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My new bike: SR500 :-)

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by mattb, May 29, 2007.

  1. #1 mattb, May 29, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    Hi all, I thought I’d introduce my new baby. As I have mentioned elsewhere, the beloved GT550 blew up (and is awaiting a new engine when I can get one cheap). So I got myself a decent loan to get some wheels which would last me, and which I would want and be able to keep for a long time….

    As some will know, I owned an Yamaha SR185 for a year. I loved that bike - still do - so much so that I was prepared to go to the trouble of buying the new bike off Ebay from Adelaide (though I had made contact with the fellow previously on another forum), and it arrived by truck yesterday: a ’78 SR500. A real looker! Black, with a vintage British style exhaust fitted and an old Triumph back end, and a generally lean tough 60’s style. Through that nice low and loud exhaust it pulsates with a heavy thump that has a very tough presence at speed! Being a (complicated) kick start only, starting is meant to be a chore, but this starts first or second kick (though I’ve stalled it once and it took some patient effort to start again – when I got it going I did a u-turn back to the intersection where it had stalled, and it did it again! Else-wise it’s behaved itself). I absolutely love this bike: the feeling of kicking it into life, the way it pulls away, the sound it gives as it does that, the way it feels as it idles, the mechanical simplicity from both the visual as well as the somewhat actual dimensions, and overall the way it looks as a whole. My taste in bikes is broad but includes especially a love of both vintage British bikes and the 60’s ton up / café racer scene, and this bike is a great way to reach for the aesthetics of these on a budget. The engine is reportedly 7000km old (complianced import), so I hope it will last for a long time to come. It was a bit of a risk, buying this old bike to be my only transport, but then you only live once, my daily work and study commutes are a walk away, and you gotta take risks when it comes to living out your passions.

    Thanks to Cuvy and the others who offered to check out a bike which I was, before I got this at a price I really didn't expect, looking to buy from a shop in Brisbane – that generosity is an example of what I love about Netrider.

    I'd love to hear from other SR500 riders on the forum.

    Here's a video of it by the guy who sold it to me:

    Here's a review of the bike:
    http://skjeltorp.no/sr500/Yamaha SR500E.htm

  2. You said it right.....Congrats mattb.
  3. Awesome choice mate! now! time to turn her into a cafe racer! :cool: cool, you owned an sr185? me to!
  4. you sound as happy as one can be with a new bike. good one matt!
  5. :worthlesspics:

    Lucky you for finding a mint one, I'd buy one if I could.
  6. I like it a lot. That's what a motorbike should look like! Now Cafe racer time :cool:
  7. congrats matt...looks like she is in real good nick :)
  8. Talk to Chairman (Mark); he knows all there is to know about SR-500s :wink:.
  9. Congrats on the new bike, seems like a good find. You might find this website of interest:
    Lot's of goodies for sale there that should keep you interested in the bike, and broke.
  10. OK now I want a cafe racer, jeez I wonder if you could make one relaible enough for everyday transport? :cool:
  11. The SR400 still sold new in Japan is designed and sold as exactly that - a cheap, reliable, everyday commuter. Changing a few cosmetic features shouldn't change that. Really hope the rumour that Yamaha is going to start selling SR400s new here in Oz is true.
  12. Get in touch with the Chairman ASAP. The man's had to rebuild the carby in his SR500 by the side of the road more than once and has turned his into a hand built, and I mean by his own hands, cafe racer. So if you want to know anything about SR500s he's a great source of information.
  13. I owned an 78 SR500! A red one. I so regret selling it. Had the best times with it - such a fun bike. Always wanted to do the cafe racer thing with it - but could never afford to. When I bought it, the bike shop refused to sell it to me until I proved to them I could kick it over. It took me a while but I finally did it. I used to think I was so cool. Heaps of guys would offer to kickstart my bike for me - but they could never do it. They had to slink away all embarrassed - then I would walk over and start it first go. heh heh.

    I miss my SR....But it used to break down heaps too....and lots of tank slappers when it went over the bumps, and vibrated so much everything fell off it. Got a very reliable and sensible xj600 now, very stable, very sedate, but not even half the fun.

    I am really jealous.
  14. Hi Matt,

    They are great bikes, congratulations on your new steed. Regards contact with SR500 owners they have a Melbourne based club with an active membership. They hold a rally at Bethanga every year, which is usually good fun. Their web site is:


  15. BSA stickers on the tank?
  16. Thanks for the congrats all.

    I was going to go for cafe racer, but I think I might just go as far as a flat bar and clip on mirrors for the time being (the current mirrors keep shaking off, anyway!) - I like the vintage feel and look as it is in the flesh. I'll also remove the BSA stickers, even if they look good - the SR has no need to pretend to be something it's not. I was toying with making a sticker - THUMPER - in the style if the old TRIUMPH logo, but given there's no brand stamped clearly on the bike, I might just leave it. My partner's SR, however, is going through a cafe conversion as we speak. The bikini fairing just arrived, and I'm picking up black paints on the weekend, checking the wreckers for chrome mudguards and small indicators, and trying to talk her into flat bars. We're going to be our own little contingent to Bethanga.

    I've PM'd Chairman, and he gave me some advice when I first started looking for one. I've already got some technical questions for him :grin: As well as that club, there's also a great forum with Aussies being the most active members: http://sr500forum.proboards38.com/ and which includes at least one Netrider: Marlon.

    Here's some pages of great SR's cafe raced:

    I'm stoked :cool:

  17. Oh, one more thing - just after I bought the bike, I came across a $2000 XBR500 in Melbourne, approx 55,000kms, with RWC, in Melbourne (inner east), and very poorly advertised such that I expect it's still for sale. PM me if anybody's interested and I'll pass on the fellow's phone number - they're hard to find down here.