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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 29 Dec 2008
Ian Ian is offline
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Question Questions on the New Tenere

Hi,

After having read a couple of reviews, a couple of questions on the new 660 Tenere (I searched but didn't find):

1. Is there a way to remove the Cat? Is it in the silencer and does fitting Yamaha/Akrapovic silencers mean no Cat fitted?

2. Looks to be a need for some additional protection (engine/radiator guards), but are there any other known must-do mods?

3. More a generic question on inner tubes. My favourite tube is the Michelin UHD. Are they available in 17"?

Thanks in advance,

Ian.
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  #2  
Old 29 Dec 2008
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Some answers on the new Tenere!

1. Yes the cat is in the silencer box, so if you removed the original silencer (it is a single box with two exit pipes, like a Ducati Multistrada/999 for example) then you could replace it with either a single or double can system with or without a cat. I believe the twin Akrapovic set up from Yamaha is available without a cat, but it is very expensive - there are a number of other aftermarket options too though...

2. Personally, all I did was fit some TKC80 tyres, some handguards (KTM wrap-around) and changed the foot pegs for something larger (this was really just personal preference, the stock pegs are fine, just a bit small). I'm currently riding my virtually stock Tenere in the USA, and the bike has been down loads of times (especially on the Rubicon Trail). So far I've found no need for additional engine protection - although a metal skid plate might be an idea if you envisage really rocky terrain - the bike has plenty of ground clearance as standard. The factory tank protection panels really do work well.

3. I'm with you on the Michelin UHD tubes (I use them in my other bikes), unfortunately, Michelin don't do the UHD in 17"... However, I understand Bridgestone do offer similar UHD type tube in that size, and most manufacturers offer a 17" Heavy Duty, if not 'Ultra' or 'Super'... The standard Tenere tubes are Pirelli btw. and although I fitted the front with a 21" Michelin UHD as a precaution, I'm still running the stock rear tube and it seems very good at 25psi...

btw. A good website for all things Tenere is XT660.com - they have a specific XT660Z section, and you'll probably find the answer to any question you might have there...

xxx
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Old 30 Dec 2008
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Thanks.

Good point about the footrests - stock items look a bit small.

Look forward to a report on your USA trip. Is the Rubicon Trail part of the Trans-America Trail?
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Old 31 Dec 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Thanks.

Good point about the footrests - stock items look a bit small.

Look forward to a report on your USA trip. Is the Rubicon Trail part of the Trans-America Trail?
Hee hee - no, the Rubicon is 'slightly' more technical than your average TAT rider is going to want to experience... (Google it x)

The TAT route actually heads north across Nevada and misses California - except for a tiny tiny bit where it crosses the State line before heading into Oregon south of Lakeview.

xxx
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Old 6 Jan 2009
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Smile

OK, on the subject of technical going, another question: one of the best features of my old Tenere (1VJ) was it's very low down torque, excellent for ging through the tricky bits (in contrast to other 'on or off' motors). Does the new XT660Z have similar low down grunt to the original Tenere?

Thanks.
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Old 6 Jan 2009
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I had an XT660R for a while. I'm not sure if it is the same motor as the Tenere (I assume so) or the same state of tune (not sure), so take this with a pinch of salt:

The 660 motor has plenty of low-down grunt and will pull tree-stumps if the conditions are right. It has a very useful increase in power over the 600. However, there were two issues with mine which I would want to put right before using it for any serious off-roadery.

1. Very poor fuelling just off idle - snatchy and lumpy, as if it went from a closed throttle to half-throttle with no in between. And the kick it gives as the power comes in is pretty impressive. It made wet roundabouts pretty interesting, and riding on a constant throttle (say at a steady 30 in traffic) was a lurching, kangaroo-style affair. Mine was a 2004 model, and I believe Yamaha addressed this with later models via an ECU upgrade. You can alter the CO levels through a combination of button presses on the dash, which helped somewhat, but it can be cured with either a reflash of the ECU (dealer), or a Power Commander and a session on the dyno. There's a lot of info on this on ::.Yam-xt.com.:: Home Page ::.Yamaha XT660X & XT660R Website and Forum.

2. In standard form, the 660R is geared way too high. It is geared for a maximum speed of about 110 mph, which is crazy on a dual-purpose bike. First gear was not low enough for serious nadgery - even slow traffic was a bit dodgy, with a lot of slipping of the clutch necessary. The solution is easy - replace the gearbox sprocket with a 14T item, which brings first nice and low and makes the rest of the gears useable. It has the added fun factor of improving acceleration and wheelie potential. The drawback is that the speedo will now read about 7% fast. Fixable with a speedo healer, if it bothers you. All adds to the cost, though.

As I said, I'm not sure how this applies to the Tenere, or even to later R models, but it may be worth bearing in mind. I liked the bike a lot. I fixed the gearing issue (well worth the few quid it cost) and would have done the others if I had kept the bike. As a long-termer, it would have been worth doing.

Hope this helps.
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Old 6 Jan 2009
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Don't worry Ian (and Blackdog), the fueling on the new Tenere is damn near perfect, all the problems the earlier XT660R/X had have been eradicated - I believe with the new airbox and ECU program.

Anyone who has ridden the new Ten' has said how nice the fueling is (yes even journalists!), especially when compared to bikes like the KTM 990 for example. Yamaha seem to have nailed it at last.

Certainly the Tenere has plenty of torque right off the throttle, and no snatchiness from the EFi...

Blackdog makes the point that his 660R was a bit high-geared for serious off-road - I'd say that's a similar case with the new Tenere which has 15/45 gearing as standard - this makes for relaxed cruising of course, but means 1st gear isn't really low enough for really technical terrain... but I do mean really technical - the sort of stuff you'd probably not consider taking a new 400lb bike over anyway? It's fine on typical green-lane type trails...

I've also found that with judicious use of the clutch, you can hoik it over some serious rocks and steps, but it does mean that 1st gear is really the only 'off-road' gear for technical slow-speed riding, 2nd would be too high until the going gets a little easier.

Also, riding around in 1st gear the whole time does mean the bike can get hot - but I am talking at 12,000+ft in the Colorado Rockies here (the Tomichi pass for example) on proper rocky 'Jeep' trails...

The simplest solution would be to fit a slightly larger rear sprocket (or drop a tooth on the front) - the Tenere is also geared for 100+mph which as Blackdog says, is really unnecessary on this sort of bike, although it does make cruising at 80mph nice and easy...

xxx
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Old 6 Jan 2009
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I'm delighted to hear that Yamaha have sorted this one. It's a lovely bike and if these few little gripes have been sorted, that's great.

My R had 15/45 gearing, and I found it much better with 14/45. The alternative would have been to go 3 up at the back, to 15/48, but this would have been much more expensive (larger r/wheel sprocket, plus longer chain) and not really worth it - the small penalty of greater wear on the chain from the smaller front sprocket was a minor issue.

I found the high gearing didn't make for relaxed cruising, though. 5th gear was only feasible at 80+, which was about at my personal neck-muscle limit, and it spent most of its time in 4th. Aha, but of course the Ten has a small screen, I forgot that! Perhaps that would make the difference.
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