Teddy Horn’s 1970 Yamaha XS650



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After decades of riding, racing and loving bikes, I rode my friend’s 1975 Yamaha XS650 one day. I pulled out of the driveway, up the hill grabbing gears and twisting the throttle, when it struck me. I’ve got to get one! I looked and looked for an early ’70s model, because the early ’80s XS’s, though plentiful, and even though basically the same with a torquey engine, can be rather boring in style with cast wheels, smaller preset carbs, etc. Then I found a 1970 first-year green XS650 in Wisconsin. It was big money and a long drive, but it has low miles, a clean title, the original tires, manuals and it is just cool as hell. I love it, and it turns heads wherever I go, but mostly it is just a joy to ride.

Teddy Horn/Fort Myers Beach, Florida

10/22/2020 3:47:57 PM

I bought mine in the summer of '70 in the Bay Area for a whopping $1245! I took off the next winter for a "round the country" tour, including a long detour in South America without the bike. 10,000 miles later, upon my return, my brother had bought its twin. Our neighbors hated us! Twin green monsters terrorized our local streets. Those bikes are long gone but I am lucky enough to have another restored '70 in my garage. It's in nearly perfect condition and totally stock except for ignition and a substitute hydraulic clutch cable. The originals are in a box on standby. How lucky am I to still have an XS-1 ...

1/13/2020 12:22:40 AM

I love the looks of yours Mr. Horn. I own 7 of them, none newer than a 77 (70, 71, 72, 73, 75, 76, & 77) and wouldn't consider parting with any of them. I will confess that the 1970 through 1973 are my favorites though and such a pleasure to ride. To make my Triumph buddies feel more at ease, I carry around a hard plastic shiny black portable oil leak in my pocket and place it under the bike at local shows just so we can all have a good time.

1/9/2020 7:31:32 PM

Had a 74 TX650 (My buddys had a 69 and a 70 respectively. We were the odds in a Christchurch of british bikes) and the closest you can get now is the RE INT650 (also had a 1970 RE Interceptor II)

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