Bit of info appreciated. Ive always fancied buying an XS650. I dont like the 'specials', I like the older ones that were copied from the Triumphs. I dont want to get one to chop, I want one as an original to collect. While I was lookin around the net I found this info on an XS650 club site. It seems to say that the models 74 and earlier have handling issues. I had never heard of this before(I knew the drum brakes would be bad, but that's taken for granted with older bikes). They say
If the more traditional "Bonneville look" is more appealing, then it's a Standard you want. Of those, if you want a bike that has historical value and collectability, then an XS-1 or XS-1B, in that order, is for you. If you prefer the styling of these early models but want the extra braking power of a disc, and the convenience of an electric starter, then look for an XS-2. The '73 TX is also very collectable as it's tank was only produced for that one year and so the model's overall appearance is quite unique. Bare in mind though, that owners say the early models are quite un-nerving to ride at any great speed.
If you'd like to modify the bike for better performance, the motors are all the same in that regard, but you'll need good handling. A '74 TX-650A or later is the go here, though the '77s and on also have the better forks.
Here's the link if anyone's interested. http://www.xs650.org.au/general%20info.HTM
Has anyone had one of these 74 or earlier models, and can clarify? A bike that is " 'un-nerving' at any great speed " would be worth thinking again about, for me anyway.