Yamaha XS500: history, specs, pictures

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Yamaha XS500
Also called XS500B, XS 500
Production 1975 - 1979
Class Standard
Predecessor Yamaha TX500
twin, four-stroke
Bore / Stroke 73.0mm x 59.6mm
Compression ratio 8.5:1
Top Speed 111 mph (178 km/h)
Horsepower 48.01 HP (35.8 KW) @ 8250RPM
Torque 32.45 ft/lbs (44.0 Nm) @ 6500RPM
Fuel System 2x38mm Mikuni Carburetors
Ignition battery, timing 38* btdc, point gap .012-.018 in.
Spark Plug NGK D8EA 75-78
Battery YUASA YB14L-A2 75-78
Transmission Gear box: 5-speed

Final Drive: chain

Clutch: wet, multi-disc
Final Drive Chain: 530x106
Front Sprocket 16T
Rear Sprocket 42T
Suspension Front: inverted forks
Brakes Front: single disc
Rear: single disc
Front Tire 3.25-19
Rear Tire 4.00-18
Wheelbase 55.12 inches (1400 mm)
Length 84.65 inches (2150 mm)
Width 32.87 inches (835 mm)
Height 44.49 inches (1130 mm)
Weight 210.0 kg (wet)
Oil Capacity 0.92 Gallon (3.50 Liters)
Recommended Oil Yamalube 10w-40
Fuel Capacity 3.96 Gallon (15.00 Liters)
Fuel Consumption 2.80 liters/100 km (35.7 km/l or 84.01 mpg)
Related Yamaha XS650
Manuals Service Manual

The Yamaha XS500 was a twin, four-stroke Naked motorcycle produced by Yamaha between 1975 and 1979. It could reach a top speed of 111 mph (178 km/h). Max torque was 32.45 ft/lbs (44.0 Nm) @ 6500 RPM. Claimed horsepower was 48.01 HP (35.8 KW) @ 8250 RPM.

Overview[edit | edit source]

The Yamaha XS 500 may not have anywhere near the street credentials of its big brother, the XS 650, but if you ride a parallel twin less than 30 years old you owe a debt of gratitude to the younger sibling. The technically-advanced engine made lots of power, though almost all of it came between 6,000rpm and the 9,000rpm redline. On early TX models this combined with poor fueling on throttle transitions, light flywheels, uneven power-pulses from the 180 degree crank and excessive driveline lash to make smooth part-throttle and stop start riding a real challenge.

The XS500, despite attracting all the right kind of attention at its launch back in 1972 failed to deliver. The combination of an air-cooled eight-valve head, 180-degree crank, double overhead cams, electric start and two CV carbs made for an extremely smooth and fairly porky middleweight twin.

Due to its uninspiring appearance and unreliability it was held back from success. The first models had some problems with warping valve seats, so later cylinder heads were changed to round exhaust ports to help the heat dissipate. Heat remained a problem, frequently causing the head to fracture. The balancer and camchain arrangements needed regular attention. The XS offered good handling, but it was no lightweight so hardly came into the tarmac-tearing "road burner" category. When it went out of production in 1979 there were few who mourned its passing - and fewer still today who consider it to be wildly desirable.

Engine[edit | edit source]

The engine was a air cooled twin, four-stroke. A 73.0mm bore x 59.6mm stroke result in a displacement of just 499.0 cubic centimeters. Fuel was supplied via a double overhead cams/twin cam (dohc).

Drive[edit | edit source]

The bike has a 5-speed transmission. Power was moderated via the wet, multi-disc.

Chassis[edit | edit source]

It came with a 3.25-19 front tire and a 4.00-18 rear tire. Stopping was achieved via single disc in the front and a single disc in the rear. The XS500 was fitted with a 3.96 Gallon (15.00 Liters) fuel tank. The wheelbase was 55.12 inches (1400 mm) long.

1975[edit | edit source]

1976[edit | edit source]

The XS500C was the revamped-for-1976 model and came with something resembling style and - even better -- something else, resembling durability.

In Media[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]