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Yamaha XS650 Gallery

The 650cc parallel twin from Yamaha was originally launched (though not in Britain) in 1969, the same year that Honda let loose the CB750. The two couldn't be further apart since the Honda was clearly the 'new', the way forward for Japan, while the XS-1 was a copy of the British bikes the CB750 would destroy.

The irony is of course that the 'copy' also went on to survive and prosper long after the bikes it was cloned from had disappeared. It was based on the BSA 650 dimensions, with 75 x 74mm bore and stroke, but it also had chain-driven overhead cam, it was soon to have an electric start and it had 36mm CV carbs. The engine even looked good.

It was heavy, at a final 4671b, and power was slowly strangled by emission controls down to 50bhp, but it was torquey and didn't leak oil. On the other hand it didn't handle too well.

The 650S custom version started a whole new industry, and is probably the most common version you will find today. Models still running should run for a while yet and will give you the 'character' of a British bike but far fewer of the hassles. Prices are steady.

Bike Image Description
1939 Yamaha XS-1 Yamaha XS1  
Yamaha XS-1 Yamaha XS-1
  • Engine - 654cc air-cooled OHC parallel twin
  • Horsepower - 53bhp @ 7000rpm
  • Top Speed - 105 mph
  • Brakes - drum/drum
  • Frame - tubular twin cradle
  • Transmission - 5 speed
  • Yamaha XS1-B road test

    Yamaha XS2 Yamaha XS2 Yamaha XS2 road review
    1972 Yamaha XS2 650 Yamaha XS2 650 Original unmolested Yamaha 650 twin.
    1973 Yamaha XS650 Yamaha XS 650 Air cooled, four stroke, parallel twin cylinder, SOHC, 2 valves per cylinder.
    1973 Yamaha XS650 1973 Yamaha XS650  
    1975 Yamaha XS650 1975 Yamaha XS650 First produced as the XS-1, with no electric start and with TLS brakes, a model never introduced to Britain. The first one we saw was the XS-2.
    1976 Yamaha XS650 XS650 This bike was last raced in 1996 at Daytona Speedway in Florida. 
    1978 Yamaha XS650E 1978 Yamaha XS650E
    1978 Yamaha XS650 Special Yamaha XS650 Special  
    1979 Yamaha XS650 Special 2 Yamaha XS650 Special 2 This model was the one that set the fire under a boom in American style bikes based on the traditional vertical twin engine of the TX650. With features like a teardrop tank, and chopper style handlebars along with a King & Queen seat and short megaphone type muffler, all mounted on 16-inch wheels, this model achieved a true horseback type riding feeling. As the predecessor to the Special series bikes to follow, this model was popular both for long-distance touring and around-town riding.
    1979 Yamaha XS650F Yamaha XS650F  
    1979 Yamaha XS650 1979 Yamaha XS650  
    1980 Yamaha XS650 Special 2 Yamaha XS650 Special 2  
    1980 Yamaha XS650 Yamaha XS650  
    1981 Yamaha XS650 Flat Tracker Yamaha XS650 Flat Tracker
    • RD 400 front end
    • Hagon rear shocks
    • Braided hoses
    • Custom seat unit
    • Renthal bars
    • Race brakes/Calipers
    • SS bolt set

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