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Wot about Moto Guzzi and the Italian conspiracy? Wot about BMW and the German conspiracy.
I removed the center stand from my XS11 with a shaft drive.
I shortened the center stand on my Triumph Trophy with a chain drive.
I use a cheap industrial chain on my XS400, and retained the center stand.
My SV1000S does not have a center stand, so I bought one of those lifty things.
My CT00 has and extra length of chain, to be added when the large sprocket is used. This is for the high low gearing change. UK
 

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Rather than a conspiracy, this is the reason for chain drives - it allows for variation in sprocket ratios, which a shaft can't, and the fact that a set of sprockets and chain is way cheaper than a differential rebuild.
My Honda has two rear sprockets on the rear wheel. With a large difference in size. One for off road, and one for on road. Later models have a two speed transfer case.
I am up to speed with sprockets. We used to change them often for each track. I ran a Suzuki rear wheel in my Featherbed frame, for that reason. Used 16 and 17 on the front, to get away from small sprockets. 30 and up on the rear.
Sizes from memory. Notes long gone, but now and then I find some 180 main jets in my tool box. UK
 

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My 1979 XS11 Special, my 1980 XS1100 Standard, my 1981 Midnight Special. All inline fours, all with center stands and shaft drive.
Removed from the 79 and 81. The Midnight Special has a different size rear wheel than the Standard. 17 and 16. Some of the guys swap rear wheels to change the gearing. I considered it for sidecar use, but I have enough power, so did not bother. The rake is also different on the 79, so are the front brakes. Using different bits, the rake and trail can be changed, along with the front brakes. UK
 

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I changed the gearing on my 83 XS400. Was attempting to get more top speed, but as suspected it did not work.
It did lower the revs at 60 mph, but I went back to stock.
Meanwhile motorcycle specs has added more info for the XS400. In the US tests it ran 100 with no other info. I suspected a skinny kid in leathers lying down. My best is 92 with a bunch of junk and me sitting up.
The new British info, gives both speeds. Skinny kid in leathers lying down, and a sitting up rider. 100 and 92. So I am getting the same speed as the original tests. I feel much better. Has to be on a good day, as I mostly get 90, or about 145 kph. I have checked the speedo with the GPS.

My XS1000S will run 10,000 in sixth gear. The tach and speedo lie.
I do not run the 79 XS11 to its posted top speed. It does not feel stable.
I only run the Triumph Trophy 900 to about 105, it is quite stable with the rear top box removed.
I can easily max out my KE100, which has a top speed of about 60, but I baby it. UK
 

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Yamaha will not reveal or supply the crush washer for the middle drive. To get at the oil seal that was leaking, the middle drive needs to be taken apart. New seals are available, but you can not put the unit back together, without the crush washer. This could be a problem with many shaft drive bikes, as they age.
New chains and sprockets abound. UK
 

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My 96 Triumph Trophy 900 weighs about 475 pounds and has 95hp and about 60 torque. Chain drive.
My 79 Yamaha 1100 weighs about 575 pounds and has 98 hp and about 60 toque. Shaft drive.
Aim both of them up the same steep hill, same speed, both on their sweet spot and go WOT.
Which bike pulls the hardest, or are they about the same?

The Triumph is liquid cooled, Yami air cooled. 3 cylinders and 4 cylinders. Noddy the Triumph handles a lot better and has better brakes. Same gear as my newer Suzuki. UK
 

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Middle drives in good condition are available for $65. I am running one from a spare bike. I have another spare.
Had a mini search for the middle drive. No luck. If the drive fails and locks up, it might not be pretty. So too if a chain goes thru the gear case. I have managed neither. UK
 

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Post 81 above. I need your dad.
However we had a local guy in the shipyard who had experience with matching crown wheel and pinion sets.
So too our local machinist. Fast forward, the machinist died, and the other guy moved off Island. I knew about the basics. We also have some decent machine shops across the puddle. I just swapped the middle gear case from a spare bike.
One of the other XS1100 riders did his own work, and the MD seized.
The thin shims make sense. Maybe one winter after I get my heated mansion expansion, I can fiddle with it. Along with my spare XS400 engine.

Coincidence. I had never changed a middle drive. Was on the ferry taking off my gear. The guy in the truck that stopped directly behind me, used to have an XS1100, and had changed the MD. So I got the basic figure out from him on how to do it. UK
 

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I think I was just charged a premium for the new bearings and seals I bought. They were all in imperial sizes. Used maybe over 50 years ago. $311 for my order. $260 for a new axel with bearings seals and hubs. Made inChina, might last a year or two. Mine will last me forever with the new bits, and new tyres. But it was still a lot of $$. Real cost of keeping them in inventory tho, could be a lot more. UK
 

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My most reliable bike is a 79 XS1100. Shaft drive, 575 pounds so a bit heavy, does not handle great but okay. Motor is sweet. Stops good.
Early on I had electrical connection problems. Since then no worries. Recently bunged in a brighter head light. Next on list is a better timing chain tensioner. UK
 

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Couple of thoughts from link above.
The Honda sideways V twin. Shaft on a small bike, 500cc. Apart from that, the main thing that Honda did, was show a push rod engine, could run at 10,500 revs.
The push rods are about 1/2 an inch across.
The Triumph. Print says only weighs 500 plus pounds with petrol. Only is the wrong lead in word. 100 pounds less weight and it might qualify.
Have we grown immune to the fact that most bikes weigh too much.
Guzzi. There are many fine bikes, old and newer to chose from. Used they are more $$ than my Yamaha, quite a bit more. But more folks will look at the Guzzi. UK
 
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