Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Yamaha Tech

Yamaha Tech Originally the Yamaha XT600 Tech Forum, due to demand it now includes all Yamaha's technical / mechanical / repair / preparation questions.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 31 Dec 2005
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Springbrook, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 6
what is a fair price to pay for an '81 XT500

I know nothing about this model and am wondering what is a fair price to pay for an '81 XT500 with 24K km. It starts and runs well and looks good.

Jeeps, motorcycles, fly
fishing and cold ...life is
Jeeps, motorcycles, fly
fishing and cold ...life is
Reply With Quote
Old 31 Dec 2005
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: May 2005
Location: belgium
Posts: 54
Depends on many things. When the motorcycle is total original and in good condition, a collecter may pay 1500 to 1800 euros. But for a non-collecter who wants to have a good ride, I think a price near 1000 euros is reasenable.
Reply With Quote
Old 31 Dec 2005
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: May 2002
Location: London, UK
Posts: 638
they were worth far more than that 3 years ago. in original condition, they were about 2000 pounds or 3000 euro in 2002. with Hubert setting up his nostalgia Dakar, they'll soar!! if they're only 1500 euro, can you get me a couple?
Reply With Quote
Old 1 Jan 2006
simmo's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: melbourne
Posts: 557
Its a 25yr old XT 500..about 50 dollars! no really the ones with the chromed tank in really excellent or restored condition go between 1500-2500 AUD. The rough ones are free. The TT looks better but is unregisterable here.
Close to Antarctica and a long way from reality
Reply With Quote
Old 1 Jan 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: May 2002
Location: London, UK
Posts: 638
I thought the same, Simmo, but a friend asked me what his was worth with rust, ripped seat, lots of smoke. I said 300 quid, but he got 1000 pounds from someone planning to restore it and sell it for 2000!
Reply With Quote
Old 1 Jan 2006
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: montana usa
Posts: 526
Check on ebay and craigslist.com. If you are buying a bike to ride around, great bike. But remember the XT weighs a lot for actual trail riding. Check the motor to see that it does not smoke when starting or after it is started when you blip the throttle. If you see smoke this usaly indicates worn cylinder bore. We just did one and the bill was $600US by the time we got done. We have a low mileage Xl350 about 76 vintage and it will be sold for about $1500US.
Reply With Quote
Old 18 Aug 2008
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: California
Posts: 5
What you can expect to pay for an XT500 in 2008

These have always been very popular, very poorly treated motorcycles, so the condition determines the price. Not the mileage. I have one and I think it is great. They have enough ‘personality’ to be your favorite bike. They cost more than the same technically capable bikes go for and can even fetch a lot more money than a much better bike.

Excellent as new shape: $5000 to $8000.
Good running and maybe one very small ding in the tank: $1800 to $3000.
Beaten and battered that runs well: $600 to $1200.
Not running, modified, parts missing: $350 to $600.

The best bikes tend to be from places where they are garaged in winter (Illinois, Ohio, etc.) The ‘sun states’ –Texas, California, and especially Arizona is where the cheap bikes are that have been left outside for 20 years, in the hot summer sun and rust creating winter rain.

The condition of the tank tells all. The tanks are polished aluminum with decals, and some painted parts. The tanks alone are worth $500 to $1000 in as new condition. I have seen one go for $1400 on ebay. Unreal. Since it was very popular to replace the very small stock tank with a larger aftermarket tank, there are quite a few, very good condition tanks people find on their shelves that end up for sale on ebay.

The (steel) rear fender also expensive $50 for a dented and rusted one, and $200 for a perfect one.

Engines are cheap. A whole engine goes for $100 to $200, and weighs about 100 pounds so shipping it is about $100 USD around the USA.

The weak link for the 1981 models (6 V alternator/ CDI versions) is the CDI coil epoxied into the alternator coils. These ‘stators’ go for $200, which is coincidently the cost of having them rewound by RM Stator in Canada.

A crankshaft, with rod, goes for about $100.

Gears and gear sets are cheap, they rarely break.

Frames are about $100 to $200 plus shipping. Pretty cheap.

Forks including top and bottom triple clamps are about $20. Cheap.

Original wheels with aluminum rims are about $40 to $80 each (front or rear).

The engine drive-chain guard seems to be increasing in price daily. A year ago you could get one for $20. Today it would more likely $50 or $70.

Carburetors are about $40 to $80. Since tuning the carbs was/is very popular, you will not probably have the stock jets. The complete carb-kit, except the accelerator pump diaphragms is about $24. And this will fix your leaking overflow carb bowl too, since about half of these leak at this age. They leak only with the engine running, from the vibration causing the seal bounce off its seat.

Seat covers that staple on the plastic seat pan (will not rust with age) are about $30.

One of the most sought after parts is the guard for the off-road only, TT500, headlight. This one little part goes for $150 and up.

The XT500 was manufactured from 1976 to 1989. It was sold in the US from 1976 to 1981 (1980 – 1981 US models are CDI), and it was sold in France and Germany until 1989. Its street version, the SR500 is still manufactured and sold in Japan in 2008 (as a smaller SR400 –for tax reasons), and celebrates 30 years of production.

For any level of wear and tear, used XT500 have starting to stop falling in price and starting to rise in price as a ‘classic’.

Expect to pay about $2500 for a (good condition for a 20 to 30 year old) bike. They were about $1500 new in 1978.
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events


Latvia to Australia, an inspirational 5 month journey full of unexpected adventures!

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.


Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 22:04.