Pick of the Day: 1976 Yamaha Motorcycle

Credit: Original article published by Classic Cars Journal.

These days in the world of collector vehicles there don’t seem to be any truly cheap entry point options available. While this is true, there is a market that is still growing and developing where there are many options available at less than $6,500. Welcome to the world of the classic motorcycle market.

Within the classic motorcycle market there are truly iconic bikes from Italy, Great Britain, Germany, and Japan all available at the magical $6,500 price point. In addition, all the bikes from the various countries have a very active club scene, with shows, rallies and the like to give you something to do with your classic vehicle.

There are two additional things that make classic motorcycles in some ways more attractive than their car counterparts. The first is the ease and lower cost of servicing these wonderful vehicles. The cost for a full professional restoration on a Triumph Bonneville will cost less than the cost of a full suspension rebuild on a Jaguar E-Type. If that wasn’t enough, the relative simplicity of working on most motorcycles means that there are a great many operations that you can do yourself even if your skills are only the most basic.

The second attractive part of classic motorcycle collecting is that they take less space to store. In the same space where you can park a single Triumph Spitfire you can park 3 to 4 classic bikes.

My Pick of the Day is in many ways the easy button of classic motorcycles. It is a 1976 Yamaha XS650.

The XS650 is basically Japan’s idea of how to properly build a British twin cylinder motorcycle. Instead of having a pushrod engine it uses an overhead cam engine which provides better performance. The engine design of the XS650 is different too. Instead of having its engine case split horizontally which makes for an engine design that tends to be much more oil tight than the Bonneville.

Do realize that there is a potential downside to the XS650 and that is that the engine does have a tendency to vibrate a bit. While people complain about this, in my personal experience it is no worse than a Triumph T140 750, which I do not think is too bad at all.

This XS650 is being offered by a dealer located in West Chester, Pennsylvania and looks to be a wonderful example. They describe it as a 100% original bike that has only covered a total of 4,700 miles from new. The bike does have a few paint chips and it is not perfect but is instead a very clean and well-preserved example. They add that the bike is fully serviced and ready to ride. The one thing I would check would be the condition of the tires as they look like new Avons but this is good to always double check. If they are new tires and not out of date, I would seriously consider buying this bike and riding it from Pennsylvania back home to Connecticut. This would make for a great road trip and definitely make some great memories.

In my opinion, this specific XS650 is perfect in that it is a bike you can show in a preservation class at a motorcycle show and one that you can also use as often as you would like. As long as you don’t crash the bike it will continue to hold its value over time and at the same time deliver a lot of classic motorcycle fun with very little trouble.

The asking price for this XS650 is possibly the best part being only $4,500. At that price it is affordable to any collector and offers a great opportunity to enter the world of classic motorcycles.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.