Cbake777 wrote in message
>Does anyone have any info on this bike. I have a friend that is in
>this bike and he would like to know a little about it (i.e. when were
>produced? 2 or 4 stroke etc).
DT500? I've heard of a DT400 (2-stroke), TT/XT500 (4-stroke). I
don't think there ever was a DT500
but I've been known to be wrong.....
For some reason I keep thinking there was an "Enduro 500" one year that was
actually a 360..
My memory has holes in it that you can race speedway in though.
Captain:" Team High-Side"
Well, I hope he doesn't have one, but... there WAS a Yamaha SC-500 MX bike.
I know this because I actually raced one and MAY be the only known survivor.
It was twin-shocked, high piped, silver tanked (with black accent stripes),
fast as ****, peaky and obstinate. It would detonate BADLY when rolling off
the throttle. I've backed off on the face of a killer jump (considering the
3.5" rear wheel travel) only to have it detonate and stand straight up...
for a LONG time. Let me tell you young'uns about detonation. I'm not talking
about a couple of little "pings" like your modern breast-fed CR-250 would do
when it tries to spit up some of its precious $6.00/gallon race fuel; I'm
talking mid-battle, death-rattle, kill the cattle, pinch the saddle,
tombstones-in-the-crankcase, ten seconds long hand grenade explosions
accompanied by what felt like a two-fold power increase... and this is with
the throttle off. The end of every straightaway was Russian roulette, with
all chambers full.
I don't know what the SC-500 would run on top-end but there was a sand track
in Augusta, GA that had a front straightaway whose end disappeared into the
distant haze. I could tap the SC completely out in third gear (one tooth
over on the coutershaft sprocket). The 25-foot wide moto-freeway looked like
threading a needle at that speed. I would lap up to 2nd place there... all
because of what the SC did on the front straight. I'll say that if it wasn't
65 mph, then it wasn't far from it. For all I know it was more, but dirt has
a way of warping one's sense of speed. If I wanted to brag about this I
would have done it 25 years ago... the SC would get so fast here that the
motorcycle-crazy Augusta race fans (2-3,000 per race, remember those days?)
would run back from the fence when I came in front of the grandstands. I was
told this by some of my friends that watched from the sidelines. When the SC
rattled and went sideways people jumped to safety. Yes, I said jumped. Once
I saw them do it. I was sideways in the air with my feet off the pegs,
throttle wide open, my entrance trumpeted by the SC-500's tortured mating
call... "RATTLE-CLANK-CLANK", it did it right on the face of a 60mph jump
and pitched me straight up then 90 degrees to the right. I was still young
enough to hold on and think I could save it. I didn't fall, but it was the
God of Abraham and gyroscopic forces that saved me, not skill. I was so
sideways I was looking into the eyes of the idiots at the fence who waited
too late to jump. Fence was clear next time around. I don't want to get too
hyperbolic here but I hear a LOT of young riders (of which I was one when I
rode the SC) talk about how much faster they are now than we were then. Let
me say this about that... there is NOTHING you can do to a modern 250
CRKXYZRM that would allow it to even see the rear fender of one of these
beasts on a long straight. Now triples are a different thing. The Augusta
track was typical sand; the bikes would almost disappear in the scoops and
whoops up the straights, including the front one that I am speaking of. I
touched every 20 feet or so if I got a clear run at it. I never had to use
the SC's 4th gear on any track I raced at, and it's a good thing. I'm not
sure I had the biological ancillary spheroids to go any faster than than the
up-geared SC-500 went in 3rd.
I am looking back and am TRULY glad to still be here. I won't bore you with
the time the throttle stuck open... at the end of a fast straight... heading
for the barb-wire fence... that kept us out of the 15-foot deep ditch...
next to the highway...
If you are interested, I will post a story about a similar incident on a
1971 Yamaha CT-1 MX... yeah, I know... they didn't make a CT-1 MX. Well, I
had one... or pretty close to it.
Let me know if there's any interest and I'll post it. My wife liked the
story, what higher praise?
