In 1978/79 the Yamaha HL 500 gave a four-stroke interlude in cross-sport dominated by two-stroke engines.
Lightweight construction, stability and great workmanship …
… which, in contrast to the Reiger dampers used here, had no adjustment options.
Original Ohlins or 1979 DeCarbon struts were installed, …
The duplex drum brake was not standard at the time, but was retrofitted to this model. It only came to the two-stroke engine a year later.
Retrofitting a deflector on the pinion was a very recommendable measure.
The HL engine is largely identical to the XT 500 engine. Other camshafts, in combination with a .38 Mikuni and the open exhaust system, should provide 38 hp peak power.
Intact motor housings are seldom found: The large distance between the pinion and the swing arm bearing required a large amount of chain slack. Because of this, and because of the bad leadership, the chain often came off.
That was not generous in relation to the half-liter two-stroke engines, so almost all HL pilots tuned their engines with larger displacements. For the "Factory machine" a three-valve head was even designed at the end of 1977.
Like all air-cooled crossers, the HL is extremely slim.
The wheels, fork, tank and seat as well as many small parts come from the Yamaha spare parts warehouse for the YZ two-stroke engines.
Japanese series parts completed the HL frames manufactured by Curtis and Norton in England.
The Japanese had a total of 400 pieces assembled in Europe.
… distinguish the Yamaha HL 500 everywhere.
Gert Tholes Yamaha XT and HL 500
"When I saw the first photos of the XT 500 in MOTORRAD at the beginning of 1976, it was immediately clear: that one and no other."
I.Back then, I learned the reports by heart and scraped together every penny as a student, only to get hold of one of the first officially offered machines in Germany in the spring of 1977.
Buy complete article
Gert Tholes Yamaha XT and HL 500
The XT was awesome: 500 cc four-stroke, but with reliable Japanese technology, a robust off-road machine – and it just looked fantastic. Right at the beginning there was a moment of shock: at a traffic light the front wheel jerked up, I did an impressive wheelie across the intersection. Looked cool, but was completely out of control. Okay, well gone, backflip avoided, I was impressed by this sheer violence.
From today’s point of view, of course, you judge it differently, but back then the XT with its high-torque two-valve engine was something very special. I immediately wrapped my XT around the terrain: rough Metzeler Six Days, long Bilstein dampers, Tweesmann exhaust, plastic fenders; superfluous nonsense went in the bin.
Already at the end of 1977 the XT was pretty much overworked in off-road use, I switched to the Crosser HL 500. I raced with it for a few years. And I have remained loyal to HL to this day. Every now and then she still gets a run, in September the steam hammer will be allowed to shoot out of its megaphone again at the Classic Cross in Wietstock.
Endurance test Yamaha YZ 400 F
Endurance test Yamaha YZ 400 F Happy end? At the beginning there was a lot of skepticism: 12,000 revolutions, 50 HP power, and a fragile-looking…
Impression: Yamaha HL 500 Time Machine MOTORRAD editor Gert Thole, 46, dared a journey into his own past: almost 25 years after his racing debut, he…
Photo: Duke 8th photos Frank Herzog 1/8 Impressions: Yamaha RD 350 YPVS. Frank Herzog 2/8 Impressions: Yamaha RD 350 YPVS. Frank Herzog 3/8 Impressions:…
Jahn Cult bike Yamaha RD 350 LC Yamaha RD 350 LC The two-stroke theme was through forever. Exhaust gas, noise, yes, yes, it’s okay, must be. Then at the…
Driving report Yamaha YZ 450 F-YZ 250 F
Driving report Yamaha YZ 450 F / YZ 250 F Harvest time For years they had plowed the four-stroke soil, sown it carefully, tended it with love. Now Yamaha…
Siemers Cult bike: Yamaha XS 500 Yamaha XS 500 There was neither internet nor mobile phone, there weren’t even any standard street four-valve engines….
Driving report Yamaha YZ 400 F
Driving report Yamaha YZ 400 F Menopause Times are changing: Small four-stroke crossers will come and really heat up the sedate steam hammers like the…
On the road with the BMW K 75, Triumph Trident T150 and Yamaha XS 750
fact 34 photos www.factstudio.de 1/34 Picture gallery, On the move: BMW K 75, Triumph Trident T150, Yamaha XS 750. www.factstudio.de 2/34 If you are into…
Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory and Yamaha MT-10 SP in the comparison test
www.factstudio.de 17th photos fact 1/17 Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory and Yamaha MT-10 SP are two naked bikes based on a super sports motorcycle. fact…
Secret projects from MV Agusta, Yamaha and KTM
Drawing: force Secret projects from MV Agusta, Yamaha and KTM Radically new The following innovations from MV Agusta, Yamaha and KTM represent a…