Buying a classic 1972 XS650 with high mileage

Big Nige

XS650 New Member
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I´ve been hunting for a classic early 70s XS650 and I´ve found a beautifully restored bike 1972, with classic red and white colours at a reasonable price. The engine has had lots of work, it runs great and the price is reasonable. BUT it´s got 59000 on the clock. It´s so hard to find a decently priced XS650 in europe, I´m in Spain, I´m so tempted. Am I making a mistake??
Any advice would be very welcome, thanking you in advance
My XS650SK has 65,000 miles on it. Refreshed at about 60,000. My XS650SH had 6,000 miles on it at the beginning of the summer, now 9,000 miles. Both run the same. 40 years is a lot of history, no matter the miles. I would not be put off by 59,000 miles. Keep in mind, mileage is the only information given.
If the bike was properly refreshed/rebuilt the mileage doesn't really matter IMO. The bike in the pic looks nice, albeit with some non-original features (pipes, fenders..) I have no knowledge of the European market though nice bikes from that era are rare period, probably more so in Spain:shrug:
A well restored machine with an engine rebuild; no brainier just buy it.
Milage is irrelevant. A low milage shagged bike is a liability.
A well maintained / restored bike would be a pleasure to own.
In this situation, I think it comes down to the level of comfort and trust you have in the seller's representation of what work has been done...
It depends I have a little different view I go for bad looking low mileage
Trying to avoid engine work which is expensive or needs tools and Knowledge
Many here are expert Mechanics with many years professionally collected skills

Is there any verification on the rebuild Receipts parts
Receipts work order from someone that knows what he is doing.
The personality of the seller can often be evaluated and reasons for selling

There are people polishing and not splitting the engine that is fine If you intend to do very little riding.

Personally I would hesitate Buying something with a higher mileage than say 25 000 30 000 km

Price / Skills / Documentation

If it is a solid engine overhaul .OK and bike would be expensive
If not It is a risk ,but so is all Old motorcycles I have bought 3 and All of them had some kind of problems not noticed at the purchase That happens and is a part of the experience ..No Guarantees
As the Nike slogan " Just do it " -- the repair.

Some basic test before --charging and so and A person that is experienced watching the smoke and listening to engine rattle If not yourself are into it
From the photo I see braded steel brake line, tidy tied rev counter cable, new MC cap, the seat has been nicely reapolstered, ( usually the 72 seat looks flat even a good one), with the rest of the bike well turned out.

Some questions I would b asking are,
Has the charging system had work done to it....check bike charging with a voltmeter while running.

What has been done to the wiring and bar switches.

What was done to the engine. Was the front cam chain guide replaced when the work was done,

Judging from the pic I think any work done would have been done well, not guaranteed but...... the answer to the questions will confirm or deny.

Mileage, if the top end has been done, is nothing. If looked after these cranks can take 3 top end rebuilds before they need to be rebuilt themselves, and as Marty states some of these bikes have done big mileages before the first top end rebuild.

If a reasonable price is on it, you feel he is genuine and questions answered satisfactorily, ......well there is always a chance things, or the decision could be wrong but ......imagine if it all comes together
Right footpeg will need a new rubber. Yes, check the forks for pitting.... give everything a good going over.
But having said all that, grab it. It's a no brainer. :smoke:
The only question you need to ask yourself is are you willing to tinker with it? It's gonna need a little work.

By the way, the gaiters fit the overall theme.... painted fenders... old school stuff. I'm guessin' that's why they're there, not to hide anything.

Good Point on the pitting but No Deal Breaker in my Book ..
Unless both are gone ..
I had one fork leg scratched. Could not hold oil so I Stopped pouring it in. It was in the days with dynamic riding.
Never noticed any severe problems. Maybe not entirely straight either. But I have never been impressed about the front end . But can be my own fault.
And very few if anyone are gonna Hot Rodding that bike .. Putting it horizontally on its side sliding with sparks flying
Would be interesting hear Price Guessing asking --- 7 k - 10 k Euro ?
It has issues... minor.... turn signals... ? proper fenders... the red paint doesn't look correct.. should be more of a eye popping candy.. fork gathers should be tossed.... but over all.. worth the price of admission to the classic motorcycle world.... Buy it.. enjoy it... if you want a high speed all day ride... find one..keep the Xs2... most of us on the forum has a bike that doesn't need us..... 😎
Most repairs are fairly easy to accomplish on your own. If further inspection leaves you somewhat comfortable, consider this. This is not a high tech ignition system, charging system or intake/carburation system motorcycle. The motor is roller or ball bearings, they seem to last very well and are not susceptible to low oil pressures like plane bearings are. If you see yourself enjoying this bike around town, relaxed country lanes and running out for coffee buy it. Very few people get to enjoy 50 year old motorcycles. Enjoy.