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

1979 Yamaha XS650 Cafe Racer

I just can’t help myself, I love the Yamaha XS650 and I especially love it as a Cafe Racer, and one that is done well really gets my heart going. However, the XS650 and it’s TX brother turned out to be the almost perfect platform for every type of motorcycle. With an XS650 you could leave it stock and have a great daily and weekend rider, you could throw a set of saddlebags over the back and travel cross-country, make it into a street tracker (or a real flat track racer for that matter), very cool looking choppers and bobbers, and of course…cafe racers.

Yamaha built the XS650 to compete with the British twins of the time and because of a few designs differences (most importantly the horizontal split case vs, the vertical split of the British…which tended to leak oil all over your garage floor and the Yamaha wouldn’t). British twins of the time used pushrods for valve accuation Yamaha built the XS with overhead cams, and though the Yamaha wasn’t really any smoother than the Brit’s it rode smoother. All in all Yamaha ‘outbritted’ (is that a word?) the brits with the XS.

Like I said before, I am a sucker for a good cafe racer and when it’s built on the XS platform I get even more excited…well, lustful is more the word. I know I should feel guilty about saying that having grown into cafe racers through the British twins, but I just can’t help myself.

Today I found a really nicely done XS650 Cafe Racer that is beautiful and a very reasonable price is attached to it. It is very cleanly done, not too overboard and not too stripped. The body work looks good and the little mini fairing (nowadays called a flyscreen) up front looks nice, the exhaust has the right look and hopefully the right tone. Everything about the bike looks right, but…the seller provides no information other than ‘motor rebuilt’. OK, there is a contact number if you want to ask questions but…come on, give us some details. Anyway, the bike does look really well done and like I said, the price seems really good if the bike is as good as it looks.

Click on the pics below for no more details but more pictures.

1979 Yamaha XS650 Cafe Racer


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