Yamaha XS1100SH Motorcycles Reviews (2)
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2000-09-22 1981 Yamaha XS1100SH Cruisers View Listings

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Paint/Chrome were in excellent condition. I loved the classic look of the white and blue gas tank. After getting on for a test ride, my first impression was that this was the largest motorcycle I have ever ridden. Now I've had 14 others - a Concours, GS1100 and V65 Magna to name 3 of the larger ones - but this thing was huge. Seeing as my girlfriend believed the Nighthawk was too small to ride with me (no excuses now) and the $1000 we finally settled on, I bought it. After 3 months 1700 miles (20 years overall riding by the way) with the XS my ratings as follows, Comfort: Excellent comfort for a six footer - legs are never cramped, the set back handlebars are easy to reach, noise and vibration are reasonable for a 20 year old bike. I hated not getting any airflow with the excessively tall windshield and had Tap Plastics cut a good eight inches off it. Though slightly more buffeted by the wind, you get nice fresh air now and it looks great. Speed and Power: It has a locomotive like power, not peaky, but incredibly strong through the 8500 RPM powerband. The maximum power seems at the 6000-RPM range. The weak clutch, which I am going to replace this winter may detract from some of the overall power. In fact I'm sure this is the case. I typically achieve about 38 MPG. Handling: Although I expected a bike hitting about 600 pounds to wallow a bit in the turns, I was actually quite pleased with the handling. The large and wide handlebars provide good leverage to initiate a quick turn. The Dunlop K491 tires seem to provide good stability even at higher speeds 70+, where I still feel confident. The brakes, were probably great when the bike was new, now they require a great effort to make rapid stops, basically they suck. If I didn't have pretty strong hands I would worry. As it is I will replace the pads, fluid and possibly rebuild the master cylinder this winter. The fairing and bags look good and give that substantial look. Nice picture of this model and other XS1100's on XS11.com Website. Problems/Repairs: I believe the exhaust gaskets are almost gone (sound and smell), brakes as mentioned prior, clutch (prior), cam chain tensioner leaks a few drops. The design of the oil filter bolt makes it very prone to stripping (mine was completely stripped off when I got it). The initial price has made this a great value so far, and riding it is lots of fun!!!!
- Steve Geller, Vancouver, Washington

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2000-06-27 1981 Yamaha XS1100SH Cruisers View Listings

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My 1981 Eleven Special was bought used from the original owner in 1994 with 13,000 miles on the odometer. It had been stored for the prior six years. After replacing the battery and cleaning the carbs and master brake cylinders, I put another 13,000 miles on the bike over the next five years. I recently sold the bike to a friend when I decided to purchase a new 2000 Yamaha Road Star. My decision to purchase another Yamaha was directly due to the satisfaction I had experienced with my 1981 Eleven Special. It was a very fast and dependable motorcycle. Simply change the oil and do the standard maintenance and it will run forever!
- Jim Gallagher, Cocoa, Florida

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