Top test Yamaha BT 1100 Bulldog
This year the dog days are late ?? at least for motorcyclists. Because the Yamaha BT 1100 Bulldog did not make its debut in August, but in October. After all, in warm weather and bright sunshine.
This engine doesn’t just start, this engine makes its appearance.
Ample flywheel gives the air-cooled V2 not only a sympathetic, old-fashioned charm similar to that of the Guzzi engines, but also impeccable concentricity and readiness to perform even at low speeds. From 1200 revolutions it pushes forwards vigorously, a little above the exhaust note changes into a slightly smoky-sounding patter. The driver listens with pleasure, initially turns up to a maximum of 2500 rpm and quickly shifts up gears. On top of that, he enjoys an ideal mixture of robustness and running culture. It could continue like this until the end of the rev range.
But it doesn’t. At 3000 rpm the crankcase starts to rumble, the torque collapses and the engine cranks up to 4000 revs with little motivation. Over it he puts his depressive shaking off again, but then there is not much more torque.
So it is certainly not because of the bite of the two-cylinder that the Bulldog is called as it is. The engineers of the Italian Yamaha subsidiary Belgarda, who developed them, did not want to elicit more power than measured 61 hp at 5700 revolutions and speeds higher than 6200 rpm. In the last gear it ends at 174 km / h. Apparently the mechanical and thermal load capacity of the unit from the XV 1100 chopper and the low pollutant limit values set such narrow limits. After all, the chopper engine again comes directly from the TR 1 engine from 1981, which was basically composed of two XT 500 single cylinders. Consequently, the Bulldog engine is almost prehistoric technology. It is therefore clear that explosive sprints from curve to curve cannot be made. Long, fast stretches of the motorway anyway, because the engine constantly runs into the limiter. Anyone who has this in mind is in the wrong place in the deeply recessed seat of the BT 1100 and then likes to scoff at the meager output and its 251 kilograms live weight.
But that doesn’t matter to this motorcycle. Despite its dangerous-sounding name, the Bulldog does not stand for dogged pursuit of top performance. Your attraction lies in the continuation of cruising with other chassis technical means. It is the combination of a low-speed, beefy engine, as it was previously only found in choppers or cruisers, with an all-round road chassis. Its geometry, with a 65 degree steering head angle, 109 millimeters of caster and over 1500 millimeters of wheelbase, is designed for stability rather than maximum curvature of curves. Nevertheless, when it comes to maneuverability, freedom from banking, and actually everything that serves the driving dynamics, the Bulldog easily has every real cruiser in its pocket. Even if your drivers like to forego brutal braking into corners and hectic shifting, they manage to glide through winding passages at a very brisk pace. The lean angle, which turned out to be too tight in the slalom runs of the top test, is easily enough on the country road for a relaxing and sporty driving style like an easy ski run or a leisurely ride on the bike. Even small ergonomic inconsistencies such as the handlebars that are a little too narrow or the fixed position of the driver in the seat trough do not affect this. Because the Bulldog can always cover more than 300 kilometers on one tank of fuel, not even the relatively high fuel consumption is a problem. But that doesn’t change the fact that 5.1 liters are clearly too much for 100 kilometers of relaxed country road travel.
The drive makes a major contribution to gliding driving pleasure. Thanks to the cardan, even the minimal maintenance work that modern X-ring chains still need is eliminated, and thanks to the art of the developers, the typical disadvantages of a cardan drive are kept within narrow limits. The load cycle is low and can be overcome almost noiselessly in conjunction with a successful carburetor adjustment. The elevator effect when accelerating is just strong enough to prevent the Bulldog from sagging into the rear suspension. Even the gearshift works smoothly, precisely and quietly. Hopefully the BMW engineers will study this sophisticated drive very carefully. Your bikes could benefit from this.
