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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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  #1  
Old 6 Aug 2006
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XT over XL - Why?

The perception I get after looking through many threads on here, other sites, magazines, books, etc etc is that the Yamaha XT600 and it's various progeny have long been - and still are - widely considered to be a machine better suited to serious, go-anywhere travel than the various incarnations of the Honda XL600.

Are there sound, practical or engineering reasons for this, or is it simply a matter of preference or even fashion?
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  #2  
Old 7 Aug 2006
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You don't information about where you are from, as well as if you want a new or used bike, but in the US, you can't get a new XT600 (the only dual purpose/street legal bike in the US from Yamaha available new is the XT225), while the Honda XR650L is still available new. (There is no dual purpose/street legal Honda 200 range bike available in the US new).
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  #3  
Old 10 Aug 2006
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the xr is the better bike ofcourse but running low on oil damiges the head of a xl/xr while on the xt you just replace the bearings and ride on. the xt is a littel bit heavyer i think
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  #4  
Old 10 Aug 2006
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The reasons I went for an XT were:
1: Cheap but very robust.
2: It's 'dualsport' styling gives you a slightly comfier seat.
3: Simple, proven technology.
4: Large amount of 'adventure-touring' bits available.
The reasons I didn't go for an XR are largely because their relative rarity round these parts makes a good one expensive. Also, from memory they looked just a little bit too off-road orientated. I think the XT has a slightly better reliability reputation too, although I could be wrong.
I certainly don't regret getting my XT, it's been a brilliant bike, I think (and I realise I may be biased!) it's combination of cheapness/robustness/reliability make it the best third world, one-up, tourer available.
That's not to say I'd turn my nose up at an XR!
Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #5  
Old 11 Aug 2006
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Hi Patrick,
The air cooled XT600 was made up till 2003 and you could still get them here new in 2004, but yes the 'new' XT is a water cooled 660. I have heard they are pretty good, the only criticism I've heard is the oddly placed exhaust header pipes which run straight under the front of the bike! Although it's easy enough to get a sump gaurd to protect them. (The 660 will probably end up being my next bike in a few years! )
Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #6  
Old 11 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog
Thanks for the clarification Matt. I read a lot of the Brit bike mags (part of
job) so I have seen reviews of the new XT. But there is just SO MUCH, I forget a lot of what I've seen. I remember the bike got a good review for the most part. Man, I wish we got that bike.

I guess Yam have another new "Naked" bike using this motor as well.
Forget what its called. Like a mini Bulldog?

The other fault I"ve heard about the 660 is weight. We get MuZ over here.
(Baghira, Black Panther et al) and that bike uses the Yam 660 lump. Some
say its very heavy compared to other modern singles. Dunno.
Mollydog, there are two very different 660 Yamaha engines - MuZ have
older 660 engine from XTZ 660 Tenere, and new XT 660R/X have new
Yamaha-Minarelli engine ( also new Aprilia Pegao have same engine ).
Those two engines are very different stuff.

AnteK, XTZ 660
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  #7  
Old 12 Aug 2006
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I can't personally comment on the XT as i've never owned one,but the XL isn't a bad travel bike at all.There are a couple of different models of it so unless this is the case for the XT,then the choice is a bit wider as to which version you want.For travelling the LMF is the better version as it has a large tank(32 litres) as standard and the rear suspension is a tiny bit beefier than the RMG.The latter model is a bit lighter,has a smaller tank and lacks a couple of features of the LMF.Most LM's have a red painted 591cc motor whereas the RM's are usually 589cc and black(although both are known to have the "other" motor!).The LM's are much more long-legged to ride but because of the tall gearing they're not too good for serious off-road.The RM's are quite capable of going places an XT will give up on though(i have photo's of mine in some serious terrain).I've used mine on a proper Enduro in the teeth of the winter and whilst it wasn't the easiest bike to drag around it did the job ok.
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  #8  
Old 12 Aug 2006
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Thumbs down ?????????

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonStobbs
I can't personally comment on the XT as i've never owned one,but the XL isn't a bad travel bike at all.There are a couple of different models of it so unless this is the case for the XT,then the choice is a bit wider as to which version you want.For travelling the LMF is the better version as it has a large tank(32 litres) as standard and the rear suspension is a tiny bit beefier than the RMG.The latter model is a bit lighter,has a smaller tank and lacks a couple of features of the LMF.Most LM's have a red painted 591cc motor whereas the RM's are usually 589cc and black(although both are known to have the "other" motor!).The LM's are much more long-legged to ride but because of the tall gearing they're not too good for serious off-road.The RM's are quite capable of going places an XT will give up on though(i have photo's of mine in some serious terrain).I've used mine on a proper Enduro in the teeth of the winter and whilst it wasn't the easiest bike to drag around it did the job ok.
Hi Stubbie

You say you´ve never owned an XT.

Better that you don´t say much about it then? If you´ve only seen one in passing then perhaps your info isn´t what´s needed here? But I´m sure you meant well, and tried your best.

My best wishes
your pal
XXXX
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  #9  
Old 12 Aug 2006
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Smile ????????????????

Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog
Like Simon sez.... In the US we haven't seen a new XT600 since 1990. In the UK the XT seems to be THE BIKE for dual sport and popular on this forum.

Also, far as I know, Honda have not made the XL600 since 1989 (in the US
at least) You guys got the Dominator I beliieve.....still the XL600 motor.
I saw a few while in the UK. We got the NX (Dominator) for only one year (1989). Then in 1993 Honda went to the XR650L. All new. Not sure if you lot ever got this bike or not.

