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Yamaha TechOriginally the Yamaha XT600 Tech Forum, due to demand it now includes all Yamaha's technical / mechanical / repair / preparation questions.
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I have just bought an immaculate 1986 1VJ XT600 Tenere Mark II, Italian import with just 31KMS mileage. It is my intention to take this bike across Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. However, I have been reliably informed this model Tenere has poor mechanical reliability; blowing headgaskets and over heating and has a major problem with 5th gear. Comments appreciated please, does this model Tenere in fact have very poor mechnical reliability? I thought all Teneres had bullet proof motors if regularly serviced?
Hi, I have the same bike and I love it!
It is true the 1VJ Model had problems because some screws, sorry my english, of the head of the engine came out because the holes are not built in deep enough, mistake by factory....
But - if your bike runs fine I would go anyway. Ask the yamaha dealer, normally if they are good, they can see from the letters and numbers written outside on the cylinder, if it is a model with problems or not. A good website is www.tenere.de lot of information, in some countrys there are tenere owners clubs - contact them.
I rode my bike till 75 000km and then I took an engine of a newer XT 600 in the Tenere, since then no more problems! Now I have 145 000 km on the bike, I rode a lot in Europe, diown to Dakar and 30 000 km in South America. Great bike!
Good luck - Jens I still have some used parts , if you need something! Better Tenere is the 88-90 Model 3AJ.
If the bike still runs after 20 years it can´t be of that poor mechanical quality? As I´m looking into buying an old tenere as well I tried to read up on the internet. I read that the cooling system should be not to great on the 1vj, but this problem can be solved. Check out this site with information on the different models:
If you want to know exactly what the problems with this bike are you need to search back through this forum carefully. All the info you will ever need is here. I also had an '86 1vj and had to modify it extensively to ensure reliability. Dont ever forget tho' that this is a 20 year old bike.....how reliable will that ever get?
I recommend you speak to David Lambeth about any problems you cant find answers to on here. What he doesnt know about XT600's you could write on the edge of a postage stamp never mind the back...and he'll sell you all the spares you wont find elsewhere.
Finally, if you need recommendations regarding Dave's knowledge or excellent customer service then check out this user group on Yahoo,
Hi Jens from Germany. Thanks for responding to my question about 1VJ Tenere reliability. Your comments about engine numbers are very interesting! Thanks mate.
The engine and frame number for my machine is IVJ-019130. Does anybody out there know if this engine number belongs to a model with possible engine problems? Also are there any simple modifications which can be made to try and improve IVJ reliability to prevent these problems, such as the over heating? Finally, does the engine from the later 3AJ Tenere model slot straight into the 1VJ frame? This may be the answer?
Dave, hear what you say about Dave Lambeth, but he is in Morocco til the end of the month and I think he is not a 1VJ fan! You mention that you had to modify your 1VJ extensively to ensure reliability. Can you expand on this please? To be honest, there does not appear to be anything on this website which tells me that 1VJ models should be avoided.
Any information greatly apprecaited.
I´ve been out here in the americas for the last 3 years and have just clocked up 100000 kms on my 1986 Tenere,while in the states i took it to a local bike shop for a minor repair to the starter clutch and would you belive they broke my crank shaft, i won´t go into details but i rebuilt it there. Most of the problems are due to the heat,On my Tenere in very hot areas the oil expands out of the oil tank and runs down the swing arm,it is all so hard to start.The biggest problem i´ve had is breaking the suspension bolt that runs between the swing arm and shock piviot arm this has happened twice now.
I like the Tenere because it will take all the abuse you can give and still keep going. I all so like it when you pull on to a campsite or any were there are other bikes and every one looks and can`t belive that it is 20 years old and still going strong. The Tenere is for any one who dose not mind getting there hands dirty. There just good fun to ride. Have fun Skip
I found a big help was to cut 3 large slits in the front mud guard as it bends down to the front of the engine and to all ways keep the engine clean.If iám going to be in a hot region i make sure that the oil is on the minimum mark on the dip stick before i start, this then allows for the expantion of the oil and stops it over flowing.
