Update: I replaced the Tracy Fairing with a smaller National Cycle windshield (which is easily removable).
This change seems to cut down on the susceptibility to crosswinds considerably.
The Yamaha continues to be reliable and fun to ride.
The XJ650 Maxim.. a bullet proof motor?? no way!!
It's a good bike motorwise, but was plagued by electrical problems and poor build quality compared to the rest of the Yamaha line.. just go to any XJ650 online forum and the owners will tell you the same.. most XJ650's over 30,000k miles have lots of electrical and starting problems.. japanese bikes are known to me more reliable than that..
Don't get me wrong, mechanically the motor is sweet, but look into it carefully before anyone buys one..
Okay, but at 4300 miles on a 23 year old bike, it should be approaching 30k miles in about 100+ years. By then I don't think I'll be worrying about impending electrical problems.
This bike gets a 6 out of 10. The steering is too heavy in the bars. Acceleration is nowhere near comparable to my CB750. This bike is a dog and the carbs have been redone. It does score higher on looks as I am sure this is what many owners score rather than mechanical capabilities.
I do know when I encounter one of these on the road with my 1975 CB750 Super Sport Cafe, I won't try so hard to spank it because it will take very little.
I ride this XJ650 like I stole it. In a crash I would be more concerned with my injuries than this bikes injuries.
This bike had a frame off restoration with new paint. Very glad that I paid all of $100 for it. Looks OK, runs OK, just not destined to be a great bike. The stupid air tubes for the carbs cost more than the bike is worth.
Charging system is not functioning.
I have a standard UK spec XJ650 and was interested to read the comments here.
My first XJ650 was bought for £300 with 25000 on the clock, for four years it was my only transport in all weathers and had clocked up a whopping 70000 - by this time the rest of the bike was returning to nature (ie rusting) but the engine was still running fine! 1000 mile oil changes help.
The rusting I put down to several savage winters and road salt. The only problem I had with this bike was poor running in the wet when I first got it. New plug caps sorted that out so hardly major.
Very popular with couriers in the day with tales of 100000 not unheard of - and as we all know, couriers ride like nutters.
Interested to read the comment about an XJ not keeping up with a CB750, I regularly see a 80's Honda 750 DOHC on the way to work and there's nothing between our acceleration. He has more power than me, but more weight.
If you're talking about the new retro styled CB750, that's a CBX750 engine in disguise and is a generation in front of the old XJ, so hardly fair.
Of course you could be talking about the old 750/4, at which point I will burst out laughing.
I purchased a 1982 XJ650RJ about 5 months ago, mostly because my budget wouldn’t allow me something newer or in better condition.
Here in Puerto Rico, bikes are more expensive than in the states, but I still think the $2000.00 I paid for it was a bit too much.
I didn’t get a good chance of checking the bike out really well before buying it, but at first it looked good enough for the price. Anyway, so far I have spent almost $1000.00 in mostly OEM parts and the bike is close to very good condition.
Sometimes I think about selling it because it’s true that even simple parts can be expensive, but the satisfaction I get from riding something so exclusive is too good to let me part with it.
I could tell that the past owners tried their best at keeping it up to date, but still the bike needed a lot of repair. It paid off well to do all the work myself and to be persistent.
Now I have problems with one of the ignition coils, so it’s back to the drawing board. I’m trying to keep it as stock as possible, but it does sport a new header system, nothing fancy though.
I had a 1981 650 Maxim back in 1993, which I never got into good working condition, so this one now is like a redemption for me.
It’s great to get those “Check out what that guys riding” stares when I take it for a spin. It’s fast enough to be fun, and comfortable enough for just riding around. I’ll enjoy it while I can.
I was given an '83 XJ650 Maxim by a friend who one day just stopped riding. I owned it for two years before putting it on the road.
To make it legal, I only had to clean the carbs, replace the battery, replace the rear tire, and rebuild the front brake system. That was at 12,000 miles.
Now, two years later, I have found some options to add, am at almost 20,000 miles, and have not had to do ANY mechanical or electrical repair.
For fun, I just replaced the original steering bearings with tapered bearings, found a new set of shocks, polished the fork lowers, and will be doing a valve cover gasket replacement shortly. I am having a tank from an XJ750 smoothed and custom-painted for this summer.
I am on a couple XJ lists, and have never heard a bad thing about the bike (other than the one entry farther back up this list, so I don't know what lists are being referred to there).
On average, I get about 50 mpg, but if I am careful, and don't have to fight heavy headwinds, I have gotten 60mpg on a few occasions. I LOVE this bike!!!
I agree with the previous comment.
My XJ 650 has been a wonderful bike, and it is 24 years old!
It still looks like new and is a fun ride.
I don't know where those negative comments came from, but I beg to differ. I think the 650 is a bullet-proof bike!
I just bought a 1983 650 Maxim for my 45th birthday and I love it. It's been a great beginner bike. I need to learn more about basic repairs and maintenance though.
Does anyone know where I can get custom parts for my newly acquired 1980 XS400 and my 1982 650 Maxim? I'm looking for an aftermarket exhaust. Maybe 4 into 2, or 4 into 1.
My 1982 XJ650 Maxim still continues to amaze me.
It's reliable, fun-to-ride, still looks great, and is comfortable & powerful enough to ride anywhere.
The only negative I can think to say about my bike is its location - living in New England the riding season just isn't long enough!