When Yamaha announced
their XS750 three-cylinder four-stroke, it was
acclaimed as an excellent tourer with the best
shaft drive of any machine available. If one
thing was lacking it was outright performance
for, although quick, it could not match the
top-of-the-range models of the other Japanese
manufacturers. The obvious idea would have been
to graft an extra cylinder on the 750 to make
it a 1000, but Mitsui Machinery decided to go
one better and so the XS1100 was born.
The engine of the bike is an air-cooled unit
of just a shade under H02cc and, with its valves
actuated by twin overhead camshafts, produces
95bhp at 8000rpm and 66.51b ft of torque at
6500rpm. The whole unit is canted forward a
few degrees and an oil cooler just under the
steering head helps keep the motor running cool.
Chain and gear primary drive goes to a wet-multi-plate
gearbox and then to a five-speed gearbox and
the shaft drive which runs along the left side
of the bike. The gear lever pedal is pivotted
at the front so that it looks back-to-front
but it does work in the normal one-downfour-up
Top speed of the big Yamaha is 138mph, while
it will accelerate to a quarter mile from a
standing start in just under 12secs; fuel consumption
The most awe-inspiring thing about the XS1100
is its size and mass, for it dwarfs just about
everything apart from Harley-Davidsons. Once
travelling at a few mph and the weight is forgotten,
but it does affect the high-speed handling of
the bike and the braking. Even though the Yamaha
uses three 11.23m diameter discs, they are not
up to stopping the 5641b bike repeatedly from
high speed, although the 3.5m front and 4.5m
wide rear tyres keep their grip.
Although the Yamaha has a sprint-like turn
of speed, it is primarily intended for touring
as its high bars and 5.28gallon fuel tank prove.
Not having to adjust the chain every 150 miles
or so is a boon for long-distance travel, too.
The styling of the XS1100 is rectangular, with
headlight, instruments, indicators and reflectors
all this rather odd-looking shape.
Standard equipment on the bike includes fuel
gauge, a cut off switch for the ignition should
the bike fall over, self-cancelling indicators
and sockets for intercom, fog lamps or other
accessories that could be fitted.
|1978 Yamaha XS1100E
||Air cooled, four stroke transverse four
cylinder, DOHC, 2 valves per cylinder.
|1979 Yamaha XS1100 Martini
|1979 Yamaha XS100SF Special
|1980 Yamaha XS1100G
|1981 Yamaha XS1100 Sport
|1981 Yamaha XS1100G
|1981 Yamaha XS1100
||Japanese import, 95bhp. An export-only
model that ushered in the over-one-liter
era. The DOHC in-line 4-cylinder 1102cc
engine’s awesome power created new
excitement among European and American enthusiasts.
The rear wheel was shaft-driven. A European
version with continental handlebars and
an oil cooler as well as an American version
with up-slanted handlebars were available.
|1981 Yamaha XS 1100S
|1982 Yamaha XS1100
|1982 Yamaha XS1100LG Midnight Special
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