2020 Shannons Spring Timed Online Auction

1978 Yamaha SR500 Motorcycle





Engine Single-cylinder, 499cc
Gearbox 5-speed manual
Colour Black


This lot is no longer available

A relative latecomer to the motorcycle market, Yamaha’s first model – the YA-1 – was launched in 1955 and the company quickly established itself through competition success, both at home and abroad.  Launched in 1978 in two guises, the SR500 and domestic market only shorter stroke SR400 were basically road-going versions of the XT500 thumper styled after the XS650 twin, inspired by the typical British singles of the era.  Built in both US and European versions, the former had disc brakes front and rear whereas the latter made do with rear drums and tubeless tyres.  The four-stroke SOHC engine had a bore and strok of 87mm by 84mm for a total output of 31.5 horsepower at 6,500 rpm, mounted in a half-duplex cradle frame.  For ease of use Yamaha added electronic ignition and a compression release lever to make kick starting easier and the SR quickly gained a reputation for being a comfortable, rider-friendly bike.  Taking out the Moto of the Year awar from Germany magazine Motorrad two years in a row, the SR500 found a ready market in Europe and the USA but sales in Australia were initially slow before we too came round to the virtues of a old school thumper.  A strong seller over many years, these legendary bikes enjoy a loyal fan base and even a dedicated one-model club here in Australia.