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Yamaha Tech Originally the Yamaha XT600 Tech Forum, due to demand it now includes all Yamaha's technical / mechanical / repair / preparation questions.
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  #1  
Old 12 Nov 2006
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Is the XT600E a reliable DS tourer?

I bought my 2001 XT600e with 8500 km on the clock and I can't vouch for how the original owner treated it. But, in the 21000 km I've done on it, it's been pretty damn unreliable!
It's been properly serviced every 3k or 4k km and is fine for swanning around town or taking for a 250km Sunday ride. But a long weekend of on- and off-road touring seems to be more than it can handle:-
  • the air scoops rattle/vibrate apart;
  • the cdi unit has developed a loose wire which caused the bike to die under acceleration on the open road;
  • the starter solenoid has packed in causing the starter motor to jam and destroy the battery, leaving me stranded in the sticks;
  • after hard riding, the starter circuit doesn't activate the starter.
If the XT600e is just a rugged looking town bike, (like the 660R seems to be), I must get a KLR or KTM.
I would value any comments.
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  #2  
Old 12 Nov 2006
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Well

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuhowes
I bought my 2001 XT600e with 8500 km on the clock and I can't vouch for how the original owner treated it. But, in the 21000 km I've done on it, it's been pretty damn unreliable!
It's been properly serviced every 3k or 4k km and is fine for swanning around town or taking for a 250km Sunday ride. But a long weekend of on- and off-road touring seems to be more than it can handle:-
  • the air scoops rattle/vibrate apart;
  • the cdi unit has developed a loose wire which caused the bike to die under acceleration on the open road;
  • the starter solenoid has packed in causing the starter motor to jam and destroy the battery, leaving me stranded in the sticks;
  • after hard riding, the starter circuit doesn't activate the starter.
If the XT600e is just a rugged looking town bike, (like the 660R seems to be), I must get a KLR or KTM.
I would value any comments.
1. Ditch the air scoops. You don't need them.
2. Bad luck. Owning / maintaining about 3 TT/XT's I never had any problems with electrics in general. But, offroading is hard on everything. Yearly, check the wire harness, clean all connectors and spray them with petroleum jelly.
3. Bad luck again, you sure it is the solenoid, not the button / actuating signal system?
4. See 3.
As for services: these guys change the oil, forget about the air filter, pump your tires too hard and bill you too much.
Buy some tools, do it yourself ..... and act on everything that seems to be going wrong. It is a very simple bike, almost impossible to destroy. But, it needs attention. As for KLR's, don't know them. As for KTM's ... looking for reliability, well, if you accept collapsing front wheels, malfunctioning hydraulic clutches, breaking camshafts and other minor 'issues', that might be the right choice.

Auke
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  #3  
Old 12 Nov 2006
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Thanks, point taken!

Auke, I think you've hit the nail on the head! A good mechanic does my bike, but he has to make a living and, you're right, if a bike rattles around on dirt roads, it needs some TLC like you mention, which is too time consuming for a repair shop to justify. Thanks for pointing out what I think I knew, but was too idle to put into practise, and for reassuring me about the XT600e.
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  #4  
Old 12 Nov 2006
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Best bike to travel

The XTE is the best bike to travel. Simple mechanic, economical, accurate, versatile, light and untirable. You ll find spare parts for it everywhere in the world.

I travelled 30,000 km in North America in 94, 20,000 km around Australia in 98, 12,000 km from Honk Kong to Moscow thru the Gobi desert, all this with 600 XTE, except for the usual damage (sprokets, tyres, chain...), nothing really noticable. Yes, sometimes the electric starter can be moodish and i wish i could cheaply add a kick to secure the starting, but i always found a solution (slope, pushing...) for this.

I go for a one year trip in south america next year and guess what...i m bringing a Yamaha XTE with 54,000 km on counter.
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  #5  
Old 13 Nov 2006
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Parts all over the world? Grrrr.

