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Yamaha XS650 Bobber

Updated on July 10, 2013

Yamaha XS 650 Bobbers and Choppers

Yamaha XS650 Bobbers and Choppers are one of the most popular bikes in the bobber chopper scene because they have good engines, great design, and are easier to modify than other stock bikes. Plus, parts are easy to come by, making it a cost effective build.

The Yamaha XS650 was an extremely popular motorcycle throughout its production run of 1968-1985, and in fact it is still popular bike to this day. Collectors, enthusiasts, and restorers are searching local classified listings and the internet for new, used, and total loss XS650 bikes. While some people will faithfully restore them, others will use them as parts, and many will chop them and build a bobber.

Why Are XS650 Bobbers and Choppers So Popular?

There are dozens of shops that specialize in Yamaha XS650 choppers and bobbers, and hundreds more part time builders that build gorgeous choppers on the cheap and sell them for a profit right from their home in many cases. In addition there is a whole collector base that buys or builds them and keeps them for their own.

Whether a restoration or a customization project is intended, a Yamaha XS650 is a great motorcycle to choose. The fact that over a quarter of a million bikes were produced has meant that there are always plenty of them available to find in the second hand market. The parts for them are in plentiful supply too, meaning that they are easier than other bikes to fix up.

Restored XS650
Restored XS650

XS650 A Classic Look

Apart from the fact that parts are easily sourced, there are some other qualities which the Yamaha XS650 has which makes it a perfect bike to buy cheap and then to work on. The first is its general look, which is classically stylish. It is a nice looking bike with good lines, which makes it perfect for using as the basis for a chopper or bobber.

It was also a very well designed bike. The engine, in particular, cannot be faulted, and any which were properly maintained will still be running close to perfect to this day. Being a mid-sized motorcycle it is also suitable for many different chopper and bobber projects. Its versatility is shown further by the fact that many people convert them into cafe racers or street trackers.

One of the most common, and simple conversions is to buy or build a weld on hard tail. In other words, you make your XS650 a hard tail chopper by welding on the hardtail...

XS650
XS650

The XS650 Bobber Chopper: Easy To Customize

The customizable nature of the Yamaha XS650 has meant that it has taken on a cult status amongst enthusiasts and restorers. There are many different fan clubs which have been set up, and a basic internet search will return a range of websites dedicated to restoring the motorcycles or converting them. These sites are a chance for members to talk about their projects and to ask for advice. Perhaps the most important aspect of these websites, however, is that they allow members to proudly display pictures of any chopper, bobber, or restoration projects they may have completed in the past.

The Yamaha XS650 is often considered to be a good bike for a first restoration or customization project. Anybody who is considering doing just that should use the resources on the internet to do as much research as possible. The should also take their time when buying parts, as the fact that there is such a large market for them means that bargains can often be found. Working with a Yamaha XS650 can therefore be not only an enjoyable, but also a very affordable, project.

Summary: Why the XS650 are a popular choice for a first time chopper project or a custom project for a professional bike builder:

  • They are not difficult to find
  • The prices are cheap relative to many bikes in their class
  • Tons parts are available
  • The engine is a parallel twin (or vertical twin). It's similar to older Triumph bikes, which is one of attractions for chopper and bobber enthusiasts.

XS650 books and videos (DVD) on Amazon

If you want to learn more about the xs650 motorcycle, chopper, or bobber, get good deals on books and dvd's on Amazon.com...

XS650 Video - The Video Version of The Restoration Project:

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      alexzone2020 5 years ago

      Nice Lens,