The rear suspension turns out to be a small disadvantage of the Yamaha concept. Rather hard and kept in check by tight damping, it helps to keep the aforementioned load change reactions and the elevator effect low, but the suspension comfort suffers somewhat. Short transverse joints are more likely to be skipped than run over by the hindquarters. Although it may sound paradoxical, it is a good idea to preload the spring on the Sachs shock absorber a little more than what is provided as standard. The hook wrench can be found in the vehicle tool kit. Then the rear suspension offers more comfort and rebounds faster between two bumps. This setting (14 turns of the preload thread visible) also works well for rides with a pillion passenger. Because even with a passenger, the Bulldog circles all possible bends neutrally and without pulling the line further than the driver wants. You only have to make the effort to use the preload area of the spring to the full for long holiday trips for two or when it is mainly over bumpy roads.
But regardless of the setting, the tight coordination of the hindquarters does not harmonize properly with the soft, sprung and homeopathically dampened fork. It not only looks like the XJR 1300, it also acts in a similar way. As the opening photo of this top test shows, the front deflects so much, even without the brakes and with a moderate lean angle, that hardly any reserves remain for higher loads. And that applies not only to the extreme demands of the top test course, but also to normal driving, especially on bad roads.
It is therefore advisable to screw in the blue anodized adjusting screws on the fork completely or almost completely (a maximum of two marking rings visible) in order to lift the front section. Then when braking hard, the fork braces itself a little more energetically against the weight that is shifting forward – if it is necessary – and does not bottom out as quickly.
That’s an issue with the Bulldog because its brake system is pretty much the only part on the whole motorcycle that deserves the predicate snappy. Maybe she inspired the name. The fact that the deceleration values in the top test braking attempts are average at best is not due to the brake calipers, discs or pads. Meanwhile, they help almost the entire Yamaha model range up to the heavy tourer FJR 1300 or the super sporty YZF-R1 to decelerate appropriately. In addition to the fork, the Dunlop D 205 F front tire is responsible for this. In this context, it is noteworthy that the Bulldog is one of the few motorcycles for whose tires there is no brand or type bond.
The bulldog’s good, almost loving workmanship is one of the rare appearances. For example, the cross tubes of the carefully welded steel frame are not simply open at the ends, but are covered with elaborately turned aluminum plugs. The sliding tubes of the fork carry small aluminum sheets in front of them to protect the stanchions from dirt or stone chips and the exhaust system is made of stainless steel from front to back. In addition to the tool compartment, under the bench there is also a spacious storage space that holds all the necessary little things that would otherwise stuff the pockets of the station wagon full of. However, Belgarda did not take care of the large luggage. Only a small backpack fits on the high-arched tank and if you want to strap a roll of luggage to the back seat, you will find ways to hang your lashing straps, but no hooks provided for this purpose. Without an accessory luggage system, Bulldog owners have to limit themselves to short trips. Especially if you are traveling with a passenger.
And now to the money: Almost 17,000 marks asked Yamaha for the beefy baby dog. A motorcycle, which one? don’t we forget ?? with antiquated technology at best mid-range performance also does not shine through lightweight construction. On the other hand, it only requires minimal maintenance, is well processed and, despite all the courtesy, has a strong character.
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Top test Yamaha BT 1100 Bulldog
Conclusion – Yamaha BT 1100 Bulldog
Anyone who counts themselves among the pleasure riders, but does not want to indulge this passion on a chopper or cruiser, is well served with the Yamaha BT 1100 Bulldog. Because it is not a two-wheeled road cruiser in the American sense of the word, but convinces as an Italian-European curved cruiser. Not a bad concept for European roads.
