Kiwi Rider August 2022 Vol.1 - Page 90

Brochure shot of 1978 XS1100
circuit north of Adelaide . It was an enjoyable bike to ride on those long straight Australian roads , but on the track it was a handful . Gregg Pretty sadly died following an accident on a road bike in the Adelaide Hills , but his racing success on the XS1100 will long be remembered . The XS1100 chassis was suspect . Although heavy duty , the Duplex cradle type frame struggled under the sheer power of the huge engine , and of course the weight . There were reports of flexing at speed , and handling problems in slow , tight corners . The front forks and rear shocks were adjustable for spring preload , but adjustment didn ’ t extend to damping . The bike eventually found its niche amongst the long distance touring set ; it would cruise effortlessly all day , carrying any amount of luggage . Open the throttle at almost any speed , fast or slow , and the acceleration is dazzling .
YAMAHA ’ S FIRST SUPERBIKE The XS1100 will be remembered as the model that propelled Yamaha into the Superbike world . When it was launched at the end of 1977 , the XS1100 was seen as Yamaha ’ s answer to the likes of the Honda CBX , Suzuki GS1000 , and the Kawasaki Z1R and , although it was quite different from the products of the other three factories , the technology led to a series of fourcylinder machines that were more in line with the other three factories , and very competitive . One final story about my Isle of Man ride . As I was crossing over the mountain section of the circuit a group of maybe four or five bikes overtook me , everyone waving to me . As I approached the start and finish line I saw them all waiting for me . Then I realised , I was wearing Hailwood ’ s gear and they thought I was him . I didn ’ t have the nerve to stop and take off the helmet . I waved to them , and rode straight to Mike ’ s hotel and parked the bike .