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  1. #1
    Licensed to post
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Home of the OSU Kawboys

    The Venerable XS11

    Just noticed this category and couldn't resist.

    In my 30+ years of riding my overall favorite old school road bike is the venerable XS Eleven. Truly an XSive design, the Eleven was the Hyabusa of it's day. Though nowhere near a Busa in performance....still it was one of the first bikes to turn and 11 second quarter. The Eleven was rated at 95 hp and 65 ft-lbs torque.

    It was designed to do everything well...and do it for a longtime. The Eleven had an automotive style crank. The engine was virtually bullet proof. I personally know several people that have ridden their Elevens far in XS of 100,000 miles with no major failures. Bob Jones of Merriam Cycles has his original 78E. It has 217,000 miles on it. He rebuilt it 140,000 because he was bored. Their was nothing wrong with it then but he wanted an upgrade.

    A local friend of mine bought an 1982 1100 Maxim new in '82 ...the last year they made the XS 1100... he sold it in 1991 with 91,000 miles and it was still running strong.

    Here's a picture of my 1979 XS1100SF Special. Named Zeus after the "old god". Zeus is totally stock and damn near mint condition.



    The old Eleven actually makes a great long distant touring machine. It has plenty of torque to push a fairing with bags, and a comfortable seating position.

    Another of my Elevens is Godzilla...just such a touring bike. Zilla is a 1982 XJ1100J Maxim. The Maxim had the exact same engine as the XS. But they had redesigned the styling with more radical curves...swooping tank...curve spoke wheels. The also stiffened the frame on the Maxim, lowered the seat and upgraded the pilot box to a digital display. Yamaha detuned the Maxim. I believe it was rated at 92 hp and 65 ft-lbs but the power was available at lower rpms. All the Elevens were known for their low down grunt. These bikes are very smooth, shaft driven machines with oodles and gobs of character. Something you simply will not find in the current crop of cruiser crap.

    Ladies and Gentlemen I present GODZILLA!






    I rescued Zilla from a garage in Tracy, California. Some lady bought him new....put 5000 miles on him and parked him for 20 years in her garage. When I picked him up he had about 5800 miles on the clock and look slicker than greased baby's ass in a rain storm. I put 5,800 miles on this bike in the first month I had it. Last September I rode it to Reno from Oklahoma. I had a couple 1000 mile days and never once had butt burn or back pain. I cruise this bike about 85 mph on long trips.

    Zilla is the full dressed version. When I got him he had full fairing and back rest. I added the hard bags from a 1983 Venture Royale. 6 months ago I decided to update his look. I repainted the old hammer (pearl silver) and added a custom Sargent seat. Now I'm in the middle of a engine upgrade. Zilla ran like a top...he only had 20,000 to this point...but like the power addict I am I decided to give him a little edge. I should be finished in a couple weeks. He'll then be a XS1200 with a wiseco 1196 piston kit, web cams, ported head with radius valve job, and a new Motad 4-2-1 header (special order from the U.K.)

  2. #2
    Hooligan
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Olalla, wa. usa
    nice bike! The 11's make some cool chopper's too, way more interesting than the v twin clones.

  3. #3
    Rick61
    Guest

    Re: The Venerable XS11

    Originally posted by Flying Kaw
    It was designed to do everything well....
    Except go round corners, I test rode one in '78. What a barge.... I remember coming up behind one mid bend & was somewhat alarmed top see daylight between the wheels one one side & then the other as it wallowed it's way around.


    Originally posted by Flying Kaw
    The engine was virtually bullet proof.
    Pity the same couldn't be said for the transmissions...

    However, SOME of them did last a long time, local Kaw mech has one with 300K+ miles on it.

  4. #4
    BadAss Hooligan
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    LynnHood WA #2022
    Had me a 79 XS11 Midnight Special. Fun as hell. It had a full kerker system on it. I had my set up more like the ZRX (Imagine that). Back then I could give most anyone else a run for their money in straight lines, I would always get the "What the HELL is that thing comment" at the next light. Because the shaft drive and weight I could hammer it off the line as hard as humanly possible, wheelies were nearly non existent with that set up. Ricks right...in the corners it was always a gamble if you were going to come out two wheels or grinding the crash bars. Still a fun bike. Nice pics!

