My neighbor and I both bought new 1978 XS1100s in 78. We now have approximately 35,000 miles on them. They still run like new and look like new. The only things we have replaced are tires, batteries and exhaust systems; one has a Kirker, the other a Hindle, both work great and are quiet.
When new we put on Vetter fairings and Bates rear boxes along with large tank bags. Can't imagine a better bike for touring. I think they will outlast us. If you can find a good clean, stock one for under $2000 snap it up, you won't be disappointed.
I seem to be with you guys about the 1100 being retard proof. I've been a 650 guy from the 70's first with my $50.00 dollar 66 Triumph (that I still have. It's in a few boxes but it's still with me), then after going to school for brit. cycle repair and going in the army in 77.
4 years later I got out and wanted to ride, and also needing a job, and with Triumph on their last legs, I got a job at the local Yam. shop.
Well while riding home one day after work, the service manager ripped passed my Triumph like it was nothing. Now you have to know that at one time this bike was giving them Harleys and KZ1000 a hard time, but that XS650 had no work for me.. Might as well been on grand pa's old cushmen..
So after talking it over with my brother, who at the time was on a 78 XS1100 RV, we went out and I got a really good deal on a 75 XS650. It was a true hot rod.. Well I still have that bike and also 4 others. But I guess what I'm getting at is the other day my brother (older) came by with the title for the 1100, and told me to go get it from the shop, because it just got the high end tune-up with new wheels, bearings and rubbers. so off I went. with the bill paid in full (thanks Bro.) I got on it and tried to ride it home. That was at 9:00am, but every time I got close to the house, it just kept going and I couldn't keep it off the big road.
You know for a 32 year old bike, it hasn't lost any of its spunk. It is bone stock with the hard bags and faring, and it don't even feel it.. no wind drag. And F.Y.I. I dug up a 1980 LTD 1100, and after pulling off the toll, he tried to give me a run with the come let's run wave, so after 30 years it was my turn. That Kawi. had nothing. I put him the weeds just at 5th gear. I've got no idea how fast I was going, but when I got off the twister I was rolling down off 122 (give or take) mph. The ride was just as smooth as my bosses 70 caddy.
Well on the return home I had a really hard time trying to keep it under 70. Seems that's its cruising speed. I've been spending a lot of time going over this bike more or less to get to know what keeps'er ticking. I am thinking about a spin on oil filter to help with helping it run a little more cooler. After all, clean, cool oil is key, and it is a 32 year old bike. And as long as I can keep out from under a bus, I'd like to see it here for another 32 years... it's a really fine bike and I'd put it along side any Moto-Guzzi or B.M.W. any day...
I'm Rich Davis (Yamaha-Richie) from South Jersey...
Just found a 78 for $700 on Craigslist. It runs and drives, just has some road rash, and needs virtually nothing. I rode one for a week, and I loved it, although it wasn't as clean as this one. I knew that one day I wanted one, and now with this I may chop it for the cafe look...