20 Most Recent 1978 Yamaha XS 500 Questions & Answers

starter not engaging or teeth rounded off

1978 Yamaha XS... | Answered on Jun 07, 2011

Sorry we do not sell items on this site. We are here to help you fix you product that is broken. If you need help finding things we can also do that. But we do not sell items here. Sorry

1978 Yamaha XS... | Answered on May 28, 2011

You should check out the image below. It may help you to solve your problem.


1978 Yamaha XS... | Answered on Apr 16, 2011

Remove the the left side rear chain cover the oil filter is located under it.

1978 Yamaha XS... | Answered on May 07, 2010

Left hand side of the crankcase.


1978 Yamaha XS... | Answered on Sep 15, 2009

The idea is that the wire does not go to ground when the points are open. Install the insulators so that the wire does not go to ground.

1978 Yamaha XS... | Answered on Mar 20, 2009

have you checked the ground side of things?, to complete an electrical circuit you need ground. try running your own external ground directly from battery neg. post to individual components . that will tell you if it is pos. wires or neg. wires are good or bad.that is a very old bike,check harness ground to frame and motor for rust and corrosion,check all connections and clean and scrape shiny again, but do not bend or break connector pins.as a last resort you might consider fabricating or buying wiring harness if in very corroded & dry rotted condition.

1978 Yamaha XS... | Answered on Feb 19, 2009

Someone gave me a old motocycle they was taking to the land field..I done everything...but forgot one important thing..Look into the muffler..There were dirt gobblers all in the exhaust keeping it from cranking.. Before I gave up I had my wife pull me around the block....Then I heard a loud pop...The bike backfired them all out...The bike that was going to the land field was rescued.End of story...Just something to check

Yamaha XS 500... | Answered on Jan 12, 2018

have you got 90psi or more compression ? spark on both plugs ? carb clean ?

Yamaha XS 500... | Answered on Mar 29, 2014

i think you have to adjust the clutch cable play to specs of the bike or your clutch plates needs replacement.

Yamaha XS 500... | Answered on Jun 27, 2012

Three possible causes for your problem immediately come to mind: (1) starter; (2) engine; and (3) electrical system.

1. Starter. The oil seals in some Yamaha starters have a nasty habit of hardening and letting oil seep into the starter. That oil acts as an insulator and prevents your starter for working properly. In particular, the "brushes," which are a high-wear item to begin with, are positioned in a way that they can easily get saturated with oil, at which point they no longer conduct electricity. Thus, electricity will flow to the starter, but it's just locked up in place. Replacement starter brush assemblies are generally available through Yamaha parts suppliers; Yamaha tended to use the same starter in multiple bikes. While everything is apart, it's also a good time to replace the oil seal around the starter shaft. Yamaha does *not* sell these, but you can match the part by its size at a bearing and seal shop. It will only cost a few dollars, and it'll make a world of difference for the longevity of your starter.

2. Engine. Before trying to start your motorcycle, did you double-check to make sure that your engine was turning over? Engines that have been stored for long periods of time can have the pistons rust in their cylinders. Or, if you didn't drain the tank, the crankcase can overfill with gasoline mixed with oil, causing hydraulic lock on the bottom end (happened to me once with an XS650; a quick oil drain and fill solved that problem). Pull the spark plugs and squirt a bit of lightweight oil into each cylinder. Then, using the kick starter (this is an old 1970s XS550, not a more recent XJ550, right?), slowly turn over the engine. The pistons will push the oil up and down, coating the cylinder walls. If you don't have a working kick starter, put the bike on its center stand and put the bike into 3rd or 4th gear. Then, rotating the rear wheel should turn over the engine.

3. Electrical System. In my experience, vintage Yamaha electrical systems have proven to be more unreliable than their Honda counterparts. Sometimes, wires can lose their insulation and short out. Much more commonly, terminals and connectors tarnish or corrode and fail to let full amperage through. Connect a test meter to the positive terminal of your starter when it's installed in your bike, grounding the negative lead to the frame or the negative terminal of the battery. When you press the starter button, what voltage do you see displayed on the meter? You should see the full battery charge--about 12.6 volts for a fully-charged motorcycle battery--but you might see noticeably less due to electrical gremlins. If this is the case, start by cleaning all the visible terminals you can see--generally speaking, the starter terminal and starter relay terminals. If you don't see any voltage at all when you press the starter button, your starter relay may have gone bad.

Good luck!

Yamaha XS 500... | Answered on Jun 15, 2011

sounds like jets are dirty

Yamaha XS 500... | Answered on Jun 07, 2011

the engine needs earthing to the frame

Yamaha XS 500... | Answered on Apr 30, 2011


Yamaha XS 500... | Answered on Feb 21, 2011

I see XS 400 , 650, and 850 for 1980. I see no XS 500's
I do find XT 500 and SR 500's

Check this out. is this your bike ?
look at line item # 20

Yamaha XS 500... | Answered on Nov 23, 2010

go to kelly blue book for motorcycles and put in all info needed and
it will give you a price for trade in or sell..........

do not forget to leave feedback ..thanks

Yamaha XS 500... | Answered on Oct 23, 2010

i think your injectors may blocked try redex but b carefull because that stuff is notorius for buggering things up

Yamaha XS 500... | Answered on Aug 11, 2010

Sounds like your carb is dirty in all areas. Remove the carb and completely disassemble it. Blow carb cleaner and compressed air through every opening and make sure each opening comes out somewhere when you spray through. Clean the float needle seat with a q-tip and carb cleaner. Spray through each of the jets and be sure they are absolutley clear. Make sure you get the emulsion tube out and clean. it is what the main jet screws into and will have holes down the sides.Screw the mixture screw in and count the turns. remove it and any spring or o-ring and spray through it also and make sure the spray goes all the way through. Replace the mixture screw and set it in the same adjustment as you started. Reassemble and install the carb. If the carb was adjusted properly in the beginning, you should put it back on and your bike run much better.

*Help me out. Rate me!

Yamaha XS 500... | Answered on Jun 12, 2010

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