Can you believe the Yamaha XS650 is half a century old this year? The air-cooled parallel twin has always had a strong fan base, and Maria Motorcycles of Lisbon, Portugal love it as much as anyone. Their first build was an XS, and they’ve been smitten ever since.
So it’s not surprising that the Maria guys hoarded a low mileage 1980 XS650, waiting for the right project. And inevitably, a client came along and convinced them to customize it for him.
“We wanted a simple and elegant bike,” Maria’s Luis Correia tells us, “without too many overdone parts or extras. Our job was simply to restore it, and make it as-new and unique.”
The donor was mechanically in tiptop shape—so the crew didn’t need to crack the engine open.…