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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 28 Jun 2013
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XT600Z 3AJ still the one for RTW or is she becoming too old?

Hi HUBB'ers,
I still have the dream of going on a long trip within now and a few years, hopefully it will be Holland-South Africa.

I've been reading on here and other sites for ages and the XT600Z 3AJ ('88-'91) always seems to come back and has some magical attraction for me. I've test driven a few, but haven't bought one yet.

My reservation is that newest examples are over 20 years old and have at least 50.000 km under their belts. Buying one might imply a costly revision/refurbishment (I currently drive a 1984 k100rs with 130,000km, which has never let me down, so I know KM's and age are not necessarily a problem, but still...)
Prices also seem to be affected by the bikes cult status and are often at par with XT600E('03).

Would it still be your bike of choice or is it wiser to let emotions go and choose a more modern version?

(I know the arguments that any bike can make the trip, its up to personal preference, horses for courses etc etc; main question is - is she still up to it and is she as/more capable/reliable/reparable as its modern cousins?)
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Old 29 Jun 2013
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Age has nothing to do with it, if i was given the choice id go on the first model 34L simply because it has the largest tank capacity & is kick start (less to go wrong) but i would refurb the engine before attempting the journey.

If you are going on a 3AJ do kick start conversion just to be sure you have an alternative way of starting the bike, the previous model 1VJ has both kick & electric & to this day i don't know why Yamaha did away with the kicker on the 3AJ ??

Thats Wolfram not me.

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Old 29 Jun 2013
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I agree with Mezo, age has nothing to do with it. What does count is that you know the bike is bullet-proof reliable and dependable.

Remember that people travel the world on things like Honda C50 stepthru's. If they can do it on these, you can do it on an older 600cc jobby.

If age and mileage does concern you why not look at getting yourself another newer XT600?

A mint Yamaha XT600E can be sourced in the UK for less than £2,000.

The venerable E model can be easily adapted for long range RTW quite easily and cheaply compared to more expensive, complicated, highly strung German options.

All you need do is fit a bash plate (£100) and an Acerbis long-range tank (£250).

For less than £2,500 you will have a legendary bike capable of almost anything.

Compare this to a German bike costing twice as much for no gain.

I recently considered outing one of my beloved XT'S for a newer XT660 but after completing a test ride on one, I quickly realised that spending £5,000 for NO gain was a stupid waste of money.

There are some other bikes which are getting long in the tooth now to consider - KLR650, XR650, AT etc... BUT the Yamaha XT600 series of bikes rule supreme when it comes to a BUDGET RTW bike (In my humble opinion).

I have owned and ridden many bikes in my life and nothing comes close to the XT legend.

I wish you well. Stay safe.
Triumph Bonneville 800 (2004), Yamaha XT600E (1999), Honda XBR500 (1986).

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Old 1 Jul 2013
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Good to hear that you guys confirm that the 3aj is still a great RTW choice.

What would you replace preventatively before a long trip (let's assume the bike is in a reasonable condition & +/-50,000km on the clock)

- Piston rings?
- Wheel bearings?
- CDI?
- Front and rear shocks?
- ....
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Old 1 Jul 2013
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Before you change piston rings you can mesure the compression, i can recomend Wirth progressive frontsprings and change oil and seals on front fork. Bearings on the wheels i would change and its always nice to have a CDI unit in the pocket. Rear suspension is always nice with brand new but its very expensive, pull the old one out and check for leaks and that its working without spring. Maybe find one used that has low mileage.
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Old 4 Jul 2013
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The list is not long but:
Better shock(or full rebuild)
Higher front guard

And check milage on the bike.Most will have.......
Its a nice still simple bike to ride and keep riding.
America is a nice continent,not a country.All people who lives in this continent are americans.Discover it in peace!
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