1982 Yamaha Maxim 650 from United States of America


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

1982 Yamaha Maxim 650 from United States of America


Perfect bike for the new rider to ride, and then go to a bigger bike afterward


Would sometimes just die when driving, but could be started right back up by dumping the clutch.

Didn't always start. Had to be push started.

Both issues more than likely due to the fact I did zero repairs on it.

I hated adjusted and lubing the darn chain.

General Comments:

I bought a 1979 Honda 750 Four, and it was OK. I sold that and came across a good deal on the 650 Maxim. This was my first bike that I actually rode around regularly, so it is the bike I learned on really.

This bike was what I considered the perfect starter bike. It wasn't crazy powerful, but was quick enough for a beginner rider to appreciate riding, with good pull all the way to around 85MPH, then it would fall on its nose and pull no more. Like I said, perfect for the beginner.

I did occasionally ride passengers, but I think it is primarily for single riding. It is a good looking scaled down cruiser of the era. Put a shaft drive on this thing, and you virtually eliminate most of the cons about it.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th May, 2012

27th May 2012, 21:28

You are really selling the Maxim 650 short, labeling it a beginner's bike.

30th May 2012, 23:10

Only reason I say that it is good for beginners, is because of how good it was for ME to learn and take my M endorsement test with. It is small, so it is fairly nimble. It is only 650cc, so it is enough for a beginner rider to have fun with, learn the dynamics of riding, but not kill him/herself. Shoot, I'm glad it was the way it was. A few months into riding and I drove that thing like a man possessed. Like I said, it got to 85 quickly and then just gave no more. THAT was a good thing for me. No no, don't get me wrong. I have nothing but wonderful memories of the 650 Maxim.

23rd Feb 2013, 17:39

May I say you must have had the XS version, as I have the XJ, and to my knowledge all XJ 650s have the shaft drive.

I don't understand yours falling off at 85mph either; mine will do 110mph+ all day long.

13th Mar 2013, 12:45

It's shaft driven. No chain.


13th Sep 2015, 09:10

I've got a 1982 XJ 650 Maxim and it's shaft drive. I've had it since I was 18, it was my first bike and got my class 6 on it. I still have it, I could never sell it. I've got 2 other big cruisers, but this bike could keep up and blow some Honda 750s away, so I don't under stand your 650 being on its nose at 85mph?

11th Jul 2016, 05:48

You had the chain driven two cylinder XS650 special... The top speed was around 105 to 110 mph and they run high 13 second quarter mile times. They were a good bike, but had a lot of vibration at high speed.

The shaft driven four cylinder XJ650 Maxim's top speed was around 120+ and they do high to mid 12 second quarter mile times. They both weighed around 480 pounds wet. The Maxim was a smoother and overall more comfortable bike to ride around on all day.