Yamaha RD500LC YPVS

Yamaha RD500LC YPVS

The Yamaha RD500LC YPVS is an iconic motorcycle that stands as a testament to Yamaha’s prowess in two-stroke engine technology and its dedication to creating high-performance machines. Here’s a detailed note about this legendary bike:

Yamaha RD500LC YPVS: A Two-Stroke Legend

The Yamaha RD500LC YPVS (Yamaha Power Valve System) is a revered motorcycle that has left an indelible mark on the history of two-stroke sportbikes. Introduced in the mid-1980s, the RD500LC (also known as the RZ500 in some markets) was designed to bring the excitement and performance of Grand Prix racing to the streets.

Design and Aesthetics

The RD500LC’s design draws heavily from Yamaha’s Grand Prix racing machines, particularly the YZR500 that dominated the 500cc World Championship. Its aggressive styling, with a sharp, aerodynamic fairing and a distinctive dual headlight setup, captures the essence of a race bike.

The compact and purposeful design not only enhances its visual appeal but also its aerodynamic efficiency. The bike’s livery often featured bold graphics and Yamaha’s racing colors, adding to its sporty character.

Engine and Performance

At the heart of the RD500LC is a 499cc V4 two-stroke engine, a marvel of engineering for its time. This engine configuration, inspired by Yamaha’s GP bikes, features twin crankshafts and reed valve induction, delivering a potent combination of power and torque.

Key features of the engine include:

  • Yamaha Power Valve System (YPVS): A pioneering technology that adjusts the exhaust port timing to improve power delivery across the rev range, providing strong low-end torque without sacrificing top-end performance.
  • Liquid Cooling: Enhances engine performance and reliability by maintaining optimal operating temperatures.
  • Mikuni Carburetors: Four 26mm carburetors ensure precise fuel delivery for optimal performance.

The RD500LC produces around 88 horsepower, a significant figure for its time, allowing it to achieve impressive acceleration and a top speed exceeding 140 mph. The engine’s distinctive two-stroke sound and powerband make it an exhilarating ride.

Chassis and Handling

The RD500LC’s chassis is designed to provide a balance of rigidity and agility. It features a box-section steel frame with an aluminum swingarm, contributing to a lightweight and responsive handling experience.

The suspension setup includes telescopic front forks and a mono-shock rear suspension, both of which are adjustable to cater to different riding styles and conditions. The bike’s handling is further enhanced by its 16-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels, providing excellent grip and stability.

Braking System

The RD500LC is equipped with dual front disc brakes and a single rear disc brake, offering powerful and reliable stopping power. The braking system is designed to handle the high performance of the bike, providing confidence-inspiring control even at high speeds.

Legacy and Impact

The Yamaha RD500LC YPVS holds a special place in the hearts of motorcycle enthusiasts and collectors. Its racing pedigree, advanced engineering, and exhilarating performance have earned it a legendary status. The RD500LC not only brought the thrill of GP racing to the streets but also set new standards for two-stroke sportbikes.

Although production was limited, and the RD500LC was only available for a few years, its impact on the motorcycle world remains significant. It paved the way for future high-performance bikes and continues to be celebrated at classic bike shows and by collectors around the globe.


The Yamaha RD500LC YPVS is more than just a motorcycle; it is a symbol of Yamaha’s racing heritage and technical innovation. Its powerful V4 two-stroke engine, advanced YPVS technology, and race-inspired design make it a true icon in the world of sportbikes. For those who seek the ultimate two-stroke experience, the RD500LC offers an unparalleled ride that captures the essence of Yamaha’s racing spirit.

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