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Guest Charlie

xs 850 '80

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Guest Charlie

My son found a free 1980 XS 850 for haul away, no problem. He called me today and asked what I knew about this model. All I could tell him was that the XS designation was used for the 650s in the day. I Googled it and I liked what I saw: a triple: not too complex, daul overhead cam: preformance possibilities, shaft drive: I'm there, not too stylized: don't care for disco. We both like classic European styled bikes. The machine has been indoors for 4 years and the mileage is unknown.

After my online research I reported back that this bike has the potential to be an all-around commuter/tourer. Since it's coming home any way, would anyone experienced with this mark care to comment on the items to look at first to quickly discover any expensive, life threatening conditions. We don't want to spend $500 for tires, batteries, and routine maintenace only to dicover it needs an alternator or some such. What are the week points this model exhibits. Even my /7 BMW has design flaws that can be managed if known.

Charlie Sachs

Pittsburgh

XT 250

R80/7

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Hi Charlie. I had an XS750 back in 1981, triple as you say. (Model upgrade from 750 to 850 around that time) Heavy bike but perhaps they all were then. Not so sure on reliability. Let me down with major electical breakdown in London once. Had to be trailored home. Expensive replacement Yamaha part, I remember. Also chrome exhaust system fell apart so replaced with 3 into 1 aftermarket goodies. Good side; comfortable tourer, positive pick up with shaft drive but not breath taking performance. I kept it for a couple of years but heard of serious engine failure some months after I sold it on in it's mid 30k miles. Would check out valve clearances and cam chain state and life expectancy. As most bikes they're expensive maintenace items and more so if you don't get them adjusted or changed at the appropriate time! Hope that helps.

BeePee

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Guest Charlie

Hi Charlie. I had an XS750 back in 1981, triple as you say. (Model upgrade from 750 to 850 around that time) Heavy bike but perhaps they all were then. Not so sure on reliability. Let me down with major electical breakdown in London once. Had to be trailored home. Expensive replacement Yamaha part, I remember. Also chrome exhaust system fell apart so replaced with 3 into 1 aftermarket goodies. Good side; comfortable tourer, positive pick up with shaft drive but not breath taking performance. I kept it for a couple of years but heard of serious engine failure some months after I sold it on in it's mid 30k miles. Would check out valve clearances and cam chain state and life expectancy. As most bikes they're expensive maintenace items and more so if you don't get them adjusted or changed at the appropriate time! Hope that helps.

BeePee

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Guest Charlie

Thanks for the reply, Bee. I figured as much. We worked on it yesterday only to find out that the carb slides were stuck enough to resist the vacume effect. There was also fuel passage blockages in 2 of the 3 carbs-a total disassembly and clean up.

The mileage is low, however, and the previous mantenance looks professional quality. So on we go, sorting out the machine until we encounter an expensive problem.

Nice idea: 3 cylinder shaftie with OHC: a nice commuter/tourer for a mature rider. Can't say much for the exectution of the bike.

Charlie

'80 R80/7

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Good luck with the bike. Properly kitted up we (me and my now wife) toured France way back in the early eighties - tent, sleeping bags, kitchen sink etc. Great two weeks.

Didn't mention the brakes. In wet weather the bike had brake delay as the pads can't disperse water on the non-drilled discs easily. Very disconcerning when heavily laden, as in touring, chucking it down in the Alps!

Enjoy.

BeePee

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