  5. #5
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    Sep 2005
    Location
    Home of the OSU Kawboys
    The transmissions were slugs. Very coarse and clunky. But very durable if treated properly. You COULD NOT slam shifting them. This bike was not made to drag race. Of course some riders think everything they throw a leg across is to drag.

    If you abuse these trannies they will fail. If you shift in a sane fashion they will last.

    As far as cornering, every bike I owned in the late 70's sucked at that. Actually the Eleven was one of the better ones. But no...it will not corner like a sport bike.

    However ...progressive springs...superbraces do wonders for these old war horses.

    Actually the most dangerous bike for corners...of this era... was the H2 750 triple. That thing was downright dangerous!

  6. #6
    Owes chuckc THREE beers
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Canton, Ohio
    Heres my 79 XS ( & a few of my other rides ) Mine has 180,000 miles on it with the original engine & trans. I like your oil cooler set up better than mine, that looks really nice! They are sloppy handling machines but not as bad as my old H2. With the shaft drive you have no rear suspension @ WFO it just extends all the way. The only other thing I don't like is the horrible fuel mileage, I get 33MPG with mine if I'm lucky.
    Attached Images  
    ZRXOA# 5945 stable list= 01 ZRX, 04 Zuma scooter, 04 CRF 50 F, 82 Honda FT 500 Ascot, 79 Yamaha XS 1100, ""

  7. #7
    Licensed to post
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    Sep 2005
    Location
    Home of the OSU Kawboys
    Originally posted by fox_racing_guy
    The only other thing I don't like is the horrible fuel mileage, I get 33MPG with mine if I'm lucky.
    Wow! You should be a used bike dealer!

    Ya know my naked Elevens usually got 36 to 38 at highway speed (80 mph). But the full dresser is a fuel hawg. At that speed I'm lucky if I get 30. Into a head wind I've gotten as low as 25! At that rate I start wishing I was in my 4x4 F250 Powerstroke.

    BTW...Fox...do you ever frequent the forums at XS11.com?

  8. #8
    Turtle
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Wheaton,il
    My dad has a 79 standard and a 79 special xs1100 he may be willing to part with. The standard is not quite as nice as the special conditon wise. He says he will sell the standard but wants to ride the special, I'm sure for the right price it would be on a trailer. Just a heads up if anyone's interested

  9. #9
    Owes chuckc THREE beers
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Canton, Ohio
    Originally posted by Flying Kaw
    Wow! You should be a used bike dealer!

    Ya know my naked Elevens usually got 36 to 38 at highway speed (80 mph). But the full dresser is a fuel hawg. At that speed I'm lucky if I get 30. Into a head wind I've gotten as low as 25! At that rate I start wishing I was in my 4x4 F250 Powerstroke.

    BTW...Fox...do you ever frequent the forums at XS11.com?
    I'm a member of the XS11 forum too (same screen name), I don't visit to often as they don't seem to have much activity.
    ZRXOA# 5945 stable list= 01 ZRX, 04 Zuma scooter, 04 CRF 50 F, 82 Honda FT 500 Ascot, 79 Yamaha XS 1100, ""

  10. #10
    I keep my bike in a
    barn...

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Stowe Pa

    My XS11's little brother

    XS850SG



    If you can keep your head when all around you have lost theirs, then you probably haven't understood the seriousness of the situation.

  11. #11
    BadAss Hooligan
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    BFE, Arkansas
    A room mate of mine used to have one of those and would let me ride it. I loved it. Later I had the XS750, also a triple.

  12. #12
    BadAss Hooligan
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Clovis,Ca
    Originally posted by ender
    A room mate of mine used to have one of those and would let me ride it. I loved it. Later I had the XS750, also a triple.
    Ahhhh!!!!
    I still have mine!
    ' 77 XS750D in Crystal Silver. 60K plus miles on her. still runs good. Motor was rebuilt and bored to XS1100 pistons making it a 83rdy something.
    Current bikes:
    '99 BMW R1100RT
    '77 Tri Bonneville 750
    '73 Kaw Z1 Vintage Racebike
    '71 BMW R75/5 Vintage Racebike
    All my stuff runs.