Specifications – Yamaha BT 1100 Bulldog
YAMAHA BT 1100 BulldogDataMotor: Air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 75-degree V-engine, crankshaft transverse, one overhead, chain-driven camshaft, two valves per cylinder, rocker arm, wet sump lubrication, Mikuni constant pressure carburetor, Ø 37 mm, contactless transistor ignition, secondary air system ( AIS), electric starter, three-phase alternator 350 W, battery 12 V / 12 Ah. Bore x stroke 95 x 75 mm, displacement 1063 cm³, compression ratio 8.3: 1, rated output 48 kW (65 PS) at 5500 rpm, max. Torque 88 Nm (9 kpm) at 4500 rpm Power transmission: primary drive via gear wheels, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, five-speed gearbox, cardan. Chassis: Bridge frame made of tubular steel, load-bearing motor, telescopic fork, standpipe diameter 43 mm, two-arm swing arm made of cast aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable Spring base, double disc brake at the front, four-piston calipers, floating brake discs, Ø 298 mm, rear disc brake, Ø 267 mm, single-piston caliper. Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 5.50 x 17 tires 120/70 ZR 17; 170/60 ZR 17 Chassis data: wheelbase 1530 mm, steering head angle 65 degrees, caster 106 mm, spring travel f / h 130/113 mm. Service data Service intervals every 10,000 km Oil and filter change every 10,000 km / 3.1 l Engine oil SAE 10 W 40 fork oil 1 spark plugs NGK BPR 7 ES, ND W 22 ERP-U idle speed 1000 ± 100 / min valve clearance inlet / outlet 0.07-0.12 / 0.12-0.17 mm tire pressure solo (with pillion passenger) front / rear 2.3 / 2.5 (2.5 / 2.7) barWarranty for two years with unlimited mileageColors blue metallic, silver metallic, blackPrice including VAT 16,409 marks, additional costs 372 marks
MOTORCYCLE Measurements – Yamaha BT 1100 Bulldog
MOTORCYCLE measurements Driving performance1 Top speed Solo 174 km / h Acceleration Solo 0-100 km / h 4.9 sec0-140 km / h 9.6 sec0-200 km / h – sec Pull-through Solo (with pillion passenger) 60-100 km / h 5.3 (6, 8) sec 100-140 km / h 6.0 (8.8) sec 140-180 km / h – seconds Speedometer deviation display / effective 53/50, 108/100, 189/174 km / h Fuel type Normal consumption in the test at 100 km / h 4.3 l / 100 km at 130 km / h 5.7 l / 100 km Country road 5.1 l / 100 km Theor . Range 392 kmDimensions and weightsL / W / H 2210/810/1310 mmSeat height 800 mmTurning circle 5690 mmWeight fully fueled 251 kg Permissible total weight * 450 kg Payload 199 kgWheel load distribution v / h 48/52% fuel tank capacity / reserve * 20 / 5.8 liters 100 km / h 40.3 m Average braking deceleration 9.6 m / s² Comments: Snappy brake with very little manual force. The soft fork dips through quickly. Since the front tire is not among the best in terms of braking force transmission, the dosage is a bit problematic. Handling course I (fast slalom) Best lap time 21.9 secondsV max at the measuring point 102 km / h Comments: The front wheel lifts noticeably when changing lean angles. Otherwise relatively handy. At the turning point, the sloshing fuel in the high-seated tank causes swaying around the longitudinal axis.Handling-Parcours II (slow slalom) Best lap time 29.7 seconds V max at measuring point 53 km / h Comments: Foot pegs set down relatively early, especially the exhaust manifold set up in right-hand bends levering out the motorcycle slows the driver’s thirst for action. The handling is good.Circular orbit diameter 46 metersBest lap time 11.5 secondsV max at the measuring point 47.5 km / h Comments: The front wheel only starts jumping for a short time when driving over the bumps. The parts that touch down early are particularly annoying. The moment of inclination remains easily manageable.1 Measurement conditions: temperature 20 degrees, weak cross wind; Jagsttal measurement site; 2 performance on the coupling. Measurement on dynamometer Dynojet 150, corrected according to ECE. Maximum possible deviation ± 5%. * Manufacturer information
What else caught my eye – Yamaha BT 1100 Bulldog
What else was noticeablePlusVery smooth clutch actuationAll tire types of the appropriate size approvedRelatively comfortable pillion seatSufficient on-board toolsMinusThe new five-spoke wheels do not look as elegant as three-spoke wheelsPre-tensioning of the rear spring is a bit fiddly despite the existing toolsThe gear lever is a little too long on a small engine that jumps extremely at risk of scratching on a warm engine / Tire fork: two rings visible, screw in all the way for riders over 80 kilograms at the latest Spring strut: spring base 14 threads visible (up to the upper edge of the castle nut), with pillion passenger and luggage fully pre-tensioned Tires: Dunlop D 205 F / D 205 Air pressure in the test: 2.3 / 2.5 bar
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