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Why did they do it?

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by hornet, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. Yamaha produced this oddity back in the eighties when the Japanese factories were spending money like water developing and selling bikes with all sorts of configurations, just to prove they could.
    It's a 500cc water-cooled four stroke V-Twin, but it got through R&D and production with a wonky front end because of the really strange "trailing-axle" front fork design. The chronic wander at higway speeds ensured that an otherwise sound engine/chassis design was doomed not to last long. Three years saw it off, and Yamaha moved on to the next "big thing". http://www.bikez.com/motorcycles/yamaha_xz_550_1983.php

  2. what a crap bike. :roll:
  3. sad thing is, Dan, that along with many machines other that should be quietly forgotten, because of its rarity, it's probably a collectible!!!!
  4. I actualy have seen one... it was crashed a little bit.. the guy wanted $500 for it.. almost bought it... but to my luck a friend told me he has never see one like it b4... and this guy has been in the industry for YEARS!!
  5. Hehehehe. Hate to admit to this but I actually had the hots for one of those when they came out :LOL: My cousin (who worked in a Yamaha dealership at the time) talked me out of it. The engines gave trouble as well -chewed up crank bearings if ridden in anything resembling a "spirited" fashion
  6. You've got to wonder how many good engines get lost, because of other factors.
  7. OK - this was a failure but at least they were prepared to try something different. That's one of the reasons the British motorcycle industry originally collapsed (as well as bad management, poor quality control etc. etc. :roll: ) - they continued with what they'd been doing while everyone else (except for HD) moved in a new direction.

    I think the occasional bit of weirdness can be a good thing. ( well maybe except for the Ariel 3 :LOL: )

  8. There was a write up about this bike in Two Wheels an issue or two back. Kash's take on it was that Yamaha was trying to unseat Honda at the time. The XZ was an attempt to make a better CX500 than Honda. There were problems with the motor too.
  9. Well I've seen Uglier bikes......

    But not many :p
  10. Yeah, Yamaha made a public anouncement back in the late 70's or earlier 80's that they were going to take the top spot from honda.

    Never did of course

    They tried to do it with technology. Even things like the xj600 had some trickery to them. It may have been them that got single shock rear ends into production bikes. (yeah yeah I know about Vincents etc)