12th Oct 2023, 14:48

No, most definitely not! The XV 500 with the superior back suspension layout, the monoshock, was only made from '83 to '86. I think Yamaha stopped equipping all XV's with monoshock after that year, and they all, unfortunately in my opinion, became dual shock after that. The monoshock on the 500 has, for instance, 15 mm more suspension travel than the 535's dual shock. A monoshock is, by its nature, also stiffer than a dual shock, and improves handling and steering because of that. It is noteworthy that more Japanese bikes had monoshocks in the beginning of the eighties; Suzuki for instance fitted a monoshock on their nice GR 650 as well.

12th Oct 2023, 15:25

I have a '83 XV 500, which I bought about half a year ago from a nice guy in his seventies, who had bought it himself from the first owner, a woman, who apparently hadn't ridden it for about twenty years due to health issues.

When I bought it, it didn't run properly, because of petrol that had leaked into the engine, and mixed with the oil. I had it repaired by the best motorcycle mechanic in my home town, and am now riding it to full satisfaction.

I heightened the saddle quite substantially, some 20 cm, because of knee and back issues. I also put GIVI Monokey side cases and a top case on it.

In my opinion this motorcycle is underrated. It has got the most wonderful aircooled v twin engine that's ever been produced, in my opinion. The cylinders look a lot like those on the SR 250 of the beginning of the eighties, which were known for their good pick up and very broad powerband. The 500 shares these qualities, with very few annoying revs as a bonus! A Cycleworld test from '83 mentions the fact that it, though it has almost 20 hp less than Yamaha's 550 Vision, even accelerates faster in top gear from 40 to 60 mph! It is also quite nippy, and does the quarter mile in 13,7 seconds, while the very similar Honda VT 500 C does the same in 14.5 seconds.

I have ridden it quite a lot with a pillion, and have found the rear suspension lacking when doing so, so I will replace the rear shock with one from a XV 750. I also want to fabricate a new fuel tank, as I consider the standard one too small. I also intend to make bigger new front and rear fenders, in a style that fits the cast wheels. I want to make it art deco, as that's the style I like most.

I regret the fact that it doesn't have a six speed gearbox, like the Honda, as this would bring the revs down when cruising on the highway, and with this the fuel consumption, which is quite reasonable, by the way.

All in all I really love my XV. My first bike, some 30 years ago, was an XV 920J, which I have ridden for about 15 years. Lovely bike, but I like the 500 even more. Less vibrations, even easier steering, much lower fuel consumption and almost as fast. I think the XV 500 must be one of the most underrated bikes of all time. I just love it!

17th Nov 2023, 05:35

I have been having carb issues as well, and I’m thinking of throwing a set of Mikuni Flatslides on. They’re cheap, easy to work on, and parts are easily sourced almost anywhere.