25 years of the Yamaha SR 500 – exit

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25 years of the Yamaha SR 500 - exit


25 years of the Yamaha SR 500 – exit

25 years of the Yamaha SR 500 – exit
The riding iron

The spartan Yamaha SR 500 started its success story 25 years ago. MOTORRAD has started the classic again for a nostalgic ride.

Werner Koch


Starting makes a clammy feeling.

Still. What if not? Then it starts, fiddling with the candle wrench and laboriously pushing it, in the hope that the single will show his mercy. The individual steps of the ritual are branded in to this day. Ignition on, choke, the piston maneuvered a few millimeters above top dead center, of course without staring into the camshaft window, then the lively kick ?? putt, putt, putt ?? made. Until then, the helmet dangles from the elbow, the leather jacket from the handlebars, you never know. And while the rider gets into the dress, the single uses the time to press the oil into the most remote corners in stable idling.

That was not always so. If the ignition and mixture were not in perfect harmony, the idiosyncratic Yamaha stew simply cranked it backwards when it failed to start, with the result that the kickstarter lever, which was extremely solidly constructed for good reason, slammed mercilessly against the shin. She has countless blue ankles, even broken ankles SR 500 on the conscience. And the legend that lightweight SR girls were thrown onto the garage roof via Kickstarter persists to this day.

Just like the myth of extremely strong torque and the fabulous single-cylinder pull-through. Papperlapapp, nothing of that was noticeable in 1978, and that is still the case today. Only today can one write s without delusion, without being ostracized as a traitor by the single-cylinder faction. Where should it come from, please?

The two-valve engine, simply and logically structured, no frills and no frills, the classic combustion engine in the four-stroke process. But far from the performance-oriented power plant. Yamaha even did without a balance shaft. Vibrations ole! Anyone who bothered about it was on the wrong boat. The bottom line was that the SR engine was not a big hit, because it lacked the really big thump below and the liveliness above. Which in the heyday of SR culture meant that the market was flooded with lots of tuning parts. More or less efficiently, only a few artists in the tuning scene taught the SR engine tangible manners that gave the single massive wings and strengthened belief in the highly praised single-cylinder virtues. But it just stayed out of the box Yamaha SR 500, like so much in life, tends to be caught in the sphere of the mediocre.

At least in terms of sheer power. Because when it comes to emotions, the SR 500 was on the road to success from day one. Ironically, at a time that demanded more and more power, more displacement, more speed? the 100 hp sound barrier had already been rolled down ??, the SR stood for the purists of the scene like a solid rock. All those who dreamed of the Spartan driving machine found their thing in the Yamaha, which at the time cost around 4,500 marks.

And today? Stick with it. Admittedly, it takes a few kilometers to get back to the ground of the SR from the perfection and power of current bikes. But it works if access to the original is not completely blocked.

The relationship makes the difference, mountains become easy, flat stages, a twist of the throttle, and horse and rider are already floating over the mountain ranges of the Swabian Alb, which the rider had trodden up on a mountain bike a few days earlier. With burning thighs and pounding heart, he had consciously endured every half a degree of incline, now rock formations and landscapes whiz past in flight, and a moment later the world is at your feet. Seen in this way, the 34 HP of the SR 500 open up undreamt-of perspectives for people: because they move.

The chassis, like the engine incarnation of the pure doctrine of the classic motorcycle, is good enough for a hike through the big or small world. Especially since the rider had to painfully experience the realization at a young age that it is not speed but saddle strength that is the measure of all things. Do bumps and rag carpets bring the horse out of its trot? brrrrr, you just tighten the reins. Finally, the SR 500 also has it
about the glorious invention of the infinitely variable throttle grip, which is simply turned off when things get tough. Heroism is out of place on the SR 500, especially since sparking notches and even more exposed metal slow down the hero. And so is the experience
SR 500 doesn’t work for everyone. Certainly also related to the fact that the charisma of the single-cylinder today is more like a sentimental backward flip. Earlier, yeah earlier…
And why do you have at Yamaha
not preserved this feeling for the present? Because the possibilities of saving the classic into modern times proved extremely limited.
Regulated and tied up to
Silent and powerless 23 HP engine, 1999 put an end to the SR legend.
What if Yamaha had completely renovated the single? With a four-valve head, efficient air / oil cooling, so as not to tilt the cooling fin optics and still design a thermally healthy unit with a promising future? The whole thing in a chic, lightweight tube-
Transplanted frame, with a classic, sporty outfit à la Norton Manx or Matchless G 50?
Or a bit wilder, as a roadworthy dirt track cracker based on the American model. With mighty double-tube trumpets halfway up, Spartan seat and drop tank.
The problem with this: All the effort and costs would in all likelihood have resulted in a completely unprofitable number of pieces. Because the decline of the street singles could no longer be stopped from the mid-1990s, with a few exceptions. In between
a celebrated star and actually signed sales contracts are sometimes worlds apart. The Italian technicians from the active development company Belgarda also had to accept this, who failed miserably with the nice, but over-lavishly dressed SZR 660.
Logically, with one Yamaha SR 500 looks a little different. A whole host of loyal single fans are at their feet here. But because there is no refurbished SR version, the nostalgic trip on the thirtieth birthday is sure to be repeated. I’m looking forward to it me already on it.

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