SELLER SAYS: 1982 Honda XL500R for sale. 31,900km. Classic thumper on full registration. Recent works include top end rebuild, new YSS rear shock, new front fork springs and seals, new cables, new tyres and more. Showing its age but running very well. Contact James on 0428 601 725 (Darlington, Perth WA)

EDITOR TERLICK SAYS: When I was in my late teens, big air-cooled Japanese four-stroke singles were the closest thing we had to adventure bikes. Honda’s XL500 and Yamaha’s XT500 were the dominant big trail bikes of the time, back before they got bogged down with electric starters and radiators and extra cylinders and fairings and hand guards and such. The old thumpers could be loaded up with a heap of gear, and a pillion if you wished, for heading off into the sunset. We often used them off-road — and I mean quite serious off-road. Some folks (braver than I) even used them for motocross. They were a hoot on the beach, and you could get them up on their back wheel and keep them there until the sun went down and you needed the headlight on the road. They were tough as nails, utterly reliable, and you could service them with a hammer. Well, almost. Looking back, they really were brilliant machines — all-rounders in the true sense of the word, competent to do anything short of road racing — and I’m sure someone could tell me they raced them on the tarmac somewhere! Of course, we rode most of them into the ground so nice clean examples like this one of James’ are extremely hard to find. A thoroughly competent machine to ride to work Monday-to-Friday and then play on the weekend, or spend a little time and energy restoring it for the man-cave. Great stuff.

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The Postman