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Thread: Help for newbie please

  1. #1

    Help for newbie please

    Hi Everybody

    500 again after many years - older biker (62) in UK

    It is a later imported model (km/h speedo) that has been "improved" - VM mikuni, aftermarket exhust (too loud) and K&N filter. Runs very badly from half throttle upwards.

    What is "best" combination of filter/airbox/carb/exhaust for easy starting and reliable running? - not bothered about "better" performance (would have bought a different bike if I wanted that).

    Thinking of using 34 carb (VM type) as that is the carb size Yamaha specified

    I know his is a can of worms, perhaps returning to "stock"is best?


    Mark (near Box Hill and Newlands Corner if anybody knows my neck of the woods)

  2. #2
    Senior Member chunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Approximately 130 miles north of Los Angeles, California
    Hi Mark, I've found that these bikes, stock, as in air box, carb, and exhaust, and in a proper state of tune, run, idle and start wonderfully. Over the years I've had several in stock form and always found them to be highly reliable. They seem sensitive to changes, my xt500d is stock except for it has a k&n pod filter instead of the stock airbox and required a change to the main and pilot jet to run correctly. I would start with an exhaust you like (niose level) and the maybe source a stock carb and airbox on ebay. The exhaust will be difficult to find. Most originals have rusted out and not a lot of aftermarket solutions. Simple machines and lots of oem and aftermarket parts. IMO, the SR's and XT's are a great balance of modern and simple. Cheers, Chunk.

  3. #3
    Thanks Chunk.

    Good advice - will keep you posted.

    PS - I have had great holidays in Laguna Beach - terrific for canyon carving I bet :-)



  4. #4
    Often the stock carbs become problematic after a while...age related wear and tear mostly...and are difficult to get to work well again.

    At that point rather than continue to chase my tail I replace the carbs with VM round slide carbs...there are many opinions on sizing but I mostly use 38s...usually coupled with a free'er flowing exhaust, filter nicely and will also set you up for other more performance related mods should you ever decide to go that direction.

    I'm not suggesting that a 38 would be right for you but more indicating my choice.

    For you a 34 or 36 might be perfect...your choice. But the main thing is that either those or the ones I use will provide you with virtually trouble free long term riding and easy and reliable hot or cold starting once sorted properly.

    There is plenty of jetting information on each of these size carbs on here and general fitment and setup information here as well.

    Have a look round and a read then decide.

    ...'Any unnecessary items on the bike, that it doesn't really need, shouldn't be there!'. (Café racers creed). SR..

  5. #5
    Thanks for your support Guys.

    After grunting like a sweaty pig for half an hour - still no start!

    Have to get this off my chest - bike has been changed to "improve" it - perhaps 0.001 of an hp at some point at the expense of general useability!

    Why do people muck around and think they can do better in their garage than Yamaha with $$$s of R&D can!

    Wife getting fed up with grumpy husband!

    I feel better for that!


  6. #6
    Senior Member gcrank1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    South Central Wisconsin, USA
    K&N and loud exhaust wont be causing a no-start issue.
    Do you have spark?
    Is gas flowing to the carb?
    Do you smell gas and is the plug wet?,ie, it is flooded. If so, have you tried the 'clearing the flooded condition' routine?
    If not, why not?, ie, no gas getting through the carb.
    '81 Yamaha SR500 Caff Racer
    '09 Suzuki TU250X 'The Silent Red Fellow'
    '98 Honda Shadow 750 ACE Deluxe
    In all things maintain your uprightness lest the road reach up and smite thee

  7. #7
    Have spark, have dried off plug, have held throttle open and kicked with compressor held to clear.

    I am 62 years old but very fit :-)

    I read some very funny biking stories set in Wisconsin by Peter Egan

  8. #8
    Senior Member MadMax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Whitehaven Cumberland
    What carb is on there at the moment Mark, std VM32SS or a roundslide?

  9. #9
    Hi Max - Thanks for coming back to me

    Bike looks great but starting is a nightmare and it runs badly at higher revs

    Have investigated the set up:
    Mikuni VM32 round slide, K&N filter with no air box and free flowing exhaust.
    What carb settings would you recommend as a starting point please?

    I see you are in the Lakes area - great biking country when the tourists are gone I bet



  10. #10
    Correction - carb is round slide vm36

    What carb settings would you recommend please with no air box/K&N, free flowing exhaust?

    Not bothered about performance - just easy starting and smooth running

    Many thanks


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