Holy shit, my dad has that exact same bike! His XT 500 has the exact same engine as his SR 500 but the XT should have a magnesium engine case because of lighter weight as the SR has an aluminum one. Your bike's engine case should be magnesium. I know I like motorbikes and I would love to have Yamaha's higher end 2-stroke bikes such as their RZ350 and the ultra rare RD500. Hang on to this bike, it's better than most modern stuff as far as general reliability goes.
People just don't know how to take care of old stuff. It may perform like modern stuff but it does not mean you should take it to that level of abuse and that goes for the new stuff as well because it will be old too one day. Do you know a motorcycle brand by the name of Hodaka? Me and my dad have quite a sizable collection of the Hodaka motorcycle. THe Hodaka motorbike was a 2-Stroke trail/mixed use motorcycle that typically was offered at 100cc but had engines as small as 80cc or as large as 250cc as the bigger cc bike was made during the company's end in 1978-79. I would tell you how they ride but I am still currently learning how to ride a motorcycle. I know that servicewise, the Hodaka motorcycle's engine bearings and seals are still very commonplace in common auto parts stores if you know the part numbers to the seals and bearings of course. The Hodaka motorbike has quite a following and is still enjoyed by collectors and bike enthusiasts who know about these bikes today.
The Yamaha name, while I've known their bike industry, I have also known of their stereo equipment brand as I own a next to new example of one of their dual tape decks complete with foam inserts and box and the quality of their electronics are just as great as their motorbikes. I know my dad's XT does not have the gold colored rims but are instead painted in black. I know I have seen most images of the XT with gold rims but was the black rims a cost saving measure? I believe the bike was a 1978 if I remember correctly.
I'm usualy mixing layers & types of gloves, and warming my hands on the top of the engine at stop lights if they get too cold for comfort. I've been meaning to get heated grips for a few years, but I never have the $$ to drop on them when I finally find them for a reasonable price. A few of my friends that have bought them like them greatly. Another friend swears bty a pair of expensive gloves with heating built in. I've been wanting to get a pair of "Yellowknife" gloves from the Duluth Trading Company ( www.duluthtrading.com/store/me… ) and see how well they work.