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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 2 Sep 2007
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Yamaha XT660R?? for africa trip??

After sometime trying i have finally been able to post of this forum . At the moment i and my brother Ashmax are both students at uni. He has just got into bikes i have been into bike for around 3years. We have never really had time to tour with each other as both are always working or studying, but i have toured with my Mum and Dad on the bikes around a few countries.

My brother out of the blue said he wanted to go touring on the bikes when he gets a bigger one, and always said he had the plan of going through africa to cape town (still not sure on this plan) . We worked it out that the earliest we could both go would be in 2 years time when i start my year out and he has just graduated for one year.

After some looking around we have sort of decided on the yamaha XT660R, and after looking at some of the mods that we need to do are looking at a steep budget. But some of this is not really needed but would help (ie tall screens, heated grips, gel/air hauk seats etc)

The XT660 forum has helped us alot but at the moment still dont really know if the XT660 is really the bike to do this type of trip. It would also need to be able to coupe with at least a year daily commute, touring, off roading and all this while still being able for a student to afford it.

So what bike would you suggest?
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  #2  
Old 2 Sep 2007
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I hired an XT660 for a week when I was on holiday in Greece last month, and they're a cracking little bike. Good, strong engine and they handle well on the road for an off-road style bike.
I've been thinking along similar lines for my next trip to Africa - my current KTM950 is a great bike, but it's a bit bulky and thirsty for extended off-road travelling.
You'll need to think about making a few mods for the sort of trip you're planning:
  • The under engine exhaust is vulnerable, but can be replaced with a high level item.
  • A sturdy engine protector would be needed - some parts of the engine are quite exposed, especially the water pump and pipework.
  • Decent quality luggage set-up.
  • Maybe look at upgrading the suspension if you're planning a lot of off-road use.
  • The standard seat isn't too comfortable!!
Some of the components on the bike are clearly built down to a price, but the engine should be as bullet-proof and as low maintenance as any other modern japanese unit.
I've seen these advertised for around £3500 for a new, pre-registered model, and for that sort of price there really isn't anything else that stands comparison.
Unfortunately the bike hasn't been around long enough to create much of a secondhand market, but it would definately be worth your while to do a bit of searching.
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  #3  
Old 2 Sep 2007
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Hey Max.

I'm guessing you're the Maxwell from the xt660.com forum.

Don't think I'll add to this post, since you know where I stand on this.

It does you credit to check other points of views. No doubt, the responses you'll be getting from the xt660.com forum will be pretty much thumbs up (big surprise ) all around. Here, you'll get anything from "it's a wonderfull bike" to "it's a disaster on two wheels".

Unfortunately you'll find very few here who have actually done the trip you plan on a xt660r, simply due to the fact that it is still relatively new on the market. OldBaldric is the only one that I know of on this forum that has done the cross-Africa trip on an xt660r. But he gives it high praise.

Having said that, I hope you will find this forum as friendly and as helpfull as I have. There's a lot to learn here.

Good luck making your choice.
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  #4  
Old 3 Sep 2007
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Stay Single Lad!

A few months back BIKE magazine (UK) featured two guys on 660's riding to Tibet from the UK. One, a jr. editor at the mag, wrote the story. The other, an Indian (orTibetan?) buddy, had not ridden a big bike IIRC. (sorry if some details are wrong)

It's a three part story, so to read it you'll have to find the back issues to read the whole thing. It's good, worth hunting down, IMO. (try March to May??)

Funny, I don't remember much said about the bikes. I don't think they had any problems to speak of. These guys road in some incredible places (good pics) and in some tough ones too. The bikes are pretty heavy when loaded up
apparently, but probably not much more (or less) than the competition.

Sounds like a perfect bike to me. In a few years when you guys get ready,
there should be plenty of used ones around. But by then you'll both be married with your 2nd child on the way When I was in Ireland, all I ever saw was young girls pushing loaded prams everywhere.

Patrick
(Irish....on both sides...)
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  #5  
Old 3 Sep 2007
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Two recent threads about XT660R:

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...opinions-26971
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...ded-fuel-27943
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  #6  
Old 3 Sep 2007
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2008 Tenere?

For my two cents worth, I like the broad idea of the XT660R (and it's price!) but I am not too keen on all the mods that seem to be required, or are at least desirable, as soon as it is delivered.
The "off the road" webpages indicate what the bike could be if Yamaha had made it more like the XT600 in the first place. e..g. running the pipes under the engine was a huge backward step by Yam.


There is an amount of speculation that Yam will produce a new tenere:-

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...n-suzuki-28587

Maybe the 2008 Tenere will turn up at the bike shows this year?
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  #7  
Old 7 Sep 2007
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[QUOTE=Walkabout;149252]For my two cents worth, I like the broad idea of the XT660R (and it's price!) but I am not too keen on all the mods that seem to be required, or are at least desirable, as soon as it is delivered.
The "off the road" webpages indicate what the bike could be if Yamaha had made it more like the XT600 in the first place. e..g. running the pipes under the engine was a huge backward step by Yam.


