The Yamaha XT500 is one of those motorcycles that came before its time – it was an ‘adventure bike’ before there really was such a thing and it quickly found a home in races like the Paris–Abidjan-Nice, the Paris-Dakar and races across the Mojave in the US.
At its heart the XT500 has a twin valve 498cc single cylinder, SOHC engine and 5-speed transmission – this same engine was used in the legendary SR500 and the TT500. The relatively light weight of 140kgs made the Yamaha XT500 a bike that could almost float over rough terrain when driven at speed – it was listed as having a top speed of 90mph and some early desert racers are said to have hit 90 whilst on dirt. Not a feat for the faint of heart.
If you’ve been looking for an early model year Yamaha XT500 you might want to take a closer look at this restored example due to roll across the auction block with Bonhams on the 7th of September 2013 at the National Motor Museum Collectors’ Motorcycles Auction.
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.