Yamaha TX 650 A (1974)

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March 1974 - April 1978      4 seasons  12,600 miles

  There was a serious gas shortage in the spring of 1974 and motorcycles were in high demand everywhere.  So much so, that I had to search around to find a dealer after I decided which bike I wanted.  This one was purchased from Dave Flack's Yamaha (and Triumph) in Ravena, NY, south of Albany.  I paid full price ($1,850) which was probably inflated since I knew of the same model from later year selling for less.  But the other side of this was that I had little difficulty selling the '71 Honda 450 for nearly what I had paid for it 3 years and 16,000 miles before.

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Schenectady - 1977         

 

               Gauge cluster

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  I chose a bike that looked like a British twin because I liked that style and had once admired a BSA 650 Lightning.   But I couldn't match the performance or features or the price of a Japanese bike with a Brit bike.  I had already owned two Hondas and liked them.  I was also completely used to quality disk brakes, electric starting and and the faultless electrics of the CB 450 so the British offerings never got seriously considered.

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Susan in Washington Park, Albany - June 1975

   The bike had a reputation as a shaker but I never noticed this.  At high speeds, over 70-75, after 10,000 miles on it, I did think that it seemed to skip a bit, due to the tires or the suspension misbehaving.  I was never quite sure which.  It did have a problem with a broken wire in the headlight shell that intermittently cut off the ignition leaving me dead in traffic.  I located it with a bit of luck when I saw a spark in the headlight wiring when the handlebars were moved in dim light, and was able to fix it easily.  It always got just about 40 mpg and had a nice lumpy clank to the starter when firing up.

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Bonnie - Fall 1975   Wormer Rd.

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June 1976 - Albany

  I liked the graphics on this model.  No projecting emblems or swooping designs.  Just the clean lettering and thin stripes.  The curve of the pipes and the long, slightly upswept mufflers also suited my tastes.  The later versions were not as good looking.

   In 1978 I was a graduate student in Albany and saved money to buy a new bike that spring.  I sold the 650 for $1000 (minus $25 for the non-working horn) and bought a new Kawasaki 750 twin.  

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  Here is more information about Yamaha 650's which have become a bit of a collector/cult bike with repro parts now available;

Biker.Net - a particularly rich site with resources and many links inlcuding the owner's manual.    TX650 Owner's Manual Online

650motorcycles.com

  A visitor to this site sent me some additional photos of a 1973 TX650.

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Last Updated June 18, 2003