1981 Yamaha SR500
Frame no. JYA4R800XBA001252
Engine no. 4R8001252
It's easy to forget nowadays when the two-stroke engine has been all but legislated out of existence, that there was a time when Yamaha, the world's second largest motorcycle manufacturer, was a newcomer to four-stroke technology. Yamaha's early history and especially its racing success was with two-strokes. The XS650 twin was the company's first four-stroke, followed by a 500cc kickstart-only single used in XT and SR models.
The SR500 proved to have amazing longevity. The classically style single made its debut in 1978 and was sold in the U.S. through 1981, but continued in other markets until 1999 in fact, a smaller SR400 model was sold in Japan until 2008! Still popular today, SRs are seeing new life as the basis for bobbers, street-trackers and café-racers. This SR500 from the last year of U.S. sales has always been maintained in stock condition and has seen just 11,000 miles in its 33 years of operation.
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