Ray Crenshaw in SC (USA)
<remove NOSPAM to spam me>
87 Husky 430 Enduro
89 BMW K75s
78 Yamaha DT400
That story reminds me of my 72 Yamaha 360MX.....you know the one with the
on/off switch ......or throttle
When you were done riding that SC-500 I remember you saying
"They don't pay me enough to ride that thing"..............or was that
Kenny Roberts....................Well, it was one of you
83 Yamaha XT550
89 Kawasaki KX250
78 Kawasaki KZ1000
James Ray Crenshaw wrote in message <6gha6d$b...@enews2.newsguy.com>...
>>>DT500? I've heard of a DT400 (2-stroke), TT/XT500 (4-stroke). I
>>>don't think there ever was a DT500
>Well, I hope he doesn't have one, but... there WAS a Yamaha SC-500 MX
****Snip a whole bunch of truths****
Ah yes, Yamaha's Holy Handgernade! The SC-500. I hear they keep the
units still around in cages deep in the basements of demented folks
homes. The CDI
advance curve was a stroke of genius on these bikes! =:-o Piston
James Ray Crenshaw <tbivin...@greenwood.net> wrote in article
> >>DT500? I've heard of a DT400 (2-stroke), TT/XT500 (4-stroke). I
> >>don't think there ever was a DT500
> Well, I hope he doesn't have one, but... there WAS a Yamaha SC-500 MX
Yes sir... I do. I had one of those when they came out. It replaced my CZ
400, badly. The reed-valve 360MX was an open-class bike with no bottom end.
Of course it made up for this failing by having no mid-range either. The
hardest part about riding it was when you needed 15 HP. The 360 didn't have
15 HP. It had about 6 HP up until about 5,000 RPM's, then it suddenly had
Plus, it ate pistons and cylinders like cheesy-poofs.
1973 I believe... it was just before the original Honda Elsinore's. I'll
check my scars for carbon-dating and half-life.
Guys that haven't ridden this old stuff can't really appreciate how
good, easy to ride and maintain the modern stuff really is. And I don't
care which brand of modern bike.
>> Does anyone have any info on this bike. I have a friend that is in reciept of
>> this bike and he would like to know a little about it (i.e. when were they
>> produced? 2 or 4 stroke etc).
>There was a single cylinder 2 stroke that Yamaha made for a couple
>of years in the late seventies or early eighties call the "SC500".
>The initial model was silver grey with some red striping.
>> Chris Baker
The SC stood for "Suicide Club".....monster motor, no suspension. If
you could start it without getting hurt, you could ride it.
DirtCrashr - '97xr400
Rob, you made me howl with laughter... got snot all over the keyboard. Now
I've just GOT to ask this; did you ever put a timing light on an SC-500?
You could watch the timing advance from idle to around 4,000 Rpm's, then all
of a sudden: it went HAYWIRE. The timing actually would jump around all the
way from AFTER top-dead-center and then WAAAAY back to WAAAAY before... it
sometimes covered almost a 90 degree spread on the one I rode. My buddy
(whose name was Buddy) adapted all sorts of gadgets and switches to make the
timing come out right. He had a different setup every week and each one was
"guaranteed to fix it". One week he had installed a Mini-Enduro headlight
switch/horn button combo; said I should crank it on high-beam and race it on
low... or was it the other way around. Oh well, I never could remember back
then either. I also could never tell the difference in how it ran, it just
detonated, oh man, did it detonate. Maybe this was the secret to it's
Owww, gotta go, my knee hurts;
Dave, the Yamaha had brakes and the Bultaco had suspension. As I recall, in
those days you had to pick one or the other, then visit the appropriate
This is all your fault Vintage Dave. Some of us were altering our Japanese
equipment to get better handling; I was on the forefront of the
technological onslaught in those days... though unwittingly. And brother, I
can be unwitting. I'm gonna post this story, and it's WAAAAAY too long.
