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Old 01-27-2013, 12:04 PM   #1
bpeckm OP
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Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Road Island
Oddometer: 6,071
XS650 Special becomes a Vermont Backroader

Yes, it probably is an odd place to start a Yamaha XS650 thread.... but what a great bike!

My previous wrenching experience had all been with BMW's of various vintages, so the UMJ thing was a little daunting.

Back story: my son and I had done a cafe R60/6 a couple of years ago when he got his first endorsement. He is off to college, and came to me last winter with a "craigslist find" that he thought I would enjoy working on.... Deal was, he would buy the bike and pay for parts, I would do the enjoyable part, i.e. working on the bike

So, December a year ago I drove my trailer out to western MA and took a look at this bike for $500.... it had been sitting for years, unknown problems, but it did have good compression when I turned it over. Figuring it could be TOO bad, I brought 'er home...

1981 Yamaha XS650SG.... the "S" stands for Special, the "G" is the year code, in YamaLingo.

For you non-XS'rs, the Special is the Heritage Special, which was all the rage back in the '80's: sorta chopper/bobber style. Note the cutoff at the back of the seat which was undoubtedly a sissy bar.....

I am not a fan of choppers (to put it mildly!), so a major re-do was in the works. Somehow use the bullet-proof motor and drivetrain, frame and do something mo-bettah.

The Special rear tire is a sixteen-incher (choppah!), and that would have to go. be continued......

XS650 becomes a VT BackRoadRunner
Loving the 80ST
I love projects that take twice as much effort as should be needed. Should be an Airhead motto. (disston)
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