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Old 29 Jun 2004
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Location: UK
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1988 XL600 - Good or Bad???

Can anybody tell me whether a 1988 XL600 which was imported from Italy is generally a good bike on which to consider a trans africa trip. What are the good points and bad points of this bike?

Thanks for your information.
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Old 29 Jun 2004
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Location: London, UK
Posts: 638
I'd doubt its a whole lot better than my dinosaur XL600LMF which was fun, but rubbish. dodgy starter, over-geared, piss-poor carburation, but groovy red engine and 28(?) litre tank. so, range was good, but the rest was drab/rubbish. pretty similar to a tenere, really, so I'd stay well clear. XR600 or XR650L if you want to go bombing around off-road. if you're handy, the transalp and africa twin can cope, but the suspension is for touring, not enduro/rally.
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Old 4 Jul 2004
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Location: St-Niklaas, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium
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Hi there,

I travelled on a XL600LM from Belgium to S-E-Asia for 1,5 years.And did some bad off-roads as well,and with 2 up.Didn't have major problems so far.I haven't been traveling in Africa,so can't help you on that part.I personally like my bike.Off course it has pro's and contra's.I shouldn't say poor starter as i didn't have any problems with it and even if you do,you still got a kick starter.Yes it is a single cilinder so it got some vibrations,so keep it in the high revs .I should change the sprocket ratio ,specially if you go off-roads.A big advantage is the 28 ltr tank.I use between 4 & 4,5 l/100km.So I've got a range of (+/-)550km without reserve.Anyway i like the bike although you don't see them a lot.As i've been in extreem heats i had problems with my cdi,which meant couldn't start it electric but it worked to kick it.Had a spare one so change it later.I also had to change the clutch plates,as we've been doing rough roades with 2 up.Another thing i like are the tubeless rims.On the whole way i got only 4 punctures(lucky i guess)BUT you don't have to get the whole wheel out to fix it.Takes about 10 min.Anyway,that's my experience.Others have maybe different ones.If you got any questions feel free to ask.I'll try to help as much as I can.
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Old 15 Jul 2004
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Add a bigger tank and carry a spare alternator. Check your oil regularly and you should have nothing to worry. In many years and over 150'km I only had alternator problems.

Preadvatages: light, simple techniques, eas to repair and maintain

Disadvantage: no 100HP, but you won't need it there

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Old 19 Jul 2004
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Location: ibadan, oyo state, nigeria
Posts: 51
I got a 600xl year 1985, 75000 on the clock, never had a prob. bought it from Italy 5 years when was 35000 km ago and being using it in Nigeria(where i am living) and bordering Countries since then on sometimes pretty bad rods pistes and offroad too. I have been so happy with it that I got another one, model 1987 from ebay.
Low Hp can partialy be taken care by changing the sprokets: 14 X 54 and you feel a totaly different bike.
True!! regular maintanance does miracles.
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