Yamaha dirt bike shop XS650The custom world can’t get enough of the Yamaha XS650, and for good reason: it’s one of the most flexible platforms you can find. Builders have turned them into café racers, brats, bobbers, dirt and street trackers, and even choppers.
Made between 1968 and 1979, the XS650 is getting tougher to find. But it does play well with a slew of aftermarket parts, many of which are interchangeable with those from other Japanese bikes. As such, build-outs are a wide-open sea of possibility. Besides that, these old-school motors are dead simple compared to today’s tech. It’s no wonder the XS650 keeps popping up on our pages. Can you believe the Yamaha XS650 is half a century old this year?
The air-cooled parallel twin has always had a strong fan base, and Maria Motorcycles of Lisbon, Portugal love it as much as anyone. Their first build was an XS, and they’ve been smitten ever since. A Yamaha XS650 from Texas, a BMW R90 from China, a Honda tracker and Triumph Bobber from France, and a Yamaha XV1000 from New Zealand. We’re racking up the air miles this week. We’re suckers for beautiful metalwork, but a good set of technical upgrades is just as likely to grab our attention. And seeing both boxes ticked on one build is a rare treat. We’ve spotted a rising trend over the last couple of years that we can get behind: classic bikes with modern tech upgrades.