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Old 11-28-2010, 07:11 AM
erikjames erikjames is offline
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XS1100 Special vs Standard

Just wondering if anyone had any technical information regarding the differences in the frames of these two bikes. I'm looking for info regarding the length and angle of the backbone and the possibly the rake. I actually like the look of the Standard better. Thanks!
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:09 AM
crazy steve crazy steve is offline
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In all major dimensions, the standard and special frames are identical; from the fuel tank forward, they're exactly identical. So the backbone and neck rake are the same. The apparent difference in the rake between models is in the forks/trees, not the frame. The swingarm and rear shock mounting points are all the same too.

But behind the tank, there's all sorts of detail differences, enough that 'converting' one to the other is difficult. Rear fender and seat mounting, sidecover mounts, and the rear footpeg/muffler mounts changed enough to prevent swapping parts in most cases. Looking to install '78-79 standard trim onto a '80 special frame, I counted twelve welded-on brackets/mounts that would have to be changed. The sidecovers are particularly troublesome, as there's some year to year differences on both models.

So if you like the 'looks' of a particular year/model, it's best to get that year/model, as converting isn't all that easy...
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Last edited by crazy steve; 11-28-2010 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 11-30-2010, 10:16 AM
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TomRodgers TomRodgers is offline
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+1....

i am playing fits getting $hit to fit....but nothing a sledge hammer, an angle grinder, a torch, a welder, and a lot of beer cant fix!!!!
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:11 AM
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fredintoon fredintoon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erikjames View Post
Just wondering if anyone had any technical information regarding the differences in the frames of these two bikes. I'm looking for info regarding the length and angle of the backbone and the possibly the rake. I actually like the look of the Standard better. Thanks!
Hi Erik,
like Steve sez, apart from a bunch of minor bracketry the frames are identical.
This means you can make your Special look more like a Standard by swapping in the Standard front forks & trees and changing to a Standard gas tank.
Note that the Standard rear wheel is a 17" vs the Special's 16" and you can change that too.
Most folks prefer the Special's round gauges and lamps though, plus there's minor hassles in the swap.
Most folks stay with the shorter Special exhaust because it allows easier rear wheel removal.
And there you have it, another effin' Frankenbike.
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by fredintoon View Post
And there you have it, another effin' Frankenbike.
Do I sense a little anger there Fred?
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:36 AM
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fredintoon fredintoon is offline
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frankenbike

Quote:
Originally Posted by natemoen View Post
Do I sense a little anger there Fred?
Hi Nate,
by no means! It was a compliment to the Yamaha designers who built in all that swappability between different bike parts and models that allows a rider to build the exact bike that suits him.
Like my own Frankenbiked Special with it's Standard gas tank, hybrid reduced trail forks and (the latest graft) Standard hinged rear fender & tail light.
Wear your neck-bolt with pride, eh?
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  #7  
Old 12-03-2010, 10:13 AM
crazy steve crazy steve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredintoon View Post
..It was a compliment to the Yamaha designers who built in all that swappability between different bike parts and models that allows a rider to build the exact bike that suits him...
Fred, you're joking, right? While I have mostly kudos for the drivetrain engineers, the stylists should have been taken out and horsewhipped for all the 'refinements' they foisted on these, like the multiple seat/sidecover combos and the kludging needed to swap fenders/exhaust...
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'78E original owner - resto project
'78E ???? owner - Modder project FJ forks, 4-piston calipers F/R, 160/80-16 rear tire
'82 XJ rebuild project
'80SG restified, red SOLD
'79F parts...
'81H more parts...

Other current bikes:
'93 XL1200 Anniversary Sportster 85RWHP
'86 XL883/1200 Chopper
'82 XL1000 w/1450cc Buell, Baker 6-speed, in-progress project
Cage: '13 Mustang GT/CS with a few 'custom' touches
Yep, can't leave nuthin' alone...
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Old 12-03-2010, 11:43 AM
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bikerphil bikerphil is offline
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Yamaha probably had no idea these bikes would be around for 30+ years. They figured you would be buying a newer model by now.
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  #9  
Old 12-03-2010, 11:54 AM
crazy steve crazy steve is offline
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The thing that really puzzles me is how the styling guys missed screwing up the standard/special tank swap...
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Fast, Cheap, Reliable... Pick any two

'78E original owner - resto project
'78E ???? owner - Modder project FJ forks, 4-piston calipers F/R, 160/80-16 rear tire
'82 XJ rebuild project
'80SG restified, red SOLD
'79F parts...
'81H more parts...

