Additional photos of this Yamaha HL500 are available here for your perusal.
Yamaha’s XT500 was never supposed to be a race bike – Yamaha specifically designed it for the American market as a dual-sport. But Torsten Hallman (4x World MX Champion) and Sten Lundin (2x World MX Champion) of Sweden were excited by the possibility of the 499cc Yamaha engine and thought it could become the heart of a champion.
The history of this fascinating machine is well told by PulpMX, but Hallman and Lundin (where the “HL” of HL500 comes from) sourced an XT500 that had been exported from America, yanked out the motor, and then customized a Husqvarna MX frame to house the Japanese thumper. They had ProFab build a custom frame based on the measurements of the modified Husky unit, and then they went racing.
The end result was quite impressive – it weighed 247 pounds (61 less than the stock XT500) and offered 11″ of suspension travel. Even better, Hallman and Lundin were able to boost output of the Yamaha engine from 30 horsepower to over 50 in race form.
Although Yamaha was skeptical at first, when the HL500 was used for the 1977 Motocross MX Grand Prix season with Bengt Aberg as a pilot, the company benefited from great visibility and publicity for the 500cc engine. Aberg managed to take its 4-stroke engine bike to 9th overall by the end of the season and even won the Luxembourg GP. From there, the HL received the nickname of “Aberg Yamaha”. Following this success, in 1978 and 1979 Yamaha Great Britain produced about 400 HL500 race replicas utilizing a combination of XT and YZ parts – the front forks, wheel, and brakes were all from the YZ400 MX bike.
This example (VIN: 1T100123K, Engine #: 1T1101038) is #123 out of the 200 bikes built in 1978. The seller acquired it one year ago from a collector in France who used to race it but had to retire due to back pain.
The seller (a dealer who has previously sold a Laverda Jota here on Iconic) then rebuilt it and is now looking to find it a new home. His rebuild included:
– connecting rod
– oil lines
“The 500 TT engine is tuned with a big bore piston kit and a Mikuni carb.”
– fork rebuild
– shocks rebuild by OHLINS specialist
– paint and decals
– front/rear mudguards
– air filter
– chain + sprockets
There is no odometer, true mileage is unknown. The seller states that there is just one mile since the work was performed.
The seller states that there are no cosmetic blemishes.
Per the seller, “this bike has been authenticate by Torsten Hallman himself.”
Currently located in Ivry-sur-Seine, France, this Yamaha is offered on a Bill of Sale only. Have any HL500 stories or questions about this listing? Let us know in the “Comments” tab!