  13. #13
    BadAss Hooligan
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    fort worth tx

    did'nt

    they make an XS 11 midnite special? I had a friend who had one, not sure of the year all pimped out in black and gold.......well my bud used to think of himself as a pimp so I guess it worked out.
    jonese

  14. #14
    BadAss Hooligan
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Clovis,Ca
    They made midnight special versions of the XS650-XS850 Triple, and the XS1100. all blacked out with gold highlights. the first of the cruisers.
    Current bikes:
    '99 BMW R1100RT
    '77 Tri Bonneville 750
    '73 Kaw Z1 Vintage Racebike
    '71 BMW R75/5 Vintage Racebike
    All my stuff runs.

  15. #15
    BadAss Hooligan
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    New Jersey

    XS1100

    Hello,My other ride is a 1980 Yamaha XS1100 SG. It was my jump from a Kawasaki KZ400. I bought the XS in 1986 because i got a check from my insurance company for a warranty on a car that went bad.My insurance company reimbursed me for 3 months of car rentals,and i deceided to go to a bigger bike hence the XS.I Still have the bike .It has a Kerker exhaust,K&N filters and a dynojet kit installed in the carbs.33,000 miles and it runs just like i bought it yesterday.I put a set of Works Performance shocks on tthe bike and am currently am looking for a company to replace them as the shocks are weeping oil.If you know of any place that deals with shocks for older bikes e-mail me at flatfrog2004@yahoo.com. Thanks

  16. #16
    The Sherriff
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Tx

    I had a 78 XS1100 for a short time

    till the charging system went out and I didnt have the coin to repair it . Great bike .
    I sold it for $500 as is put another $500 with it and bougt a 1982 650 Maxim with 680 miles on it and had been under a tarp for 12 years .

    It was one of the best bikes I owned . I later bought a 550 chain drive / 750 and a 1985
    700 Maxim.

    I love the entire line . I realy wanted the 5 valve Maxim X . The funny thing was trying to balance the carbs . Untill I learned I had to have the tube that plugs the cylinder
    or ( YICS ) Yamaha Induction Control System to set the balance correctly .

    Good looking bikes you have there . I wish I had pictures of mine to look at .


    ZRXOA # 6244
    Fastest stock wheelbase , and motor 1/4 mile 10.0304 @ 138.22 MPH 1.6557 sixty foot 6.4966 1/8 mile @ 112.90 MPH , Best trap speed 148 with FCR 39 carbs , cams , base gasket removed , head work @ a 10.10 pass with a crappy 1.89 sec 60' due to carb bog off the line .

    Quote Originally Posted by KWICK View Post
    Motor is in.


    c10, I love Ewe

  17. #17
    Licensed to post
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Home of the OSU Kawboys
    Yep the Maxim series was a big hit for Yammy in the early 80's. But that YICS chamber was a joke. There is a special tool to plug the chamber while you sync carbs. It called RTV SEALANT!

    Seriously there is a guy on the web that make one.

    Next week Zilla (the big silver Maxim) will no longer have his YICS chamber. I'm doing a major engine upgrade even though the bike only has 20,000 miles. I want more KICK.

    The new head and block will be from an 80 XS11...no YICS chamber. The head will be ported, polished and valves seats will be 5 angle radius cut. Web cam, and a Wiseco 1196 Big bore kit to boot. Then We'll top it off with a Motad 4-2-1 header and re-jet/mod air box. We're hoping to see about 100+ at the rear wheel.

    These Elevens were rated 95 at the crank but by the time it all spun up through the shaft drive you only saw about 75 to 77 at the rear tire. We should see an additional 25 or 30 HP at the rear wheel...at least I hope. I can't stand the thought of dumping $3000 into a bike for a mere 10 extra ponies.

  18. #18
    I keep my bike in a
    barn...

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Stowe Pa
    Think the shaft will handle that much increase?


    If you can keep your head when all around you have lost theirs, then you probably haven't understood the seriousness of the situation.

  19. #19
    Licensed to post
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Home of the OSU Kawboys
    No doubt. I know several people that have taken these old Elevens to 100+HP with no problems.

    Numerous people have turbo Elevens pulling 150 to 160 hp. However at that point you do hear of some shaft "twisting". But my bike will only be making 100 to 105 and this shouldn't be an issue. Besides I won't racing it. It is for two up touring.

    If you search the web site in Germany and the UK you'll see some really cool street fighters made from old air cooled Elevens. Alot of them do a chain drive conversion not as much for strength as to realize more rwhp.
    Last edited by Flying Kaw; 07-02-2006 at 05:08 PM.

