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  • New to Japanese, need help with vin info.

    Hello everyone!

    New to Yamahas, well... actually looking to be new as I don't own one yet. I have a buddy who is looking to unload a 81 XS 1100. It is an absolute basket case and I don't mind picking it up. He has the registration and it is a clean and clear title still in the name of the previous owner. My question is regarding the vin on these bikes. I am well familiar with HD's since I have resurrected several basket cases and own several Shovelheads. I've been very badly wanting to turn out a cafe racer and this would be up my alley as far as that. On the vin in the paperwork, it appears that it's missing some numbers. It is a 9 digit alphanumeric number starting with 4R1. The model is listed as XS110. I'm not sure what to make of it but as I usually do love to make good on these projects I'd hate to go register it and find out that I can't for some odd reason or another. I'd love any info anyone has on it.
    If it turns out to be legit, I'll be working on it and definitely post pictures on here. I'm actually pretty excited.
    Thanks in advance for any help you all can provide.

    JGR

  • #2
    This link should help: Serial Numbers/Model designations/Factory Colors (xs11.com)

    4R1 being 1981 XS1100H Indigo Blue
    1979 XS1100SF - AKA 500 Special
    Bike Pics: https://qq0u.app.link/Fcucd6JL6V

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    • #3
      Some states are easier to deal with as far as titles being in a previous owners name. Make sure you can get the title sorted where you live before you throw any cash at it.
      1979 XS1100 Special
      1980 XS1100 Std parts bucket
      1987 ZL1000 Eliminator
      1976 XS750D Project in waiting

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the replies guys, a lot of help to start off with! The bike seems to be pretty legit and in New Mexico, where I'm from, the DMV is pretty forgiving. The bike itself is going to be a major project and since my knowledge base is Shovelheads, primarily, it should be a good learning experience. I'm in the process of clearing my lift of a 81 shovel that I worked on over the winter so it's going to be clear for something else. I hope to share some of my progress with the members here.

        Thanks again guys, and I hope to start off on the right foot with this project, should it ever get started.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jgonz View Post
          Hello everyone!

          New to Yamahas, well... actually looking to be new as I don't own one yet. I have a buddy who is looking to unload a 81 XS 1100. It is an absolute basket case and I don't mind picking it up. He has the registration and it is a clean and clear title still in the name of the previous owner. My question is regarding the vin on these bikes. I am well familiar with HD's since I have resurrected several basket cases and own several Shovelheads. I've been very badly wanting to turn out a cafe racer and this would be up my alley as far as that. On the vin in the paperwork, it appears that it's missing some numbers. It is a 9 digit alphanumeric number starting with 4R1. The model is listed as XS110. I'm not sure what to make of it but as I usually do love to make good on these projects I'd hate to go register it and find out that I can't for some odd reason or another. I'd love any info anyone has on it.
          If it turns out to be legit, I'll be working on it and definitely post pictures on here. I'm actually pretty excited.
          Thanks in advance for any help you all can provide.

          JGR
          Welcome to the site. As others have informed you the serial number or VIN on these vintage 1100's all started with a three digit alphanumeric and were shorter numbers then found today. You state that the person selling the bike has registration in previous owner's name. Question ... was the title signed by the original owner over to someone else that never completed the paperwork or is it basically a clean title with just that owner listed? Makes a big difference in how you proceed in getting it legally registered. Obviously a bill of sale is needed either way.
          2 - 80 LGs bought one new
          81 LH
          02 FXSTB Nighttrain
          22 FLTRK Road Glide Limited
          Jim

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          • #6
            I can't believe it's been three years! I actually forgot that I started this account.
            I acquired the bike from my buddy at work a few weeks after I started the account and have had it sitting around ever since. I have been back and forth with other projects and working out of town. I finally got around to putting her on the lift and beginning a tear down. Pictures to follow.
            Sometime after I got the bike, I actually met the owner of the bike that last had it running. He's actually a riding buddy of my nephew and they were both in a local biker "club". I won't say which. I did get a chance to chat with him and get some background on the bike.
            The bike itself is very rough. The gentleman that rode it actually rode it all over the state as a starter bike. Eventually he got himself a Harley and gave the bike to his uncle, who in turn passed it to his nephew. Apparently they could never really get the carbs right so eventually they just parked it on their property and let it sit. Eventually my buddy, who is a gear head, bought some stuff from them and they asked him if he would like to take the bike... just to clear some room. My buddy, said yes and took it home along with other treasures. Eventually, he wanted to clear out some room and that's when he approached me. I picked it up from him and now I really want to get her going.

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            • #7
              Welcome back!
              -Mike
              _________
              '79 XS1100SF 20k miles
              '80 XS1100SG 44k miles
              '81 XS1100H Venturer 35k miles
              '79 XS750SF 17k miles
              '85 Honda V65 Magna ~7k miles
              '84 Honda V65 Magna 48k miles (parts bike)
              '86 Yamaha VMAX 9k miles

              Previous: '68 Motoguzzi 600cc + '79 XS750SF 22k miles +'84 Honda V65

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              • #8
                Some pics of the disassembly process:

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                • #9
                  My guy at the local indy shop hooked me up with a front tire just so I can roll her around in the shop when I need the lift for other projects. The plan at the moment is get the wiring down so I can light her up before anything else. The brake system is completely shot... dried out, crackling reservoirs, calipers are shot... with that, shoddy splices and many of the electrical plugs disintegrating, it's going to be a long project. Not to mention that the tank is completely rusted through (my buddy found this out as he tried to work the petcocks and one came off in his hand along with a piece of the bottom of the tank).
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    Hello jgonz. You got a nice XS11 there. It is the "Standard" model. I too also have worked on many Shovelheads. You have the skills and tools. What you need for this project is tips and resources. You have come to the right place for tips. Very knowledgeable people here. A Yamaha dealership will have very little to help you as far as parts and what they do have will be priced high. One of the best resources for new and used classic bike parts is eBay. Not sure if you have an account but now might be the time to do so. Here are some parts to get you going on that restoration. Lets start with carb parts for a cleaning & rebuild. This is a kit with all the gaskets and O-rings. Re-use all your metal parts. Keep each set of parts separate from the other carbs because they can wear together so they need to be assembled back together.

                    https://www.ebay.com/itm/352927647481

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                    • #11
                      Your brakes are all rebuildable. There are rebuild kits for the master cylinders and and calipers. To get the frozen calipers apart I screw in a M10 x 1.25 grease zerk and pump the piston out with a grease gun. Clean the caliper and install new rubber parts and its ready to go back on the bike for bleeding with DOT3 or 4.

                      https://www.ebay.com/itm/181715388977

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                      • #12
                        Caliper rebuild kits. Some with pistons as you may find pits on your parts like I did. If the pistons are good you will only need seals.

                        https://www.ebay.com/itm/195879596266



                        https://www.ebay.com/itm/293557441325

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                        • #13
                          Parts lists. You will need these to determine the factory part number in some instances. Then you can search for the part on eBay. It usually comes up.

                          https://www.partzilla.com/catalog/ya...e/1981/xs1100h

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                          • #14
                            Master cylinders. I usually chuck the front and use this one. I run these on several of my bikes and they have held up in all kinds of weather for over 8 years. It's important to note that you need the large 16mm piston for dual disc brakes. These also have a brake light switch. Your brake light wires are inside the headlight housing and hook up easy to this.

                            https://www.ebay.com/itm/202821810271

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                            • #15
                              Rear master cylinder rebuild kit. These can be tough to work on but there is lots of info on this forum.

                              https://www.ebay.com/itm/363306829991

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