Yamaha launched its legendary XS 650 back in 1969. In the 1900s, Yamaha was one of the most sought-after bikes globally. Not only was it one of the most trusted brands in the world, but it always delivered on the expectation. At the time of the launch, Yamaha XS 650 was the first model with a large four-stroke parallel-twin engine. The production of this legendary bike lasted almost two decades right until 1985.

If you are a fan of Yamaha motorbikes, or XS 650 to be precise, then this article is for you. I will explain the vital things that you should know about the legendary Yamaha XS 650. Let’s get started.

Early Yamaha XS 650

During the early days, there were various models of XS 650: XS1, XS1B, and XS2 depending on the year of manufacturing. It had a narrow and tall engine that gave the bike a slim profile. Due to the engine being mounted onto a two-stroke frame, the motorbike was fairly lightweight compared to other bikes of that time. However, there were several drawbacks in this model as well, such as vibrations at higher speeds. Beginning from 1974, Yamaha started making damping adjustments in the motor to reduce the vibration (mainly because of its four cylinders synchronised to work in pairs). People loved Yamaha XS 650 because of its reliability, low maintenance, and the leak-proof crankcase.

Different Models of Yamaha XS 650

In 1975, Yamaha launched XS650B. It had disc brakes on both front and rear wheels, powerful enough to handle all the issues. In 1977, Yamaha launched another model, the XS650D model, which had 35mm diameter front forks, up from 34mm in the previous model.

In 1975, electric starters were fitted to Yamaha XS 650, eliminating the need for manual kickstart. Over time, the company also upgraded rear shock absorbers and introduced a more rigid frame for better comfort. The improved XS1 model had a 360-degree crank angle that reduced the vibration caused by two cylinders falling together. The motorcycle also received metal balls bearings and moving courses that were utilized through a crankshaft, and the needle directions used to turn on through associating poles.

In the post-1975 models, Yamaha built its gearbox along with the crankcase horizontally. In the further models, the company launched parallel twin-engines and pushrod engines, both of which eliminated the oil leaks while the bike stayed at the stand.

Performance

As mentioned above, Yamaha XS 650 was one of the most sought-after bikes of the decade globally. When it comes to performance, it was way ahead of other bikes in its time. Yamaha XS 650 had a top speed of 200 km/hr. When it comes to mileage, Yamaha XS 650 had a fuel economy of 51.4 miles per US gallon. Post the engine upgrade; it became more stable even at high speeds.

Modifying XS 650

Though Yamaha XS 650 was classy on its own, a lot of people tweaked and modified it to further boost its personality. Whether you have XS 650 café racer, XS 650 bobber, or XS 650 chopper, there are plenty of parts stores (both online and offline), where you can get customised items for your project. Here are some common types of customizations you can do in your Yamaha XS 650:

  • Stand, footrest, and brake pedal: Customising your seating position, the bikes’ footrests, reintroducing a kickstart lever or changing the configuration of all is just one way to make your bike stand out from the factory original.
  • Front forks and steering: Changing handlebars or front forks to a different style is yet another very common way to make XS650 your own. Whether you want it to look more like a scrambler or a cruiser, the humble Yamaha XS 650 will allow you to modify it to your desires.
  • Tires: Depending on your model modification and your front forks, you can change the tires either for sleek cafe racer types or the opposite extreme – fat off-road enduro ones, that would enhance your bike’s grip on the road should you decide to off the beaten track with it.

Conclusion

Yamaha XS 650 has gone through many customizations since its launch. The company took user reviews very seriously and made several upgrades for better. XS 650 became one of the most popular motorbikes of all time because of its great performance, low maintenance, availability of spare parts and a reasonable price. If you are looking for a bike that you can make your own, then Yamaha XS 650 is the right choice.