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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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Old 23 Aug 2008
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Tenere's vs 'normal' XT's

Hi people,
i have my mind set on a XT600 as this seems to be classified by most as the number one, non-nonsense , reliable overland bike. The 3AJ model seems the one to go for, but I am having quite some trouble finding one. 2KF, 2NF &
43F seem more available and now i am wondering what the main difference is as these bikes are not Tenere's. Is it just the smaller tank, or is there also a difference in shocks, frame strength, ride height, durability, reliability, driving position etc? Cheers
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Old 23 Aug 2008
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a difference in shocks NO
frame strength NO,
ride height NO,
durability NO,
reliability NO,
driving position NO

3AJ is the first with electric starter, this is the only BIG difference with 43F and 2KF (2NF being only a 2KF with less power)

And ok, tank is bigger on a 3AJ..

You can get full data here...stammbaum

Last edited by cyberzar; 23 Aug 2008 at 20:07. Reason: added info
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Old 24 Aug 2008
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It has always confused me though,the weight of the Tenere compared to the normal XT.
86 1VJ weighs from 173-179 wet (depends where you read it).
And the 84-86 XT is 151-154 wet.
Tenere has 23 litres of fuel vs 15 for the XT.
The 1VJ has a starter motor and flywheel gear etc.
But I wouldn't have thought it'd add up to around 20kgs more.
I would have thought the frame would be beefed up to carry the larger fuel load and possibly the expectations of carrying luggage.
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Old 24 Aug 2008
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Of course differences

Some XT's have steel rims - the Tenere always alloy -> stronger
The Tenere has an oil cooler - the XT does not
3AJ model has, depending on country, an altitude compensation device on the carburettor
Teneres have a real bash plate

The 3AJ fairing is quite heavy. That and the electric start explains the difference in weight.

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Old 26 Aug 2008
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Ride hight is different

Hi Paul,

I have a 3AJ Tenere (twin headlight fairing) and my wife has a XT600E which we did a 2 year trip through Asia and Australia on, so I feel well placed comment on their differences.

Before we changed the old rear shocks the Tenere was much taller than the 600E. I fitted the same aftermarket rear shock and fork springs and the Tenere seat hight is still much taller.

All Xt600 have reliability issues with 5th gear, but after 1996 (I think) it was greatly improved.

Tener air filter can be serviced on the road as it is an oiled foam type. 600E air filter is disposable paper filter, an alternative is needed for a big trip.

Terere has 18 inch rear wheel, 600E has 17 inch, this effects tyre choice.

Petrol tank size has already been mentioned, I am happy with the Achabis 23L tank that I fitted to the 600E, but it is an extra cost, and is plastic so limits tank bag choice (as does its shape)

Tenere has a proper engine bash plate, need to buy an aftermarket one for the 600E.

Tenere has CDI ignition and so can run the engine with a dead battery (especially if you have retro-fitted the kick start), 600E has TCI and needs a good battery.

Tenere has a fairing with a wind shield which makes riding less tiring, a handlebar mounted screen can be added to a 600E but they can catch the wind and cause it to weave, especially on part worn tyres. This doesn't happen to my Tenere.

But if you were to ask me which to choose for a big trip through the developing world I would suggest that if you are over 6 foot the 600E might be a bit cramped, if you are over 6 foot the tenere might be too tall for you to get your feet down, but ultimately it will depend on what you can find for sale in decent condition.

Good luck

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Old 27 Aug 2008
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cheers for the answers guys. so to sum up there are a few differences in the details, but the main stuff; frame, engine, gearbox are the same. i think its fair to say that the reliability and its 'bash-proofness' is thus pretty much the same between the tenere's and standard models.
Hope i run into a decent tenere and if not i might buy a standard xt600 and modify some stuff.

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Old 28 Aug 2008
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Yamaha Tech

Just to throw a different angle into this discussion, how suitable would a TT600RE be for a long road trip? I'd wonder about it's ability to carry the extra weight of luggage (rear sub frame strength) and also how more frequently it would need servicing - oil change etc. Any thoughts?
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Old 31 Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by kentbiker View Post
Just to throw a different angle into this discussion, how suitable would a TT600RE be for a long road trip? I'd wonder about it's ability to carry the extra weight of luggage (rear sub frame strength) and also how more frequently it would need servicing - oil change etc. Any thoughts?
Be interested to hear what people think about this - I've been wondering the same thing
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