"Beat" mentioned running low on oil on XR/XL;s.....this is spot on. I ran my '87 XL600R low on oil on a 1500 mile Baja dirt ride. Pitted the cam. Had to replace. Head was fine. I did a whole top end as the bike had been hard used. (new valves, valve job, rings) everything else was fine. This was NOT cheap, even in 1990.


I also had a 94 XR650L Honda. Good bike but I didn't keep it long, maybe a year and a half. No problems, bit heavy and very tall.

In the UK do you guys get the XT600 or XT660? Isn't the 660 the newer
version? I read a lot here about the XT, many riders have had good
luck with it. I would go with it simply because local knowledge is so good
in the UK and parts seem to be plentiful. Why not?

I rode Baja in 1992 with some guys on XT's (pre 1990 models) and the bikes did great. Even the old XT500's were really good. I will never know why Yamaha discontinued importing the XT into the US. Shame.

Patrick
Hi Dollymog

They stopped importing them in protest at Bush.

XXXX
your pal
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  #10  
Old 13 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denis brown
Hi Dollymog

They stopped importing them in protest at Bush.

XXXX
your pal
This surprises me as most of our women shave "down there."
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  #11  
Old 13 Aug 2006
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XR vs XT

Hi - I've owned (and traveller on) two bikes from each camp, specifically, a 2000 XR600R and 2002 XR650L from the Honda stable and a 1986 XT600 and 2004 TTR600RE from Yamaha/Belgarda. IMHO, the Yamaha engine (which is fairly unchanged over the years) is a nice, soft and fairly tractable lump - and is usually pretty economical - the XR/L engine has different variants - the XR600 being a bit more revvy and the XRL motor being, basically a street-bike thumper (it's the same as the Dominator). Alas, as you might expect, it's Horses for Courses. The XR600R was best off road, but really basic in terms of equipment (no battery, useless lights, no ignition switch etc). Both it and the XRL (which share the same frame) have really weak (for travel purposes) rear subframes - I broke both of mine - once with only soft luggage and the other with hard cases, but heavily reinforced! The early Yamaha was great - really sturdy rear sub, and soooo economical - though the suspesion showed it's age (don't know if that is design age or chronological age - prob a bit of both). I think the most disappointing was the TTR600RE - I found it a bit flimsy and, amazingly, it seemed to go less well than my '86 XT! I understand that you can improve them quite a bit, but I knocked it on the head and bought a KTM! In a nutshell though, if I wanted to go a long way with luggage on an XR/L or XT, I'd still pick an early Yamaha XT6 or Tenere, slap a big tank on (if it was an XT6) and presto - a forgiving, economical, sturdy ride.
Cheers - Andy
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  #12  
Old 6 Sep 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yuma simon
This surprises me as most of our women shave "down there."
And thats where he should be -down there in Brazilian wax territory...
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  #13  
Old 13 Sep 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andybee
Hi - I've owned (and traveller on) two bikes from each camp, specifically, a 2000 XR600R and 2002 XR650L from the Honda stable and a 1986 XT600 and 2004 TTR600RE from Yamaha/Belgarda. IMHO, the Yamaha engine (which is fairly unchanged over the years) is a nice, soft and fairly tractable lump - and is usually pretty economical - the XR/L engine has different variants - the XR600 being a bit more revvy and the XRL motor being, basically a street-bike thumper (it's the same as the Dominator). Alas, as you might expect, it's Horses for Courses. The XR600R was best off road, but really basic in terms of equipment (no battery, useless lights, no ignition switch etc). Both it and the XRL (which share the same frame) have really weak (for travel purposes) rear subframes - I broke both of mine - once with only soft luggage and the other with hard cases, but heavily reinforced! The early Yamaha was great - really sturdy rear sub, and soooo economical - though the suspesion showed it's age (don't know if that is design age or chronological age - prob a bit of both). I think the most disappointing was the TTR600RE - I found it a bit flimsy and, amazingly, it seemed to go less well than my '86 XT! I understand that you can improve them quite a bit, but I knocked it on the head and bought a KTM! In a nutshell though, if I wanted to go a long way with luggage on an XR/L or XT, I'd still pick an early Yamaha XT6 or Tenere, slap a big tank on (if it was an XT6) and presto - a forgiving, economical, sturdy ride.
Cheers - Andy
Thanks for that Andy - you've answered all of the questions I was about to ask. I've been trying to figure out which of these would be best for some medium/long distance travel. It seems the XT is the one - sorted!
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  #14  
Old 13 Sep 2006
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Xt

I have ridden one since 1983 in Africa - now 25 years later it still runs!!!
- simply put - its PERFECT

Practical
Easy to repair
Rides over anything
Fabulous off road ability
Excels on funky dirt roads
Carefully designed off road chassis
Terrific on petrol for long distance riding

need I say more

Jonathan
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  #15  
Old 12 Apr 2012
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Combo?

Hey all, Im frm pakistan and here xr nd xt,s are way rare. Fortunately I,ve got one xl500 1986 at good deal of about 800$.. It had fine body and running engine but engine need work in cam and valves.. And oil drips off the head while you run the bike.. With all these issues it even runs like hell and produce vey good power.. Anyhow I'm searching for parts for 3 months now and it's a huge dissappointment, but today I've spotted a xt600 complete engine with cdi and carbs, it's a London edition and almost new in condition in 450$.. So I was thinking to swap that motor into my xl.. Better to have something than nothing, I didn't knew about xt,s before so got here while finding info on xt motors and what I concluded from web is xt motor is good and even better on fuel and starting.. So I hope it shud be a good combo, xr chasis and xt motor.. Please share anything if I may need to know.. Thanks
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