1982 Yamaha XT500

Photos provided by the seller


  • Outstanding condition
  • Complete frame up renovation
  • As original as they come
  • Genuine low mileage
  • Yet to be UK registered

The Appeal

Effectively the grandfather of the modern off-road adventure motorcycle, Yamaha changed the whole enduro scene when they launched their new 500cc single, the XT 500.

The XT500 seemed unbeatable in endurance races like the Paris-Dakar Rally and its reputation for reliability and performance was firmly cemented for ever during its reign over this crippling race, its simplicity of design and engineering making it virtually unstoppable.

This is a rare opportunity as this iconic Yamaha comes to auction in near showroom condition having undergone a complete and comprehensive restoration with a real eye for originality and fine detail.

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The History and Paperwork

  • Registered in South Africa in 1982
  • Imported to the UK in 2015
  • Ground up restoration over a two-year period
  • Still to be registered in the UK as Historic vehicle
  • All import papers and all taxes paid
  • Countless invoices for parts and restoration
  • Many detailed pictures showing restoration process

Imported from South Africa in 2015 with low mileage and needing some TLC the bike has been stripped down to its bare bones, or frame, and rebuilt to an impeccable original specification and standard over a two-year period. 

Since its total restoration the bike has remained unused and is yet to be registered in the UK, having been used solely as a show bike.

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The Condition

  • Incredible overall condition
  • Re-painted in European colours of Red and White
  • Powder coated frame
  • Correct exhaust sourced from the US
  • Many ‘new old stock’ parts

At first glance you’d think this XT500 has just been put together straight out of its original crate. Its condition is so good following its comprehensive rebuild that you’d be hard pushed to think otherwise as it presents in almost factory fresh showroom condition.

Every component of the bike gleams and sparkles with its repainted tank and side panels, in the more well-known European colours of red and white, being without any mark or blemish. The re-chromed and re-spoked original wheels look like they have never been turned and are fitted with brand new enduro tyres of the correct period and type.

The powder-coated frame looks probably better than when new and as you examine the bike in fine detail this is true for almost everywhere and everything on this big XT.

The seat was recovered, all the suspension and brakes were stripped, cleaned and renovated, and the correct exhaust, now built under licence in Texas, was procured at huge expense and fitted, along with every other part of the bike being either renovated or replaced depending upon its condition. The original speedometer and rev-counter have been kept which show its very low and believed genuine mileage.

Originality was key with original parts being utilised throughout its restoration and all of this has gone towards making this example one of the finest you’re ever likely to encounter.

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The Mechanics

  • 500cc four-stroke single
  • Re-built engine and gearbox
  • Converted to 12 volt
  • Zero miles since completion

A comprehensive renovation of this bike would not have been complete without attention to all the running gear and of course that big thumping single engine, so nothing escaped, with the engine being completely stripped and rebuilt with new piston, ring and seals, the carburettor similarly being stripped and cleaned and the suspension and brakes receiving similar treatment.

To make starting easier the bike was converted from 6v to 12v, which gives a more powerful spark and makes it easier on the leg muscles.

Mechanically this XT500 is virtually new having been started and put through an MOT when the restoration was finally complete but it has remained unregistered and unused since then.

The Summary 

Probably one of the best and most important bikes ever made by Yamaha, the XT500 set the scene and started the off-road and adventure motorcycling trend that is still very much in vogue today, and it would be very hard indeed to find a better example of the bike that started it all.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1982
  • Make Yamaha
  • Model XT500
  • Colour White
  • Odometer 14,904 Kilometers
  • Engine size 500
  • Town Cleeve
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Somerset
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
27 bids
  • ri•••• £10,750 07/08/22
  • De•••• £10,500 07/08/22
  • ri•••• £10,250 07/08/22
  • ri•••• £10,000 07/08/22
  • Ro•••• £9,800 07/08/22
  • ri•••• £9,500 07/08/22
  • ki•••• £9,000 07/08/22
  • Ho•••• £8,900 07/08/22
  • ki•••• £8,800 07/08/22
  • Ho•••• £8,600 07/08/22

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