1981 Yamaha XS650S (Special) - Project Bike #5

rbirkey

NBRAdmin
Staff member
After completing the 1977 Yamaha XS650D project bike #4 for my friend Scott, I decided to purchase a similar bike from the same seller. It is a slightly newer 1981 Yamaha XS650S (Special) with under 9,000 miles on it.

unloaded-new-arrival.jpg

I have torn it down pretty far, assessed things, and ordered parts, etc. So far, I have completed:
  • Mount new Avon Roadrider tires
  • Clean and paint the battery box
  • Assessed that I can probably make a spare 2008 Triumph Bonneville seat work on this bike because I hate the stock seat! I will recover the seat with a nonbranded cover.
  • Cleaned the frame, engine and dirty, grimy bits
  • New chain
  • New Euro-style handlebars
  • New Biltwell grips
deconstruction.jpg

The 1981 XS had solid-state ignition from the factory, so I will not have to make that conversion.

reconstruction.jpg

It's amazing how similar these are to the Triumph Bonneville's!
 

rbirkey

NBRAdmin
Staff member
I'm thinking about adding the second caliper and rotor to the front fork like these Specials had when they were sold in Europe. I will probably keep the original metallic silver paint, and either just buff it out, or possibly clear coat and then buff... leaving the imperfections and age spots there. I may bob the fenders a bit. I also plan to use modern flexible LED lighting as I did on one of my Bonneville project bikes. It creates a very clean, streamlined look! New Ikon rear shocks are also on the way.
 
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