I bought a Yamaha 2008 Classic base bike off the showroom floor in June 2010, because it was smaller than my other cruisers and looked good. It was delivered to my address with me never having driven it.
I got on it, rode it around the block and down a stretch of highway, and just hated it. It sounded like a scooter, and had about as much oomph as a big scooter. I'm 5'10" tall and was stretched out flat to hold the grips, with no windshield; I was banged out at 50mph. Just generally nasty. So I took it back home, look at it and decided what I needed to do with this little pig of a bike.
First thing I did was put iridium plugs in it, immediately ran smoother. This bike is on a Silverado frame, so I put a Silverado windshield on it, not good, lots of banging. Used my old C90 shield on the Silverado mount. Good. Swapped the exhaust for a compatible Vance and Hines exhaust. Wow! What a difference. No carb re jet. This bike would now get up and go! Bolted on some cosmetic usability stuff, Lindby hwy bars and chaps, luggage rack, hardbags and some other stuff. But then I bought a Baron BAK (air kit), installed that with a carb re jet and this bike turned into a much bigger and performing displacement machine. I love it now. I've turned what was a "scooter" into a mean machine that HD riders ask me about. I stripped all the Yami badges off it, so it's difficult to tell what it is.. It just sounds mean, looks mean and goes mean. Cost me about 3K to do it, but I'm happy with it, and I don't have to lug a 850lb bike around town..
No bike is an ideal bike, but this 2008 Yami650 Classic as now configured comes close. It sounds big, looks big and rides small and can really sprint. I wouldn't want to have to use for a long haul ride though, it gets a bit buzzy. Want to ride from NY to La, get an 800lb bike.
R. Jay Spragg.
Found your changes to the 650 very interesting. Would like to clarify some info with you if possible.