I bought a 83 xr500 for my first bike back from a 25 year hiatus. It ran great and had that blue seat with lots of cussion to it. When I upgraded to the 650R I felt the XR500 did everything the 650R did with the exception of top end speeds . Long story short, I sold the bike and wish I would of held onto it. The 500R was loud (Cobra exhaust) but did get 45 -50 (dual carb) mpg. My 650R gets 35mpg with the same style of riding. I really did love that bike and yes it did have a nasty kickback if you didn't follow the starting drill correctly.