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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 10 Nov 2012
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TTR600RE for a 6ft4inch 17 stone bloke......

I'm planning a trip to Africa next year and plan on driving 60% Tarmac 40% off road.
My background is Moto X many years ago. I love the TTR600RE but havn't bought one yet.
My question is, would the TTR be able top handle my weight with Panniers and Bags etc and me!
Does anyone know if i can raise the bike up and stiffen the shocks? If so which brand?

Or shall i just go for a XT660Z which does'nt inspire me at all
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  #2  
Old 10 Nov 2012
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The TT600RE is the heavier, milder, e-start version of the TTR600. It is a great bike in many ways but IMHO not exactly inspiring for a former MX racer. You really should try one out before you buy. It will handle offroad riding pretty well though...

You can use the suspension (front and rear) off the TTR600, it is a direct bolt on and will raise the bike about 50mm. The TTR600 suspension is a lot better, the stock one is rather basic (cheap). Don’t know about stiffer springs.

It is of course a very basic and simple bike, easy to fix and service in the middle of nowhere.
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  #3  
Old 12 Nov 2012
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Waldo, Welcome to the forum.

The bike you are proposing to use shares exactly the same engine with it's brother the venerable XT600E therefore it is clearly more than capable of pulling you and your luggage around the world.

I would NOT drop to a sub-600cc bike considering your height/weight plus need to haul luggage. A Yamaha TT6/XT6 produces 45 BHP (and most importantly - lots of low down grunty torque) which is more than capable of hauling you and your luggage around Africa. A smaller engine might not pull you out of the deep muddy ruts you will encounter.

The reference above to a TTR600 is causing some confusion on another thread about the TT600 RE! It appears the TTR600 never existed? If you know otherwise then please join the other thread and enlighten us all.

The only difficulty I forcee is sourcing a TT600 RE in good condition and low milage. Not many of these were sold. They were an upmarket/delux version of the XT600E.

You might be wiser finding a cheaper more popular Yamaha XT600E instead. Plenty still around in good condition and they tick all your boxes above. You can find mint examples for £1,600 or so if you look hard (private buys).

A more modern XT660 will set you back much more (£3,000 plus) and you won't be getting much more for your money in terms of capability / performance. In fact, most here will confirm that the simpler XT600 engine is a far more reliable engine because it's so much more simpler.

I would look at the XT600E first, then the Honda XR650 and finally the Kawasaki KLR650. If you wish to go offroad then look at the lovely little Kawasaki DRZ400 (although it won't be so happy pulling heavy weights around).

It all depends upon how much you have to spend really. The Number 1 bang for bucks bike is without doubt the venerable Yamaha XT600E. It's the most widely used budget trans-African / RTW bike to be found. And I'm not saying that just because I own two of them myself.

The Yamaha XT600 series of bikes have won many Paris Dakar rally's (when it was held in Africa).

I myself did consider replacing one of my XT's with a more modern XT660 but when I looked at one I realised I would be spending £4,000 for almost no gain!

If you can find a TT600 RE in good condition it will certainly take you around Africa without a problem but the similar (more robust and agricultural) XT600E was made for that job.

It would also be a great pity to destroy a TT600 on a hard-core RTW because they are really quite a rare bike (in the UK at least). I remember people often used the excellent little DR350 for African trips and these things in good condition are hard to find because of this.

If you choose a TT600 or a XT600 there are adaptions to be made - both will need a larger Acerbis tank (it's a safety MUST for Africa) and a sump protector plate needs to be properly fixed. After this the bike will be ready.

I wish you well.
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Last edited by kentfallen; 12 Nov 2012 at 18:31.
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  #4  
Old 12 Nov 2012
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The TTR600 existed.

The TT600RE existed (based on the TTR600, but with e-start and cheap suspension)

The TTR600RE never existed, but the TT600RE did have the letters „TTR600“ and not “TT600RE”on the tank as they use the same gastank, I guess Yamaha had lots of the old ones in stock.

I had a TT600RE until last year, and now I have a XT600E. They are quite different. The XT is more comfortable, has stronger non-removable subframe, and a bigger gastank. The TT600RE is better offroad as it is shaped more like a “real” dirtbike (thin seat, small gastank etc.)