And the Angels Sang
Kenny Roberts had it, Freddie Spencer had it too, I’ve seen Joel Robert show
lots of it. What is “it”, you might ask, “Is it the “mojo” or something?” I
don’t know if “it” has ever been properly named, but if you have it… you
know it. No, it won’t make you an instant world champion, but it will enable
you to get into the fat part of the learning curve quickly. “It” is a sixth
sense dedicated solely to what the bike is doing, and also what it might be
able to do. It’s a feeling of control that takes its cues only from an
internal slow-motion camera and not from the brain’s “oh-no!” receptors.
“It” allows you to keep assessing a "no-hope" situation while continuing to
initiate solutions, even after the rest of the brain closes up shop and
boards the windows. Freddie Spencer once talked about a strange experience
he had while practicing just before a race. He was thinking about how fast
he could enter the next turn and get away with it when, “Boom!” that instant
of brain fade had caused him to hold the throttle on WAY too long into the
curve. He knew it was over but decided to try and ride it out. Both tires
left big, angry black marks as he continued around the turn, on the gas!
Somehow he didn’t fall. This incident became the cornerstone of his racing
career. I never won even a single world championship but I remember a
similar incident a few years back… OK, a lot of years back. Take your
Dramamine before continuing…
Forrest City, NC was the home of Charlie Brown raceway, one of the
fastest-paced, hardest-raced, most danger-laced moto-cross tracks of the
southeast, and in 1971 it was also the site of round one in the first-ever
Southeastern Moto-Cross Championship races. That’s what they were called
anyway, though I don’t remember seeing many folks from Florida or Alabama.
My trusty CT-1 (175 Yamaha Enduro) was nearly worn-out from 14 months of
rolling and tumbling it had sustained. The excessive wear was the CT’s own
fault though, it committed these heinous offenses without me. I could
usually be found meditating (face down) in the middle of the track at the
time of the crime. CT-1’s were obstinate creatures of habit, I fell off mine
the first day I got it and I truly believe that it just learned to fall and
felt a deep need to continue doing so… and it did. In spite of all this, my
boss at the Yamaha shop in Greenwood, South Carolina had offered to loan me
his AT1-MX for the purpose of defending Yamaha’s honor in the big races. As
you might expect, I was excited about riding this bike; it had been over a
year since I’d seen a set of straight handlebars. It also had unbroken
control levers on BOTH sides. I test-rode the AT-1 behind the shop and found
that it took most of a tank of gas before the little 125cc engine could
fight itself up onto its frail, high-strung powerband with me onboard.
Twenty-seven years of life experience since then has hinted to me that the
problem just may have been mass related; I outweighed the Yamaha by a good
20 pounds. At this point the scoreboard stood thusly: Ray-215 (pounds, that
is) and Yamaha-zero. It was looking like the 125 class was out… WAY out.
“Why not put your 175 cylinder on it and try again” someone opined. It was
an absolute stroke (bore?) of genius that worked like a charm! Not only was
I right at home with the power (or lack of it), I soon experienced the added
bonus of riding behind a genuine 21-inch front wheel for the first time in
my life. All Yamaha’s of the day carried 18-incher’s up front and we needed
a 21. We took this precaution so the Ossa riders wouldn’t hurt themselves
laughing at me. Some of you may not remember, but many serious MX accidents
from the early 1970’s started just this way. To have a genuine moto-cross
catastrophe only requires three things, you take a southern boy (me)and put
him on a Japanese dirt-bike… well there’s two of ‘em already.
