Minichamps MIN122163302 1981 Yamaha XT500 Street Motorcycle - White (1:12 Scale)
"When the off road market started booming in the US, bikers remembered the advantages of the good old singles. Soon the sales guys started to request the development of a four stroke for off road. Honestly speaking, we engineers were quite reluctant in the beginning, since we knew about the difficulties of these big thumpers. As soon as they had a bit more power they turned out to be unreliable and they were shaking like hell."
- Shiro Nakamura, developer of the XT engine
The first Yamaha type XT500 was introduced at the 1976 bike show in Las Vegas meeting a warm reception by both the experts and the public alike. It is equipped with a 499 cc one cylinder 4-stroke engine with a single chain-driven OHC putting out 27 hp @ 5900 rpm. As in good old days, no electric starter facilitates firing up this classic off-roader, instead its kick starter is notorious for snapping back at any foot trying to kick the engine to life. Its maximum speed is 133 kph. Over the years, the technical equipment was not modified much, however the appearance of the tank changed several times. From 1980 in Europe the original steel tank was replaced by an aluminium tank. From 1981 to 1985 the latter was even polished.
All things considered, the buyer of a Yamaha type XT500 got an excellent touring bike for his money. The frame, engine and the electrical system, too, were reliable and well made. The bike could be used without problems on the road as well as off it. In its day, the XT was one of the best selling motor bikes in Europe and enjoys great popularity even by today's crowds.
Pictured here is a beautiful 1:12 scale diecast replica of a 1981 Yamaha XT500 motorcycle in white. Comes in a handsome presentation case.
Length: 7.5 inches
Height: 3 inches
Release Date: January 2015
Historical Account: "Rollout" - The first XT500 was shown at the US dealer convention in September 1975. Europeans had to wait till the summer of 1976 before they could press their boots against the heavy kick-starter.
The XT500 was an instant success and was produced until 1990. It laid the ground for the later range of XT bikes ranging from 125 cc (XT125) to 750 (XTZ750) and contributed largely to Yamaha's image.
The XT proved its performance and reliability by winning the first big African rallies, which were on the rise in the late seventies. It started with Paris-Abidjan-Nice and then the godfather of all rallies, the famous Paris-Dakar, which confirmed the supremacy of the XT500. In France alone 62,000 XT500's were sold from 1976 to 1990.