Weekender: A Yamaha XS650 scrambler seven years in the making

Many of the top dollar customs that grace these pages are built for one reason; to impress. But we’re just as enamored with motorcycles that look like they get ridden every day, with a deep connection to their riders. If you feel the same way, you’re going to love Norman ‘Sandy’ Sanders’ Yamaha XS650 scrambler.

Sandy has spent the last seven years transforming his Yamaha XS650 into the charming and eclectic scrambler that it is now. Clearly not in a rush, he tackled the project piece by piece, outsourcing the heavy lifting to a couple of hand-picked professionals. It was quite a task too, given how long the bike had been standing.

“The short version is that this 1982 Yamaha XS650 Heritage Special had belonged to my cousin in Houston, Texas,” Sandy tells us. “In around 1991, he left it in my father’s West Texas warehouse where it sat until 2016. He then gave me the bike, I took it out of the warehouse in April 2016, and this began the build that concluded in April of 2023, just before the Handbuilt show.”

If you’ve never seen a Yamaha XS650 Heritage Special, just imagine a regular XS650 mated with a cruiser. Yamaha created the variant to widen the XS650’s appeal, giving it pullback bars, a teardrop fuel tank, and a stepped seat.

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By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Weekender: A Yamaha XS650 scrambler seven years in the making
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Published Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2023 17:01:50 +0000


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