19th Apr 2010, 20:19

I have an 83 Maxim that's been sitting for about 3 years. I have emptied the fuel, changed the oil, new plugs, solenoid works fine, cleaned carbs, and I go to push the start button, and nothing.. no turning over, just red oil light coming on. Is this starter, should I manually try to turn the engine over on its center stand? What else could this be? I am stuck, and any opinions would be greatly appreciated..

20th Apr 2010, 11:11

I am not a mechanic, but I would first place it on the center stand, remove the spark plugs, and attempt to turn the engine over by rotating the rear wheel. The engine should spin over if it is not frozen up from sitting. I know from experience that an engine can freeze up from sitting without being run for three years, but it is not the norm. That is why it is so important to fog the cylinders if it is going to sit for any amount of time.

When you say that the “solenoid is good”, what led you to that conclusion?

20th Apr 2010, 12:40

I just purchased my first road ridable bike, a 82 Yamaha Maxim 650 with 13 thousand miles. I am a 43 year old female who is maybe refusing to grow old?? Seriously, I have been dreaming of hitting the open road since I was 13 and my Dad bought me a 67 Yamaha 50. Wish I still had that thing for my son.

The guy I bought it from serviced it before I brought it home, except he could not fill the brake fluid reservoir. The screws appear like they are stripped. Does anyone know how to get this off now??

Also any suggestions for beginning learning would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

20th Apr 2010, 22:36

I had the same occurrence. Make sure it is in neutral. That should fix it.

21st Apr 2010, 16:15

Apr. 19th.

Make sure the kickstand is up as well along with it being in neutral... I had this problem once when I was just going to start it up to hear it run. I left the kickstand down and nothing but the red indicator light came on. Put the kickstand up and try it again.


21st Apr 2010, 23:50

For the screws on the brake box, I had the same problem. My friend took a screwdriver with a hardened tip, placed the tip in the screw head, and then hammered on it a few times till it secured itself to the screw, and he was able to remove it no problem!

30th Apr 2010, 19:58

For the 83 Maxim that has been sitting for a few years. I own a 81 550 and a 82 750 Maxim. Both have had a similar problem that turned out to be the ground wire in the junction under the gas tank. Remove the tank, and on the right side of the frame by the front tank rubber mount is a plug with between 5 to six wires. The black one was my problem both times. I could push start, but if I hit the starter button, nothing happened. Good luck; these are truly great bikes.

Purchased the 550 9 years ago after sitting in a garage for 14 years. Had it running the next day.

The 750 was purchased Sept of 2009 and already put over 3000 miles on it. Both were considered parts bikes, and I just love the challenge.

4th May 2010, 08:56

Regarding the costs of rehabbing a 650 Maxim, FWIW, I bought an 82 XJ650 Maxim a couple of months ago. Looks wise it was between 8 & 9, but it wouldn't start and was told it would run rough when it did. The owner's son had a bike mechanic friend do a carb rebuild. Apparently his work did not help. I found a fuel jet had fallen out or was never put in, and that was the cause of the poor & very rich running.

I had paid $500 for it, and decided I would make it as new at least as regards anything dealing with safety issues and engine longevity.

I ended up replacing the fork oil seals as one became bad after a week of driving, so I replaced both of them.

Replaced the fuel petcock & front brake, oil, air filter.

De-rusted the gas tank.

I got a Deca AGM ETX15 battery, which is pricey but more AH and CCA than other lead acid batteries (I did have to remove the screws from the battery box & slide it against the airbox to make it fit, but fit it does).

I bought a carb cleaning kit from the parts supplier on xjbikes.com, and rebuilt all four carbs and the O rings on the butterfly shaft.

I needed to replace three valve shims.

I also replaced both tires as looking at them, they appeared new, but the date code was from the early 90's. I also bought a "Colortune plug", which lets you adjust your idle by watching the color of the fire in each chamber as it's running.

On that website that is devoted to XJ bikes only, there are a lot of pictures of how to repair and adjust these bikes. I followed the instructions and synced the carbs with a home made manometer (YICS engines need to have the YICS port blocked off while syncing these carbs. Easy to do, just read up on what's necessary to do.

In short, though I haven't tallied up all the money involved, I probably have $650 of parts into it now and bought maybe $80 in tools (which are all reusable). So it's fair to say I have $1200 into it including the purchase price.

What I have for it now is a bike that when cold, starts instantly, idles perfectly, gets 50+ MPG, handles like a dream on back roads and interstates, looks as clean as a showroom floor bike and has all the power it came with from the factory. That and it does not look like every other cookie cutter bike out there. It has great lines and a great feel.

If you are OK with not replacing old components if they appear to be intact, you can really get by with a lot less and have a great bike. I just want to minimize my chance of problems unexpectedly going around a curve at 50 MPH, so I willingly replaced all that I did.

Enjoy this beautiful bike, it does so much, so well.

5th May 2010, 11:33

Nice to see so many XJ lovers out there. I traded a 2008 150cc scooter for one about 2 weeks ago, 81 XJ650, he had added new tires, plugs, oil, battery, etc, and was too much bike for a younger female. Was nervous about it at first, but by the time I got home after trading, I was confident, and it has been doing great since. Hard to believe after 30 years, it has only 30,000 on it, still looks like new. Man, they just don't make em like that anymore.

11th May 2010, 09:28


I own a XJ750J 1982, where do I find the neutral switch assembly in my bike's engine; in my speedometer, the neutral light never stops blinking?

Also I would like to know if somebody knows where I could find a color chart from those days, very important for me is red and burgundy.



Dominican Republic.