'82 Yamaha 650 Maxim - inexpensive project bike

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My latest project: a 1982 Yamaha XJ650 Maxim. Only 15,000 miles, already had new Bridgestone Tires, and a bunch of new parts / work done to it when I got it. Surprisingly, the Carbs had just been rebuilt and synced - so the hard part was done for me. I replaced the uncomfortable drag bars with a set from a Honda Magna, and found an OEM passenger grab bar for a good price. It already had the 4-1 headers (with fiberglass wrap) and a vintage Vance & Hines 6-Shooter pipe on it, so I left the exhaust alone. It also had cheap junk low-profile LED Blinkers on it (which were falling apart), so I replaced them with OEM blinkers. It got a new Yuasa battery, since the 'Never Start' battery that came with it was toast. I also had to flush the front brakes, but that's standard practice on a 38-year old motorcycle. It's been a blast so far, and I think I'll keep this one for a while and ride it myself. I still can't get over the amount of torque this 650 Inline-4 has, no need to downshift on a hill. grin I probably have about $1000 in it total, so I'm definitely not getting hurt on this bike. Not sure what oil was in it and the previous owner didn't remember how many miles the oil had on it, so it got a new oil filter and Rotella 15w40. [Linked Image] [Linked Image]
 
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One of my buddies had one of these. It was the only bike I rode for any distance as I don't have a MC license. The time period was 1988. It was an awesome bike - reliable, fast (certainly for its size), and smooth. Excellent value during the 1980s.
 
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If I can critique the bike it doesn't look good in orange. It'd look good if you remove the Yamaha sticker(s) off the fork, paint the side covers and tank silver and add much needed emblems.
 

Normac

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Originally Posted by skyactiv
If I can critique the bike it doesn't look good in orange. It'd look good if you remove the Yamaha sticker(s) off the fork, paint the side covers and tank silver and add much needed emblems.
Thanks for the suggestions, and critiques are very welcome. It was like that when I got it. Being an ‘82, I don't really want to put a whole lot into it. Definitely not going for a restoration, just getting it road-ready. I still need to clean up the cables and wires too, but I'll do a little at a time. As long as it's reliable and safe, I can always do things like you suggested here and there.
 
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wwillson

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I had the exact same bike in black. It was a great bike and I put lots of miles on it. Funny thing is I have no clue who I sold it to.
 

Normac

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Originally Posted by DBMaster
Excellent value during the 1980s.
Agreed. In some cases, I think it could be a decent little budget bike for someone today. Performance isn't bad, and as ZeeOSix pointed out above - they definitely have reliable engines.
 

Normac

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Originally Posted by wwillson
I had the exact same bike in black. It was a great bike and I put lots of miles on it. Funny thing is I have no clue who I sold it to.
Over the years, there's no telling how many of these have changed owners. I wasn't particularly looking for this model, but it just kind of fell in place. They say that everything happens for a reason, and I'm definitely not unhappy with this purchase.
 
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My Virago xv750 was also geared low... could putter around at 25 in 5th gear. You were lucky to get fresh tires, seat vinyl, and paint, looks sweet!
 

Normac

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Originally Posted by eljefino
My Virago xv750 was also geared low... could putter around at 25 in 5th gear. You were lucky to get fresh tires, seat vinyl, and paint, looks sweet!
Thank you, Sir. It's a ‘work in progress', but I think it has potential.
 
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Who started the wrapping the exhaust thing and why ? I would like seeing proof it does anything other than make something ugly crazy
 
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Sweet bike, and a timely post. Besides poking around for a beater car, I've been keeping an eye out for a clean '78-'82 Japanese bike like yours as a fun toy. Who knows if it will happen, but I love how yours looks!
 
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Man that brings back memories of the Yamaha ads in Motorcycle mags in the 80's stating you could own various Yamaha's for the cost of lunch per day. It seems like most of the bikes were in the 2-3k range.
 

pbm

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Originally Posted by 02SE
Man that brings back memories of the Yamaha ads in Motorcycle mags in the 80's stating you could own various Yamaha's for the cost of lunch per day. It seems like most of the bikes were in the 2-3k range.
I bought my first bike, a brand new Yamaha XS650, for just under $2K in 1977 IIRC (before tax and tags). It was the twin cylinder copy of the Triumph except far more reliable. Like the bike in the OP, it was a standard, unlike today where everything is specialized (Sport, Touring, crotchrocket etc...) I wish I still had it. To the OP....nice bike...good luck with it...
 
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Originally Posted by pbm
Originally Posted by 02SE
Man that brings back memories of the Yamaha ads in Motorcycle mags in the 80's stating you could own various Yamaha's for the cost of lunch per day. It seems like most of the bikes were in the 2-3k range.
I bought my first bike, a brand new Yamaha XS650, for just under $2K in 1977 IIRC (before tax and tags). It was the twin cylinder copy of the Triumph except far more reliable. Like the bike in the OP, it was a standard, unlike today where everything is specialized (Sport, Touring, crotchrocket etc...) I wish I still had it. To the OP....nice bike...good luck with it...
I've had both and much preferred the Triumph to the Yamaha. It just reminded me of a cheap copy. Triumph is reliable too so I don't get where people think they're not good motorcycles.
 

Normac

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Originally Posted by maintenanceMan
Keep the ethanol out of it
That's hard to do these days. I don't have many non-ethanol stations near me. I'll do what I can though.
 
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