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‘79 Yamaha XS650 – Analog Motorcycles

Posted on February 19, 2015 by Andrew in Brat. 69 comments

Written by Marlon Slack.

Analog Motorcycles is located in Gurnee, Illinois and under the guidance of founder Tony Prust they’ve produced some incredibly clean bikes. Increasingly often they’ve turned their hand to some relative oddballs on the custom scene – with a 1958 BMW R50, 1949 Indian Scout and a 1975 Ducati GT860 rolling out of their shop in the last year alone. This time around they’ve gone back to a staple of the custom scene – a 1979 Yamaha XS650. And given the exceptional attention to detail and the quality of the work that has gone into the bike I think we’re all the better for it.


Made in various guises from 1968 to 1985 the XS650 has a dedicated following across the world. It handles well (especially the later models) it’s reliable and has a strong engine that responds well to tuning. But my favourite thing about the XS is the ubiquity of its components – in typical Yamaha fashion many parts on the bike remained unchanged throughout its production run and often shared parts with other models across the marquee’s line up.


This particular XS was purchased by Analog as a started-but-not-completed build from one of the friends of the workshop. It sat around for a while until a customer, who initially wanted to modify a Suzuki Gladius (shhh, I know), thought it was a better to start from scratch with the XS. A backlog in the shop meant that when it finally came time for the bike to be put together the customer was already getting around on a customized Triumph and the Yamaha was destined for his wife instead. Lucky lady.


This yielded its own set of challenges – to make her comfortable on the bike it would have to be lowered. The front end was dropped around one and a half inches and the rear was brought back into line by RaceTech shocks built to her weight and riding style, with low tracker bars and a lower profile seat making sure everything was within her reach.


The engine was carefully rebuilt to stock specifications but sported K&N air filters and custom-built ceramic coated headers running into Cone Engineering mufflers. The bike was completely rewired and now runs a Pamco ignition and charging system. Controlling it all is a digital Motogadget M-unit and controls – an increasingly common bit of kit that, while pricey, is winning a lot of people over with its simplicity and ruggedness.


There’s some tidy fabrication work here too – with the battery box being custom-made, a neat ignition unit tucked to the side and bobbed fenders that have the perfect amount of clearance. The rear of the standard tank was also modified to make it sit level given its new, lowered stance.



Despite all these fantastic little touches I think it’s the way the lines of the Agnessa flow and its cohesiveness that makes it work so well. The colour scheme is striking, but not overbearing and it’s completed with just the right level of restraint – the touches of blue on the headlight and stoplight surround are perfectly matched to the upholstery, grips and the lines through the tank and guards.


Similarly, it isn’t too black either – they’ve held back on ceramic coating the mufflers and the engine barrel and sidecovers. Best of all? It’s got mirrors and fenders and is looks to be road-ready. I’m really looking forward to seeing what Analog produce next.

Photos by Whiplash Racing Media

  • Kuiper Max

    A very good copy of a bike.

    The lack of inner fender means the air pods suck: dirt that is.It would steer weird and be unstable at highway speeds with the vintage tires.

    • Will

      Nothing alike, Engines been painted round the headers, Lowered headlight, Mirrors mounted under the handlebars, Doesn’t have an undertail exhaust like the one you posted. Instead has twin megaphones exhausts. Doesn’t have spoked wheels. Different seat style, with a lowered subframe. I could go on

      • Kuiper Max

        Credit where credits due. It’s like Flakes and Bratstyle provided blueprints. It’s not like they need them anymore, like after five years or so.

        • good job, i like the way you have angled the bars for negative understeer but think the rear tire is slightly over inflated for the real low rider look

          • Kuiper Max

            They are not my bikes. They were built by Bratstyle and Flakes in Japan.

          • blackbird

            Max, i love you, forever in my heart, you’re the new guitarslinger. all hail the quarterback, may his chair be ever comfy! Go max go, look at um hate! He’s my little champ! What does max like? who knows, we only know what he hates!

          • Kuiper Max

            I’m a stand up kind of guy. Not a vegetable a la coucher.

          • blackbird

            What ever you say guitarslinger! Remember max, your my little buddy, now and for ever! You don’t have to be a vegetable, you can be whatever you want! You have my support, we can hate things together! You and me. What you hate, i hate. I love you Max, don’t forget.

    • bobajob

      Max, you’re such a loveable douchebag…..through the time I’ve been following Pipeburn, and through your various guises, this mean spirited, negative, bitter and resentful attitude never gets old! Please continue to cast your line good sir, and long may the bites continue….

    • The article mentions the bike needed to be lowered. Put sport bike tires on it and it will be even lower while handling better and looking cooler

      • Kuiper Max

        It’s been lowered because the owner probably has short legs, not for any handling benefit. So the oversized tires are for the photo shoot. Like stilettos.

        • I can figure out the short stature part (doesn’t take much). That’s not the point. The point is that they went to the extent of lowering the bike, then put balloon tires on it, which raised it and gave it sub par handling.

        • blackbird

          Yes max, yes. I hate short legs also! You are so keen little buddy! Photo shoots! I hate them to! They suck!

