A bit of history and some stories about vintage bikes for sale

Yamaha XS650 motor

Christmas is getting really close and you’re stumped as to what give to your motorcycle nut. He already has a new helmet, nice gloves, the 2010 Isle of Man TT video, and a renewed subscription to Cycle World magazine. You already have a new do-rag to put in his stocking that was hung by the workbench with care along with a case of Castrol 4T oil…but, you’re still looking for that really special gift, something that truly says I love you at Christmas.

No matter where you live, sunny Southern California where we can ride year ’round (I wonder if I should rub this in a bit more..?), or buried under six feet of snow in the upper midwest of the country, winter is always the time for new motorcycle projects. For some it’s just a time of basic services then putting a blanket over the bike and letting it hibernate until spring. For others, it is a time of upgrades, modifications, maybe even a new paint job? Send some parts out for chroming or powdercoating, and while you’re waiting for those to come back, order some goodies from the J.C Whitney catalog and watch ‘On Any Sunday’ for the 25,000th time…you can recite all the narration word for word, which is driving your wife and kids nuts (don’t ask me how I know that scenario…).

Some riders embark on ambitious projects, that again make wives crazy because they take up over half the space in the garage or basement for the next two years before it’s finally put up on ebay as a ‘just a few more details to be a ready to ride classic’…uh, right. After doing a very thorough research study, I found that less than 20% of all winter projects actually get finished by time spring rolls around. I know, you’re asking yourself, “what kind of detailed research did he really do?”…I asked my wife as she was walking around our barn with a very annoyed look on her face. Probably not the best time to do research on motorcycle projects.

Research aside, you want to give your motorcyclist something to keep him occupied and out of your hair for the next few months. Smart move on your part. Every project has to start somewhere and having a good looking motor sitting under the Christmas tree is as good a starting point as any, and better than most. One of my favorite motors of all time is the Yamaha XS650. A beautiful vertical twin that has so much potential for so many uses. Here are a few suggestions of what your favorite motorcyclist can do with a Yamaha XS650 motor.

The XS650 motor really is a thing of beauty. With this motor, Yamaha just about out did Triumph in the vertical twin category. More reliable, didn’t leak oil, smoother running and easier to maintain…what more could you ask for?
And for those that think this 650 motor wasn’t powerful enough…

The Yamaha motor makes a perfect platform for just about any style custom motorcycle you would want to build. There is only one (?) problem with giving the gift of just a motor…for everything else, another credit card in the Christmas stocking might be in order.
Click on the pics below to check out this XS650 motor I found on ebay today. Like I said before, every great project has to start somewhere and this is a good start…if it doesn’t come to life by Spring…it will be a very unique doorstop? One more thing…this motor has been sitting out for a while…you might want to put another credit card in his stocking for motor parts.

Yamaha XS650 motor


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