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  #1  
Old 06-25-2012, 04:41 PM
JosephM JosephM is offline
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Why the Devotion to XJ's?

This may be an odd and philosophical question. But, When I was growing up, they never had a lot of popularity - CB's and KZ's. I just bought mine this year because of the good price. So far, the bike has been great to tool on and the community has been so fantastic, that it caused me to wonder why you all love the XS11's so much - almost cult like following.
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  #2  
Old 06-25-2012, 04:46 PM
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almost every vehicle made has a forum and a cult like following. I am on several forums. I would say my svx has the most cult like following i have ever seen. I guess with less than 7000 left in existance may be why.
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  #3  
Old 06-25-2012, 04:56 PM
JosephM JosephM is offline
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Svx

We must have similar tastes - the SVX was one of the coolest cars from my youth. But, the devotion to the XS goes above and beyond. I was going to chop mine up into a cafe racer and the objections that I got from the forums made me not do it.
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  #4  
Old 06-25-2012, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JosephM View Post
This may be an odd and philosophical question. But, When I was growing up, they never had a lot of popularity - CB's and KZ's. I just bought mine this year because of the good price. So far, the bike has been great to tool on and the community has been so fantastic, that it caused me to wonder why you all love the XS11's so much - almost cult like following.
You talking XS or XJ here? And what year growing up?
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XS1100F 1980 European model. Standard. Dyna coils. Iridium plugs. XS750 final drive (sometimes). Micron fork brace. Progressive front springs. Geezer regulator/rectifier. Stainless 4 into 2 exhaust. Auto CCT (Venturer 1300) SOLD. New project now on the go. 1980 European model.
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  #5  
Old 06-25-2012, 05:00 PM
JosephM JosephM is offline
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Primarily the XS

I suppose the devotion is strong for both. But, I was more curious about what makes the XS11 so special in peoples minds. I grew up idolizing the KZ1000, and never even considered the XS until I ran across the one I just bought. Don't get me wrong - I love the thing. I just wonder why everyone else loves them so much.
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  #6  
Old 06-25-2012, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JosephM View Post
I suppose the devotion is strong for both. But, I was more curious about what makes the XS11 so special in peoples minds. I grew up idolizing the KZ1000, and never even considered the XS until I ran across the one I just bought. Don't get me wrong - I love the thing. I just wonder why everyone else loves them so much.
How old are you? I'm trying to get an idea of what era you fit into....
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XS1100F 1980 European model. Standard. Dyna coils. Iridium plugs. XS750 final drive (sometimes). Micron fork brace. Progressive front springs. Geezer regulator/rectifier. Stainless 4 into 2 exhaust. Auto CCT (Venturer 1300) SOLD. New project now on the go. 1980 European model.
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  #7  
Old 06-25-2012, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JosephM View Post
This may be an odd and philosophical question. But, When I was growing up, they never had a lot of popularity - CB's and KZ's. I just bought mine this year because of the good price. So far, the bike has been great to tool on and the community has been so fantastic, that it caused me to wonder why you all love the XS11's so much - almost cult like following.
Couple things come to mind, the XS had a much longer run so more time to build a following, the XS was the 1st? 4 cylinder bike from Yamaha and the XJ was the detuned version with modern styling which was basically the end of the UJM. I have an XJ also and its a great bike and it rides better than my XS. I think the bigger question is why Yamaha changed up the XS so much for 1 year (US) then changed it again, probably due to competitive market pressure.
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:05 PM
JosephM JosephM is offline
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Era

Technically, I am 43 - born in 1968, but always liked bikes/cars in the 1968-1985 range - I suppose the bikes I was eligible for when I turned 16 years old in 1985.
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  #9  
Old 06-25-2012, 05:13 PM
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Here's a few things to ponder. I'm referring to the UK version which I bought in 1979.

1. For a time, it was the world's fastest production bike

2. First production bike with oblong headlamp, indicators, clocks

3. Rare in those days to see a black engine

4. Physically bigger than anything else

5. Immensely powerful for the time

6. Many refinements... self-cancelling indicators. Allen bolts everywhere and not Suzi/Kawa/Honda crosshead screws made of soft metal. Electronic rev counter

7. First bike of 1100cc

8. Shaft drive... not so common in those days

9. Reliable.... unlike every British bike produced at that time. As time has shown, it was 'over-engineered' in that they last for years.

