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Yamaha XS500

Yamaha XS500 survivor

(October 2020)

by Guy ‘Guido’ Allen

Potentially a low-cost entry into classics

It's very brown and, depending on how you look at it, could be a relatively inexpensive entry into the world of classic bikes. The 1976 XS500 claims one owner and a little under 9000 km on the odo, and to be all-original bar the mufflers. The seller says it's been serviced and it sready to go. It's priced at $5950.

The colur scheme is very seventies – two-tone brown billed by the factory as 'dark bronze'.

This was the result of an attempt by Yamaha to introduce something new in the middleweight class, starting with the TX500 in 1973. However the eight-valve twin got a reputation for being fragile in its first form.

That said, there are owners of TXs (which are arguably better looking) out there who are very happy with them. We suspect riding them as a classic, rather than thrashing the things as you might a new bike, will have a lot do do with that.

Yamaha re-engineered the engine (and pulled the performance back a little) upgraded the chassis and renamed the bike the XS500B by 1975.

It has a reputation for liking a fair few revs on board to unleash its performance. On paper at least that should be respectable, given it claims 48 horses for a 185kg dry weight. Top speed was claimed to be 170km/h. See this backgrounder from Motorcycle Specs.

1978 model XS500 brochure images

Yamaha XS500

Yamaha XS500

1975 XS500 brochure

Yamaha XS500

TX500 brochure images

Yamaha TX500

Yamaha TX500


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