Yamaha XT500 Supermoto by Random Cycles

XT500 Supermoto

The Yamaha XT500 was introduced in 1975, and it quickly rose to supremacy among enduro/adventure bikes, winning African rallies like the Paris-Dakar and Paris-Abidjan-Nice, as well as motos in the 500cc Motocross World Championship.  The twin-valve, 499cc single proved itself bulletproof, so it’s not surprise that some of these machines are still on the road.

Today, we’re excited to have a 1981 XT500 street tracker/supermoto built by Damian Saavedra of California’s Random Cycles. We’ll the man himself give you the rundown.

XT500 Supermoto:  In the Builder’s Words

Yamaha XT500 Supermoto

Coming up in the Southern California motocross and road racing scene of the 1980’s played a big role in shaping my aesthetics. There’s a purpose driven purity to the two-stroke triples, 500cc GP race-bikes and four-stroke, single enduros of the period. Not encumbered by the computer controlled ignition systems, ABS and traction control of modern machines, the motorcycles from back then were a more direct expression of motor and wheels, and I find a beauty in that.  (Editor’s Note:  AMEN!)

XT500 Tracker Motard

My Yamaha XT500 Supermoto projects draws on those preferences. Combining elements of modern motard racing and the classic air-cooled look of late 70’s and early 80’s Japanese singles is where I found inspiration for this machine. While there was certainly a look I was going for, every build decision on the XT500 was made to strike a balance between real performance and period style. From working in an almost hidden LED headlight to the front number plate, to the over-sized, front and rear brakes disks, I wanted to create a real performance machine that didn’t abandon its heritage.

XT500 Street Tracker

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XT500 Street Tracker

Yamaha-XT500-Tracker

Yamaha-XT500-Tracker-2

One Comment

  1. That is very very nice!! I would only change a couple things. I would have put the light bar along the top of the number plate, instead of along the side. Also, I’d shorten the fenders up by four or five inches and I’d put the plate on top of the rear fender, instead of that big ugly plastic holder hanging down. It would make it look more like a dirt bike.

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