These bikes can be picked up at some very good prices. There's currently an '06 black model on eBay.co.uk with loads of extras.
Even at list price, if you add a good bash plate and engine guards, you are ready to go. Add panniers and a tall screen, centre stand and any other extras you can think of and you are still a long, long way cheaper than a used, bog-standard KTM 640.
Someone said earlier that the seat is not too comfortable. Although comfort is a very personal thing, I have just returned from a 4,000 mile trip around southern Europe, taking in the Portuguese HU meeting and the Spannish HUMM with no bum-ache at all. Same goes for the African trip a few years ago.
And don't forget about the 70+mpg.......
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  #8  
Old 7 Sep 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbaldrick View Post
Someone said earlier that the seat is not too comfortable. Although comfort is a very personal thing, I have just returned from a 4,000 mile trip around southern Europe, taking in the Portuguese HU meeting and the Spannish HUMM with no bum-ache at all. Same goes for the African trip a few years ago. And don't forget about the 70+mpg.......
Cool! Can I assume you actually own the XT660? Love to see some pics of the HUMM. How did you do?

Aside from your ironman butt.....how'd the rest of the bike do? Any mechanicals? How is maintenance? How is it lasting so far? Is this bike
made by Yamaha Italy? Made in Italy? Motor too?

The Pyrennes ROCK! I was there the first time in '01 and saw guys on Trials Bikes everywhere....Some serious trails there.

Cheers!

Patrick
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  #9  
Old 11 Sep 2007
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Return of The Tenere: 2008 XT660Z Tenere

XT660 based but refined for "adventure touring" (whatever that is...). IF I didn't already have Gertrude (R1200GS Adventure) and IF I didn't have to ride with pillion then the new 660 Tenere certainly would be on the top of my list!
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  #10  
Old 11 Sep 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenereHeikki View Post
Return of The Tenere: 2008 XT660Z Tenere

XT660 based but refined for "adventure touring" (whatever that is...). *snip*
As far as I can tell, Yamaha have taken care of the two major gripes people have about the XT660R for adventure touring. Larger tank and larger groundclearence. Both issues solveable for less than 900$ on the R. Once those mods have been made, it's basically the same bike.

However, if the price is about the same, I'd certainly go for the new Tenere and save myself the trouble of aftermarket fitting on the R. Allthough both tank and exhaust can be fitted in less than an afternoons work (I've done it).

Have to say though, that the Tenere sure looks the part. Eventhough I've just recently bought the XT660R, I feel very tempted by this new one. Looks awesome and I'm sure it will perform just as great at the R. It should...it's the same engine .
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  #11  
Old 11 Sep 2007
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Havent been able to access this post until know so havent be able to say anything so here goes a big one.

Mcthor yea its me, and i understand that most people on here will have very different views towards the XT660R then on the XT660.com forum but just trying to widen my knowledge of the bikes that could possbily be able to do this type of trip and daily commute etc all in 1.

TenereHeikki cheers for posting that website of the tenere as it does look nice. Most people i am sure will say it is wierd but i like different i this is very much different. Not to sure about the cans look very plastic but loving everything else. Why didnt yamaha bring this out in 04 so i could get a cheaper one now, DAMN.

Walkabout I to didnt really like the idea of having to kit the bike out with all this stuff to that it on this type of trip but if you look most bike are all the same ie small tanks, need protection, have exposed areas etc etc. Only thing i saw that stood out for me was the fact that the XT660 is just like the older XT600 which as most people will tell you is bomb proof.

Rebaseonu cheers for the 2 links on the forum, i have been looking through these a few times just to make sure i read everything from top to bottom.

mollydog, i have read the write up in BIKE mag about these 2 boyos but found out they had nearly everything Metal Mule had to offer on the bike, which is about £3000-£3500 of kit on top of the oe bike stuff. But they did review the bike in itself as a great bike but needing some money spent to complete a good off road touring go.

MarkLG Cheers for the input, these few changes always seem to come up and i dont know why yamaha didnt design the bike from the off like the tenere with most of the stuff already on it. But i have heard they are a good bike to ride and could handle some off roading but nothing massive with out any money input/changes to things.

Also cheers to everyone that has imputted on to this thread. Think our minds are made up and the XT660R will have to be bought soon and moded up for the trip. Any more info still welcome.
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  #12  
Old 11 Sep 2007
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Fair comment maxwell, but one of the guys I ride with has a KTM 640 Adv with a 24 litre fuel capacity, bash plate etc etc - does everything that he wants without any mods.

Maybe this latest 660Z has caught up with KTM? - the screen looks very much the same!

There are some on here with far more technical knowledge than me who would not agree that the 660 is the same as the XT600 - basically the new model has moved on in many, many details, not least in the engine design.

I've just posted on the which bike forum some more info from MCN about the Tenere - don't think there is anything new in there though; straight press release.
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Old 16 Sep 2007
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Cheers for all the info guys. Ive seen the new tenere and i like the looks of it all but it brand new so its out of my price range. I think at the moment the Xt660R is the one. Has a small test ride on one around a large car park (sucks being 19 no one will trust you) apart from first being a bit jurky and only being able to get to second before slowing the bike felt ok and as if i could ride it for a long time with no big problems.

Will have to get a better test ride before i am hooked but i can see the bait and i am liking it.
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Old 16 Sep 2007
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Maxwell,
See earlier posts about "pressing the buttons" on the dash to alter the fuel injection; interesting reading!

I agree with your sentiment: I have never bought a new bike and I have owned a few - someone else can be the Beta-tester for the manufacturers.
I could be tempted by a brand new bike, but it has not happened yet!!
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Old 18 Sep 2007
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Cheers walkabout for the interest in this post. I am on the XT660 forum and found loads of info about pushing buttons, playing with knobs and all that on there. The only thing is i didnt want to spend and hour messing with the bike when going round a car park doesnt so any changes. At the moment there is a second hand XT660R with a few extras in my local dealer in belfast. The bike is over priced but if i got him down to £3000 a could be well tempted to buy it and mess around with it from there.
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