Teddy Horn’s 1970 Yamaha XS650

| 12/10/2019 12:00:00 AM


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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

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)

1/9/2020 1:20:37 PM

It's too bad; marketing, government, even CAD engineering, are players in the declining satisfaction of consumers. A bike like 70's Yamaha 650 remains pure and well-nigh perfect, yet none of the manufacturers 'get-it' enough to re-enact a winner. Even the Kawasaki W650 a wonderful bike in limited time of production, they just messed up the concept in W800. Doesn't matter; Suzuki, Honda, Harley, BMW, most of them can't do it either. Now, when it comes to Europe, their perspective is a little better.

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