’78 Yamaha XS 750
I have this thing for 3 cylinder motorcycles, I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the sound, the feel, the look…whatever it is I love ’em. I started my love for triples on a Kawasaki H2 750, spent a good amount of time on a friends Triumph Trident and currently own (have for 13 years and about 80,000 miles) Triumph Daytona Super3. Triples are unique mostly because well…they’re triples. They don’t vibrate as much as twins nor are they as smooth as a four, just somewhere in between. A triple has a different soul than the others, it’s hard to explain but once you spend time on one you’Il know what I mean.
One triple I always liked liked but never got around to having was the Yamaha XS750. Good looking, interesting features but…when it first came out in ’76 it had ‘issues’ so, not on my shopping list. Fast forward a couple of years and Yamaha had sorted the problems out and the XS750 was a fine motorcycle, however I wasn’t in the market at the time so again, no XS in my garage.
For the ’78 E model, the tuning fork company made some really great changes. It starts with an electronic ignition system, new carbs, new cams and the redline jumped up from 7500rpm to 9000rpm…the bike came alive. For a sport touring (even though the term ‘sport touring’ hadn’t been coined yet) shaft drive motorcycle this bike was, uh,how do you say ‘spirited ride’ without sounding corny??
I think it was around 1985 I got my first chance to ride an XS750 and I fell in love with the bike. The friend that owned it had replaced the shocks and the fork springs but everything else was stock. We were going on a weekend road trip and agreed to swap motorcycles for the whole week with none of this “gimme my bike back” stuff, it was the whole week or nothing. He finished the week on my CB750F and I on his XS750. In the end we both really loved each others bike but kept our own. Truth be told…it’s because our wives wouldn’t let either one of us buy another motorcycle, otherwise he would have a CB750F in his garage and I’d have an XS750 in mine! And we’d be divorced. Come to think of it…nevermind.
Today I found an absolutely beautiful XS750 on ebay and at a great price. This is almost like buying a new 32 year old motorcycle, no kidding. It’s about as perfect as you can find. it only has 12,500 miles, paint and chrome are excellent, has a windshield (which is nice but you can also take off easily enough) and the seat is perfect, it runs great great according to the seller…what more could you ask for.??! All the manuals and road tests and other goodies…it’s all there. Click on the pic’s and you’ll see what I mean. A fun note here, Cycle World magazine described the XS750 as a ‘poor mans BMW’. Not a bad comparison.