          • Dacron Aorta

            Careful what you say Blackbird, Daiper Max is immune to sarcasm and possesses Superpowers! These including a unshakeable believe in his own importance- he can direct the course of motorcycle custom culture simply by insisting. And of course- Empirical Vision, he can perfectly assimilate the properties and geometry of motorcycles just by by glimpsing a photo, his altruistic personality means it’s a gift he’s not too proud to share.

            It’s been rumoured that he has built the finest custom machine ever conceived, it exists in his mind, of course, since every aspect of the motorcycle he deplores has been ruthlessly removed. Maybe one one day it will be made manifest and we can rain praise upon it…

            To treat him as an egotistical hypocrite is just wrong. To consider him a laughing stock is rude. But it is fun and he deserves it.

            Meanwhile, that’s a good looking XS650.

            Bicker on kids!

          • Kuiper Max

            Close bonding mother? Distant father? Corn chips and a sedentary lifestyle? Waiting for Dungeons and Dragons to become the killer game app? Need a floppy dog to hug? Psychic pizza?

            I think that covers this guy’s loo-loo rant.

          • Marlon

            Nah, he won that exchange, Max.

      • Marlon

        It’d also show off the late 70’s wheel sizes as well. Which isn’t a good thing. It’d put it far more into cruiser territory.

        • I can’t see it when you consider the handling improvements. Those tires only belong on vintage HDs

          • Kuiper Max

            It’s got no fork brace, and the standard flexy OEM swingarm and frame.

            It only ‘ handles ‘ if your rule of thumb is an old Harley Low Rider or a GoldWing.

          • You haven’t seen the Goldwing clip on NC-129

          • Marlon

            They’re stock wheels.

    • Steel Tow-ins

      K Max, you can’t seem to realize the point of the K&N Filters being able to be cleaned easily and that the filter will still keep dust and dirt out. You should shut your stupid mouth about the absent inner fenders that you point out every chance you get. It’s called a filter because it FILTERS DIRT FROM THE INTAKE, dumbass. As for your comparisons, you have some sort of disability, I think. Those bikes are nothing like Analogs new bike.

      • Kuiper Max

        K&N’s will not filter out grit and water thrown by a back tire on a wet street. Period.

        The whole general style of this bike was first done in Japan nearly a decade ago.

        Motorcycles : I have this ability. Settle Petal.

        • Jigaboo

          Eh… most people don’t ride their bikes in the rain. And unless you’re riding through huge puddles, the amount of water from the road thrown up by the rear tire post-rain would be minimal. You have a semi-valid point, but it’s not really that big of a deal.

          • i have the same set up and put a plate on the frame to protect them, however when I removed it I was surprised to see the wheel spray did not hit the filters, when i go long trips, expecting rain, i put covers on but even with these it still misfires when really wet, pod filters are not good for performance due to unequal pressure and poor air flow, you are better of with a box but i like the look and induction roar

          • Blake Proudfoot

            That’s not completely true as far as pod filters and performance goes. There are many garbage pods which hamper performance for sure, and there are some bikes which run best with their stock airbox, like my brothers cb750f. However that is not always the case. Good pods on an xs650 will not diminish performance compared to the stock air box.

          • Kuiper Max

            Sounds like waffle. Hey, it is waffle: that’s why! Where’s a dyno chart with stock XS650 CV carbs and K&N’s? By ‘run’ do you mean ‘just run’ or run great or better. Pod airfilters on CV carbs are a waste of dollars for the owners, and an impossible task for pro tuners.

            Go ask a motorcycle dyno guy for his opinion. He will probably change his visage as he sees an aura over your head with little mushrooms sprouting from your skull as you speak.

          • Blake Proudfoot

            Did I say stock CV carbs genius?

        • Marlon

          They won’t – but as others are saying many people don’t ride in those conditions.

      • bobajob

        Now that was a BITE! HA HA HA

      • Kuiper Max

        My, you are an angry little man.

        I suggest you devote some time to the study of Yukio Mishima.

    • Marlon

      I think that’s harsh – compared to many custom bikes out there it doesn’t remind me of a bratstyle all that much. It’s certainly a lot cleaner than what they do.

    • ben

      a very good copy of a bratstyle bike

      which is just a good copy of a stock honda bike.

      just because you think it’s similar to another bike you like, doesn’t necessarily mean that the one in question is very original. honestly i can’t see why you’re knocking a bike for being a little bit similar to another one when the bike in question is an almost exact ripoff of a stock honda mr.

      • Kuiper Max

        Yep the Bratty bike’s got two wheels. There are as yet undiscovered tribes in the Amazon basin that could benefit from your element approach to dialectic mathematics.

        • ben

          I do what i can to impress, almighty one. I wanna be just like you. Can i point out silly and unimportant things too? Pretty please? Ok… the lines going to the front brakes on that bratstyle bike are loose and floppy. That’s not real professional looking. I mean… of course you noticed that, i was just pointing it out to everyone else.

  • mtiberio

    finally, a bike with a front fender

    • Marlon

      And dat clearance.

  • I saw this bike at the Chicago Motorcycle Show last week. The craftsmanship and detail is absolutely amazing!

