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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 5 Mar 2006
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Yamaha TT600 or XT660 ?

Hi
I'm planning a trip down from Bristol to Cape Town for the end of the year.

I want to get the Yamaha as growing up in SA thats all I saw and I know they're reliable. They are also light enough to pick up if needed.

So, which one is better for overlanding: The TT600RE or the XT660R? Whats the difference?

Or should I avoid both? Please help guys.

Thanks
Ian
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  #2  
Old 6 Mar 2006
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As no one else has answered your post, I will give you my best guesses. I am by no means a Yamaha expert (but have owned a DT a long time ago). Hence, you should get a second opinion before deciding. And fellow over-landers, please correct me in any wrong assumptions or statements I make.

As far as I know, both the DT and the TT series are more motor cross bikes than adventure bikes, with the latter belonging in the competetive series. I believe that the TT 600 RE is a brand extention attempting to capitalise on the mx feel of the less powerful competetive TT series, this to give adventure bikers the feeling of riding an mx bike even though they have a heavy 600 cc engine in the frame, kind of like SUV's compared to true offroad vehicles. Both of the bikes you reffer to are too big to be of much use as a mx bike, but still great offroad.

I've never riden a TT, but I've owned a DT a long time ago, which resemble the TT more so than with the XT. I do think that with the TT you are concidering, that there is a great risk that the rear subframe will be too poorly/weakly constructed for luggage panniers (don't take my word for it, I don't know this new model). Regardless, all the benefits you would gain from this model off road would likely be lost once you have made the necessary modifications needed to carry lugage. It is not unlikely either that with luggage it will have poorer handling off road than an XT with luggage.

Keep in mind that the XT is built for enduro offroad biking and has proven itself as one of the best ever for this purpose (the king of the 90's).

Most of your riding will be on good to semi good surfaces, hence I would prioritise road capabilities. The XT will get you anywhere, but in some places, not as smoothly as a 350 cc mx bike with no luggage.

I'd say that the XT is likely the better compromise. There are other issues as well, such as availability of parts and competent mechanics. The XT's, although not in its current form (I'd guess it is an extention of the XTZ Tenere from the 90's, with the TT or DT taking the place of the old XT, or so it seems to me from the looks of the models), have been around for a long time and have sold in heaps all over the world.

I'd go for the XT
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  #3  
Old 6 Mar 2006
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Hello Ian!

I owned a lot of XT 600 bikes and rode them down to Dakar and around Latin America with nearly no problems, they don´t have a lot of power but they run always! I like Kickstarter models too, what to do without battery..... The TT frame I think is not as stabil as the XT frame if you have to carry luggage. The XT 660 I don´t know but I wouldn´t spend that much money on a bike. Buy a used XT 600 from the nineties of spend some money on this bikes, tyres equipment etc. There is a company in namibia they organise trips most of the time on XT 600, they are great, check out the Web: Graveltravel.de or so....
If you on your way down and you pass Germany I live close to Frankfurt.

See you - Jens
I still have my XT 600, 145 ooo km!!!


Quote:
Originally posted by ianbaker:
Hi
I'm planning a trip down from Bristol to Cape Town for the end of the year.

I want to get the Yamaha as growing up in SA thats all I saw and I know they're reliable. They are also light enough to pick up if needed.

So, which one is better for overlanding: The TT600RE or the XT660R? Whats the difference?

Or should I avoid both? Please help guys.

Thanks
Ian
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  #4  
Old 6 Mar 2006
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Hi Ian,

I'm planning the same trip, planning to leave in July from London to Cape town. Currently working through the visa situation for the countries I plan to pass through... so any advice you can offer on this front greatly appreciated.

To answer your post, I have a yamah tt600r (98 model) it seem sideally suited to this kind of trip. I found the following web page of a coupld of nutters who are using TTr's to do a RTW trip http://www.moto-hike.co.uk/moto-bikes.htm they have great tips on bike prep and set up as well as the reasons why they chose these bikes. My reasons where simple:
1. already had the bike.
2. its light and has kick start so less to go wrong. I coudl be wrong here on the kickstart side as I have heard the decompression cable is liable to snapping so I'll be carrying a spare.
3. the major point for me was the lightness and strength of the chassis.

I hope this info helps. Mail me and we can keep in contact, I need the motivation to keep me on track for my goal. The visa malary seesm to be a proper mine field.