10. No 'bare' empty bits round the engine...just solid engine filling the frame.

The XS1100 was a tremendous head turner. EVERYONE stopped to look at mine. It broke the mould on bike appearance and yet still looked like a proper bike, not a piece of plastic.

I was 19 years old. I fell in love with the XS11 and things like that are not easily forgotten. I still look at an XS1100 and feel a slight adrenalin rush. They are, IMO, the best bike in appearance ever made.
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XS1100F 1980 European model. Standard. Dyna coils. Iridium plugs. XS750 final drive (sometimes). Micron fork brace. Progressive front springs. Geezer regulator/rectifier. Stainless 4 into 2 exhaust. Auto CCT (Venturer 1300) SOLD. New project now on the go. 1980 European model.
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  #10  
Old 06-25-2012, 05:18 PM
JosephM JosephM is offline
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Fastest

Thanks. That lends a lot of insight - the Fastest Production Bike business is probably a big one. I still want a Buick Grand National, if only because they were the fastest production car of it's year. I have to say - I have ridden a lot of bikes and when I test rode mine, I goosed the throttle and it almost threw me off. Surprising, especially because of the shaft drive.
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  #11  
Old 06-25-2012, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JosephM View Post
Technically, I am 43 - born in 1968, but always liked bikes/cars in the 1968-1985 range - I suppose the bikes I was eligible for when I turned 16 years old in 1985.
Yes, I thought so. Basically, you missed the boat when the XS was produced. You'd have been 9 years old. By the time you became 'bike-aware', things had moved on. So, like a goose chick imprinting on a car wheel instead of mummy goose, you'll have imprinted onto a different type of bike, a full 8 years after the intro of the XS1100. By that time, it had been superseded by other bikes.

You really had to be around at the time (aware of bikes) to feel the buzz that the XS1100 gave. Itcreated a huge stir.
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XS1100F 1980 European model. Standard. Dyna coils. Iridium plugs. XS750 final drive (sometimes). Micron fork brace. Progressive front springs. Geezer regulator/rectifier. Stainless 4 into 2 exhaust. Auto CCT (Venturer 1300) SOLD. New project now on the go. 1980 European model.
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  #12  
Old 06-25-2012, 05:23 PM
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Write-up

"In 1978, with the battle of the big-bore market booming and distributors and tyre importers pouring vast sums of money into production racing, the big guns had been brought out. Suzuki had released its GS1000 in 1978, while Yamaha unveiled its XS1100.

By mid-year, Honda launched its secret weapon, the six-cylinder Honda CBX1000. While the new CBX1000 and Suzuki were out and out sports bikes, the shaft-drive XS1100, affectionately called the “Xcessive’, was more of a muscle bike cum tourer. Heavier than and not as fast as its rivals, the XS1100 did have one particular ability – winning races.

In the lead up to the Six-Hour, the XS1100 had won the Adelaide Three-Hour, the Perth Four-Hour and the Surfers Three-Hour. The unlikely XS1100 and Pitman Yamaha rider Greg Pretty had upstaged the biggest, baddest production bikes around, confounding everyone.

The advertising copy writers had a field day. Greg Pretty was a big fan of the rock band The Who and said, “After we win a race, we go back, party on and listen to The Who.” The copy writers stole a line out one of Pretty’s favourite songs by the Who ’Won’t get fooled again’.

‘Meet the new Boss’ was the headline to a series of Yamaha ads that ran in the local motorcycle press rejoicing Pitman Yamaha’s extraordinary run of victories."
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XS1100F 1980 European model. Standard. Dyna coils. Iridium plugs. XS750 final drive (sometimes). Micron fork brace. Progressive front springs. Geezer regulator/rectifier. Stainless 4 into 2 exhaust. Auto CCT (Venturer 1300) SOLD. New project now on the go. 1980 European model.
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  #13  
Old 06-25-2012, 05:26 PM
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"In 1978 the unthinkable happened at Amaroo Park. The castrol six hour endurance race , the most prestigious and competitive event in Australia's racing calendar was won by the most unlikely bike on the grid Yamaha xs 1100 shaft drive sports tourer.
All in line fours of the period were big burly bruisers, but the yamaha was the biggest heaviest and most most cumbersome of the lot.