  20. #20
    BadAss Hooligan
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Clovis,Ca
    Originally posted by Curt
    Think the shaft will handle that much increase?
    The shaft will be fine, (meaning ring and pinion) the middle drive? it wont be so happy after a while. the CV will begin to complain after the middle drive starts shearing teeth.
    ther eof course theres the 2nd gear shift fork and shift drum. but for a while, it will be ok.
    Current bikes:
    '99 BMW R1100RT
    '77 Tri Bonneville 750
    '73 Kaw Z1 Vintage Racebike
    '71 BMW R75/5 Vintage Racebike
    All my stuff runs.

  21. #21
    BadAss Hooligan
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Clovis,Ca

    Re: XS1100

    Originally posted by pete11zrx
    Hello,My other ride is a 1980 Yamaha XS1100 SG. It was my jump from a Kawasaki KZ400. I bought the XS in 1986 because i got a check from my insurance company for a warranty on a car that went bad.My insurance company reimbursed me for 3 months of car rentals,and i deceided to go to a bigger bike hence the XS.I Still have the bike .It has a Kerker exhaust,K&N filters and a dynojet kit installed in the carbs.33,000 miles and it runs just like i bought it yesterday.I put a set of Works Performance shocks on tthe bike and am currently am looking for a company to replace them as the shocks are weeping oil.If you know of any place that deals with shocks for older bikes e-mail me at flatfrog2004@yahoo.com. Thanks
    Works will overhaul your shocks for stupid cheap. this time of year, it will take 4-6 weeks? In December, it will take a week or so. I think its like 35 bucks each plus a few dollars for o-rings, seals. They can respring/valve if needed for a bit more. well worth. it.
    If you decide to change shocks, send me a pics of your works and your price and Ill have them rebuilt for me.
    Tri750@hotmail.com
    Big Al
    Current bikes:
    '99 BMW R1100RT
    '77 Tri Bonneville 750
    '73 Kaw Z1 Vintage Racebike
    '71 BMW R75/5 Vintage Racebike
    All my stuff runs.

  22. #22
    Owes chuckc THREE beers
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Canton, Ohio
    I put mine back on the road today after a oil, filter, spark plug, & brake fluid change. The thing fired right up like the engine was still warm after sitting for about 9 months and I took my wife for a little 110 mile ride on it. Here in Ohio any vehicle 25 years old you can put a "Historical" license plate on, they only cost $17.50 and I don't have to re-new it till the year 2050! Here's a better pic out in the sun, mine is no show winner after 181,000 miles but it still runs like a top.
    Attached Images  
    ZRXOA# 5945 stable list= 01 ZRX, 04 Zuma scooter, 04 CRF 50 F, 82 Honda FT 500 Ascot, 79 Yamaha XS 1100, ""

  23. #23
    Turtle
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Wheaton,il
    my dad is going through his 79 xs11 special. Has anyone gotten rid of the "octapus" it's the cluster of lines for the petcocks? He was talking about getting rid of all that but wasn't sure if it would hurt the running of the bike. I looked at it and it looks over engineered. Why do they need two petcocks anyway it seems redundant? I guess it's a yama thing.

  24. #24
    BadAss Hooligan
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    New Jersey

    Fuel Petcocks

    Originally posted by inda
    my dad is going through his 79 xs11 special. Has anyone gotten rid of the "octapus" it's the cluster of lines for the petcocks? He was talking about getting rid of all that but wasn't sure if it would hurt the running of the bike. I looked at it and it looks over engineered. Why do they need two petcocks anyway it seems redundant? I guess it's a yama thing.
    Dont remove them! I installed a set of Pingel petcocks years ago,and found out that if you try to remove them, the bike will stumble and hesitate as if you are dumping too much fuel into it.If it aint broke, dont fix it!

  25. #25
    BadAss Hooligan
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    northwest Ohio
    Pretty much a Virago with an inline four stuffed in>
    .
    1976 Suzi GT500 (sold- going to a museum in Hong Kong)
    1977 BMW R100/7 (under sedation)
    1982 Yamaha Virago 750
    1998 Honda Valkyrie 1500 Standard
    2000 Kawi ZRX1100


    "The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir."

    - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science As a Candle in the Dark


  26. #26
    Turtle
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Wheaton,il
    thanks for the heads up I'll pass on the info.


 

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