Complete details for Yamaha RD500

Yamaha RD500 Specifications and Pros and Cons

Complete details for Yamaha RD500

Yamaha RD500 Specifications

Engine2-stroke, V4, liquid-cooled
Displacement499 cc (4x 125cc cylinders)
Bore x Stroke56 mm x 50.6 mm
Compression Ratio6.2:1
Power80 hp @ 9,500 rpm
Torque68 Nm @ 8,500 rpm
Ignition SystemCDI (Capacitor Discharge Ignition)
Fuel System4x Mikuni carburetors
Transmission6-speed constant mesh gearbox
Gear Ratios1st: 2.500, 2nd: 1.647, 3rd: 1.333, 4th: 1.111, 5th: 0.961, 6th: 0.851
Front SuspensionTelescopic forks with anti-dive
Rear SuspensionMonoshock with adjustable preload
Front BrakeDual discs with twin-piston calipers
Rear BrakeSingle disc with twin-piston caliper
Wheelbase1,420 mm (55.9 inches)
Weight195 kg (430 lbs)
Top SpeedApprox. 135 mph (217 km/h)

The Yamaha RD500 was a high-performance 2-stroke motorcycle known for its V4 engine configuration, liquid-cooling, and impressive power output.

Yamaha RD500 Additional Specifications

  • Oil Type: 2-stroke motorcycle oil (typically synthetic or mineral-based)
  • Oil Capacity: Approximately 4.0 liters (around 4.2 US quarts) when changing oil and filter.
  • Gear Ratios:
    • 1st: 2.500
    • 2nd: 1.647
    • 3rd: 1.333
    • 4th: 1.111
    • 5th: 0.961
    • 6th: 0.851
  • Horsepower (BHP): 80 hp @ 9,500 rpm
  • Torque: 68 Nm @ 8,500 rpm
  • Compression Ratio: 6.2:1
  • Ignition System: Capacitor Discharge Ignition (CDI)
  • Fuel System: 4x Mikuni carburetors
  • Transmission: 6-speed constant mesh gearbox
  • Front Suspension: Telescopic forks with anti-dive
  • Rear Suspension: Monoshock with adjustable preload
  • Front Brake: Dual discs with twin-piston calipers
  • Rear Brake: Single disc with twin-piston caliper
  • Wheelbase: 1,420 mm (55.9 inches)
  • Weight: 195 kg (430 lbs)
  • Top Speed: Approximately 135 mph (217 km/h)

These specifications provide additional technical details regarding the oil capacity and type, gear ratios, and various performance aspects of the Yamaha RD500, a notable high-performance 2-stroke motorcycle.


  1. Powerful Engine: The 2-stroke V4 engine delivers impressive power output, offering thrilling performance.
  2. Innovative Design: Utilizing a V4 configuration in a 2-stroke motorcycle was cutting-edge and unique at the time.
  3. High Performance: Known for its exceptional speed and acceleration, making it a beast on the road or track.
  4. Handling: Agile and responsive handling, allowing riders to maneuver effectively.
  5. Distinctive Sound: The distinctive sound of the 2-stroke V4 engine is a significant appeal for enthusiasts.


  1. Maintenance Intensive: Like most 2-stroke engines, it requires frequent maintenance, including oil and spark plug changes.
  2. Fuel Consumption: 2-stroke engines are generally thirstier compared to 4-strokes, impacting fuel efficiency.
  3. Weight: Weighing in at 195 kg (430 lbs), it’s relatively heavy for a sportbike, affecting agility in some situations.
  4. Heat Management: The liquid-cooled system can generate significant heat, affecting rider comfort in certain conditions.
  5. Availability: Being a classic bike, finding parts and qualified mechanics might be challenging.

The Yamaha RD500 offered exhilarating performance and innovative engineering but had trade-offs in terms of maintenance, weight, and availability of parts due to its age and unique design, which could be factors for prospective buyers or riders to consider.

The Yamaha RD500 was a significant leap forward in terms of technology and performance compared to its predecessors, particularly the RD series. Here’s a comparison between the RD500 and previous RD models like the RD350 and RD400:

Yamaha RD500 vs. RD350/RD400:


  • RD500: 2-stroke V4, liquid-cooled, 499cc.
  • RD350/RD400: 2-stroke parallel-twin, air-cooled, 347cc (RD350) / 398cc (RD400).


  • RD500: Approximately 80 horsepower.
  • RD350/RD400: Around 39-44 horsepower.


  • RD500: Featured advanced technology for its time with a liquid-cooled V4 configuration and anti-dive front suspension.
  • RD350/RD400: Utilized more traditional air-cooled engines and standard suspension systems.


  • RD500: Weighed approximately 195 kg (430 lbs).
  • RD350/RD400: Typically lighter than the RD500, with the RD350 at around 150-155 kg (330-342 lbs) and the RD400 at 164 kg (362 lbs).


  • RD500: Exceptional speed and acceleration, boasting top speeds of around 135 mph (217 km/h).
  • RD350/RD400: Known for their agility and spirited performance, with top speeds varying between 105-110 mph (169-177 km/h).

Design and Innovation:

  • RD500: Innovative with its V4 engine layout and liquid-cooling, setting a benchmark in motorcycle engineering.
  • RD350/RD400: Followed a more traditional design with air-cooled parallel-twin engines, typical of bikes of that era.

The RD500 represented a significant advancement in technology and performance compared to the earlier RD350 and RD400 models. Its V4 engine, liquid-cooling, and overall design pushed the boundaries of motorcycle engineering, offering exceptional power and speed while introducing innovative features for its time.

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