Yamaha XS1100 — Classic Japanese Motorcycles — Motorcycle Classics

3 Мар 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Yamaha XS1100 — Classic Japanese Motorcycles — Motorcycle Classics отключены

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Years produced:

Claimed power:  95hp @

Top speed:  136mph (period

Engine type:  1,101cc inline four

Weight: (274kg)

Price then: (1978)

Price now:

When the time came for to join the Superbike ball, the XS1100 (also known as the XS Eleven) was fashionably late. bikes from Honda, and Suzuki were already at the and making a name for themselves. the competing entries filled needs, each was powered by an displacing 1,000cc or more.

had broken the 1,000cc barrier Honda GL1000 in 1975. It was followed by the KZ1000 in 1977, and then the GS1000  in 1978. Until Yamaha’s biggest model was the XS650 twin.

The triple-lung XS750 rolled into for 1976, but left much to be when it came to a highway touring motorcycle and was a bit of a when you rolled on the throttle.

Not bigger, better

Knowing needed a bigger partner to in the hoedown, Yamaha turned up the and introduced its XS1100 for 1978. of the media had expected a 1,000cc to fill the spot, but the designers at threw an unexpected performer the dance floor. Not only did the XS carry more cubic than the others, but it also a 4-cylinder engine, a first for the firm.

With Yamaha’s sights set on the haul rider, the big XS was armed for

On the surface, the XS1100 seemed straight forward, but like a behind a feathered mask it hid a few When the engineers were up the 1,101.6cc engine, they did far than simply tack an lung to the existing 3-cylinder from the XS750. While fairly typical in its layout, threw in some technological to enhance power.

Dual cams were expected, but the 34mm Mikuni constant carbs — a first for an inline — weren’t. The XS also benefited very unique combustion

While hemispherical combustion with intake and exhaust placed across from other and a centrally located (hence the term “hemi were the performance norm, had inherent limitations. Chief them was upping compression without resorting to pistons huge crowns, increasing and slowing heat dissipation.

To get this, Yamaha developed a “polyspheric” combustion chamber, a that required six machining to achieve. The multitude of cuts and milled into each chamber produced the same efficiency of a hemi but without any of a drawbacks, allowing Yamaha to use crowned and lighter weight (211 grams).

A second feather in the designer’s cap was the system. Borrowing from the world, the new XS included transistorized with vacuum advance, the for reliable firing, and the latter to improve mid-throttle and trailing performance thanks to its ability to ignition timing when most needed. This the big engine to deliver power regardless of rpm or selected gear.

drive on the bike was shaft, primarily for the goal of making the XS a highway touring motorcycle. gears sent their to the shaft without any ruckus, and undue rear-end lift hard acceleration. It was there, not as pronounced as what riders of were accustomed to. Disc in triplicate, two fore and one aft, did a job of hauling the heavy XS down your chosen velocity.

rotor measured 11.7 in diameter and was squeezed by a single-piston

Not just bigger, faster

Yamaha didn’t go to all this to end up with lackluster performance. weight for the XS1100 was listed as 602 with a full tank of With a rider aboard, number could easily 800. Add a passenger and the half-ton was reach.

Pushing that mass through the atmosphere to be a herculean task, but the XS1100 its worth.

When Cycle took an XS1100 to the local strip for its January 1978 the massive XS laid down never before seen by a of the period. Nineteen runs made, with every of the lights coming in under 12 Their best run was 11.82, a unmatched by any bike prior to the XS. A later, Cycle World a best run of 11.78 seconds.

The motorcycle world had a new king of the mile.

The styling of the big XS1100 was fairly staid, belying the that lurked within. of European design could be in the 5.3-gallon fuel tank and seat cowl, both with gold pinstripes. most offerings of the day, the did not hinge up for access. The cowl and was a singular item and needed to be to service the battery. A standard tool kit lived under a side cover but displaced all the to be had.

The seat itself was well padded and made a place to spend the day. the passenger portion of the seat was allowing a friend to go along as you to the long ribbons of tarmac.

The were another creature that held a secret. At glance they appeared to be too far and at too extreme an angle to be user Once perched on the bike, found they were as perfect as they could be, a comfortable, day-long ride

Another part of this victory was due to the position of the foot which were slightly set.

A “custom,” called the XS Special, was alongside the standard, and included like a tear-drop fuel 2-step saddle and taller, bars. The custom configuration was all the in the day and the XS Special slotted in nicely. A Special drenched in black gold trim came

Brand new, the XS1100 an MSRP of $2,989, making it than its liter-bike-plus rivals. The CBX commanded nearly $1,000 while the Kawasaki Z1-R and GS1000E were almost more.

The downside to bigger

It seem the new Yamaha XS1100 was the bike for any occasion. Indeed, devouring miles that in a straight line, the XS was at the top of the food The smoothness of the engine coupled to accommodations made for a machine could eat highway miles a hint of indigestion.

It was only the bike was pressed into at high speeds that turned ugly. Testers of the day all the same story: The XS1100 was a bullet in a straight line, but at high speeds was done at own risk.

Cycle warned its that the bike could go, stop and steer — just two at the same time. A high-speed came on readily if you pushed the machine too hard into the And while the point at which happened was above most skill set, that make the issue any easier to with.

Excessive exuberance quickly expose the bike’s and send you offroading on a machine not to do so.

I had a brief opportunity to ride Joe XS1100, our feature bike. vertically challenged (OK, I’m the 32-inch saddle lifts my higher off the pavement than I while at rest. But once way that issue disappeared as I to the experience of mind-numbing acceleration and a I could ride all day.

the beast around is effortless and as if I’d been riding it for years. The wheelbase would seem to a different experience, but the XS Eleven I remember riding a Midnight version of this bike they were new.

A had purchased the bike and was eager to let me a spin. Even in the height of my I was amazed at the speed and balance of the My personal mount at the time was a CB750 with the early engine.

It had been impressive the day I threw my leg over the XS1100. How legends fall …

Owner Joe the Yamaha. “I find it very he says. “The first for the XS1100 is really the most because of the maroon paint, pinstriping and the gold emblems on the covers. This is an extremely bike, and when I compare it to the large bikes of the period, as the 1979 Honda CBX 6-cylinder and the Kawasaki KZ1300 6-cylinder, its position, seat, and distance the seat and the handle bars is the comfortable of the three. As far as spending hours in the saddle on a road I’d prefer the XS1100 over the or the Honda.

“Motorcycles appeal to all the human Joe continues, “and one of those is Of the three bikes — XS1100, CBX and — the XS1100 definitely has the best growl. It’s not quite as as an MV Agusta America or a Laverda but it’s darn close.”

The was replaced by the Maxim in 1982, as did its best to keep up with the changes within the industry. were the golden days of with classic machines out every year. Had I seen the on the wall, I would have a few that I owned, but my common gene had yet to make its appearance.

as the saying goes, is wasted on the MC

Read more about the mentioned in this article: 

Yamaha XS 1100
Yamaha XS 1100
Yamaha XS 1100


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