I have a jerry cans on each side of the engine and a tool box on the front the engine dose get hot but i´ve yet to have any real problems. The 1VJ engine is a good engine if you look after it, i do an oil and filter change ever 5000 kms and when its hot i run 20-50 oil.The problem with the head gaskets going i think is due to the weak head bolt threads in the barrel, i had all mine helicoiled, i use a little red locktight glue on the head bolts and i tighten them 4nm over the torque setting. I have both the head and barrel faced before fitting together. I have had 3 tenere´s and have yet to blow a head gasket, this works for me. Hope this helps Skip
It is not the frame and engin number that could help you. There is I think on the left side of the cylinder I think and 3 number/ letter combination that could help. I think it was on the left at the bottom of the cylinder. No sure, of course....
I have 34K08 stamped on my barrel, but Klaus at XT600.de is the guy to talk to about barrel and head numbers, i know a few poeple who put the hole top end from a 3AJ motor on a 1VJ bottom, because the barrel has better cooling fins, but this starts to become a lot of money, iám not to sure of the combination of engine and frame numbers all three Tenere´s that i have had have had the same frame number as engine numbers, two were imports from Italy. Cheers Skip
Well, not from first hand, but a friend of mine had an 1VJ:
- Overheating: there's two little 'hoses' just above the cilinder head that the intake air passes through. Above the hot head. Modification: plug them and remove the cover through which you remove the air filter for service. Throw away the cover. The engine will get cooler air, it will be a bit noisier as the intake sound is less dampened.
- Cil head bolts threads: they have been designed too short, which leads, in some cases, to stripping. Helicoling is possible, or install a second hand 3AJ cilinder head. BTW, the 34K designation is explained as follows. Yam part numbers start with the model type that the part was first used on. You will notice for instance on the rear rim the designation 5Y1, which is the XT550 model number.
- Slits in the front mudguard: if yours does not have any, change the 'guard or make them in it. In Germany I believe the slits are forbidden for road bikes, that's where the story comes from.
- Oil pump. There's 3 models, 100%, 150% and 200% capacity. The 150 was used used (I think) on the 1VJ. You can use the 200% from the 3AJ, which will improve lubrication. Also, 20W50 for temperatures down to 0 degree celsius is good.
- Fifth gear: yes, all XT's have that problem. The bangs from the one-cil engine are just too much for the gears. Pitting and eventually breaking in pieces will occur. To avoid, never run it below 4500 rpm. The engine has been made for higher revs. It's noisier, that's true, but a well-tuned XT driven in that range is a lot of fun.
If your gears are pitted, replace them for the modified gears from the 3AJ. It is not the entire solution but will make them last longer. The only way to inspect is to take the engine apart.
Thanks Guys. Lots for me to ponder. Seems that the 1VJ does have it's problems, but none that cannot be over come, other than the possible problem with 5th gear disintergrating! Like I said previously, seems the answer maybe to get a 3AJ motor and replace the standard 1VJ motor if this starts to give problems. Does anyone know if the 3AJ motor slots straight into the 1VJ frame without any modifications?
I think it fits perfect. I put in my 1 VJ Tenere the engine of a newer XT 600 3 TB and it was possible. The engine runs a lot better.But I put the old generator in the new engine, everything fits. YOu find them perhaps on german ebay, but it would be better do buy a engine from an accident bike, so you know at least that the engine was running till the last day.
Good luck - Jens
Many thanks for the information. Interesting to note that a later model XT600 engine will also fit straight into the IVJ Tenere frame.
So if I do have any problems with the 1VJ motor, I have the option of changing this for either a 3AJ motor or an engine from a later XT600 model 3TB.
Thanks for your help Jens.
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