Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

XS650 or CB650

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by thecptn, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. As some may know, I have a cafe racer thats coming up in the works, and I have located two bikes which make perfect canditates for cafe racers, a CB650 and XS650 both for the same price, both no rego, both in good condition, problem is I cant decide which one to get!

    The CB650 donk sounds like a ferrari 275 all grumpy and stuff, has more power and has Honda reliabilty behind...but it has 87k on the clock!

    The XS makes less hp, but, has a twin, just like a old school british bike, minus the oil leaks and crappy electrics, and sounds horn.

    I like both, but only have enough cash for one project bike at a time.

    ahhh!! help! :(
  2. XS gets my vote :cool:

    All the best with the mods
  3. I reckon the XS would make the better cafe-racer, not only for the fact that it's a twin but it also just looks more like a British bike.
    So I reckon you should buy the CB, and let me know where this XS650 is hiding ;).
  4. Hmm xs650 or cb650?

    Find an old sv650, duh! :D
  5. Disclosure: As noted on other threads, I have a pathological dislike of any Honda over about 200cc.

    Seriously though, the CB650 seems to be a bit of an orphan. I don't remember there ever being that many around, which might indicate something. As I've said elsewhere, my experience of elderly Hondas indicates that, when it came to crappy materials and cheapskate production engineering, there were few equals of the Big H c.1980.

    The XS, on the other hand, has a stonking reputation amongst those who like parallel twins but don't want the hassle of a Brit. Although many classic Brit problems were as much a function of age and neglect as they were of design, which will now also apply to an XS pushing its quarter century :? .

    The XS also has a bit of classic status and, if you win Lotto and really want to scare yourself, you cam put the engine in a box and ship it over to Halco Tuning in the UK for one of their 950 kits :twisted: .

    The Missus' cousin had a 1050 in a grasstrack outfit, until he rolled it and broke his back. Went like the hammers of Hell and sounded like 'em too :grin: .

    Don't bother with any of that wussy handling rubbish. Real bikes are supposed to feel like they've got a hinge in the middle.

    Seriously though, there's a lot of knowledge around regarding the XS and still (I think) a few specialist suppliers. For serious caff-racerhood I doubt if you could find a better basis.
  6. Thanks for the input, I think ill stick with the xs instead, I have located a xs650 special, which was one of the models that had a more cruiser like apearance, sloped down tank, higher up handlebars and other bits, question is, is it the same frame as the standard 650? I dont want to get it and find its forks are raked out more than a standard or its frame is different, other wise, it will end me up in a pickle.
  7. From memory, the Special was a fundamentally different shape from the standard bike and isn't such good caff-racer material.

    That said, they still lend themselves to subtle custom work. Flat bars, a low single seat, minimal front guard and a tidy up of the rear, and a nice, slash-cut 2-1 pipe, combined with throwing away all the tacky chromey bits and a nice black paint job make for a really nice looking beastie.
  8. Cheers mate, I spoke with the owner of the xs about this, besides the cosmetic stuff, the frame underneath is pretty much the same as a standard, which is good news, since the only thing thats going to be original on it is the frame and motor :shock:
  9. The cruiser model was a D-model at heart. You might like to try and locate a set of D-model wire wheels though; the XS-650 with alloys always looked to me like your maiden aunt wearing a mini-skirt :(.
  10. Damn right on that one Paul, they just look....so wrong, like so many other things out of the 80s, the spokes are the first on the agenda, might have them powder coated gold or copper :cool:
  11. AndrewG on this forum is after XS650 Special parts. I'm sure you could offload anything unwanted to him.

    The XS650 club website has plenty of info on all things XS.
  12. Thanks every one, yeah all parts will be pawned off to fellow xs riders, now I was looking about for ideas and I stumbled across this.


    Now this is what ive had in mind all this time, right down to the wheels, problem is, where do you get that exact tank and seat from??
  13.  Top
  14. Ah thankyou, ill look into it.
  15. While im here, im curious about those wheels, are they stock xs items? or taken from some thing else? the sport rubbers really seem to match bike and wheels perfectly.
  16.  Top
  17. I must say Paul, you certainly are an encyclopedia of information.
  18. Just old, mate, with a fairly sticky memory. Thanks for the nice words, though :).
  19. For general caff-racer gear, it's hard to go past these guys. http://www.unityequipe.com/. All Norton Featherbed oriented I know, but a lot of it's fairly universal/adaptable. Shipping costs would be an issue but might be worth investigating.

    Hubs don't look XS but I wouldn't want to hazard a guess as to what they are. Rims certainly aren't Yamaha issue.
  20. Thanks Pat, ill still love to get that exact tank, rear set and wheels, so if any one knows exactly where they are, please dont hesistate to tell me, in other news, ill be picking her up tommorow! she has no rego, so ill trailer her in, shes an 81 model special, first thing will be rego, than straight to my mates garage where we will be striping her down to the basic elements, ill keep you guys posted, ill include pics of the build, will be very interesting this!!