XT 500

xt500 300x179 XT 500

The Yamaha XT500 is a twin-valve single-cylinder enduro-adventure motorcycle made by Yamaha from 1975 until 1981. It shares its sturdy power plant with the street version SR500 and its off-road brother, the Yamaha TT500. All parts such as the transmission and chassis were produced in Japan.

The first XT 500 was shown at the US dealer convention in September 1975. Europeans had to wait till the summer of 1976.

The bike became an instant success and was produced until 1981 when it was replaced by four-valve engines. It laid the ground for the later range of XT bikes ranging from 125 cc (XT125) to the current 660 cc (Yamaha XT660Z Ténéré) and contributed largely to Yamaha’s image.

The XT proved its performance and reliability by winning the first big African rallies, which were on the rise in the late seventies. It started with Paris–Abidjan-Nice and then the Paris–Dakar Rally, which confirmed the supremacy of the XT 500.[1][2] In France alone, 62,000 XT 500s were sold from 1976 to 1990.[3][4]

The 21-inch front wheel and the 18-inch rear with enduro-style tires make it fit for both on- and off-road use. Seat height and ground clearance are adequate[citation needed] and the machine features the typical dual-purpose handling characteristics, which makes it suitable for a wide range of duties, from crossing rough city roads to country lanes or paths. The engine proved to be extremely reliable.[citation needed]

The XT range debuted in 1976 with the XT500 single four-stroke “torque hammer”. Later, other models followed, spreading from XT125 to the latest XT660. Both the XT and TT ranges represent the typical Yamaha model development consistency, with model refinements over a long period of time.