I read the article about the XT500 enthusiastically because I’ve always had a soft spot for these big two-valve single engines, both in XT and SR forms.
On the matter of starting, I found the ‘little window’ in the end of the camshaft all but useless and seldom worked well.
The following was much more reliable: Bring the piston up on the compression until it resists; just pull in the decompressor lever enough to allow the piston over TDC; then, when the exhaust cam makes the decompressor lever go slack, raise the kick-start again to the top – a leisurely swing should get it moving.
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Read more of is Letter and other Letters, Opinion, News and Features in the September 2019 issue of CBG –on sale now!Enjoy more Classic Bike Guide reading in the monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.