Tony’s Restored TX-500

23 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Tony’s Restored TX-500
Yamaha TX 500

Restoration Notes on the TX-500

Oil Filter Alternatives

The standard oil filter for these bikes have been discontinued years ago. Periodically NOS filters show up on Ebay. Prices seem to have been increasing lately as the supply shrinks.

They have typically been going between $10-$15 each.

There is a kit that appears to be still available from some Yamaha dealers that changes the filter mounting plate to allow the use of a still available filter. The down side is that the standard filter specified is too long and requires you to remove the right side engine case to change the filter. As an alternative a Fram 6607 (2001 Hyundai V6) filter is short enough to fit on the altered mounting plate without the need to remove the case cover. I’ve gotten email from a few TX-500 and XS-500 owners who have went this route

Air Filter Alternatives

I’ve not been able to get TX-500 air filters. I have found that a newer XS-500C filter can be easily modified with a spacer to used in the TX-500 airbox.

Muffler Alternatives

Being unable to find original mufflers in decent shape, I picked up long reverse cone mufflers at JC Whitney. They fit nicely even using original mounting brackets. While not original equipment they look very similar to the Yamaha originals. The only modifications required are to add some stoppers for the side and center stands so they don’t rattle against the new mufflers. Performance seems minimally affected by these.

My original mufflers had the insides almost completely rusted out, so they offered minimal back pressure and where pretty loud. With the new mufflers I think the bike might have a little less low end torque. This could be my imagination since the bike is now significantly quieter.

Rust In the Gas Tank

While I poured some oil in the cylinders when I parked the bike 17 years ago I didn’t do much with the gas tank other than drain it. Looking back this was a mistake. Upon starting the restoration I found loose rust in the gas tank. I flushed it several times only to have it quickly clog the petcock filters with rust particles. After some net surfing I found POR-15 tank sealer.

I ordered it, followed the instructions and found it to work great!

2 to 1 Header Experiences

I read somewhere on the web that using a 2:1 Jardine header on this bike was a bad idea but there were no details as to why. I liked the looks and the sound, but I found that it really killed the low RPM performance. After carburetor tweaking I was able to get the high end performance back by significantly dropping the size of the main jets, but I was never able to get the torque back in the 1K -3K RPM range.

Yamaha TX 500
Yamaha TX 500

In general these bikes don’t have extra power below 3K so the loss was unacceptable to me.

Carburetor Hints

The following are some tricks I’ve learned over the years from this and other bikes.

When trying to determine correct main jet size try a full throttle run with the air filter removed. If the bike runs better, it means you’re currently a little too rich or your air filter is old and no longer breathes. If the bike runs worse it likely means you’re too lean.

Note that the O rings on the main jets of this bike must fit snugly and seal. If they don’t you’ll likely run too rich and get erratic performance.

Polishing Aluminum

I’ve been using a buffing kit on a die grinder from Jestco, then finishing with Mother’s metal polish. The end result is pretty good, but you need to do this every 6 months. I was advised to seal with a clear coat.

I tried it and that caused significantly dulling so I removed it and just re-polish.

Yamaha TX 500
Yamaha TX 500
Yamaha TX 500
Yamaha TX 500
Yamaha TX 500


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