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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 31 May 2011
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Which XT and what to upgrade?

Hi all,
So I am looking at buying myself an older model XT, with the intention of stripping and rebuilding before a RTW leaving within the next year or two.

I have tried searching on the internet, and from what I can see the 3AJ Tenere is probably considered the best, but these are a bit rarer than the regular XT600E. So to give myself some choice, what would be considered the top 3 XT models?

Moving on from that, during the rebuild I would be looking at making some upgrades. I've done something similar with a Suzuki Bandit, so have some idea of what I am doing. What would be some reccomended upgrades? Is there a superior rear shock from a different bike that would fit in? Any other tips along those sort of lines?

Thanks,
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Old 1 Jun 2011
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Being the owner of a 1984 XT600, I would suggest staying away from a kickstart model. (I am infuenced by the fact that mine is still a bitch to start). That leaves you with post 1990 if you get a non Tenere model, when the XT600E was introduced.

I don't know the detail, but I believe some Tenere models prior to 1990 had electric start.

The wisdom on here suggests the following as a minimum to make your bike long term reliable. It would need the crankcase to be split.
  • Replace 5th gear.
  • Check the counter balancer bearings carefully.
  • Probably fit a new voltage regulator - especially important on an electric start bike.
  • Possibly a cam chain and tensioner (I haven't read anything about them failing though).
  • Check compression and rebore if required.

Other than that (and others will add to the list), congratulations on choosing one of the most bullet proof bikes ever made.

A Polish guy I was talking to at work reckons it is up there with the Honda C90 for reliablilty. And they love their XT550 and XT600s.
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