XZ550 The Bike That Never Was

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Inane Cathode, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. Inane Cathode

    Inane Cathode Cheated Anion

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    This thread is everything about the bike you've never heard about, the Yamaha XZ550 Vision, the yamaha that almost doesnt exist. I'll start off with an excellent review by a mister Sev Pearman of the Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly:

    This review just about sums it up. I've got three of these beasties. Two being of the 82 variety, one being of the rarer (and better in my opinion) 83 variety.

    Not only have these bikes aged VERY well (the full fairinged version oft being confused with a bmw, no offense to bmw riders of course :rofl) theres an absolutely massive information base on the workings of these things. Everything from tire sizes to electronic grafting and modifications. They're very rideable and competent on the highway and in the twisties right out of the box, so to speak. Not quite geared for superslab mega-touring, the vision is however adapted perfectly to numbered us highway, canyon gobbling type performance.

    Of course they suffer from what all old bikes suffer from, storage! XZ550s are fitted with an extremely sensitive and one-off type of downdraft (automotive style, including butterfly throttle valves) dual mikuni carburators. The best way to fix most vision carburator problems is to ride the shit out of it for a week or so. That being said the only real way to fix running issues is to dip the carbs and clean them out very thoroughly. There doesnt seem to be a work around to this.

    So next time you see an xz550 on craigslist or in your local paper. Dont hesitate! Snap up a piece of motorcycle history that almost dissapeared.
    #1
  2. Bloodweiser

    Bloodweiser honestly

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    i did a google image search for 'xz550 cafe' for a good laugh, and on the second page what did I find but stagehands avatar :D
    #2
  3. Stagehand

    Stagehand Imperfectionist

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    getthefuckout. really? :lol3

    savoir faire... is EVERYWHERE :lol2





    how many years did they make the Vision, and why is '83 better? That transverse thing - Yamaha didnt really take off with that, but Honda did with the VFR stuff? I know little...
    #3
  4. Inane Cathode

    Inane Cathode Cheated Anion

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    They made it for two years, 1982 and 1983.
    The 83 was almost a finished version of the 82. The carbs were altered quite a bit and the fuel delivery was modified to have a circulating system with a supply and a return back into the tank. Heres what i can remember about the 83 versus the 82:

    Adjustable rear shock dampening
    Front air forks
    Dual front disc brake
    Shorter risers
    Rear set pegs
    Factory full fairing (with nifty radiator air diversion flaps, heat!)
    Fuel guage (space age for 1983)
    Lots more black, forks, exhaust, tail piece, FD and swingarm
    Improved charging system (seems to be a bit contentious, noones sure if the 83 insulation is any better than the 82, 82 eats stators for breakfast)
    Styling differences, 83's had 'Way cool!' pin striping, very 80s
    Gold wheels instead of 'chrome'

    I can't for the life of me remember how many units they actually made. Its reasonable to assume that compared to other popular models theres not very many visions around. You'll find em for sure, but not nearly as many, say, cbs you'd find.

    Oh, bloodweiser here:
    [​IMG]

    I would have probably done the exhaust and the gauges different. Trouble is with the xz550 powerplant is its a dohc so one would have to fab a Y pipe on both ends, and the exhaust is a funky wedge/clamp fit.
    #4
  5. Inane Cathode

    Inane Cathode Cheated Anion

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    They made it for two years, 1982 and 1983.
    The 83 was almost a finished version of the 82. The carbs were altered quite a bit and the fuel delivery was modified to have a circulating system with a supply and a return back into the tank. Heres what i can remember about the 83 versus the 82:

    Adjustable rear shock dampening
    Front air forks
    Dual front disc brake
    Shorter risers
    Rear set pegs
    Factory full fairing (with nifty radiator air diversion flaps, heat!)
    Fuel guage (space age for 1983)
    Lots more black, forks, exhaust, tail piece, FD and swingarm
    Improved charging system (seems to be a bit contentious, noones sure if the 83 insulation is any better than the 82, 82 eats stators for breakfast)
    Styling differences, 83's had 'Way cool!' pin striping, very 80s
    Gold wheels instead of 'chrome'

    I can't for the life of me remember how many units they actually made. Its reasonable to assume that compared to other popular models theres not very many visions around. You'll find em for sure, but not nearly as many, say, cbs you'd find.

    Oh, bloodweiser here:
    [​IMG]

    I would have probably done the exhaust and the gauges different. Trouble is with the xz550 powerplant is its a dohc so one would have to fab a Y pipe on both ends, and the exhaust is a funky wedge/clamp fit.
    #5
  6. Tarka

    Tarka Doesn't wave back.

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    I remember them...and have always wondered about them.

    Pity the original reviewer in the quoted bike test didn`t understand the difference between tranverse mounting and in-line mounting though..................:evil :D
    #6
  7. JWhitmore44

    JWhitmore44 pistolero

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    Those are some sweet looking bikes
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    reminds me a lot of the Radian, another bike i always liked
    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. Nessman

    Nessman Cluttered Minimalist

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    Summer of '87.

    [​IMG]
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  9. Bigger Al

    Bigger Al Still a stupid tire guy

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    The only motorcycle I've ever purchased brand new was a left-over 1982 Vision. Man, whatta great little bike that was! They had their problems, to be sure, but a little fiddling made for a really nice all-rounder. I've owned a few since that one, and I regret ever selling any of them. Every couple of years I get the urge to go out and find one, just for kicks.
    #9
  10. SlipChip

    SlipChip Adventure Commuter

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    I always wanted one. I love that white and red one above.
    Same colors as my first streetbike, a `75 RD 250.
    #10
  11. Inane Cathode

    Inane Cathode Cheated Anion

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    Theres still quite a few around if you put in a bit of effort to look for them. They really are quite nice. Having a basically completely 1 off bike is quite unique. Its not a subtle difference between xs or xj, its totally different all the way around.
    #11
  12. davorallyfan

    davorallyfan Commonist

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    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. jehu

    jehu ∩HƏſ

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    Somebody needs to cafe that puppy!
    #13
  14. SlipChip

    SlipChip Adventure Commuter

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    Where was this? Recent?
    #14
  15. jehu

    jehu ∩HƏſ

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    AMA flat track Tucson last year.
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  16. Renegade6

    Renegade6 Been here awhile

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    A great bike, seems like that was at Yamaha's peak. Lots of good models from those years.
    #16
  17. sonic reducer

    sonic reducer Been here awhile

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    my pops rides one. it's a nice bike to ride, and pretty quick for a 550. there is quite a bit of 80's high tech stuff on it that is a bit wacky and overcomplicated. as such he has had to do quite a bit of repairs. I think they are ugly as sin, way too 1980s space age.

    is that chain drive conversion on the flat tracker a totally custom piece or does it use stock parts from another bike?
    #17
  18. Bigger Al

    Bigger Al Still a stupid tire guy

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    I'd really love to learn more about those flat track bikes! Anybody got a site or sumpin'?:ear
    #18
  19. jehu

    jehu ∩HƏſ

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  20. xlcr

    xlcr Stop being a dick, dick.

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    I thought the TX750 was the Yamaha that never existed?
    #20