  • Nice paint and stance…

  • John Wanninger


  • al gonz

    wow, turn lights!!!!

  • ben

    The indian they did was definitely the coolest thing i’ve seen in a while.

    • Kuiper Max

      I say you are very easily impressed.

      • ben

        Or maybe that that the internet is awash with ‘custom’ bikes, so when something actually nice comes out, it stands out. But you’re right, i should probably only be impressed by the things you like, oh wise one.

        • Kuiper Max

          It’s got a crap motor sonny. Throwing tens thousands of dollars at it won’t help. The model dragged Indian to it’s final demise. It only stands out to me as a pastiche, with little originally and big wads of cash trying to mask a poor concept. You should buy it, it’s not like it ever gets ridden.

          • ben

            Yeah, you’re definitely right, i apologize. I guess you should only customize bikes that are already good. Like a cb or something. I wonder if anyone has ever customized a cb before? I think that would probably be cool. I mean… if you think so, then I think it would maybe be cool.

          • Kuiper Max

            It’s important to pick a good model, and make it better. I have many times.

            Than get a garbage model of doom ‘ to run ‘.

            I’m not a CX, CB, CM customizer, either.

          • ben

            Well, whatever it is that you customize, that’s what I like.

          • Blake Proudfoot

            Many times huh? Grave is with your masterpieces oh wise one.

          • Kuiper Max

            I don’t grave guys, but I’ll design a bike and set a price on a contract. You know, at a price you can’t refuse.

          • Blake Proudfoot

            Taking the high road huh. picking on the mistakes of autocorrect when you are unable to produce any concrete evidence of anything of substance you have built. Sounds typical :). Don’t have to worry about pricing, I would only have a bike built by someone worthy of respect. That’s one quality you will unfortunately never possess.

            I guess I should say I like this bike. Another 3/4 inch in the seat foam, and a some protection for the carbies because of the roads I ride, and consequently different tires as well, and I’m a happy camper. I love the paint scheme, but would change it ever so slightly for my taste.

          • Kuiper Max

            The snide of the sniping dreamer. Oh well.

            Why not just get a stock Yamaha XS650C and have a far better bike to ride? One than has a genuine 70’s graphic design vibe as well?

      • Halfton81

        That’s a gorgeous bike. The attention to detail and craftsmanship and incredible. Even in your wildest dreams you can’t build anything that clean.

  • whytaylorwhy

    Cool bike. The blue saddle reminds me of the seats you’d see in an old station wagon, haha.

  • TeamObsolete

    Classic good looks, great understated paintjob, absolutely a fun ride. Looks doable and affordable for the average garagebuilder who might be inspired to have a go at it themselves.
    Anything wrong with that? Don’t think so.

    • Kuiper Max

      Are you of Team Obsolete, the race team?

  • blackbird

    this thing is spotless, i love your color scheme, the creamy white is spot on. It has a great vintage feel. Well done chaps!

  • John Wanninger

    One day, there will be a whip featured here that will impress Max. I will feel pity for the builder. for that day, the world will surely know that he was successful in fabricating hater bait.

  • fakespotter

    can you guys stop making fake antagonists for your comments!! They are very funny but transparent.

    • fakespotter

      MAX can’t be a real human dbag…can he?? If someone was that much of a douchbag he would have had the living crap beat out of him a long time ago….right MAX?? Very inventive prose though….

      • Kuiper Max

        No one has ever got me on the ropes. Like never. Ever. Even.

        In fact they don’t even start to think about it.
        Strange, but true.

  • not sure if there is a problem with my monitor but if that is cream blue and brown, too laura ashley, and am not going to say anything about the tires

    • ben

      meh… it is a 70s bike. And the 70s were well known for questionable color schemes.

      • if it was chocolate brown and orange I’d give you that but theses colours are more 90’s, can’t help thinking the graphics are of an airliners tail but not sure which

  • For reasons that should be fairly obvious to everyone, we’ve just blacklisted Kuiper Max. As always, keep the comments positive, friendly and civilised. If you wouldn’t say it to the person’s face, don’t put it in a comment.

    • ben

      and ruin the fun? also i’m sure he would have said all that he said to anyone’s face. he’s the kind of guy that tells everyone they’re wrong regardless and can’t figure out why everyone dislikes him.

      • am bored now

        • Fred

          So am I . Figjam Max is not figjam Martin. Get a decent excuse next time you knock some one off. I got a feeling figjam Max will say these things to your face. Anyway just check the IP address with the forum admin and lets know if the slinger, Martin and max the same. The slinger and Martin are the same no doubt. He is an artist. Max is not. I am bored again. Fred.

    • davmo

      Dang, Andy! Was having a really good laugh at the banter. I know it’s not fair for this family spat to take place in front of Tony’s fine creation here (really good job on the bike BTW,) but Max , Martin, Slinger, whatever the name, I would rather read some honest comments over an endless list of ‘attaboys (unless of course it is my bike, in which case, pile on the “attaboys!) Yeah, the comments get a little harsh, but we are men, capable of tossing off a little web dust-up, and having a good laugh.