Kiwi Rider August 2022 Vol.1 - Page 89

Spectacular US style launch
of a few years , imagine what it would be like for a new comer .
ROAD-GOING SUPERBIKE When Yamaha ’ s XS1100 appeared in 1978 , Yamaha was the last of the ‘ big four ’ Japanese factories to enter the road-going Superbike category . The biggest machine they had produced at this point was a 650 four-stroke vertical twin , some ten years before . Following development work on car engines for Toyota , Yamaha put the experience into its motorcycle engines Limited sports credentials didn ’ t restrict the model ’ s performance in production racing . The XS1100 enjoyed immediate racing success in the Southern Hemisphere . In 1978 , riding alone , Greg Pretty won the 3-Hour production race in Adelaide , followed by the Perth 4-Hour race , and Surfers Paradise 3-Hour production race . After these impressive performances , the prestigious Castrol 6-Hour race went to Jim Budd and Roger Hayes - also XS1100 mounted . But the XS wasn ’ t meant to be a race bike , and when Greg Pretty won the Arai 500 endurance race at Bathurst in 1981 , the XS had been modified and was chain driven .
THE USUAL SUSPECT The next time I rode one was in South Australia , where I was loaned one by Greg Pretty ’ s sponsor , Pitmans . I headed for Mallala , a short