5. Yamaha XT500
Yamaha jumped into the big thumper market with its bona fide classic XT500 in 1975. No doubt drawing on lessons learned by studying the BSA Victor 441 and the Honda XL350 before it, the XT500 offered the power of the ‘Beezer and the reliability of the XL in one sweet-performing package. The XT’s considerable low-end power simplified street hooliganism before anyone really knew what that was, and it was plenty capable in the dirt, making it one of the best Dual Sport rigs of its era. Better yet, in 1976 Yamaha invented the off-road-only TT500, which created a firestorm of aftermarket performance parts that fit right onto the XT, many of which can still be found today. Finding a clean XT500 shouldn’t be too difficult. Buy it, and you’ll have a great classic scoot that you can ride wherever you want.