Yamaha XS650 History / XS-1 Vintage Ads

Yamaha XS 650 History

The xs650 was designated the XS-1 when the Yamaha XS 650 was launched in 1968 it had one of the most advanced engines in its class of large parallel twin motorcycles. The engine and gearbox are unit construction with the crankcase split horizontally for ease of assembly. The XS 650s valves are operated by a single overhead camshaft (SOHC) whereas almost all contemporaries in its class have pushrod valve gear.

The Yamaha XS 650 was produced until 1985. Over a quarter million XS650s in 40 different variations were produced by Yamaha between 1970 and 1985. The XS650 big twin, especially in America has developed a cult following for good reason. At the heart of the XS650 is a indestructible engine. The best parallel twin ever built. In the United States, the last model year was 1983 with Canada, Europe and other markets continuing into 1984 and 1985. However, many US models were left over due to overproduction and an economic recession and brand new 1982 and 1983 models could still be purchased in 1987 at some dealerships.

Manufacturer

Yamaha Motor Company

Also called

XS-1, XS-2

Parent company

Yamaha Corporation

Production

1968 – 1985

Predecessor

None ? ( Why there is none I don’t know )

Engine

654cc, 4-stroke, parallel twin, air-cooled, 2 valves per cylinder

Power

53 bhp @ 7000 rpm

Transmission

5-Speed sequential

Weight

450 lb

Fuel capacity

3 U.S. Gal

The best parallel twin ever built…

Tough durability, classic look and abundance of cheap parts make the XS650 the perfect platform to build a KILLER CHOPPER.

Comments

  1. Jesse says:

    There was no predecessor. This was Yamaha’s first 4 stroke. They, however, used the Toyota 4 cylinder engine as a model of design for this OHC parallel twin. A 650 enthusiast and owner, Jesse

  2. ghostryder says:

    my understanding is that yamaha bought the showa company and that the basic blue print for our beloved xs comes from a 500cc engine that showa had designed in the late 50s with very little changes to that original design.