Yamaha Maxim 650 Reviews from United States of America

1981 Yamaha Maxim 650

Model year1981
Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2013
Acceleration marks 10 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 8 / 10
Handling marks 9 / 10
Braking marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired38000 miles
Most recent distance60400 miles
Previous motorcycleBMW R50


Great sport bike from the 80's


Brush in starter motor needed replacement.

Front brake pads and rotor at 54,000 miles.

Ignition module occasionally stops working - but comes back to life after a couple minutes of rest. I have a spare, but it does the same thing.

It has a slow oil leak - apparently from the gear shift lever.

A few times blinkers have failed to flash. Cleaning the light bulb contacts cleared up the problem.

General Comments:

This is a great bike, but it is starting to become unreliable due to its age. Maintenance has consisted of an oil change each year and new tires about 10000 miles ago.

The engine is rated at a peak power of 71 HP. In looking to replace this with a newer cruiser, I'll have to find something with near double the displacement to approach that power.

Fuel economy is good but not exceptional. I get 42 MPG around town, but that improves to 50 MPG when I get out in the country for steady cruising at 45-55 mph.

I don’t believe the seat is intended for more than about an hour’s worth of use at a time. I’ve done a few 200 mile days, and after the first 100, frequent breaks are needed to restore blood flow.

I'm not really happy with it on the highway above 65 mph. It develops a vibration and associated sound which, although it has not led to anything going wrong, just doesn't seem right.

I like the drive shaft. I also believe that a motorcycle should, in essence, be designed towards simplicity. That means air-cooled, as this is.

The bike is lacking ground clearance. Have to be very careful on speed bumps.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st May, 2013

1st Nov 2013, 21:44

I've had an 1981 XJ650 Maxim for a while. It was great riding, but now it's starting to have a few problems. Not real big ones yet; it's just spent a month in the garage and it still isn't working right. It starts fine now, but the blinkers and the regular starter button don't work. Don't know if they're bad or what? I wired a push button up to it. It starts fine, but it ain't right like that.

1982 Yamaha Maxim 650

Model year1982
Year of manufacture1982
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2008
Acceleration marks 9 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 8 / 10
Handling marks 8 / 10
Braking marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.1 / 10
Distance when acquired22000 miles
Most recent distance46000 miles
Previous motorcycleSuzuki VS1400 Intruder


Maxims are a great old school bike


The bike had always been very reliable, never left me stranded. Enjoyed its ride & feel on the road, whether it was a dirt road or paved highway. I always felt the inline 4's rocked, so 4 years after I sold it to a friend, I recently purchased a XJ1100 Maxim to further my enjoyment of the Maxims. Now the wife can ride with me comfortably.

I did not have any mechanical problems with the 650; I just needed something a little bigger. I only replaced the tires & changed oil when needed, & put a little sport fairing on it to give it a little sportier look, plus I could get out of the wind when the weather turned nippy or rain.

General Comments:

The Maxim pulled smoothly throughout the RPM range.

The driver's seat could have been a little more padded; would sometimes slide back to the passenger section for variety.

Forwards would have been a nice addition for more leg room; just didn't add them.

The Maxim is way more fun to ride than my V-twin could ever think of being.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd October, 2012

1982 Yamaha Maxim 650

Model year1982
Year of manufacture1982
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2012


Great all around cruiser


The one and only real problem I had with this bike is when I first got it running after sitting for a few years, I couldn't get it to run right. It would sputter and pop under acceleration, and die at a stop. After a few days of troubleshooting, I accidentally fixed it when I ended up draining the tank and filling it with premium gas. It turns out, mine just will not run on regular.

Also, I think with 32,000 miles it could use a valve adjustment.

Brakes are noisy.

General Comments:

Love the look, love the feel.

Don't understand why people complain about the lack of power. For any practical purpose, the bike has all the power it will ever need. I weigh 270lbs, and have no complaints about the power. People looking for lots of horsepower and superb handling, should be looking into a street bike, not a cruiser.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th August, 2012

Average review marks: 7.9 / 10, based on 17 reviews