Some TLC for the EXC

The 500 EXC has 19,000km covered and is about to pass 400hrs so I decided to give her some care and attention. Every year I check the valve clearances and when I look at the measured clearances from 2019-2020-2021 and 2022, I can see the trend develop as the valve clearance gap widens and gets closer to being out of spec every year. This year I expect that she’ll need to be re-shimmed.

The motor is still pulling strong, and while there’s often a tiny puff of black smoke on startup (which is probably just a little excess fuel in the cylinder that I’m ok with), there’s never any blue smoke and she’s not burning any oil.

Other than the engine work, everything else is performing ok, fluids are replaced regularly, and swingarm pivot bearings are cleaned and re-greased at every rear tyre change, but over the past year I’ve lost one of the rad louvers, and one side of the swingarm covers so they’ll need replacing.

This post will be updated as the jobs get done. Bear with me. It could take a while.


The plan is to

1. Check valve clearances, re-shim if needed. Fit a new spark plug.

Update : Valve clearances have now been checked and are still in-spec!! I found it hard to believe too, but I double checked them, and then removed all shims and measured each one with a micrometer and everything is within spec. Put it all back together. 

2.New fluids and filters everywhere. Brake & Clutch fluid, Engine Oil & Air, Oil and Fuel Filters.

Done. New crush washer and wire-locked sump bolt. No one needs a picture of an oil change.

3. Suspension service, new fork oil, and grease steering head and swingarm bearings.

Update : Forks serviced and inspected. Seals and bushings are good. Old oil was grey and miserable looking. New oil is blue and silky smooth.

4. Flush and refresh coolant, inspect & tighten hoses and clips.


5. Inspect and replace brake pads and disks, front & rear.

Front pads are good, disks are thin enough to be very near end of life.

6. Visually inspect wiring for any signs of damage or fraying. Dielectric grease on connectors.


7. Fit new polisport radiator louvers, clutch cover, ignition cover and swingarm covers.


8. Adjust throttle cable and fit comfy foam grip puppies.

Throttle cable free play is spot on.

There may be another big trip coming up later this year and I’m half thinking of bringing the T7. But am half thinking of the 500 too so it could really go either way.

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