1973 Yamaha XS650

In Japan, Standard by Mathieu Guyot-SionnestLeave a Comment

Post Listing Update: This XS650 did not meet reserve with 3 bids up to $2,800.

You’re a motorcycle enthusiast, which is why you know the 70’s were a decisive decade for the motorcycle market. Reliability and performance steadily improved, there were more options, and because of that, prices were lower. We can essentially thank the Japanese brands for all of this. Every brand had their flagship – Yamaha’s would definitely be the XS650. Launched in 1970, this was the most powerful bike Yamaha had built at the time. It was sold until 1985 (1983 for the North American market).

When released, the XS650 was equipped with two drum brakes and a kick starter. The press and customers see British influence when it came to style, as this was in many ways a clone of the Triumph 650 Bonneville (but with better reliability and ease of use). This was especially true from 1972, with the XS-2, which introduced an electric starter and a disc for the front brake. The XS directly created two groups, those who loved it and those who hated it. The ones who hated it essentially agreed on two major criticisms – the handling and the vibrations at high speed. However, the ones who loved it didn’t really mind the vibrations and could appreciate the agility of the bike at low speed, its simplicity and its reliability. The 653cc twin was (and is) very easy to maintain, and the entire bike weighed around 420 pounds, lighter than competitors such as the CB750 or the KZ650. Many XS enthusiasts find something really “human” in these bikes, saying that the the engine vibrations are harmonious with the body. Even though outright speed was not the real objective of the bike, 53 hp meant it could fly at 115 mph which was pretty good at the time. For more information, read this story from Motorcycle Classics.

The XS featured here is in mint condition with only 10k miles on the odometer. It was probably repainted in the past but in original 1973 XS colors – blue with black and gold graphics. The seller has owned the bike for 5 years and has performed a few modifications/upgrades in order to improve the performance, safety and reliability of the bike, but kept every original part as well and will give them to you as part of the sale. A long list of service and upgrades includes rebuilt forks, carbs, and petcock, and well as new brake pads, suggest that this bike has been decently maintained. The pipes are not original but they are a quality reproduction. [Editor’s Note: I’d replace the aftermarket taillight, but otherwise this looks like a fun classic rider.]

Find this XS650 in Brooklyn, New York with an unmet opening bid of $2,500 or a BIN of $4,500