Ge­off Bamford’s

XS1 Po­lice Spe­cial

Old Bike Australasia - - POLICE BIKES -

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.

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