Paul Dorton’s 1975 Yamaha XS500s


Reader Paul Dorton's new Yamaha XS500 back in 1975.

I enjoyed the column on the bike you wish you never sold. I had one of those too. In 1975 I bought a new Yamaha XS500. It was my first brand-new bike. I rode the bike everywhere for about 5 years before I sold it, and regretted it almost immediately. As with many of us, life happened and family and home took priority. A few years ago I started checking online to see if I could find another one. I knew the bike had never been that popular, so I wasn’t that optimistic about finding one, but it didn’t cost anything to look. Then last December I found two of them, one in Oregon and one in Pennsylvania. I wound up buying the Pennsylvania bike and had it shipped to me in Arizona. I’ve included pictures of both my bikes. The first photo is the bike I bought in 1975.

His recent find, another 1975 XS500, bought in Pennsylvania.

The other is the one I have now. I was even able to find the official Yamaha accessory luggage rack and backrest like I had on my original bike and add it to the “new” one. I’ve gone through my new bike and it runs and rides just like my old one. Not only do I enjoy riding it, I’ve had a blast working on it. Thank you for a great magazine and keep up the great work.

Paul Dorton/Mesa, Arizona


10/16/2020 11:04:09 AM

The sad point to watch out for on these otherwise great bikes as they age is the sprocket that is part of the crankshaft for driving the balancer can wear out on one side.

Tom Pemberton
11/28/2019 10:32:09 AM

I here Paul on the XS500 (mine was a TX500). This was an excellent bike, and I put a lot of touring miles on it. I also regretted selling mine. A couple of years back was able to buy a later model (XS500D) and am in the process of restoring that. Lots of challenges due to parts availability problems.

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