open to barely modified production bikes, the six hour race was taken very seriously by the manufacturers who entered there flag ship sports bikes in search of a sales boosting win.
the race was first run in 1970 switching to oran park from 1984 for its final 3 years.
the big prize money on offer ensured fiercly competive racing with high calibre riders like hailwood , crosby , gardner, haslam,kocinski and slight among those takeing part .

favourites to win in 1978 were graeme crosby and tony hatton rideing honda's cbx1000 .crosby set a blistering pace from the off , but only lasted 41 minutes before being forced to retire with fuelling issues .
jim budd and roger heyes had a less competive start on the xs .
the 1100 belched a thick trail of smoke around the first lap and heyes ,watching from the pit wall ,was said to have exclaimed ,"oh no,we're going to be out on the first lap ".

but the smoke was caused by nothing more serious than an over filled sump and the oil quickly burnt off, leaving budd in 9th place. By half race distance their XS was almost lapped by leader Alan Hales on a suzuki Gs1000, but he crashed and Budd and Hayes were elevated to 3rd place over all.

The race had begun at 10.30 am. At 1.12 pm the yamaha team made a decisive move. Hayes pulled in for a scheduled pit stop, took on fuel and made the first tyre change in the races history thanks to the bikes shaft drive the pit stop took just one minute 14 seconds which was a master stroke.

on fresh avon rubber Budd closed on Dave Robbins second place XS 1100 at the rate of a second a lap. By 2.31 pm he snatched the lead fromDennis Neill and Mick Coles CBX1000, forced to slow by a distingerating rear tyre.
When Neil pitter 10 minutes later race officals ordered the team to replace the Hondas shot rear tyre. On the chain drive Honda the wheel swop took 4 mins giving Hayes the victory."
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XS1100F 1980 European model. Standard. Dyna coils. Iridium plugs. XS750 final drive (sometimes). Micron fork brace. Progressive front springs. Geezer regulator/rectifier. Stainless 4 into 2 exhaust. Auto CCT (Venturer 1300) SOLD. New project now on the go. 1980 European model.
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  #14  
Old 06-25-2012, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James England View Post
I was 19 years old. I fell in love with the XS11 and things like that are not easily forgotten. I still look at an XS1100 and feel a slight adrenalin rush. They are, IMO, the best bike in appearance ever made.
I was 20 in 79 James and I drooled eveytime I saw one.I wanted one BAD. The CBX got my attention too but the Yamaha Special was a COOL looking bike.

I had to wait until I was 50 to get one.
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Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

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80 SG Ol' Okie;79 engine & carbs w/pods, 45 pilots, 140 mains, Custom Mac 4 into 2 exhaust, ACCT,XS850 final drive,110/90/19 front tire,TKat fork brace, XS750 140 MPH speedometer, Vetter IV fairing, aftermarket hard bags and trunk, LG high back seat, XJ rear shocks.

The list changes.

Visit XS11.org too......
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  #15  
Old 06-25-2012, 06:32 PM
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James England James England is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BA80 View Post
I was 20 in 79 James and I drooled eveytime I saw one.I wanted one BAD. The CBX got my attention too but the Yamaha Special was a COOL looking bike.

I had to wait until I was 50 to get one.
I drooled and then a very clever dealer sent me a 'free' publicity poster. I persuaded my dad to be my guarantor and, like only a 19 year old would do, bought it on credit $75 a month...in 1979! I must have been insane! Why my dad allowed it, I do not know. Fortunately, 6 months later, as the payments began to bite, it was stolen (in Amsterdam) and the insurance paid off what I owed, with enough left over to buy a Norton Commando. Awful...but... at least no repayments!

Yes, the CBX, even at the time, struck me as being a bit silly in concept but superbly engineered. The Kawasaki Z1300 was, IMO, ugly as hell!
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XS1100F 1980 European model. Standard. Dyna coils. Iridium plugs. XS750 final drive (sometimes). Micron fork brace. Progressive front springs. Geezer regulator/rectifier. Stainless 4 into 2 exhaust. Auto CCT (Venturer 1300) SOLD. New project now on the go. 1980 European model.
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