Come on, we have to have at least one motorcycle thread going…

I love my 1994 Yamaha Seca II. I’ll never sell it. But I’m thinking of adding another bike to the stable: A late-1970s or early-1980s Yamaha XS650. They’re just so retro looking and cool. I like those upright twin cylinders.

Has anybody here ever ridden one? What was it like? Anything to watch out for? I realize they’re over 20 years old, but my Jeep is 57. I’d expect not-so-good looking chrome and that sort of thing. What else should I be aware of if I decide to get one?

I cant comment on the xs, but I once had a 1987 yamaha fazer (4downdraft carb, Genesis engine). MAN was that a cool bike. I always regretted selling it. I highly recommend one if you coud find it.BTW this bike also retro-looking (chrome on tank and titanium valve covers ,sa-weet)

More people should ride bikes, dammit!

Chopper rider here, mid 70’s H-D engine…

SX-650 makes a great chop, good engine and way wasy to be cool with. Bullit proof. Go for it.

I have heard stories of them breaking out into nasty speed wobbles at around 70-85mph, depends on the condition of the chassis bearings and suspension, if these are well worn it can happen at much lower speeds.

They are supposed to be tough old brutes so even a 50k miler could be a viable purchase.

They seem to be used as cheap wheels in the UK for those desperate of pocket, we seem to get a lot of US imports which are in really good nick, especially considering the age.

The finish, in common with all Yams of that era, does not hold up well to wet and wintery conditions.

I like the looks of that bike, too.

I’ve got the same bike Johnny has - well, the European counterpart. A 1995 Yamaha Diversion 600. The only difference is that I will sell it one day, oh yes I will… :smiley:

But first, I have to survive two seasons on the Yammie.

I had a 1981 Yamaha 650 twin, the only new motor vehicle I’ve ever owned. Liked it a lot. It was very well-balanced and handled great at low speeds, but as casdave mentioned, it had some terrifying wobbles at speed–in my case around 80 or 85 mph. But it’s not a bike that needs to be going that fast anyway.

I also loved the sound, once I blew out the stock mufflers. Not quite a Harley, of course, but a really nice throaty rumble.

I’m going for my motorcycle road exam on Thursday!
Which means I’m in the market for a cheap bike. But first I figure I’ll go to test-drive times at various local dealers. This weekend: Buell.

<99 Yamaha R1 here…dyno proven 149HP at the rear wheel.

Barbarian, I would be surprised if you actually get to test drive anything at a dealer, unless you can show a strong riding/motorcycle ownership history.

I really really want a Yamaha R1. Really a lot! But eleven kilobucks is a good downpayment on a house, or 1/3 or 1/4 of a used Cessna 172.

I agree with Jax. I asked about test rides at a Yamaha dealer once, and they said they only allow test rides on the Royal Star. YMMV. You might be able to test ride used bikes though.

MrO: Good to know about the shimmy. My Seca II got a nasty shimmy at 125 mph once.

Anyone see George Romero’s Knightriders? “King Billy” (Ed Harris) rode a Honda CBX – six-cylinder in-line. Oooh! Ahh!

Sorry Johnny I don’t know anything about that bike. Though I am intersted in getting a mid 80s R80G/S. The only problem is that they seem to be popular so they run a good 3-5K. They cost that 20 years ago.

I’m still thinking about what kind of dual-sport I want. I might just buy a Kawi 650.

As for selling my first bike, I’m kinda torn. It doesn’t cost a whole lot to keep, but I don’t ride it much. Since I’ve had the Connie, I’ve only put around a thousand miles on it. That was two years ago. I could use the money to buy a dual-sport, but I do love riding the thing.

I sold my first bike a long time ago.

ex-yamaha parts manager speaking up. can’t recall any specific things to look for on the xs twins. the triples had some timing chain and tensioner troubles, but were mostly bullit-proof. you should be okay if you can hear it running. stick it in a dirt-track frame and throw it sideways…

motorcycle related laugh: go to ebay and check out the listing for an RZ350 for sale right now. you should find it if you search “yamaha rz”. i can’t figure out if its a joke or not! god, i sure hope so, or someone needs to introduce spell-check and drug rehabilitation to this seller! “Tummy” pipes indeed!
(if someone can link it , that would be great!)

I had a Honda Rebel, 250 cc.

It’s small, but I am a small woman so it was perfect for me.

Well, after I graduated at my driving school (Canada Safety Council, 8 hours of classroom, 32 hours of road work) I was told “Show them this graduation card and you’ll be able to take a test drive on a used bike without a deposit.”

Last April I took a test drive on a brand new scooter after they photocopied my license. (yeah, it was only 50 cc, but it was still brand new).

If you can’t take test drives, what’s the point of all them roaming tours going from dealer to dealer?

What are the requirements for a Canadian motorcycle license? I got my California license when I was 15-1/2. I took a written test (missed one, but the correct answer was wrong) and then I took a riding test that consisted of keeping the bike between straight lines and concentric circles, shifting, and riding through pylons. Piece of cake. I never was in a riding school; but then, I’d been riding minibikes since I was six and motorcycles since I was ten.

I miss my old ride.

I picked up a Honda 750 Supersport from a guy who was desperate for cash. He had done everything to this bike except repaint it; race suspension, vented the discs, thrown in an 812 big bore kit, and put on new Avon Super Venoms.

I paid $400.00 (Cdn) and drove this bike for years with nary a problem. Once I repainted it and added a really nice 3/4 fairing she was as beautiful to look at as she was to drive. I can say there was no such thing as speed wobble, even at 150mph. :slight_smile:

I seriously need another bike.

I have been starting to think a CB900 SS might be my next ride if I can get someone to part with the one they have.

HA! I checked out the RZ on ebay–that guy’s a “trip.” The deal with his toys and his kid, my goodness. It seems as if he was using a talk typer kind of program, or he’s…well, let’s hope he’s a better mechanic than a writer. And he’s got it listed in “Everything Else”–odd, considering his profile suggests that he’s not exactly a new seller.
The bike looks all right, I wonder what his reserve is.

As far as testdriving cycles, the guy at the Kawi dealership here said it’d be cool, as long as we had “some sort of a deal going,” whatever that really means.

I want to ride so bad I could plotz.

More or less the same. It sounds like there may be some more pylon riding action like shifting in corners, figure 8s, turning around in confined spaces without touching the ground, etc. and an actual road test.

Otherwise, I suspect they are pretty comperable.

Here in Fla(and many other states too, I hear), you can qualify for the motorycle liscence without the state’s test by passing a MSF riding course.

Maybe Canadian dealers are different, but here in FL, it is very very difficult to test drive any sportbike. There is the chance that 1)the person is just joyriding, or
2)the person will kill themselves, or at best damage the bike badly.

Motorcycle technology(and motorcycle tire technology) has come a long way in a few years, today’s 600cc bikes are faster than 900cc from just a few years ago, so unless you are familiar with today’s bikes, it’s hard to get a test drive.