the spots every online forum tells you that “they leak oil from”. Obviously after having only recently got the engine running, this has become more apparent. I have changed some gaskets and seals and none of those leak but the major problems are the leaking head and tappet covers and the main drive seal. On this motor the seal behind the front sprocket is retained by a metal lip that is internal. That means splitting the cases to replace it.

These particular Honda engines are a little different compared to others in that the crankcases are two horizontal halves and not vertically split down the middle like traditional motorcycle engines or the scooter engines I am used to. Rebuilding the motor would be the obvious choice but I may ride it as is and just keep topping up the oil.

Ebay Exhaust

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1979 Honda XL500S – Exhaust 2

The exhaust was originally an EBay purchase and didn’t have baffle in it but was priced right and looked good. I found a baffle on Trade Me but it wasn’t quite the right internal diameter size but was close enough to see if it would work or not. Installing it was straight forward but a little fiddly and hopefully it will last for some time.

The exhaust note at idle is a lot better than it was. Out on the road, at full throttle, it is loud but not like a Harley straight pipe loud, so its a win.

I have ordered some new tyres for it and am looking at changing the front brake master cylinder, because of a braking issue and getting the electronic speedo working.

1979 Honda XL500S – Exhaust baffle

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