Yamaha XS650: history, specs, pictures

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Yamaha XS650
Also called XS650 CX6, XS 650 CX6, XS650 US. Custom, XS 650 US. Custom, XS650 Special, XS650SE, XS 650 Special, XS 650 SE, XS 650
Production 1975 - 1984
Class Road
twin, four-stroke
Bore / Stroke 75.0mm x 74.0mm
Top Speed 106 mph (171 km/h)
Horsepower 48.95 HP (36.5 KW) @ 6800RPM
Fuel System carburetor
Air Filter K&N YA-1152 `76-79[1]
Spark Plug NGK BP7ES '76-80
NGK B8ES '70-72 , '75
Battery YUASA YB14L-A2 '70-72 , '75-80
Transmission Gear box: 5-speed
Final Drive: chain
Final Drive Chain: 530x104
Front Sprocket 17T
Rear Sprocket 34T
Brakes Front: dual disc
Rear: expanding brake
Front Tire 3.25-19
Rear Tire 4.00-18
Weight 225.0 kg (wet)
Oil Filter K&N KN-144
Recommended Oil Yamalube 10w-40
Fuel Capacity 3.96 Gallon (15.00 Liters)
Competition BMW R65
Honda CB650
Honda CX500
Kawasaki KZ650B
Suzuki GS550
Yamaha XS650
Yamaha SR500
Manuals Service Manual

Brochures ·

The Yamaha XS650 was a twin, four-stroke Road motorcycle produced by Yamaha between 1975 and 1984. It could reach a top speed of 106 mph (171 km/h). Claimed horsepower was 48.95 HP (36.5 KW) @ 6800 RPM.


The XS 650 is powered by an upright, parallel twin four-cycle motor firing every 360° of crank rotation.

The 1970 model was designated the XS-1. Subsequent models were XS-1B (1971), XS-2 (1972), then they changed the model designation from XS to TX. It went TX (1973), TX-A (1974), then they changed it back to XS but went on with the alphabetical suffix. XS-B (1975), XS-C(1976), XS-D(1977), XS-E (1978), XS-F (1979). 1979 was the last year of the so-called "Standards" (owner's term meaning opposite to Special) The Es and Fs also came in Special form; XS-SE (S for Special) and XS-SF. From then on it was Specials only to XS-SJ. The "Yamaha Specials" such as the XS650 Special were the pioneer of production Cruisers built by Japanese manufacturers.

All wheels (chrome rim wire, aluminum rim wire, seven-spoke cast aluminum) swap on all years.

Except that:

  • Drum fronts on early models are on their own.
  • Pre '77 & post '77 fronts have different brake disks, the wheels swap but not the disks.
  • Drum rear wheel into rear disk frame needs the rear drum frame swingarm too.
  • Disk rear wheel into rear drum frame needs the rear disk frame swingarm and also needs brake master-cylinder lugs welded to the frame.

Handling differences on swapping rear wheels:-

  • Standard rear tire is 110/90-18. Special rear tire is 130/90-16. Because the Standard tire is narrower it corners quicker. Because the Special tire is wider it's steadier in a straight line. Overall gearing will not change as the two tires are essentially the same outside diameter.
  • Left-side front disk brake (omitted on North American models only) can be added by bolting another disk to the left side of the wheel (the bolt holes are there) and the left-side caliper from an XS750, XS850 or XS11 (the fork lugs are there) and adding the other brake line & a double-length banjo bolt. XS650 stock master cylinder still works. The system needs very careful bleeding, stainless steel wire braid hoses improve the feel.

Standard (large) and Special (small)gas tanks interchange but must keep their own gas caps because they are different.

Mid-'77 the front forks had a major redesign, fork tube diameter increased from 34 to 35 mm, brake totally different, internals upgraded. The entire fork will swap either way but fork parts are not equivalent.


The engine was a air cooled twin, four-stroke. A 75.0mm bore x 74.0mm stroke result in a displacement of just 654.0 cubic centimeters. Fuel was supplied via a overhead cams (ohc).


The bike has a 5-speed transmission.


It came with a 3.25-19 front tire and a 4.00-18 rear tire. Stopping was achieved via dual disc in the front and a expanding brake in the rear. The XS650 was fitted with a 3.96 Gallon (15.00 Liters) fuel tank.

1971 XS-1B[edit]

1972 XS-2 XS650[edit]


In Media[edit]


  1. 2019 K&L Supply Co Catalog. K&L Supply Co. 2019.