It appears you can get parts from all over the world apart from in the UK. I regularly have to wait two weeks for anything from the Yamaha dealer and a Suzuki dealer said he could get parts for me, then waited two weeks to tell me that he couldn't get them and I'd have to go elsewhere.

Waiting for parts is a sore point at the moment...
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  #6  
Old 13 Nov 2006
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Owning and using a 94 XTE for years, I have a feeling that it is loosing its popularity as a hardcore tourer. Even in HUBB, I see messages regarding Yamaha XT600 Technical Forum less than before. Like Africa Twins and many other incredibly reliable machines they are being replaced by machines for a more plug and play generation, but it does not mean that they are not suitable.

They are not suitable only for a generation of riders who are not willing to trace the wires of their circuits, or show a little attention to very basics of a simple machine, and rely on their mobile phones rather than their motorcycles and personal capabilities.

can
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  #7  
Old 14 Nov 2006
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Thanks for the feedback

Thanks, fellows, for the feedback. The idea of a "plug and play" bike really appeals to me, but is obviously not practical. So, I'll buy a pair of overalls and resign myself to weekends with black fingernails!
I suppose I just needed to be reassured that my XT wasn't like the Land Rover Discovery I had which was a lovely vehicle - until you took it off road!
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  #8  
Old 14 Nov 2006
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sorry to burst your bubble but a plug and play bike??? never heard of it. you need to gain some of the basic skills (easy enough) and do the bits and bobs yourself. the beauty of trail bikes and their riders is that were all brothers together and if you need a hand just ask. just dont try splitting the engine and disassembling the gear box on your first try though!

i believe the technical term is FETTLING, this is the constant tinkering with the bike, eg the cdi wire comes loose, so the next opertunity you get you think how you could improve on the wiring loom route structure connectors ect and fix the problem so it never occurs again. things do vibrate loose, off the black top so you loctite them or lock wire them. mr japan designed the bikes to be good but if your like me and you treat them a bit harsh then you have to pay back somehow and this is in your own sweat. but its rewarded by a bike thats bespoke to you and an improvement on the original.
i hope xt600s are good as im soon to head off to africa on mine.!!!! i only had it a day and got a puncture and then the main fuse breaker broke leaving me with no power. However a kick start in addition to the leccy boot help get me going again. all be it with a flat. remind me to pack a spare tube!!
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  #9  
Old 17 Nov 2006
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If the XT600e is just a rugged looking town bike, (like the 660R seems to be), I must get a KLR or KTM.



My XT660 R has racked-up almost 20,000 trouble-free miles this year.
I won't bore everyone with where it's been, and is still to go, but it gets used for everything from trips to the shops, weekend trail riding and big long trips.
Economical too, regularly returning over 60 mpg.
Regular maintenance is the answer. Don't wait for things to come loose and fall off. Change fluids regularly, check wiring for chaffing and corosion on connectors etc, etc.
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  #10  
Old 19 Nov 2006
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why pay to have someone service such a simple bike? do it yourself in an hour. it only takes this long because valve clearance gets checked with a cold engine (mine have never needed adjusting in 9yrs) and oil gets changed with a warm engine, so you cant do both at once.
i had the loose wire on my CDI, so i always check each connection now every service.
i think its pretty bombproof, ive heard that the XT600E is not as good as the earlier teneres but if thats so then they must have been superb bikes because any problems ive had have been simple wear and tear or pilot error.

"plug and play bike"? you must be referring to the 18yr old mechanic at the dealers who has gone on a training course (and has the framed certificate on the wall to prove it) to learn how to PLUG his laptop into your fuel injection ECU and PLAY around with your maps for 3 hours and then tell you he's cured your low speed throttle response.
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Last edited by DAVSATO; 19 Nov 2006 at 10:59.
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  #11  
Old 20 Nov 2006
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Thanks, guys - Born Again Fettler

Thanks, fellows, for pointing out the error of my ways in paying a mechanic to keep my bike going. Spent a few hours on the weekend dismantling the starter switch and cleaning up the points (seems unnecessarily complicated?) and she seems to be starting now without the previous hesitation.
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