Classified Moto XS650 (1982)

Classified Moto is hardly an American Icon, but if that day ever comes, we can certainly give a lot of the credit to this bike — and its owner Adam Ewing.

The bike is a 1982 Yamaha XS650 Heritage Special. The owner is a killer photographer. The combo landed us our first real recognition with a feature on Australia’s in December of 2010. When Adam’s stunning shots hit the motosphere, suddenly it wasn’t just a few of us standing around looking at the bike, there were thousands of comments and opinions coming from all corners of the world.

It was weird and awesome. Since then, we’ve built a lot more bikes, but we’ll always have a soft spot for this one.

Having done a couple of front end swaps using sport bike forks, this one was a little trickier. In order to retain front and rear spoke wheels we decided to modify a Suzuki RMZ250 dirt bike front end then fit it with a sweet supermoto wheel and brakeset. We shortened the fork internals for a nice low stance and powder coated the rear wheel gloss black to match the Warp 9 front wheel.

Some sweet Woodcraft clamshell clip-ons were the ticket for the massive RMZ fork tubes.

The stock power plant responded well to some pod filters a free-flowing exhaust and some healthy jetting. Plenty of power for around town and interstate jaunts.

Special touches abound with some very Classified perforated steel side covers, gnarly tires and all-business look.

We like to give a hint of the bike’s previous life whenever we can, so we managed to save a strip of the old ratty red paint on the tank. A coat of gloss clear over the whole shebang slows the aging process to a crawl.

Look for more tweaks on this one from time to time, since bike and owner are near CM HQ.


  • Jody


    What tyres are those?

  • Classified Moto


    The front is a Kenda 761 and the rear is a Bridgestone Trail Wing (stock rear tire on a Honda NX250). Rear is 120/90-16 and the front is a 130/80-17 if I recall correctly.

  • Yamaha XS650 by Classified Moto | Modern Moto


    [...] XS650 by Classified Moto Posted on M d Y by mod_88 Custom Yamaha XS650 Heritage Special by Classified Moto. This entry was posted in 1980s, 500 - 749 cc, Yamaha. Bookmark the permalink. Copyright [...]

  • Jody


    Thanks so much!

  • Sho-Tyme


    I'm really interested in doing a front end swap on an XS650 for a inverted fork setup. Is there a particular doner bike that works easiest? I'd really like to use a supermoto setup but a sportbike will do if its easier.

  • Classified Moto


    So far we've done two swaps on XS650's — one with an RMZ250 Supermoto setup and one with a GSXR 750 setup. The supermoto deal is a bigger project since the fork internals need to be modified along with the triple trees. The good news is there's plenty of room on the XS for using a fat tire in front as it doesn't interfere with the exhaust like some combos can. I saw your email come through recently. I'll track it down and give you some more info. Been nuts around here lately. We'll chat soon and see if we can help with the project. Best, JR.

  • John P


    What rear shocks are you running on the xs650? They seem pretty cool.

  • Kris taylor


    I will be performing one soon using an R1 front end. it's fitting a large rear wheel that is the concern for me. trying to get enough space to align the chain against the frame.

  • Classified Moto


    Those shocks came from Good shocks for a good price.

  • dave_cb


    Gday, (from Down Under) What's involved in the GSXR 750 front end swap? Thanks, Dave

  • Matt C


    Just want to say that your bikes/art is amazing. So much so that it drove me to buy a bike, learn to ride and get my license last summer. I bought an 81XS650 and since it's winter here (MN) I'm starting the build. I'm getting a front end off of an 06 Kawi 636 and I'm really curious about some of the finer details of getting them to be compatible. If you could shoot me some info to help that would be greatly appreciated. Again thanks for kicking so much ass!

  • Tyler


    I love that exhaust, im going for a very similar look, where can i get one?

  • Trevor Schelin


    I'm in love with the xs650 you did for the photographer. I have an 82 xj650 and will be doing a complete strip and remodel inspired by this bike. Any advice on finding parts for a good price would be helpful. Your work is classic and will one day (hopefully sooner not later) recognized as such!!!

  • Сергей


    Просто Супер!!! XS 650 просто шедевр!

  • Classified Moto



  • Ivan B


    Looks outstanding! But how does it feel? I can imagine you inspire loads of people around the world, but most of them would be building bikes for driving. I hope you will add a short notice about driveability when presenting bikes in the future. Love your style of work, hope to see a lot more of it in the future.

  • Classified Moto


    Tyler: The exhaust was a one-off made by Seth Ingham of Sleeper Designs. His Facebook site is Thanks! JR



    [...] Classified Moto “Yamazuki” XS650 ($NFS) was the bike that put Classified Moto on the map. It was originally featured on BikeEXIF in [...]

  • Niels


    How did you coat the tank and rear spoiler? It looks coated to keep it from rusting further? I love the brushed look coming through. So simply some sandpaper, brush and coat?

  • Dylan Pearson


    What part of the internals were modified on the forks? thanks

  • Scott H


    I love Classified's Style! I am very curious how the tank stripe was achieved. Where you able to mask the factory paint while you chemical stripped or was it all elbow grease?

  • Wyatt B.


    did you seal the supermoto wheel to run it tubeless? If not, what size tube was in the kenda?

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