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XR500R - 1983

Started by torgo, November 13, 2011, 10:37:46 AM

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Ok,  I have an XR500R I rebuilt and I love riding it, but somehow I got it in my head that I NEED an XR400R.  (I was in Mexico this spring and rented a bike and a guide for a day and he only rode an XR400R with Kenda 760 Tackmaster tires). 

But then I go back and think, well I have a bored out XR400 it's called a XR500.  Yeah OK, the rear brake is only a drum and the rear tire is a 17", but these should be workable. 

So my quest is to find the best brakes possible for my XR500R.

Who makes the best brake pads and shoes?  Does anyone know if there is upgrade for my existing brakes, Master cylinder, bolt on rotor, etc...?

Oh yeah and new tank graphics? And a new chain slider, will one from an XR600 work?
Time heals all wounds. But it usually leaves a pretty big scar.


I was snooping on the flattrack website ( and they talked about changing the rear brake drum over to a disk.  I think they just fitted a different rear rim to their bikes.


I will check that out, but I can live with the drum brake.  I just want the best drum I can get.  I can get Galfer HH sintered ceramic pads for the front but do not see anything but EBC for the rear.  That may be good enough I guess. 
Time heals all wounds. But it usually leaves a pretty big scar.


I don't know much about the XR500, but I had two XL600Rs.  A 1983 and a 1985.  I loved them both but interests drove me elsewhere.
It looks like your XR has a nicer shock than I had on my XL, I see a remote canister thingy on it.  If it has any similarity to the XR600's of the same approximate age, you might be able to upgrade the rear end to one from an XR.  I thought that they had disk brakes.  I know people have done some interesting things with these older bikes because they are so darn reliable.  Usually, when I've sees similar swaps, it's the whole swingarm because the caliper assembly differs as well as the spacers on the rear wheel. 
I had no qualms with my XL's rear drum brake and I never changed the pads from what came on them.  I think the trick was to their mechanics whenever you pull the rear wheel off.
"Don't be scared, it's fun.  I'll cheer you on."

plumber mike

I prefer the drum brake on an older scoot. Every old bike with hydrualic disc brakes usually require a master cyl. rubber parts rebuild, new rubber line(or the more $$ upgrade to SS braid) and still need new pads and maybe a rotor.

The drum brake usually just needs new shoes, a good cleaning/adjustment and off you go.

That bike looks like it will do a fine job.


Yeah I got a complete swing arm off ebay a while back for an 86 XR600 and it seems that when they went to the aluminum swingarm they changed the location of the linkage and shock mount by about a 1/2'.  The thing won't bolt up.  Oh-well live and learn.  I found some good front brake shoes and a new master cylinder so I should be good.  Thanks
Time heals all wounds. But it usually leaves a pretty big scar.