I'm torn.

BoarDoom

XS650 Member
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I bought a '79 XS650 for $1,000 years ago but I was young and dumb and the jerk who sold it to me had burned it out from flat track racing it, so it died soon after, but I loved the bike so I had tore it down and then had to let it go due to unforseeable circumstances.

Now I finally have the opportunity to get another one, a good one, but I'm also looking at an XS850 in great condition that actually has a kickstarter on it (never seen one stock like it) and it's 200 cc's more which I'm sure would be a plus, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't have points, which is a negative.

So I know this is a 650 group, but sell me, why don't I want the 850? If anyone's had one, other than gas mileage, what could be the drawbacks, or plusses the 650 has over it?
 
Never owned one, but I've ridden the 750 and 850 on occasion. I liked 'em... thought they were good bikes.
The big downside I see is parts availability. Not many survivors out there, so there's not very much aftermarket support for 'em.
 
Well, to me, the 650 is a simple, old school motorcycle. It's easy to work on and parts are plentiful. The 850 would be bigger, heavier, and more complex. It is supposedly a better bike than it's 750 predecessor, and it does have a shaft drive and electronic ignition, but it's really just not my "cup of tea". Most of my riding now is local and around town, and the 650 fits that bill perfectly, plus there's so much you can do with and to it. It's a tinkerer's delight, lol.
 
I owned a ‘78 XS750 triple back when it was new,
IMG_5629.jpeg
and I’ve owned three XS650’s. Back when it was new, I feel the triple was a much superior bike. Smooth and powerful with triple disc brakes and a shaft drive. Having said that, if I were looking for an old bike to fix up and ride, I would definitely choose the 650, for the reasons stated above, parts availability, simpler design, and this is important……the 650 enjoys a much more vibrant support community and a wealth of technical information, right here on this forum.
And there is no more classic motorcycle than a 650cc vertical twin. 😉
 
I've worked on a few....they suffer fuse box green death also.... a bit porky in the park'n lot.... carbs are b i t c h to R and R.... I only rode it a few miles after repairs. I'm not a fan of them....my old army buddy has a 72' Xs and at one time Yam 750 triple.... he said it wasn't faster..or quicker than the 650... he still has the 650.. the 750 sold a few weeks later. 😎
 
A well maintained 650 is an unstoppable beast!
Don't know about the 850s
? What do you want from it is the real question.
Vroom or Zoom.
And a 650 WILL zoom if you want her to.
I know a 650.
There's love and trust involved, take care of her and she'll take care of you. :thumbsup:
 
Engine aside, I like to ride a bigger and heavier bike than the 650. :shrug: I'm not a big guy either.
Agreed, I like the heaver feel too.
Drop it to the ground, get inside it.
Soften the suspension and ride a slow bike fast.
Whatta a ride whatta rush! 😱
 
Mailman said it all in post #4.
I own both and regard the 850 as a bit of an bloated slug that is not that attractive from most viewing angles with the 750 looking considerably better. The 650's looks although dated are classic.
850's and later 750's had TCI ignitions both have kick starts.
 
Hitachi carburetors.

The comments here might indicate they’re not popular. I think that’s right. The XS850 Special has very little value. The standard doesn’t appear to have enough to get any return on investment. Of course, all of that could change. Or not.
 
Okay, y,all sold me, as I figured you would. The 850 is pretty with more oomph, but the Hitachis and parts scarcity was the clincher. Best to stick to what I know, and something more die-hard to match Texas weather. Now I gotta figure out which XS650 Special to get, probably found 8 or more, might be a good idea to get a parts bike too, but best matchups would depend on years, I'd think.
 
Okay, y,all sold me, as I figured you would. The 850 is pretty with more oomph, but the Hitachis and parts scarcity was the clincher. Best to stick to what I know, and something more die-hard to match Texas weather. Now I gotta figure out which XS650 Special to get, probably found 8 or more, might be a good idea to get a parts bike too, but best matchups would depend on years, I'd think.
1980 and later have TCI rather than points. The XS650G maintains the early Special style, but with TCI and BS34 carburators.
 
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