The model I'm reviewing is the XJ 650 Maxim.
This is a shaft driven 650 4 cylinder with "Cruiser" styling circa 1982.
The engine is a true gem. Handling is above average. Fuel mileage mid 40's. Power is much more than adequate. 12.6 quarter miles out of a 650 shaftie! Need I say more?
The only area that could be improved is the on long trips the stepped "cruiser" seat restricts movement, and I would like more room to slide back on the saddle to stretch my legs. I'm only 5'7", so I imagine this is even more of an issue for taller riders.
It's still a very comfortable ride, even for long distances, but it woulbe even better had Yamahas offered a version for sale in the U.S.
with a flatter seat and lower bars to give long distance riders a bit more room.
The bike is ultra-reliable, ultra-smooth and still looks good more than a quarter century after it was designed.
It seems compromises were made in the area of
comfort in the name of style ever since the "cruiser style" was introduced.
Yamaha did an admirable job with the Maxim 650, and the compromises made do not keep this bike from being an excellent mid-displacement
motorcycle. Whether the year is 1982 or 2006.
I'll take a well-designed in-line four over the trendy V-Twins of today, anytime!
Pro: Power, handling, silky smooth engine.
Contra: Give me a flatter seat, so that I can move around on long trips.