I sold my XT660R this summer. It was super comfortable for long days in the saddle, but not much of a dirtbike. Heavy and totally wrong weight distribution between front and rear (but very good on the blacktop). The XT660R has FI and complex electronics, I would not like to have one brake down on me in the middle of nowhere.
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  #5  
Old 12 Nov 2012
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Thanks for that G600 - So the TTR600 did exist afterall.

Can you please update the other thread accordingly?

Perhaps someone can post a few pics comparing the TT600 to the TTR600. LOL.
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  #6  
Old 13 Nov 2012
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You can ride any bike.... Just uprate the suspension accordingly.

As with all bikes, ESPECIALLY trail bikes, you HAVE to pack light. Forget big aluminium boxes. You want light frames, soft bags and don't pack shit you just won't need.
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  #7  
Old 13 Nov 2012
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I,m with touring ted...especially ally boxes....ankle breakers.....
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  #8  
Old 13 Nov 2012
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I had a TTR600 for a while.
There are a few threads in here about that series of bike, such as:

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...rda-95-a-66484

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...upermoto-64044

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...-jetting-66975

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...belgarda-63681

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...lk-to-me-67160


http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...-pick-up-64826

You can find more about this bike if you go back further into this forum.
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  #9  
Old 14 Nov 2012
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Wowzers! Thanks for the replies.......i'm absolutely bowled over by the generosity of you chaps taking time to respond to my question in such detail. And clear up a few facts.

I've been driving myself nuts trying to decide on what bike to use. Like most of us i suppose.The trip i'm planning is'nt going to be going from A to B and then C......and then Cape Town.

I'm a dead keen fisherman and am planning on taking as much (or little!) fishing tackle aboard the bike (5 part travel rods in case you were thinking!!) as possible. I'm then going to seek out the best places to fish both inland and sea fishing. I've already ear marked a few spots in Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Naimibia. I'm gonna follow me nose.

So the bike will need to be driven off road. I was very interested in the good 'ol DRZ400 for a while, but its just not quite right. I think i'm now sold on the XT600E .

I am on a budget, i think, all in including mods and i'm being realistic is going to be around 2.5k. I originally loved the idea of a XT660Z but the more i read about it the more i got put off. Also another BIG consideration is that i don't think i'd be able to sleep comfortably in the ass end of West Africa with a bike that could feed 50 families for a few years. I'd much prefer something that i'm not precious about (although i'm sure i'll grow to love it) and if all goes tits up, its not the end of me financially. Incidentally my back up plan would be some new Chinese thing if the worst came to the worst.

Someone else off of this site has kindly offered me their tt600re (get it right!) for a trail ride. I think i'll base my decision on that, but at least i know i've narrowed it down to 2 bloody good bikes

Walt
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  #10  
Old 14 Nov 2012
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Touring Ted is absolutely right in saying ANY bike will do the job. Some hard-core nutters have even toured the world on a moped (Puch Maxi)! Respect....

BUT a handfull of bikes will do it better than most others.

I honestly think the Yamaha XT600E ticks all you're boxes. It is without doubt the best budget big trail bike to be found. It's powerful enough to haul you and your luggage everywhere in Africa and it's bulletproof reliable. The only time it may become tiresome is on tarmac above 60mph. Being a single cylinder with 45 BHP it does start to run out of steam above this speed (That said, it is more powerful than a DRZ400).

Many people often recommend bikes just based on the fact they happen to ride one themselves. I have not done this here. If I wanted a reliable nail for a trans-African trip this gem would be my first choice. The only other budget trail bikes on my list would be the Honda XR650 and the Kawasaki KLR650. Both of which are also excellent budget RTW bikes.

In my view you need 600cc to haul you out of deep mud on an incline. A smaller engine will not cope well. The XT600 engine developes excellent low down torque, so copes much better.

Costs - Yamaha XT600E

Private buy

You can still find a mint condition low mileage (less than 10,000 miles) XT6E for £1,600 if you look hard long enough. There will be enough left over for an Acerbis tank (a safety must for Africa) and bashplate (sump protector).

If I were to sell my own bikes this is the absolute maximum I would ask. For a bargain buy try and get one for sub £1,500 but this may prove difficult if you want a mint (show room) example.

