Monday, January 23, 2012

Yamaha XS650 Twin Lives On

Mule Motorcycles Yamaha XS650 Streettracker
Doing some background research for the streettrackers post below got me to rethinking the Yamaha XS650 twin this weekend... I wasn't really much impressed with it back in the Seventies, when it was Yamaha's answer to the Triumph 650 and 750 Twins, but I am looking at it now in a different light.

Back in those days I loved Triumph Bonnies and, even more so, was obsessed with Norton Commandos --- I've owned three --- so I didn't have the time of day for what I viewed then as just a soulless, mass-produced knockoff of one of the most-beloved Britbikes. Now I have to say that the XS650 has had real staying power, there are still thousands of them on the road, here and all around the globe.

One of the primary reasons, besides their quality, reliability, and low cost is, I think, the fact that they are so versatile, that they readily lend themselves to customizing in different styles: streettrackers, bobbers, cafe racers, and choppers. Quite a thriving aftermarket has grown up around them and is going great guns to this day --- see, for example, the popular streettracker conversion kits from Omar's Dirt Track Racing.

The folks at have an entire website devoted to the XS650, with huge galleries of XS650s in every kind of style mentioned above.  If you've got one ---  stock, custom, whatever --- you can post pics of your own there.

Update: I just found this site called, totally dedicated to the XS650. A lot of good info on accessories for the Yamaha.

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