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.)