There were no Yamaha parts from which to build our magic front wheel so we
did what any reasonable factory-trained Yamaha shop would have done… we
sawed the old spokes in two and paid Rudy-the-welder eighteen cents apiece
to braze an inch-an-a-half of welding rod into each one. Don’t laugh, this
potent combo made four complete motos before I finally took the checkers
with the destroyed hub and rim wobbling and throwing sparks while the spokes
tinkled out “Sweet Adeline” against the fork legs. With our secret weapon
21-incher finally completed we were ready for the big show in North
Charlie Brown was one of those typical southeastern tracks, smooth, fast
red-clay with a myriad of switchbacks and high berms which were banked like
Talladega, only harder surfaced. But this track held a deep, dark secret for
Yamaha riders like me; it was located right in the heart of (“Dragnet”
fanfare here)… BULTACO country! Unknown to me at the time was that just
across the state-line in Tennessee, Earl “Squeaky” Richards was shoveling
Bultacos into the southeast at an incredible rate, often more than 300 per
year. Some of you younger whippersnappers may not know it, but there was a
time when having a Bultaco in your class meant that you were racing for
second place if that Bultaco wasn’t under you. My CT-1 ran out of steam at
around 7,000 Rpm’s, which happened to be just about where a good 175 Bultaco
motor woke up. Many were the times that I, while practicing on my 175
Yamaha, would latch onto the tail of a tiny 125 Bul in a tight turn only to
loose 50-feet by the end of a 200-foot straight. Humble pie seasoned with a
little Spanish hot sauce.
While Charlie Brown was mostly 3rd gear (and just a touch of 4th) racing,
there were two places on the track where the little Yamaha would wind
completely to the top in 4th gear; 5th being so tall that the CT-1 would
actually slow down on any surface other than a serious pucker-inducing
downhill. One such “tapped-out” place was up the long front straight-away as
it swept by in front of the grandstands, easy and fun. The other place was
the tricky one. It was one of the many straights which connected all the 180
degree switchbacks in the infield where you got a chance to see the face of
the guy behind you as you met him coming into the same turn that you’d just
left. This particular straight ended with a gentle, (but blind) high-speed
right with a smooth asphalt-like bermed surface. While practicing, it seemed
to me that if you held your mouth just right you should be able to wind 4th
till the angels sang, then lay it over with the throttle still pinned. Not
as difficult as it sounds but it meant holding your breath and closing your
eyes. I was absolutely SURE it could be done. Well, probably could be… OK,
OK; maybe it could be…
I was practicing and trying to work up nerve to do this after already having
assured myself that it was indeed possible... I never took chances. I
finally agreed with myself that the next lap was going to be “do or die”.
“Did I really just say that?” I wondered to myself. I held the throttle on
for an eternity (believe it)... but something was wrong, no angels singing,
in fact, they didn’t even whistle to me this time. I looked ahead and there
it was… a tight 2nd gear hairpin where my gentle sweeper was supposed to be!
Uh-oh…I was lost. I’d thought I was somewhere else on this
sickeningly-serpentine track. It wasn’t simply a matter of running over the
berm either, I was two gears too high and 20 MPH too fast; and that
brick-berm was not gonna give one inch. We’re talking Evel Kneivel time if I
had hit the face of it at that speed. Milliseconds passed and as the turn
inched closer I forgot about Knievel and started thinking more along the
lines of the first lunar-landing that had taken place only two summers
before. Sure, it had looked like fun up there, but how would I get back
home? And what if you couldn’t get double-pepperoni thick-N-cheesy pizza on
the moon? I could starve in a few hours there. I only had time for one
downshift and a smattering of brakes. It must have been the sheer terror of
running up the face of that moonshot-ramp of a berm that made me quickly
abandon the “hit-it-head-on-&-pucker” plan and transition smoothly into an
“act-like-you-did-it-on-purpose” thing. If you’re squeamish about mistreated
equipment you’d better turn the page at this point; you really don’t want to
hear the rest of this. But before you leave just remember, at least it wasn’
t an expensive Rickman Metisse or Eric Cheney-framed special I was about to
sacrifice, just a borrowed 125 Yamaha with my cylinder on it.
