1985 Yamaha XJ700 Maxim X


Even now, at 20 years old, the MaximX is a runner, for those who are fortunate enough to own one


With the age of my bike, the carbs have needed regular attention. I'm hoping a recent carb rebuild will cure those pains for a while.

Speaking of age and rebuild...

I recently rebuilt my "X" from the ground up, with the exception of the engine and drive-train. It was needed from normal wear and tear, age, my maniacal driving style, and the previous owners' lack of proper storage.

I didn't do the engine because she was (and is) running very strong. There is no obvious reason to open it up.

In spite of that, there was plenty to do on the rebuild. This included paint, bearings, gaskets, cables, coils, wires, fluids, and more.

General Comments:

I have ridden all varieties of motorcycles, and this by far is the best all around bike I've had the pleasure of riding. Most people are completely shocked to see just how quick she is, especially when they find out her age. It looks like a small cruiser, but has the heart and soul of a dragster/sport bike.

Maneuverability may not be quite on par as the super-bikes, but she's very close to it. I've seen photos of an X driven by a racer on a closed circuit, very nearly parallel to the ground in a turn. I definitely have fun with her, but not that kind of fun.

The first couple of years I owned her, I considered her just an ol' putt-putt bike. But more recently I've realized her performance and worth. They were only built for two years, 1985 and 1986 - XJ700XN and XJ700XS respectively. Those north of the border in Canada had the fortune to get the exact same bike, except theirs were 750cc X's.

The liquid cooled, five valve configuration on the MaximX sets her apart from all the other XJ's produced, namely the Maxim and Seca.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th May, 2006

2nd Feb 2007, 12:31

Hi there, I just wanted to correct one thing on your comment. I live in Canada and we were also fortunate to get the 700cc XJ. My bike is a xj700n (no rad) and was purcased brand new in 1985 here in Canada.

21st Feb 2007, 18:38

I have a 1985 XJ700n Maxim in great shape. I believe it is a 2 valve/cylinder as opposed to a 5 valve model. Ken.

1985 Yamaha XJ700 Maxim X


A Classic Cruiser with the heart of a sport bike



General Comments:

This Yamaha was the quickest, smoothest bike I have ever owned.

I only rode it for two seasons, and didn't put a lot of miles on it, however I regret selling it to this day.

I went from a Harley Davidson FXE 1200, to this "little" 700cc Yamaha Four, and I must say, other than the nostagic feel that Harleys provide in spades, the Yamaha out-performed it in every area.

It was much faster, much smoother, much more comfortable to ride, and was extremely reliable.

I must give the Harley its due though. The Harley had power down low in the RPM range, where the Yamaha made the most of its power in the higher RPMs.

I also must mention that the Harley was a 1977. So it was built during the AMF Harley Davidson years.

The 20 valve four cylinder engine was so silky smooth and lightning fast.

The cruiser style was nice, but the low handlebars, rather than risers, gave the rider a very comfortable seating position for long rides.

It's too bad Yamaha has done away with their 4 cylinder, shaft-driven "cruisers", as I found them to be very practical bikes for everyday commuting as well as recreational riding.

Thankfully, I recently purchased a one-owner low mile XJ 650 Maxim recently, which shares many of the 700's positive traits.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th June, 2005

25th Nov 2008, 18:21

Update - Still have the 650 Maxim - it's a great bike!

Still wish I still had the Maxim X!

4th Oct 2009, 17:22

I just bought a 1985 Yamaha XJ700 Maxim X. It is everything you say. Mine has 1900 miles on it and is the coolest bike on the road. I think I love it.

I went riding with my brothers yesterday. One has a souped up 06 Ninja 636, & he said it was hard to keep up with me when I gunned it.

My other brother has a 2004 Harley, & I let him ride mine and he was jealous. He said it was much smoother and faster than his..

Find me on MySpace:


F'n LoVin' It.

24th Mar 2010, 18:52

Bought an '85 Maxim X 700 for my first bike, still have it and could never sell it. Great bike, and can keep up with most of the sports bikes to a point.

15th Sep 2010, 20:29

I just stumbled upon this site. The Maxim is my 1st road bike as well, and I've loved that bike beyond words. I bought it in '86 or '87 from someone who bought it new, then found they needed money for some sort of crisis as I recall. She had 750 miles on her. I've had such adventures with that bike, I wouldn't know where to begin. I still have her. Unfortunately, I've been disabled by non-bike related circumstances for the past 6 years now, and the bike is sitting in my garage waiting for me to get her running. Carbs were drained of gas and such in prep for a regular season's storage way back when, but I haven't been able to do anything with her. I was just looking for any useful resources when I came across this site. Nice to hear others had such fond memories of the bike.