29th Oct 2009, 05:14

I had a lovely looking XJ 550, low miles, brill condition. Would run really sweet until it got hot, then it would be like riding with 3-2 cylinders only.

Similar to others, had the carbs rebuilt as 1 of the vacuum seals had perished, reshim, changed the plugs, and sold it as it let me down so often I got sacked from my job (no money to fix). Sold for next to nothing to a guy whose mate had an XJ550. They swapped parts to fault find, ending up replacing the coils, which sorted it apparently.

25th Nov 2009, 08:21

I bought an XJ550 from a dealer a few months ago. It was first registered in 1982, but the manufacturing date says 1980. The seat was split, and the exhaust had been repaired and mufflers replaced with aftermarket ones, but otherwise the bike was in mint condition. I couldn't believe it. The same bloke had had it from new since 1982 and never dropped it! I gladly parted with $2500 with 10 months registration. It's a great little bike, smooth and comfortable.

I rode it to Phillip Island to the GP, and it looked fantastic among all the other bikes in the car park that had no visible shocks.

I've since added a mint condition 1983 XJ900 to the garage. WOW! Old bikes have got a lot going for them. I also have a 1977 GS750 Suzuki to work on. God, I wish I could live another 50 years.

8th Jan 2011, 19:16

I had brand new, black XJ550 Yam; what a pile of s**t. It blew light fuses for a pastime (never did find out why), the gear linkage fell apart on the dual carriageway one afternoon, the chain adjuster on the left hand side stripped its thread one day when I tried to pull away a bit too quick, rear shocks went after one year, sticky valve, inlet rubbers perished (on a 2 year old bike??) fork seals went through 4 sets in under 3 years, CCT fell apart; I swear I just touched it with a spanner to adjust it, and it just fell to pieces, and at the first sign of winter, it would completely refuse to start.

I was so happy to see it go after less than 3 years of ownership; replaced it with a zook GS850.

11th Dec 2011, 08:09

All the above makes good sense.

25th Apr 2015, 14:21


Two common faults with the 550 and 650 were CDI and coils breaking down under heavy load and at tick over.

19th Aug 2020, 03:58

Sorry to hear about your problems with the bike. It seems that it was a lemon. Most Yamaha motorcycles back then were overall pretty reliable machines.