XS1 Police Special
Anyone familiar with Yamaha’s first foray into a big four stroke parallel twin will know that handling wasn’t its strong suit, and high speed handling, well, the less said the better. But the OHC donk was strong and torquey, with well-spaced ratios in the gearbox and a reasonable degree of comfort. This particular machine was, not surprisingly, never used for pursuit work when it went into service with the Western Australian Police. Its duties were more genteel; escorting visiting dignitaries, providing dignified accompaniment to official cavalcades, funerals and other functions, or more mundane duties such as handing out parking fines or sorting out traffic issues. Geoff, the XS650 specialist who operates from the fabled Geoff’s Shed in Londonderry NSW, acquired the white knight as several boxes of bits, all badly in need of TLC and expert attention. “At least all the police stuff was there,” says Geoff. “Bags, the radio box, siren, crash bars, lights and the big speedo – all that stuff is very hard to get”. Nowadays, Geoff’s big twin does the rounds of shows, particularly those that feature ex-service vehicles ranging from NRMA and RACV road assistance bikes and cars to police vehicles. It’s always a big hit because as far as he knows, there are very few of the 650s left in police trim.
ABOVE We couldn’t have black grips on this bike, could we? LEFT Top box once housed the radio. RIGHT Rear light stand was missing and had to be fabricated.