The 70s was a time of great technical advancement within the Japanese sector that left the rest of the world struggling to keep up. Yamaha turned the clock back a few years with one particular model however and, in doing so, started something really big.

There is something unique about the Yamaha XT500. Being a really basic and understated machine, in a sea of late 70s technically advanced and ground-breaking machinery, it successfully captured a new audience with its stomping ability while also catching the eye of the old Brit iron brigade. It lacked social graces like an electric start, making it a real rider’s machine and created a whole new generation of multi-tasking two-wheelers. Now every manufacturer has a large capacity all-rounder in its line up and this concept spawned a series of simple roadsters, the Yamaha SR500 being little more than a tarmac focused XT, and a style much copied since its introduction during 1978.

Ground clearance too, off road of course, is a major problem with the tall engine sat low in the steel single down tube cradle frame so as not to make the bike too top heavy. This is helped greatly by having the engine oil stored in the frame down tubes reducing the need for a dirty great sump but still the big bottom end gets in the way should you find some low speed lofty bumps. Thankfully, on the 1977 specification machine onwards, the team at Yamaha chose to fit a thick aluminium bash plate that saves all but the heaviest encounters with terra firma. Not surprisingly the XT in standard trim is more at home on the roads and dirt lanes, rather than any serious off road stuff, a terrain best left to the swarm of two strokes from the period, with their more favourable power-to-weight ratios.

On the move the XT500 is a very well balanced bike lending itself to some silly corner speeds, particularly on trail tires and is a great machine for getting about on. Thanks to nice little weight saving touches like motocross specification forks and suspension the bike is a real sweet performer.

The set up is so good that no matter what rev range you decide to open the taps, the engine subserviently pulls away.

Tipping the scales at all of 149kgs dry the 500 isn’t a lardy machine by usual standards and this shows when being punted around the road. but once the tarmac has been left behind.

The selection of the gear ratios in the five speed box is also a work of genius, if you rev the engine to peak power around 6200rpm and then change gear the engine revs after that shift are, as if by magic, bang on peak torque at 5300rpm, absolutely spot on stuff and evidence of the thought and work that went into designing the big single.

We won’t get many like this again! this is a great solid base for any would be classic Yamaha fan or bike collector!

The bike is in good condition! the matching numbers engine we have been told runs nicely! the frame is clean straight and original, looks to be mostly original parts, the seat is good with a couple of tears only, chrome is amazing, tyres are good, clean wheels, original aluminium fuel tank in beautiful condition! original nice exhaust, plastics are great too etc.. all in all a great investment base!

4 previous owners

This bike was imported in 2002 with only 7km on the bike. We have some Service history for

2008 @ 30,400 Kilometres

2010 @ 30,576 kilometres

2012 @ 30,630 kilometres

2015 @ 31,200 kilometres or 19,310 miles

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