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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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Old 9 Jul 2009
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OLD 1992 XT660Z Tenere or new(ish) KLR or 650GS Dakar?

Hi guys, really enjoyed reading the forum, and comments from those who have the experience.

I really great condition OLD 1992 XT660Z Ténéré has come up for sale, and well, my heart is in it already... The price is a bit high, but its in immaculate condition. Looks more like a well looked after 5 year old bike, rather than a 17 year old bike! Has 70000km on it, starts and runs like new. It also comes with pannier boxes, and crash bars.

Other options in the price range are:
  • 2002 XT660E
  • 2003 KLR650
  • 2002 - 2004 650GS Dakar (bit expensive for me, heavy, and parts!!)
(please note the above are not exact models, but they are the ranges that fall into my price range / availability / needs.. so they made it to my short list.)

The bike will be used for commuting, and weekend trips away as often as I can (2 up, wife and I are small and light, 130kgs for both of us)

Here are some pics of the OLD 1992 XT660Z Ténéré that is available:

So my questions are:
  • Is the 660 motor (liquid cooled) as good as the legendary old XT600 motor (air cooled).
  • Is the OLD 1992 Tenere a good choice, vs a much newer (5 year olds) KLR650 / 650GS with much less miles?
  • Off road, of course the XT660Z is not as good as the XT600, but will it go to all the same places? (GS, IMO will not go the same place if for nothing else but the fear of dropping it and costly repairs)
I hear the XT660 motor hardly gives trouble, and when it does parts are cheep, and very available. There is also a bike mechanic that lives very close to me, who specializes in XTs (mostly XT600), and has tons of used spares too / and experience of course.

Any and all comments very welcome.

PS: Please do not comment on the NEW XTZ660 Tenere, as its way out of my price range. tks in advance. John
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Old 9 Jul 2009
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I have the very same bike in the same colours even, but a `91 model. I think these are the nicest colours this model ever had, including the twin headlight versions.
I have owned it since the beginning of the year and have used it for commuting and also for a trip up to Scotland. Mine has renthal bars and a Produro silencer which sounds ace with some lovely crackling on the overrun!
I find it extremely comfy and on my 400 mile trip to Scotland I only stopped once, and that was to refuel. It is happiest on sweeping A and B roads, but will also do motorway works when it is happiest sitting about 75mph. I usually get about 200 miles before going on to reserve if I fill to the brim.
I have taken a pillion, but only my 12 year old son. I am 5` 10`` average build and I would say the pillion accommodation was `cosy`, but probably no different from other bikes of this type (excluding the GS maybe?). My trip to Scotland was with laden panniers and topbox and it coped with the extra weight without any problem.
The only failure I have had is a rectifier and battery. The rectifiers are a known problem with these, so best get a spare and strap it to the bike somewhere. Another known problem is corrosion of the wheel rims, on the inside. The bike you are looking at looks like it has led an easy life so probably will not be an issue, but bear it in mind. They have less suspension travel that the XT`s I believe, therefore less competent when the going gets a bit tough off road, but mine is fine on looose tracks.
I would whole heartedly recommend them!
I have just noticed that the top fairing does not match the rest of the bodywork and it has the plastic cover for the front brake disc missing. Not major issues, but good haggling points!
This old world keeps spinning round, it`s a wonder tall trees ain`t laying down.
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Old 9 Jul 2009
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Word of warning (but you should still get it!)

Hi John,
I owned a XTZ 750 Tenere that was sold with similar preconditions. What you need to realize is that the stuff on that bike is 17 years old! This means that gaskets, oil, cables etc. are all getting old. Even if the mileage is low this does not mean you don't have to pay up... there is no free lunch...

My advice is GET IT becauce the Tenere's are bloody brilliant bikes. Like Mark says you should haggle and perhaps I can provide some more points for arguing the price.

Even if the bike is serviced according to the book (and you should check that)
you most probably need to change
- oil in the fron forks
- rear suspension (original is crap, a new one will mean a new bike!!! really!)
- break fluid (old stuff will boil under heavy usage= stopping power gone)
- chain and possibly sprockets need to be replaced
- the inside of the tank can be corroded or mucky after many years. clean it and add a petrol-filter
- break pots can be corroded after low usage meaning you have to rip it apart and clean/renovate them.
- the break hoses are probably original rubber ones...and 17 years old so they need to be replaced. (You should replace them for steel braded ones - big difference)

Finally an advice if you plan to do 2 up on a small trallie. See if you can fit a steering dampner. This will make riding on the freeway much less scary. If you load this bike with a passenger and fill the panniers the word "wobbling" will take on a very real dimension.

All this said I am still trying to locate my old Super Tenere from 1994 and continue improving it. The Tenere's are a breed of their own and once bitten...

Have fun and good luck with the purchase.

You only need patience when you don\'t have any
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Old 12 Jul 2009
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I have one now and I had one 10 years ago. My suggestion is to take the XTZ, but look for a younger bike with less mileage. At least where I live they are extremly cheap and easy to find. The newest models also have sorted the rectifier problem.

In my experience they are good for solo riding, but bad as two up with lagguage. That is why I sold my first one 10 years ago. For two up the suspension, brakes and frame are not up to the task. Now when I'm riding solo again I bought another one, and I drive it off road a lot. It is a very good compromise between off road and on road performance.

On the other way, my friend did a trip to Turkey, two up with a ton of lagguage and the motorbike survived and it is still going strong. You just have to take it very easy.
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Old 15 Jul 2009
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BMW F650GS Dakar 2001

Thanks for all the comments.

Here is my other option. Its 20% more expensive to buy, and probably more expensive to run (after some investigation, seems its not as expensive to maintain as I first expected). That said, this Dakar is 8 years old, as opposed to the Tenere which is 17 years old!

2001 model BMW F650GS Dakar, 33000km on the clock, used a bit off-road (scratches, etc), just been serviced, full service history, new front tyre and a bunch of extras: touratech fork springs, touratech projector headlight (very expensive!!) hand protectors, handlebar risers, crash bars (radiator area), wider foot pegs, bigger foot break, collapsible gear lever, top box, tank bag. Checked the water pump weep hole for any sign of the water pump seals going, its dry (known prob on these motors). Also has a aftermarket powerflow exhaust which is rather loud, but not too much. I have to say its just right sound for me .

Bike has not been used as a commuter, but only on weekend fun rides / challenges, etc.

The number on it, and stickers are from various fun / sporting events it was entered into. Including the GS Challenge, etc. Bike has been dropped a few times, has scratches, cracks, etc, but rides straight up, and turns well both ways around on a tight slow circle, so frame is good.

Comments welcome.
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Old 14 Oct 2009
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1992 xtz660 vs gs dakar

hi im new to this hub , but have a similar problem , i own a 2002 gs dakar with 28000 miles on the clock not perfect condition but not bad , this is my everyday bike but i also own a 1992 xtz 660 yamaha with 27600 miles on the clock this isnt moted at the moment but runs and rides fine (well round the 0garden . I need to sell a bike as im short of funds , but which bike to sell , any help is appreciated , andy
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Old 10 Oct 2011
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hi, i have a yamaha xtz 660 tenere 1991 model and i recently got knocked off by a numpty who did a U turn in the middle of the road in front of me, so i need some fairing spares for it, if i can get any contacts off you for the bike that would be really appreciated.

many thanks
Rhys Williams
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Old 10 Oct 2011
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Nothing wrong with your question Rhys but don't hold your breath because this thread is 2 years old.
I suggest that you also look around for spares on the specialist, single bike, websites. Just run a search for tenere and similar key words.

In the meantime, welcome to the HUBB!
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