Motorcycle History - The Yamaha XJ650
January 15, 2013 - San Diego, CA
The Yamaha XJ650 Maxim is a mid-size motorcycle originally introduced by the Yamaha Motor Company in 1980 as the Maxim I and produced until 1983. The XJ Maxim was the descendant of the XS Special (introduced in 1978). The high-performance Yamaha XJ650 was designed as a brand-new four-cylinder with shaft drive and was built specifically as a special cruiser. A cult classic, many Yamaha motorcycle parts are still produced for the Yamaha XJ650 due to its popularity.
In 1982 the Yamaha XJ 650 (reduced effect) and Yamaha XJ 650 Turbo were introduced. The reduced effect was manufactured until 1984 and the Turbo was manufactured until 1986.
When introduced, the Yamaha XJ650 featured an in-line four engine with 71 HP @ 9400 RPM. It included an air cooling system, 5-speed gearbox and shaft drive. The engine employed a one-piece crankshaft with plain bearings and situated the starter and alternator behind the engine to minimize its width. The power unit is lit by electronic ignition and is fed by four Hitachi constant velocity carburetors. The original model in 1980 posted a top speed of 122.4 mph (197 km/h).
1982 - 1984
The Yamaha XJ 650 (reduced effect) featured an in-line four engine with 50 HP @ 7500 RPM. Because it was a reduced effect, it only posted a top speed of 107.5 mph (173.0 km/h).
1984 - 1986
The Yamaha XJ 650 Turbo featured an in-line four engine with 90 HP @ 9000 RPM. It weighed 577.6 pounds (262 kg) as opposed to the original Yamaha XJ650 which was only 509.3 pounds (231 kg). Additionally, it could only hold 5.02 gallons of fuel (19.0 litres) vs. 5.42 gallons of fuel on the original model. However it has a top speed of 126.1 mph (203.0 km/h) vs. the original's top speed of 122.4 mph (197 km/h).
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