Yamaha RD500: history, specs, pictures

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Yamaha RD500
Also called RD 500 LC, RD500LC
Production 1984 - 1987
Class Race Replica
v4, two-stroke
Bore / Stroke 56.4mm x 50.0mm
Top Speed 139 mph (223 km/h)
Horsepower 86.09 HP (64.2 KW) @ 9500RPM
Transmission Gear box: 6-speed
Final Drive: chain
Brakes Front: dual disc
Rear: single disc
Front Tire 120/80-16
Rear Tire 130/80-18
Weight 216.0 kg (wet)
Recommended Oil Yamalube 10w-40
Fuel Capacity 5.81 Gallon (22.00 Liters)
Competition Suzuki RG500
Honda NS400R
Manuals Service Manual

The RD 500LC was the first real racer on the road. It debuted in June 1984 and few people had seen anything like it, a V4 500cc two stroke with 2 pipes coming out under the seat. Built around a box-section steel frame "witch we in the UK were cond with as others had a nicer Alloy framed one". The bike had a horizontal shoker and operated via bell-crank. Up front were slab yokes and anti-dive forks "which dont work very well at all as it turned out". Braking was by 3 solid faced but ventilated discs, " they are the same fitmets as the 350 YPVS and the same bolt holes, they can be inter-changed". The brake calipers are the same as well, which left it a little short in braking. The 350 could do with a bit more so you can imagine what a 500 felt like with the same stoppers. "Scary".

The expansions ran the same as any others from the front pots but the rear chambers ran under the seat and side panels and exited either side of the tail light. This made the 500 instantly recognizable if you came across one from behind.

Although short lived in the UK enough RD500's were sold to make them a reasonably common site on the roads at that time. The Suzuki RG500 stole the thunder out of the RD as it was imported with an alloy frame and was a little faster and a slightly better bike. But the brakes were still crap and the Suzuki anti dive was just as sloppy as the RD , so it really all came down to looks, and the RD500 YPVS wins hands down there.

Specification[edit | edit source]

  • Introduced: June 1984 ......... .... ............. .Discontinued : February 1987
  • Frame numberes: 84 onwords 47X-000101 Engine numberes : 85 onwards 1GE- 000101
  • Colours: Silky white & Stormy red
  • Bore and stroke: 56.6mm X 50mm
  • Engine type: V4 500
  • Power: 79bhp
  • Gears: 6
  • Wheels: 16-inch front and 18-inch rear
  • fuel capacity: 4.8 gallons
  • Speed: 135 mph
  • Weight: 392 lbs
  • mpg: 35 ish

Engine[edit | edit source]

The engine was a liquid cooled v4, two-stroke. A 56.4mm bore x 50.0mm stroke result in a displacement of just 499.0 cubic centimeters. Fuel was supplied via a membrane & power valve.

Drive[edit | edit source]

The bike has a 6-speed transmission.

Chassis[edit | edit source]

It came with a 120/80-16 front tire and a 130/80-18 rear tire. Stopping was achieved via dual disc in the front and a single disc in the rear. The RD500LC was fitted with a 5.81 Gallon (22.00 Liters) fuel tank.

In Media[edit | edit source]