Yamaha Corporation as we know it today was created more than a hundred years ago. The primary activity was production of musical instruments, small organ,piano…
Nippon Gakki Co., later called Yamaha, was founded in 1980 by Torakusu Yamaha. As stated in introduction, the company since establishment was involved in the manufacture of musical instruments. They started with a small organ and piano, and today they are one of the largest manufacturers of equipment for musicians in the world. Logo on Yamaha gas tanks represents 3 crossed tuning forks. Just thanks to the production of these forks and pianos, craftsmen at Yamaha have gained a lot of experience in working with metals and various alloys. This experience combined with those acquired in the World War II, as well as the high demand for cheap means of transport ( which was discussed in previous histories ), led to the fact that Yamaha began production of motorcycles.
First Yamaha came out from the factory back in 1955. It is a model YA-1. Unlike the first-born of other Japanese manufacturers, this motorcycle was very serious, probably because it was a copy of the DKW. It was powered by two-stroke engine with 123 ccm, whole 5,6 HP and 9,4 Nm of torque. It is important to note that this was a real motorcycle that did not use the frame of a bicycle. Of course, such a good motorcycle was accompanied with “good” price: at a time when the wages of university-educated men was just under 11.000 yen, the YA-1 cost entire 138.000 yen. His successor, YC-1 was a bit better: thanks to the engine of his 174 ccm, power is increased to as much as 10,3 HP. In addition to higher power, the motorcycle was exceptionally looking and the price jumped to 145.000 yen. YD-1 which appeared the following year, was also a remarkable motorcycle during that time. His biggest asset was also the engine….the first of the twin-cylinder Yamaha with 247 ccm and 14,7 HP. The first copies were sold in America in 1958.
Yamaha’s first production facility outside the borders of Japan, was opened in 1966 in Siam when it launched the first model from the super-sport class. It is a model YDS-3 that developed 26 HP and a complete novelty on this model was adjusting the rear suspension. The first Yamaha enduro, DT-1, was in the production in 1968, with 246 ccm and largest front fork gap among all Japanese motorcycles. Just a year later, Yamaha has built its own race track.
The first large-volume engine, powered by four-stroke parallel twin engine with 653 ccm and 53 HP, was launched in 1970 and carried the label XS1. The text above is in fact the basis for the story we want to tell.
The “XS Eleven” (Eleven for the American market, the XS 1100 for the European market) debuted in 1978 as the motorcycle with the largest capacity / volume at the time. She was part of the famous four called “super bikes of the 70’s”, where the rest of the 3 super bikes were of course among the Japanese four: Kawasaki Z1, Honda CBX 1000 and Suzuki GS 1000. When the stories of these bikes were told, somehow the Yamaha “XS Eleven” was always left out in most of them. Namely, the above mentioned trio had already made an incredible success and a frightening reputation by 1978 (when the XS Eleven was produced). Since the late arrival, XS had to justify getting a ticket to a show like this. The “XS Eleven” not only justified it, but exceeded expectations and practically became number one among the super bikes of that era of motorcycling.
This was Yamaha’s first four-stroke, four-cylinder motorcycle. It used the super-proven technology that Yamaha used for the first time with its predecessor – the XS 750 model (four-stroke three-cylinder engine). When it was first introduced, it gained a reputation as a heavy but very powerful motorcycle. In 1978 and 1979 it won the “Cycle worlds Ten best bikes” award, as the best touring motorcycle.
The torque of this motorcycle is its dominant feature. It is heavy ( as the critics have already stated above ), powerful and simply flies when you turn the throttle. Speed on the straight is what made the “XS Eleven” ( after many miles of riding it ) famous. The shaft drive final transmission combined with 5 speeds, easily transfer power to the rear wheel. It was completely ( at that time ) without competition on all starting speed tests.
In any case, without any doubt, the power that this engine / motorcycle delivered is indisputable, ie. and still also delivering. When You ride it today, and You have in mind that it was produced back in 1979, it is unbelievable how well this motorcycle is going.
Critics says: “It may have been a little late for the super bikes party, but with superior driving capabilities and a spectacular engine, the “XS Eleven” was definitely a motorcycle worth to wait. Better late than never”.
We certainly leave it to You, potential buyers, to discover something new for Yourself in this famous classic, and at the end of the story we present the Yamaha XS Eleven 1100. Produced in 1979. Through pictures and specifications, enjoy the offered model.
|Model||Yamaha XS Eleven 1100|
|Engine type||In-line four, four stroke|
|Power||70,8 kW / 95 KS|
|Top speed||203 km/h|
|Bore x stroke||71,5 x 68,6 mm|
|Transmission type, final drive||Shaft|
|Front brakes||Dual disc|
|Rear brakes||Single disc|
|Weight incl. oil, gas, etc.||258 kg|