Yamaha XJ550 Reviews

1982 Yamaha XJ550 from United States of America

Model year1982
Year of manufacture1982
First year of ownership1982
Most recent year of ownership1995
Acceleration marks 10 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 9 / 10
Handling marks 10 / 10
Braking marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.4 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance34000 miles
Previous motorcycleYamaha Trail 60

Summary:

The best bike I ever owned

Faults:

When I bought this bike brand new in 1982, it quickly developed a leaky head. That is that the head was porous and oil just seeped through. Yamaha fixed that under warranty.

I then put 32,000 miles on the bike with no issues until it needed an ignition module. That's pretty good if you ask me.

I guess you assume that I did all the maintenance on the bike, gas tires and oil, etc..

General Comments:

This was my first new motorcycle. This was also one of the best bikes I ever owned. Granted it was a 550. But, it was very quick, nimble and just a joy to ride every mile.

The XJ550 Seca was my only source of transportation for over three years. I rode it in every kind of weather you can imagine. I once rode about 300 miles in a freezing rain. That was miserable. But, the old Seca was reliable and stable.

As a tourer, I rode the Seca over a 1000 miles in one weekend from Friday night till Sunday. The seat was a shade harsh for that kind of riding but, I didn't know any different. The seating position was pretty perfect. The engine is what really shined. The 550 engine was smooth and revved up very quick. The YICS carbs were ahead of their time. Every motorcycle that I have owned since 1982 has been measured against the Seca, and many have been found wanting.

Awesome bike!

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th October, 2009

1982 Yamaha XJ550 from United States of America

Model year1982
Year of manufacture1982
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2007
Acceleration marks 8 / 10
Handling marks 7 / 10
Braking marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.7 / 10
Distance when acquired13000 miles
Most recent distance28000 miles
Previous motorcycleYamaha XJ550

Summary:

Good bike in stock condition

Faults:

I got this as a trade, so a few things need to be fixed, but from poor maintenance.

Chains rusting and stretch, had to replace it.

Carbs needed a good cleaning.

Front forks needed new seals.

Exhaust pipes had hole made by rust, had to replace.

Cam chain is making noise (due to stretching 'cause of age), will need to replace before any major trips.

General Comments:

I trade a moped for this bike as a project and since has become a great everyday (around town bike).

Once I did some good cleaning, this bike ran awesome. Has always started on first attempt, till I let it sit for 3 months (then it took two attempts).

The seat is very uncomfortable after about 100 miles, gonna have it redone. They also don't make a back-rest for passenger, so I'm designing one.

All and all, a good bike in stock condition. Once I'm done with the seat, back-rest, & Cam Chain; it will be an awesome bike.

For a "do it yourself", this is very easy to work on, compared to other bikes.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th January, 2007

1982 Yamaha XJ550 from United States of America

Model year1982
Year of manufacture1982
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2006
Acceleration marks 10 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 8 / 10
Handling marks 6 / 10
Braking marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.7 / 10
Distance when acquired3735 miles
Most recent distance7132 miles
Previous motorcycleYamaha XS 1100 SE

Summary:

A great running bike, and an overall joy to own and ride

Faults:

I have had no real major problems with this bike. I have performed my regular services and that is really it.

General Comments:

This bike has been an overall joy to own actually.

The long distance riding tends to make your back a little sore; the seat could be padded a bit better.

Fuel mileage has ranged a little over 50mpg since I have owned it.

This bike has a great throttle response, and easily handles the quick change in gears.

The thinner tires make the cornering a bit softer than I would like, but overall it's very controllable.

This bike would make a great beginner bike for someone just starting out on a motorcycle.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th November, 2006

1984 Yamaha XJ550 from United Kingdom

Year of manufacture1984
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2000
Acceleration marks 7 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 7 / 10
Handling marks 5 / 10
Braking marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.6 / 10
Distance when acquired31000 miles
Most recent distance31500 miles

Summary:

Good, until a major fault crippled it

Faults:

Developed a bizarre problem where the bike would start and run fine, but after about 5 minutes would start to run lumpy before quitting altogether and refusing to restart.

All of the following failed to find a fault - carburettors stripped, cleaned, checked and rebuilt, fuel mixture checked (with a CO2 meter and a Cleartune plug), fuel tank/tap checked/cleaned, ignition coil resistance values checked, spark timing checked, valve clearances checked, cylinder compressions checked, spark plugs replaced and correctly gapped and HT lead condition and resistances checked. All within spec and OK, so gave up and sold it on for peanuts as a non-runner.

YICS system makes it impossible to balance the carbs without a special tool. When the engine stopped, there was fuel, a spark, and good compression. Who knows?!

General Comments:

My first bike, bought for a couple of hundred quid so wasn't expecting wonders. To be fair, it was great for the first couple of tanks of fuel, but then developed a fault that was so bad, I spent the next four months trying to fix it, and gave up.

Before this, the engine was smooth and very torquey, and the bike was surprisingly lively. Comfortable and good on fuel too (50 mpg average). Would have made a great commuter / first smoker, but I never did find out why it kept cutting out.

After missing about the sixth consecutive rideout with my mates, I decided enough was enough. I'd got into bikes to ride them not to spend sunny Saturdays taking them apart for the umpteenth time, so I cut my losses and got rid of it.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th November, 2004

30th Sep 2005, 14:53

It's the c.d.i. unit.

12th Aug 2006, 23:24

Use Premium Fuel Only... If there is any varnish in the carb = bike doesn't run. The diaphams are very sensitive. Adding a battery tender is a very good idea.

15th Jan 2007, 16:53

My XJ 550 did this. It was the fuel enrichment device (choke) sticking on ever so slightly, hence it ran fine when cold, but got progressively worse as the engine heated up. This was because the mixture was too rich.

Proved easily; if you let it go cold and it's OK when started again, until it warms up again. Or take the plugs out and see if they are sooty.

Average review marks: 7.3 / 10, based on 4 reviews