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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 7 Feb 2005
jj jj is offline
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XT500 - flawed?

I recently did a trip through Africa on a yamaha xt500. The bikes reliability, simplicity and cost were the main things that drew me to it. I did have severe problems with the bikes fuel consumption and electrics though. I was only getting about 160km on my 12.5 litre tank and had to carry around a lot of extra fuel. Also the fuses on my indicators and lights were constantly blowing. I don't know a lot about bikes so there may be some obvious explanations and solutions to these problems that I don't know about. Otherwise is the XT500 notorious for eating fuel and having bad electics? I'd be very grateful for any help as I am now planning to make a trip from UK to Singapore and can only afford a bike like an XT500. Cheers, Jasper
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Old 8 Feb 2005
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160km from a 12.5 litre tank equates to about 36mpg - not brilliant but not too bad for an ancient underpowered bike that's possibly quite high mileage?

Were you riding in sand and/or carrying a lot of luggage?
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Old 8 Feb 2005
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Hi Jasper
Flawed? I think there is something wrong if you only got 12.8 km/l. I am guessing but most of your trip must of been on tarmac? With bad petrol etc. you should expect 20 km/l. As Steve says if these numbers are for sand/loaded then maybe it isnt too bad.
My wifes first bike, about 6 years ago, was an 79 xt500 and she used to get 25 km/l comuting to work and also on the longest trip we did to Slovakia.
As for the electrics... perhaps running seperate earth wires on all the indicators and rear light may help, but I think most people have the same sort of problems you had with the XT. One of the reasons she moved on to a transalp.
Advice for your next trip, well I got very sick of adjusting the points and timing and would go for electronic ignition myself.
Still have the Xt and love riding it on day rides, its a bit too heavy for our type of riding other wise we would have them for travelling.
There must be lots of info on the web for these bikes for travelling, if you can read German, that is.
I would love to read more about your mods getting ready for the trip.
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Old 8 Feb 2005
jj jj is offline
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Hi Steve and Andy,
Thanks a lot for your helpful replys. I was mainly riding on tarmac but was very over loaded which may account for the fuel consumption. Having no indicators in Africa didn't really bother me but I think they'll be quite important for a trip to Singapore through Europe and its always a bit disconserting not having a headlight incase you get held up and are forced to ride in the dark. My xt500 is in Kenya at the moment and although I'm very attached to it I'm actually thinking of selling it. The xt600 seems to me to be altogether the better option, and having looked at the bulletin board not as expensive as I thought. If I can find one still available this easter I might bite the bullet and buy one. I'm a student at the moment so money is always an issue, would you say that £1200 is a fair deal for a 1983-5 xt600 in good condition? Thanks a lot for any advice, Jasper
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Old 9 Feb 2005
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Good luck on the hunt, sorry, I cant help with the 600 market advice.
(sell you a used 500 to add to the collection tho;-)
Good luck
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