Darling Motorcycle Works

1981 Honda XL500S

When Honda decided to turn the XR into a street-legal machine, the rear fender has changed from plastic to steel. Instead of the large round speedometer with odometer and tripmeter, there's a rectangular pod attached to the speedometer, the pod housing the odometer and tripmeter, while indicator lights for high beam, turn signals and neutral are tucked away at the bottom of the speedometer.

If it sounds as though Honda created a fine big dirt play bike and then designed a street legal version of it, you guessed right. The XL is different from previous dual purpose bikes because it works fine as a dirt play bike and it's also a capable roadster, instead of being a road bike with off-road accessories.

This particular bike is mechanically sound as the top end has just been redone. Authentically original.

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