Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Contents - Greg Ado­maitis, Philadel­phia, PA, USA

A bit of moan­ing about the RC45 be­ing nice to look at, and The PS finds an XZ550 ‘fan’

While there have been quite a few oc­ca­sions when I wanted to take an axe to my Yamaha XZ550 Vi­sion à la Jack Tor­rance in The Shin­ing, (PS, De­cem­ber 2018, 36 Years Ago This Month: Yamaha Wield the Axe x 30) cooler heads pre­vailed.

Thank­fully they did, be­cause this sup­pos­edly ‘tragic’ bike is what sparked a le­git­i­mate in­ter­est in mo­tor­cy­cles, a de­sire to de­mys­tify the me­chan­i­cal work­ings and the drive to keep a 36-year-old cult item on the road. To any­one who has owned one: I fried two sta­tors in just about as many

weeks, but it taught me the “how”

and “why” of my mid-ride mis­for­tune. It also taught me to splice in a volt­meter above the speedome­ter. My dad let me get my bear­ings on his ‘82; year’s later, we picked up a $100 barn find that hadn’t been fired up since the year I was born – 1987. It was run­ning later that night. The cur­rent plan is to merge them into a mo­tor­cy­cle that, you know... works.

Sure, it’s an ad­mit­tedly ‘un­der­de­vel­oped’ golden era bike, but it was saved from a cafe racer fate – and turned me into a PS fan.

XZ550 parked in a park, and soon to move un­der its own power. True

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