All the best,

JP
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  #5  
Old 13 Mar 2006
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just my two cents :
Having ridden both bikes you are considering heres what i think
XT660: the good: Excellent pavement pounder, good power and very flickable though the twisties even on gravel.. the bad: wonky electronic fuel injection ( on off syndrome )soft suspension and low ground clearance combined with low header pipes
TT600RE: The good: excellent suspension, torquey (once rejetted)handles road and off road equally good (sucks on motorway though)
known reliability
the bad: weaker subframe, you sit more upright and exposed to the elements and riding with a passenger can be be the end of a friendship ( back of the seat is wafer thin)

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  #6  
Old 18 Mar 2006
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thanks for all the help guys

i've just sold my car to fund the opurchase, and now my heart is slowly whispering "......k.....t......m...." to me

so looks like i might go for one of them, the 640m adventure... not quite the same as the yamaha, but still a good bike
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  #7  
Old 18 Mar 2006
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My tuppence worth goes like this...

I recently bought a 2003 XT600E with very low mileage for my trip to nepal. I'm about 5000 miles in so far (just completed a wee detour to Morocco and am on my way through Spain.)
So far I love it. It will cruise fully loaded at an indicated 70mph on the highway (although I usually run it a little lower) and even in my laughably incompetent hands seems to cope well in the dirt, even loaded up. I've hit a car, a gravel verge, a rocky ditch and a huge pile of sand and so far there is no damage whatsoever. It's the toughest old bugger you can imagine.
It's even fairly comfy on long days and you can pick up low mileage ones quite cheaply. There are also lots of aftermarket goodies specially made for them, like Acerbis tanks, Touratech racks, SW Motech do centrestands, you can get sumpgaurds etc. etc. They're simple, proven, long lived and reletively easy to work on.
I am very glad I bought an XT! (So far!)
Matt

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www.scotlandnepal.blogspot.com


[This message has been edited by Matt Cartney (edited 18 March 2006).]
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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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  #8  
Old 18 Mar 2006
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just my 2 bob's worth. Iv'e got a xt600 tenere 3aj. beautiful bike, looks like it's ready to invade countries. rides great, a real joy, never thought i'd say that since my last bike was a gsxr 600. iv'e totaly stripped the engine and rebuilt it which was prity easy, the engine is just so simple and there realy is not much in there to go wrong.
So buying a ktm for your big trip. well i realy would'nt. i thought of getting one myself for my ride from uk to oz. they are a realy great bike, look fantasic and there to tear roads apart, sound great to. BUT
For long rides i think you will suffer. You'll have tingly finger everyday, it will shake you about till your joints hert, and if things go wrong where are you gonna get the parts from. Parts for ktm's are hard to come across and expensive. you'll also eat tyres like i eat big mac's (and that ain't prity. just look an the ktm page and you'll see that the majority have a problem under 6000 miles, click on this link and check out jerome http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb...L/000145.html.

if you have the money to get a ktm, why not get a good xt tenere and blow the rest of the money on women and .
Good luck

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tstories/patrick/
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  #9  
Old 18 Mar 2006
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Some valid points. Thanks.

I think that if I use my head, then I'll get a good second hand XT for a couple of grand, kit it out and go for it.
I've been torn between them and the KTMs but I'l admit that a lot of the KTM is probably that it just looks tghe part...
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  #10  
Old 18 Mar 2006
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and i've just found a 1996 xt600 with 11k on the clock at my local bike shop. seems worth a look...
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  #11  
Old 4 Apr 2006
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Anyone know where I can find a good history of the different XT models. I keep hearing "great bike but dont buy the ele/kick model etc etc" and Id like to have some resource to at least start to get to grips with this.

Thanks for your posts - Ian I appreciate your dilemma!

bob
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  #12  
Old 4 Apr 2006
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"if you have the money to get a ktm, why not get a good xt tenere and blow the rest of the money on women and ."
-Allen Starkey

This is the best motorcycle advice that has ever been posted on this or any other site!!!

Spanish Bob, try xt600.de , use babelfish to translate.

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  #13  
Old 4 Apr 2006
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Looking forward to women and sourcing data!
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  #14  
Old 11 Apr 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanish Bob
Anyone know where I can find a good history of the different XT models. I keep hearing "great bike but dont buy the ele/kick model etc etc" and Id like to have some resource to at least start to get to grips with this.

Thanks for your posts - Ian I appreciate your dilemma!

bob
http://www.rallye-tenere.net/

Use the babel.altavista online translater if you (like I) are not fluent in german.
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  #15  
Old 11 Apr 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnderZen
http://www.rallye-tenere.net/

Use the babel.altavista online translater if you (like I) are not fluent in german.
Thanks a lot AZ!
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