1982 Yamaha Maxim 650 from Australia


Incredible for a 30 year old machine


Stored for many years with a part tank of fuel, the fuel dried up and clogged the carbs badly. That's a storage issue, not a bike problem.

Seat had cracked up badly (30 years+ = OK).

Paintwork was poor on one side (see stored!).

Front fork seals cracked and leaking (lack of use).

Exhaust rusted out, patched over OK.

Rear shocks were about stuffed and replaced with quality after market shocks... sweeeeet.

General Comments:

This is "Big Daves" Maxim, and might be the only Maxim 650 to make it to Australia??

It's now on club rego in the State of Victoria as it's over 30 years old, so much cheaper registration!

The workshop who cleaned the carbs set it WAY lean, so it was almost impossible to start without Aerostart, and it died out at any idle below 2000 RPM. Once the carbs were set and balanced correctly, it now idles like a gem. I'll call that a workshop oversight?

I have cobbled up some highway pegs on the engine bars to give some degree of leg room, but am seriously considering proper forward controls.

I think the bike would benefit from a better shaped seat, but it's OK for an hour or so cruising between breaks.

I'm amazed at how readily obtainable the parts are on eBay.

Overall, for its age... oh man, this is a sweet ride, and that's coming from a big bloke who normally rides a Harley Bagger.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd January, 2014

1981 Yamaha Maxim 650 from United States of America


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 from United States of America


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