All 210 pounds of me (I had been 215 seconds before, you can guess where the
missing 5 pounds went) laid the little Yamaha over so hard I could hear the
spokes singing over the open expansion-chamber’s shrill blare. At the time I
figured it was the spokes, in retrospect I’m pretty sure it was angels
finally singing after all, and they sang “Comin’ For To Carry Me Home”. The
tires flattened out as the spindly frame made a “SKREEWK!” sound (look in
your Spanish dictionary under “Bultaco/seizure” for clarification of this
sound). At the onset of that tortured metal sound every one of Earl Richard’
s Bultaco riders thought they’d just stuck another top-end. Instantly the
high-speed stability of my bike was improved from the 3 extra degrees of
rake I had just dialed into the steering head. I figured that the guy who
purchased the salvage from this awful carnage I was about to initiate would
have to be the one to appreciate the geometry modifications, it didn’t look
much like I was going to make it through the next 5 seconds. I prayed
earnestly, “Lord, just let the corner-workers find enough of me to bury; you
know how sentimental my mama is.” The handlebars stayed tight in their
mounts as the bar ends began to droop from the G’s. Just about then I felt
the upper frame-rails slice through the metal seat-pan under me and again I
looked heavenward, “Just let ‘em find the big pieces Lord, I’m not askin’
for an open casket or anything fancy like that…Oh and Lord, one more thing;
if you have a few extra angels I was wonderin’ if you might send a couple
down here about 150 yards in front of my present location so as to take my
soul before the rest of me hits the ground ‘cause I don’t know if they’ll be
able to find it in the mess I’m about to make.” I began to see previously
un-remembered events of my life run by on my mental movie screen and I
suddenly started feeling real guilty about having looked at Jane Rose’s
panties when she climbed up on her desk in the second grade, which was, as
of 1971, the worst thing I’d ever done. I later raced a Kawasaki 450
moto-crosser with the “Hammer-Head” shocks, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Besides, that was more stupid than sinful.
But all of a sudden I heard the singing! It was angels and it was
unmistakable, it sounded just like when Wanda Waysack had spoken to me in
Algebra class the year before. Instantly I was revitalized with hope and
resolve. I twisted the throttle-cable twice around the right handlebar as
the little AT-1 with the big, mean 175 piston summoned up what little torque
it could muster. Corner-workers were diving for low ground like their
starched-white britches were on fire. Just before the frame snapped the
tires found some traction. I felt soft, winged creatures as they grasped me
under the arms and began to lift me off the tortured AT1. As my considerable
heft left the seat I sensed a subtle change in the Yamaha’s composure. I
knew immediately what it was! I quickly wrestled myself free on my unseen
heavenly helpers and shouted at the top of my lungs… “Get back, I think I
can save it!” “But don’t go too far” I added, hedging my bets.
I was raised on a 1/16th mile dirt-track and nurtured by a Schwinn 20”
Sting-Ray; I could rail a berm before I could eat, and I knew traction when
I felt it. Besides, I just wasn’t ready to go yet, what with the
Southeastern Championships just getting started and all. I charged through
that hard-tack turn like a pheromone-crazed Bull Moose on roller-skates,
which is entirely too accurate an appraisal of the scene now that I think
back on it. I glanced back over my shoulder just in time to see the flames
die out of the new groove I’d just burned into that North Carolina red-clay
berm. Three laps later my hands quit shaking and I tried the same thing
again… including the part about the diving corner-workers. Hot-Dang! I‘d
found myself a new toy! It was gonna be a long, fast summer - and not the
last time I would hear…
the angels sing…
Ray Crenshaw in SC (USA)
<remove NOSPAM to spam me>
> Well, I hope he doesn't have one, but... there WAS a Yamaha SC-500 MX bike.
> I know this because I actually raced one and MAY be the only known survivor.
Where can get one of these beasts...? <g>
The Bultaco dealer were I used to hang out (Unicorn Bultaco, Vista, CA.)
regularly had a slightly used 360 Bandito on the floor for sale. He confided
in me one time that the bike made him more money than any other. Seems he
would sell it to someone who thought they were man enough to hang on; they'd
race it for about 5 or 6 races and then bring it back. Dick would buy it back
for $200 or $300 less than he sold it for, sell them a Pursang, clean up the
Bandito and then wait for the next wanna-be hero to come in. I was just
crazy enough to want the Bandit, sure that I'd be the one to tame it, but lucky
for me my budget only stretched to 125cc.
'79 XR250 (my "new" bike)
Bultaco 350 Alpina M99
Bultaco 250 Pursang Mk7 M120
Bultaco 250 Pursang Mk4 M68