The Big Thumper
A homage to the XT500 or AKA "The first Big Thumper". The XT (XT = cross trail) was the first mass produced enduro bike with an affordable price tag. It took the world by storm when it was launched in 1975.
The bike gained major popularity after Cyril Neveu won the first rally Paris Dakar in 1979 a 10,000km race from Paris to Dakar. Until today the so called 'The Dakar' is probably the most challenging and dangerous motorised vehicle endurance race in the world.
The simple construction of the XT, a four stroke single-cylinder engine and the straight forward chassis makes this bike easy to maintain and a good companion for any adventure. It was built on the same specifications with slight alterations for over 14 years until 1989 and is still regarded as one of the best single-cylinder motorbikes ever built.
Why Thumper? This is a motorcycle powered by a large capacity single-cylinder 4-stroke engine that creates a thump-thump-thump noise or in short, a bike that has a lovely sound.
Riding an XT gets instant respect from other motorists due to its iconic kick start. It has no electric ignition so if you don't hit the pressure points it can backfire, which in some cases has ended with a broken leg. That's why it gained the nickname "Der Dampfhammer".
Its most famous appearance was in James Bond "For your Eyes Only" when 007 gets chased down ski slopes and bob tracks of Cortina d’Ampezzo.
When I take my XT out for a ride I have people walking up and wanting to talk about the memories of their bikes and I get many thumbs up and big smiles for the thump thump!
Heimat loves this bike because of its simplicity and quality, it has a lot of synergy to our products and brand. The XT is becoming a collector's item although you may be lucky to find one forgotten in your neighbour's garage or barn waiting to be rediscovered.
Enjoy the ride and keep your head safe!