Successor to the legendary XT500, the 550 is relatively rare as it was produced for just two years before being supplanted by the XT600. Despite (or maybe because of) the low production run, it’s turned into a cult classic for dual-sport enthusiasts that appreciate a bulletproof motor in a package that’s relatively lightweight for the displacement. It also implemented a counterbalancer, 12V electrics, a 4-valve head, and a dual-carb setup that had a few detractors. It’s cheap, it’s reliable, and it’s an absolute wheelie monster.
This heavily-customized XT550 (VIN: JYA5Y1005DA102295) was built to cosmetically emulate the legendary HL500 (check out this story on PulpMX if you’re not familiar with the model), but it’s also got mechanical upgrades such as the longer-travel suspension (front and rear) from a Yamaha IT465, TLS front brake from a Yamaha YZ465, and the tank/seat from a Yamaha TT250.
It runs of a battery eliminator so the headlight and taillight work fine while the engine is running. The automatic compression release makes for easy starting, and it’s said to run well. Known issues include old tires that should be replaced and a missing speedometer cable (true mileage is unknown). Per the seller, “it’s definitely got some character, blobby welds and things that I’d change but without fail it starts easy and runs great even when I haven’t run it for a while.” He recently won a KTM 350 SX-F in a raffle (no, I’m not jealous) and the orange siren demands his attention in the dirt, so he wants this bike to go to someone that will enjoy it more frequently. California buyers will appreciate that this is currently plated in the Golden State.