Other current bikes:
'93 XL1200 Anniversary Sportster 85RWHP
'86 XL883/1200 Chopper
'82 XL1000 w/1450cc Buell, Baker 6-speed, in-progress project
Cage: '13 Mustang GT/CS with a few 'custom' touches
Yep, can't leave nuthin' alone...
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  #10  
Old 12-03-2010, 02:50 PM
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cywelchjr cywelchjr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy steve View Post
The thing that really puzzles me is how the styling guys missed screwing up the standard/special tank swap...
No, they got it, you can't swap a standard tank onto a special without modifying the seat pan, and going the other way, you leave a gap between the seat and tank.
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Old 12-03-2010, 11:00 PM
g15usmc g15usmc is offline
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I'm actually astounded at how many of these bikes there actually are....and for a bike to be able to stand up to 30 plus years and still kick @$$ with the generally minor fixes that i have been reading about...many carb rebuilds and customization is what i have read most about...but for a bike to be able to last 30 plus years with God knows how many miles and hours on its engine...is just completely amazing to me...**** my xs11 special is older than me by about 3 or 4 years, and to get it running it took a Good Carb cleaning and good fuel...I dont think i can run as well as this bike does, and I'm a Marine...
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  #12  
Old 03-09-2011, 05:27 AM
Geeitup Geeitup is offline
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Seat swap

Sorry if this is a common question, but I've been searching for hours and haven't found the real answer. How difficult is it to take a 78-79 standard seat/fender cowl be adapt it to an 79 Special? Thanks.
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  #13  
Old 03-09-2011, 10:12 AM
crazy steve crazy steve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geeitup View Post
Sorry if this is a common question, but I've been searching for hours and haven't found the real answer. How difficult is it to take a 78-79 standard seat/fender cowl be adapt it to an 79 Special? Thanks.
There isn't a 'real' answer to this, because the seats on these really don't interchange well, generally not at all. This swap is particularly bad because the '79 special was a one-year-only seat design.

Problems? Two big ones; one, the ignition box (TCI) was relocated forward from where the '78-79 standard had it, and the standard seat pan lacks the recess for it. The Special frame is also different in the rear and lacks support for the rear of the standard seat. To make this work, you'd have to cut off the Special rear fender mounts off the frame, graft on the standard mounts/fender, change to the standard plastic inner fender, and extend the wiring for the TCI so you can relocate it to the rear fender as it was mounted on the standard. Awful lot of work...

As an alternative, you could strip the standard seat to the pan and 'recontour' it to fit around the TCI, then extend the rearmost rubber frame bumpers down to to sit on the frame, then reinstall the foam/padding. Still a lot of work...
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Fast, Cheap, Reliable... Pick any two

'78E original owner - resto project
'78E ???? owner - Modder project FJ forks, 4-piston calipers F/R, 160/80-16 rear tire
'82 XJ rebuild project
'80SG restified, red SOLD
'79F parts...
'81H more parts...

Other current bikes:
'93 XL1200 Anniversary Sportster 85RWHP
'86 XL883/1200 Chopper
'82 XL1000 w/1450cc Buell, Baker 6-speed, in-progress project
Cage: '13 Mustang GT/CS with a few 'custom' touches
Yep, can't leave nuthin' alone...
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  #14  
Old 03-10-2011, 06:46 PM
Geeitup Geeitup is offline
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Thanks for the comprehensive reply! I really like the 78-79 cowl but I think It'll be simpler to modify my original seat, and either customize the original rear fender or adapt a different one somehow.

Is there a common way to shorten the Special rear fender and change it's angle (higher)?
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