Sunday, 31 May 2015

Friday bike

Sorry I've been a bit quiet recently, but a mixture of being very busy at my new job, some ill health, and not finding anything interesting enough to post, has let to a bit of a silence.

This week's Friday bike is one I've always had a bit of a soft spot for.

Yamaha XS650

The XS650 is interesting in that it didn't start out as a Yamaha design. Long gone Japanese manufacturer Hosk developed a 500cc twin in the late 50s based on an NSU design. Hosk were owned by Showa, best known for their suspension, and were sold to Yamaha in the early 60s. From the Hosk design the XS650 was developed, being launched in 1970 as the XS-1. This was followed by the XS-2, and later the XS650. Here in the UK we didn't get the XS650 until 1975, when it was the biggest bike in the Yamaha range.

I remember thinking about buying one back in 1979, but I wanted to buy a new bike, Yamaha had replaced the 'normal' XS650 with the hideous custom styled 'SE' version, and it would have been more than I could have afforded anyway.
Just........ no!

Very popular with the custom crowd, very few good XSs still exist and are a bit expensive as a result. Most seem to have been turned into choppers, flat trackers, or hipster cafe racers. Back in 1986, I moved house and a friend of a friend who lived nearby was working on an XS 650 'project'. He had fitted an XS engine into a Norton Featherbed frame and was building a 60s styled cafe racer out of it. He moved house soon after, so I never saw the completed bike (if it was ever finished!). Found a picture on the Web of a similar bike.
Make Model
Yamaha XS 650C
Air cooled, four stroke, parallel twin cylinder, SOHC, 2 valves per cylinder.
Bore x Stroke 75 x 74 mm
Compression Ratio 8.4:1
2x Mikuni carbs
Ignition  /  Starting
Battery, induction coil  /  electric & kick
Max Power
50 hp 36.4 kW @ 7200 rpm
Max Torque
54 Nm @ 6800 rpm
Transmission  /  Drive
5 Speed  /  chain
Front Suspension
Telescopic forks
Rear Suspension
Swinging fork
Front Brakes
Single 267m discs 1 piston calipers
Rear Brakes
Front Tyre
Rear Tyre
Dry Weight
215 kg
Fuel Capacity 
15 Litres

1 comment:

  1. I've always thought I'd like one of those too..a chance to buy several slipped through my fingers years ago...and like you say, they don't come up often for sale around here either.. Will be posting some pics of racing flat tracker Yamaha 650's soon...from this week ends races at Cal-Expo.