1976 Yamaha XS500


  • Restored in 2005
  • Recommissioned in 2020
  • Pre-facelift model
  • Four-stroke 500 twin
  • Handsome colour scheme

The Appeal

While Yamaha was still producing some fantastic two-stroke motorbikes in the 70s, the writing was on the wall for them, it was clear that four-stroke was the future for large-capacity bikes. The XS500 was four-stroke twin, with a mid-range capacity and smart “British style” design. While it was never as popular as Yamaha wished in its day, it’s now a collectible and desirable machine that would make a great everyday classic.

This example is finished in an attractive period colour scheme, with some lovely brightwork details. Having been restored in 2005 and spending many years as part of a private collection, it is now ready to be used once again, and offers a fine way to enjoy classic motorcycling this summer.

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The History and Paperwork

  • First registered in July 1976
  • Late pre-facelift model
  • 695 miles indicated, although this cannot be verified
  • Historic vehicle status - tax and MOT exempt
  • 16 owners from new, current owner since March 2020
  • Declared a total insurance loss in 2003
  • Restored in 2005, then held in a private collection until 2020
  • Purchased and recommissioned by the last registered owner in 2020
  • Complete with the current V5c and a Haynes Workshop Manual

The Condition

  • Smart maroon and gold paintwork, over a black painted frame and swing arm
  • There are some stone chips to the tank and side panels, along with some wear and crazing to the paint at the lower end of the tank
  • Overall, the paintwork and bodywork look to be in decent shape, with a natural patination from use
  • The frame and swingarm are finished in black and appear to be in good order, with no damage we could see, just a couple of small patches of surface corrosion to the swing arm
  • It appears as if the seat is quite newly upholstered, as the black vinyl looks to be in very good order
  • The wheels are traditional chrome spoked items – 19 inch to the front and 18 inch to the rear – and they appear to be in excellent condition
  • All of the brightwork wears a nice lustre, with minimal wear showing
  • The controls, handlebars and instruments show well, with some light wear but no damage we could identify
  • The engine and other mechanicals present well, with some gentle wear and patina commensurate with age

The Mechanics

  • 498cc, 8-valve, DOHC two-cylinder four-stroke engine, with twin carburettors
  • Telescopic front forks, twin dampers and springs to the swing arm
  • Front disc brake and rear drum brake
  • Kickstarter
  • We’re assured that the bike runs very well, with no mechanical issues to report


As an example of a very usable 70s classic, this XS500 has much to recommend it, from the smart styling to the smooth and torque-laden engine. We think it’s a very handsome machine indeed.

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Car & Classic are run through an online HPI check. On the HPI report, this vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft. It is currently not covered by a finance agreement.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1976
  • Make Yamaha
  • Model XS500
  • Colour Maroon/Gold
  • Odometer 695 Miles
  • Engine size 498
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Trade
  • Town Emsworth
  • Location Hampshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
6 bids
  • ch•••• £2,800 26/03/23
  • NE•••• £2,700 24/03/23
  • HA•••• £2,500 23/03/23
  • Ro•••• £2,000 21/03/23
  • Dr•••• £1,000 21/03/23
  • ex•••• £700 21/03/23

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