Refurbing brother's MT500

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Refurbing brother's MT500

Post by wavey_davey » Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:40 pm

Greetings from (freezing) Shropshire!

I've agreed (in a moment of weakness) to help get my brother's MT500 on the road. I think he (quite literally) either dragged it out of a skip or more likely, bought it off someone who had.

Most of it is there, but it's clearly been used as a field bike, as it's unregistered and most of the loom is missing, just the ignition (sort of) wired up.

It would fire up sporadically on the original Amal, though I've now acquired a mikuni VM off ebay, allegedly off a running MT500. This has definitely helped the starting and I've had it actually ticking over and selected all the gears, though not actually running beyond 1st under it's own steam as vital things like wheel spacers are missing.

Having said that, it now won't start at all, possibly as a result of me using the choke momentarily to kill the engine (and hence fouling the plug?) as the kill switch isn't wired up yet!

I have a copy of the Army manual thankfully.

Jobs to do (that I'm aware of)

Clean off all the caked on mud - I've soda blasted (just a homespun setup, nothing professional) most of the cack off and it looks a lot better.

New loom andswitchgear - have already finished the front headlight/ignition switch/warning light section.

Replace head with a spare one that came with the bike, as the one on it has badly chipped fins, obviously need to check state of valves etc in "new" head first.

Change cambelt at same time obviously

Hoping NOT to have to delve further into the motor, it sounds sweet, no smoke so far and clutch seems ok? We'll see?

Sort out wheel spacers, iffy throttle action, busted headlight mounting, bodged rear brake rod etc etc

Get it MOT'd and registered

Doubtless will be asking lots of dumb questions soon! (like where does the front brake switch mount???)

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Re: Refurbing brother's MT500

Post by Wirralman » Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:01 pm

Welcome to the forum
It sounds like you have a job on !
If you need parts, a post in the Wanted section can do no harm
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Re: Refurbing brother's MT500

Post by Force Motorcycles » Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:18 am

Welcome to the forum Dave.

That sounds like a big job, albeit a rewarding one!

We've been selling parts for MTs since 1991 so let us know if there's anything we can help with.

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Re: Refurbing brother's MT500

Post by hounddog » Thu Jan 24, 2019 10:24 am

Hi and welcome ,
You will find a link to all the manuals and tutorials here ... 40&t=22163

a few extra thoughts
buy a quality cambelt, ( Dayco) from an MT parts supplier . (There is cheap rubbish elsewhere out there that isn't designed for bikes and doesnt last ).
change the clutch cable is not a bad idea - they do break sometimes
oil and filter change, new air filter and plug
If it has a metal spark plug cap , bin it and buy a plastic one , metal shorts out in the wet !

getting it road registered is going to be tricky if unregistered . You will need the VIN plate (which should be on frame headstock LHS just below oil filler cap ) and either a V5C or military release paperwork form MOD654, so make sure you look into the admin side of that with DVLA before you throw loads of time and money at it . VIN number will be needed even to get a MOT. You can get a daylight MOT if no lights fitted.

MT500 doesnt have a kill switch as standard. (I don't think so anyway, mine hasn't ) The white switch on right hand side of handlebars is a blackout switch which simply turns off all the lights .

hope that helps
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Re: Refurbing brother's MT500

Post by Minter » Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:35 pm

Hi Dave,

Welcome to the forum!

We are just down the A5 from you near Telford if you need any help.

The front brake light switch screws into the perch that holds the lever to the bars. Some one may have fitted a generic cheap type lever which doesnt have the hole and thread for the switch.

Good luck with the rest of the project..

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Re: Refurbing brother's MT500

Post by Derrick » Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:03 pm

Welcome Dave.

Keep us updated on the project, you'll see a suitable section on the forum as the welcome posts do get deleted after a short time. This looks like an interesting project.
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Re: Refurbing brother's MT500

Post by AndrewRA » Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:48 pm

Hi Bro,

Seems that my (re) registration hasn't lapsed after all! ;)

I will be dropping in far more frequently now to see how my bike is getting along..

I may even come up with the occasional (expensive) suggestion!

This is the life... 8-)
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Re: Refurbing brother's MT500

Post by wavey_davey » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:59 pm

Thanks for all the replies and advice! Yes I'll get a decent belt, just done the belts on a friends Ducati so am wary of cheap belts!

Sounds like the biggest issue is going to be registering it! I've a lot of experience in registering old brit classics I've imported from USA, so well aware of the process. The VIN plate is there (my brother got it/new frame from Bunker) but I see from other threads that the ability to register without the release papers (proof of age) has been tightened up. I'll PM "deadgrass" who seemed to be successful with a paper trail to the MoD unless anyone is aware that route is no longer viable?

Thanks for now

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