The Yamaha XT500 has always been one of my favorite bikes. In fact, I own a 79 model myself.
The plan was for this bike to build an XT with better brakes and handling, while keeping the weight to a minimum. The motor got a fresh top end with a Wiseco 9:1 piston (to make it easy to start) and a Mikuni VM36 to make it breathe a little better. The front end is mostly Yamaha XS650 with a Suzuki SV650 caliper/FZR600 rotor.
The result was a quick, fun machine that actually stops when you want it to... unlike mine which still has the stock half-width drum brake. Also take note of the demonic mileage on this machine!