6N6-3B-1 6N6-3B-1 76-79
|Front Tire||3.00-21 76-79 , '80-81|
|Rear Tire||4.00-18 76-79 , '80-81|
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A motorcycle that stays in the production for 13 years with, constant success is a real rarity, particularly when that bike is Japanese. And when that model has set a trend that has changed the face of cycling. it's even more noteworthy.
A Success from the Start
Launched at the 1975 Paris Salon, the Yamaha XT500 was the first Japanese off-road bike with a big single engine.It starred a revolution and was such a success from the start that it enabled the development of desert racing as we know it today. For starters, it won the Abidjan-Nice rally, then, ridden by Cyril Neveu, the first two Paris-Dakar rallies in 1979 and 1980, Simple and sturdy, it was the ideal bike to ride to the ends of the Earth or use every day. and it didn't let down the amateur adventurers who chose it.
From 1976 to 1989. Yamaha sold 196,000 big singles in Europe. 62,600 of which were XT500s (a third of the company's sa1es went to France. Multipurpose off-road bikes are far and away the most popular today. and production has expanded to include single cylinder machines for oil-road tracks and twins designed as grand tourers. Even though its performance has been overtaken nowadays, the XT500 remains the bike that revitalized the cause of the big single.
The XT500 suffers from poor carburetion and chain snatch at low revs, reluctant starting, quick wear piston and magnesium crankcases that rot away. XT550 is better at low revs with two-choke carb, four-valve head and engine balancer, but has a weak clutch. Ironically, the better XT550 is very rare (the four-valve head goes eventually), while many 500s survive.