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I've mentioned my recent project in a few passing threads, but I thought I'd make a thread of my own to document the resurrection of an abandoned motorcycle a friend of mine inherited as part of an estate after the passing of a dear friend.

Here she is. 82 Maxim XJ650 inline 4 cylinder-

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The bike has not been registered since 1990. Apparently the owner just lost interest after putting about 3k miles on it and it's sat in his garage until about a month ago.

I wish I would've taken before pictures, but I didn't. There was quite a layer of grime on the bike and most of it looked like surface rust. We figured the chrome was probably permanently scared from abandonment.
 

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The first time I looked at the bike to determine whether it was worth putting money into or not, I pulled the gas cap off and was pleasantly surprised to find no signs of rust inside. Totally clean!!! What were (or weren't!?) They putting in gas 30 years ago that made this so!?

Looking at the inlets of the carbs, the needles attached to the diaphragm were stuck in the main jets due to sticky gas residue. Time for a rebuild. Or, more accurately, 4 rebuilds.
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I found a rebuild kit that included most of the jets and the floats, the float pin, needle, gaskets, etc. And got to work. I spent almost 6 hours going through these carbs, cleaning everything thoroughly and I was confident that the bike would run once they were in.

The next weekend, I was proven correct. Bike started and actually ran pretty damn good after it warmed up and cleared out whatever gunk had grown in the combustion chambers! I used a quad vac gage to sync the carbs up, and drained the oil and replaced the filter.

I mounted and balanced new front and rear tires, installed a new AGM battery, and thoroughly flushed the brake system.

We then took two buckets of Dawn Ultra and warm water, and spent several hours scrubbing the hell out of every surface. We couldn't believe how much of the crud and perceived RUST just came off. The bike actually looks alarmingly good!
 

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The moment of truth was here... Time for a test ride! Riding this bike was a unique experience for me. Almost like stepping back in time, to a place where motorcycles were not the same as today. The riding position is less forward, the handle bars sweep down vertically at you. The seat... Actually has padding!? WTF!? And this bike is LIGHT and extremely maneuverable.

After testing the brakes and adjusting the rear a bit, I took off.
 

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My impressions of this bike are mostly centered around the uniqueness of the engine. That inline 4 cylinder redlines at 9500 rpms, and it runs SCARY smooth no matter what it's doing or what rpm you're at. But it doesn't make much power until you hit about 5k rpms. This bike claims 76hp and 45ish ftlbs of torque. Quarter mile in the 12s and 0 to 60 just over 4 seconds.

If you redline first and second, you're doing 60, and it definitely comes up quick, things slow down a bit 3rd gear and up. In 1-3 punching it above 5k, the thing takes off very briskly! And it cruises smoothly in any gear at any rpm.

The exhaust note sounds a bit exotic, not your usual V twin burble and thunder. And if you're in the right gear, at the right rpm when you hit it, its capable of getting out of it's own way.

I just kept romping on it, and really getting in tune with the powerband and enjoying the noise it makes. This thing must've been a real performer 40 years ago when it came out. Light, easy to ride, and for it's time, it really moved.
 

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Taking a step back in time on this classic was a real treat. I drove home thinking about how different bikes are now, how the culture has changed and the bikes right along with it. I thoroughly enjoy getting to know different cars and motorcycles mannerisms and personalities, each of these machines many people take for granted, they're just as unique in character and design as the people of the world. I love bringing a machine back to tip top form, and maybe even better than it was from the factory if possible with the help of the aftermarket. There's little in life that brings me more of a sense of accomplishment than a story and journey just like this one, especially if I'm the one that got to do the research, work, and enjoy the fruits of the labor a bit after bringing her back to life.

These machines deserve better than to be left in some barn or garage to rot for the rest of their existence. If you see a bike, car, whatever... Wasting away from neglect, do what you can to get ahold of it and bring it back. You'll not regret it. What a ride!
 

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After an hour ride home, it's about 7pm at this point. I immediately jumped on my bike for some immediate comparison saddle time. And wow, just wow! With, allegedly 20+ less hp, my C50 is just so crazy responsive at any rpm, it certainly doesn't feel slower than that Maxim. I seriously would like to line them up asap and see what happens.

Riding the other bike really made me appreciate what I have. The rumble, the torque, the response. Love it.
 
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Kinda like a Hellcat Challenger.
 

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This post gave me the nostalgia feels for my all-time favorite bike, an 82 Maxim 750. It was a very smooth, fast bike; much faster and smoother than the 09 M50 I currently have. I got it as a cheap low-side wreck that a friend helped me fix. If I ever found another that wasn't chopped up or left to rot outside... I'd grab it in a heartbeat!

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