Shop buy

Don't pay more than £1,800 for a retail shop example. Lately I have seen a few shops selling these things for silly money (£2,400)! Best to find a private buy instead.

If you choose to go down the expensive highly-strung and bloated BMW/KTM route then expect at least a 50% increase in costs (for not much more in my opinion).

Lose the idea about getting a Chinese bike - they are an unknown quantity for the kind of adventure you propose here. Keep to well known trail bikes where locals will have fixed them before (and parts easy to acquire).

Don't forget to get a sheepskin saddle cover for your bum (£30 from DunElm).

Good luck and keep us all updated on this thread.

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  #11  
Old 14 Nov 2012
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You're most welcome to take one of my own XT's out for a (sedate, lol) road ride if you wish?

Where are you? I'm in Kent.
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Old 14 Nov 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kentfallen View Post
Many people often recommend bikes just based on the fact they happen to ride one themselves.
Never a truer word ever said on this forum....
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Old 14 Nov 2012
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It's a sad fact of life that most if not all forums like this one are full of people giving their advice just based upon what they currently ride. This is fine if someone is merely asking about their bike, but much less helpful if alternatives need to be discussed in a broader question.

I am lucky enough to have owned and ridden many motorcylcles over a span of 35 years (I'm nearly 50 years of age). I have never once been without some kind of 2 wheel motorised transport. Some of these bikes were hopeless (my forgetable Honda CB250 G5 springs to mind here and my Honda CB900) whereas others were brilliant (Suzuki GSX750, GS850, Honda CX500 etc). Some were suicidal (Kawasaki KH250, Suzuki X7, Suzuki GT750).

But when I compliment the Yamaha XT600 series of bikes (all XT's) I do so truthfully from the bottom of my heart. I honestly believe that this bike is by far THE best budget RTW/African adventure bike to be found anywhere. It's not perfect but compared to other bikes it stands out as a legend.

Yes there are more expensive, more comfortable, more powerful alternatives but these are invariably German, heavy (bloated), highly-strung, costly to run and maintain and above all expensive to procure.

The Yamaha XT6's reputation as a economic, simple, reliable, robust nail is indeed well deserved. I seriously doubt many would disagree.

It infuriates me how newcomers asking for expert advice are often misled by those of us who simply push our own bike without a thought for the alternatives. I also see it on the gun forums I sometimes frequent (people often like to bragg about buying expensive optics when cheaper alternatives do the same job).

Of course most people are well meaning when they do this, but it does often result in newbies needlessly wasting huge sums of their hard earned money.

There is good reason why the XT series of motorcylcles won so many Paris/Dakar rallies (when it was still held in North/West Africa). Lastly THIS sub-forum was founded on ONE legenday trail bike - the XT600 (and it's the busiest place on Hubb).

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Old 15 Nov 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kentfallen View Post
It's a sad fact of life that most if not all forums like this one are full of people giving their advice just based upon what they currently ride. This is fine if someone is merely asking about their bike, but much less helpful if alternatives need to be discussed in a broader question.

......
100% spot on. On advrider there are guys actually advising full on race bikes to some new (adv)riders.
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  #15  
Old 15 Nov 2012
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Many people often recommend bikes just based on the fact they happen to ride one themselves. I have not done this here. If I wanted a reliable nail for a trans-African trip this gem would be my first choice. The only other budget trail bikes on my list would be the Honda XR650 and the Kawasaki KLR650. Both of which are also excellent budget RTW bikes.
I'm kind of new to these Forums, i've lurked for months so i hope i've quoted your statement correctly. Yes, i've already looked at these bikes and the only XR650's that seem like they're available are the XR650R's which sound like a different beast to the XR650.

To be honest i like a lot of the Dual Sport bikes available in the US but not here because of EbloodyU emission conformity DR650, KLR650, CR650L.

And yes it has been a bit difficult wading through a lot of biased reviews, i was going to get a F650GS at one stage. But i came to my senses soon enough. I have to stay focused on what i want to achieve and the bike to do that. Also i'm a lousy mechanic.

Thanks for your offer Kentfallen......but i think i'm ok.
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