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 Yamaha - XT C
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Yamaha D2-492-03-04
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 500
Model : XT C
Production : 1976 - 1979
Category : (On-Off) Dual Purpose


500 XT – 1976/1989

The big bike that changed over time


A bike that stays in the catalog 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 XT 500 was the first Japanese off-road bike with a big single engine. It started 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.


Multipurpose Machines

From 1976 to 1989, Yamaha sold 196,000 big singles in Europe, 62,600 of which were XT 500s (a third of the company's sales went toFrance). Multipurpose off- road bikes are farand away the most popular today, andproduction has expanded to include single cylindermachines for off road tracks andtwins designed as grand tourers. Even thoughits performance has been overtaken nowadays, the XT 500 remains the bike thatrevitalized the cause of the big single.



Engine: 499cc (87x84mm) single-cylinder four stroke

Power output: 32 hp @ 6500 rpm

Valves: overhead camshaft, 2 valve head

Fuel system carburetor

Transmission: chain final drive

Suspension: (front) telescopic fork; (rear) swinging fork with twin shock absorbers

Brakes: (front) drum; (rear) drum

Wheels: (front) 3.25x21 in; (rear) 4.00x18 in

Weight: 330 lb

Maximum speed: 93 mph


The XT 500 changed only slightly from the firstmodel launched in 1976 - which had its exhaustrunning beneath the crankcase - to the finalversion


Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
  • High resolution scans or original documents presented and signed with my name.

Please contact me at for conditions and copyright.

© Tous droits réservés
François-Marie Dumas

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