What?? a review of a very old bike? yes indeed, id figured some one had to do it, and seeing I have one, and ride it most of the time, id thought it would be a good idea to give a run down what it's like living with the thing on a day to day basis. Any one who has never ridden an old bike like this, will really appreciate there modern counterparts, not that the 650 is a bad bike, how ever it is an old bike, and quite a heavy one at that too, mine is the 81 model, heaviest of the bunch, for some reason, Yamaha thought it would be a dandy idea to make the bike heavier as the years progressed. The XS1s came in at 185 dry, according to the factory manual, the latter 81s came in at 210 or there abouts. The first thing you notice when you straddle your leg over the old thing is, its got quite a comfortable seat, I'm 6'3" and have not found it to be uncomfortable in any way, good leg room, how ever mine is going to be turned into a cafe racer, so you can forget what I said. Firing up the 360 degree parallel twin, introduces you to a world, where you find things quite blurry, you can feel each fire of the pistons going at it beneath you, you gaze at the front wheel and notice it vibrate visibly, every thing vibrates and shakes, screw taking your paint down to Bunnings! just pop it on the 650, do just a good job I reckon.. Torque comes on incredibly low, as low as 1500 it pull evenly and strongly, how ever it ain't no revvy engine, redline sits about 7k, and you find your self shifting gears a lot, this motor does not like to rev..at ALL, which takes me to the next point.. Gearing, the gearing on this, I don't know, it feels as though as it belongs on a 250 twin or some thing, at 100ks, im in 5th and final, and all ready I'm siting on 5k rpm, only 2k left, and with a motor like this, it feels very unatural, not to mention the vibration at that engine speed, Yamaha should of put at least a tall last gear, or a tall 6th for some sort of overdrive on the freeway, be aware though, there are mods that can be done to the 650 for that very purpose, I've never taken mine over 110 simply because I don't feel safe doing it on this bike! Handling..is well, its 70s technology, so don't expect it to be like a R1, it turns and goes ok, the brakes are mediocre, they stop I guess, quite wooden actually, and to make matters worse on mine, the rear ones don't work too, hooray! What to expect: as a 650 owner, you must carry several of these items on you at ALL times. *loctite (I'm not joking) *spare fuses *a multi tool, you know, screwdriver, some alan keys and what not *some sort of faith of some sort *have old men come at ogle at your bike "I used to have one of those!" *oil stains on your garage floor *quite a bit of wrenching, they are old bikes ya know Other than that, they are quite a nice bike, if you want to kick start it, be aware of how to do it correctly, they can bite back a bit, if your electric strarter is rattly and grinds and stuff, you can get a rebuild kit for about 40 bucks off mike xs, easy to fix, but yeah, if you fancy some retro biking, you cant go wrong with this old bird.