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Test: Yamaha XS 11000

The cult bike Yamaha XS 1100

At the end of the 70s, big bikes could still be really big. Yamaha’s top fat girl at the time still has fans today.

“More, more, more,” shouted the young motorcycle audience 25 years ago (the typical biker was in their early 20s), and Japanese motorcycle manufacturers reacted.

Honda sold the six-cylinder CBX, Kawasaki the Z 1000 and Suzuki the GS 1000. Yamaha followed suit at the end of 1977 and presented with the XS 1100 the heaviest and fastest mass-produced motorcycle in the world: the 286 kilogram, full tank, was available from dealers from spring 1978 for 9835 marks. 95 hp were enough to accelerate the angularly styled machine to 205 km / h. That was damn sporty back then, but the XS 1100 was more of THE travel motorcycle from the start. The excellent seating comfort, the huge 24-liter tank, the low-maintenance cardan drive and the nerve-sparing pulling power of the four-in-line ensured this image. Those who preferred a more sporty pace, on the other hand, quickly reached the (chassis) limits of the XS. It tended to swing in long, fast corners and was sensitive to worn tires. The rough cardan punished hectic people with strong load change reactions.

The XS 1100 was the ideal work tool for cool long-distance drivers and demonstrated incredible standing qualities. Where other Japan bikes had to take into account major repairs from 30,000 kilometers, the XS could easily cope with three or four times the mileage without any intervention being necessary. In 1979 there was a packaged XS: As a "1.1" and limited to 500 pieces, the tourer appeared with a two-part fairing in a Martini look. Liquor maker Martini was the sponsor of the Yamaha racing team. The XS 1.1 S came out at the end of 1981. The cockpit fairing, 15-liter tank, new exhaust and new wheels as well as changes to the chassis geometry made the differences to the predecessor. The Urviech remained in the program until 1983 and was then replaced by the FJ 1100.

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