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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, At the foot of the Bear Glaciers, eternal ice, British Columbia, Canada

Adventure is what you make it

Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, at the foot of the Bear Glaciers, British Columbia, Canada.



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  #1  
Old 1 Nov 2013
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Question XT600 or DR650 which is the best for long distance travel?

As the title says which of those 2 is the best bike for long distance travel?

In.....

Tarmac and gravel.
Fuel economy.
Suspension reaction original or aftermarket.
In loading travel gear.
Motor reability.
Handling.
Vibrations.

Xt600 or the Dr650?
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Last edited by zandesiro; 5 Mar 2014 at 22:32.
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  #2  
Old 19 Nov 2013
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  #3  
Old 20 Nov 2013
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don't know much about the xt. doesn't it have dual carbs? if so, i'd stay away.

i've been the dr for several years. longest day was about 200km. with the suzuki gel seat i was fine. the dr is truly bullet proof. it will need some work to make it truly adventure rideable, at least imho.
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  #4  
Old 21 Nov 2013
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Just my two cents about the DR650 as experienced in a 9 months Africa trip:

-capable to do tarmac and gravel once you got used to the hard seat. Was really surprised where the bike would go in terms of off-road or no-road
-fuel economy pretty constant 5l/100km, accepts fuel down to 85 octane
-original suspension is very soft. Changed my springs to heavier ones. Very happy with the change
-motor reliability: now done 60000km with no issues. Still first clutch, still not burning oil. No issues at all.
-since I was newbie in biking at the start I dropped the bike a few times. Suppose it's not a problem of how the bike handles but how the newbies can handle it. Bike handling takes a big hit though if you use a long range tank and fill it up to the top.
-vibrations: no issues at all, even on long day rides
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  #5  
Old 21 Nov 2013
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as a follow up to marco's post, the DR is an animal off-road. yes it's heavy and it wallows, but damn if it doesn't pull like a tractor up hills! i only started riding of road in mid 2009. i learned on a dr. i've dropped mine probably 100 times. never a peep. only trouble you may have is the carb flooding if you leave it on its side for a bit. just let it sit for a minute and it starts right up.

last year i got cut off by a taxi and ran into him. my right ankle is screwed forever--literally and figuratively--but the dr suffered no damage save a couple of war wounds (scratches). in fact, it stayed running in third gear while i crawled with a busted ankle.

read up on ride reports of guys that have gone round the world on dr's. you can't go wrong.
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  #6  
Old 21 Nov 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teevee View Post
read up on ride reports of guys that have gone round the world on dr's. you can't go wrong.
"Jammin through the Global south" Had great successes with the DR.
Jammin thru the Global South - ADVrider

"2 moto kiwis".. not so much good times with the DR. They scrapped both DRs for a KTM 950SE.
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...ntarctic-65500

Muztoo has had great luck renting XTs.

Both are great bikes. Leaps and bounds ahead of a KLR.
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  #7  
Old 22 Nov 2013
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Having owned and ridden both these bikes over a good number of years, I think I'm qualified to give an opinion.

BOTH these bikes are capable of doing what you want but the Yamaha has a much much wider following.

BOTH bikes are excellent machines.

The Yamaha XT600 series of bikes clearly have the edge though, Just go and have a look at the Yamaha (XT600) sub-forum which is by far the most used place on this forum.

In terms of pedigree - The Yamaha is out in front by a long distance.

The Yamaha XT600 is THE most widely used budget RTW trial bike on earth. Anyone who states otherwise is talking kak.
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  #8  
Old 25 Nov 2013
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I have also had both and prefer the DR650. The XT in my opinion is more top heavy. The DR is more nimble for me to handle. Both good bikes. I suggest you find each bike and test ride.

Last edited by jeepster09; 26 Nov 2013 at 15:27.
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  #9  
Old 26 Nov 2013
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In this week im going to check this XT600E.



Is 99' model with 40000km (24850 miles).
The price is 1400 euros (debatable)...

If runs ok i ll take it..
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  #10  
Old 27 Nov 2013
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In the UK, EXCELLENT/MINT condition Yamaha XT600E's are becoming very rare indeed.

Their prices are rising every day.

I have seen late (2003) low mileage minters being sold by dealers for £2,300!

Average condition bikes are selling for up to £1,500.

Dogs are being sold for £800!

A low mileage mint Yamaha XT600 makes an excellent investment for the future. Their prices can only ever go one way - UPWARDS.

The Yamaha XT600E will slowly disappear exactly the same as the lovely little XT350 disappeared in the 1990's. They will be RTW to death.

The Yamaha XT legend (all models) will never be forgotten though.
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  #11  
Old 27 Nov 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kentfallen View Post
Having owned and ridden both these bikes over a good number of years, I think I'm qualified to give an opinion.

Did you own a post 1996 DR650? (SE model) Gray market DR650? No new DR's for sale in UK since before 1996, IIRC.
Pre '96 is a very different bike. Avoid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kentfallen View Post
BOTH these bikes are capable of doing what you want but the Yamaha has a much much wider following.
True and certainly true in UK. But time marches on. The DR650 has had a major upsurge in popularity in last 5 to 7 years ... but of course not in England. But in US and Oz, DR's are on the march. The XT's are excellent bikes (by most accounts). But the DR is no slouch either. No one beats bikes harder than the Ozzies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kentfallen View Post
BOTH bikes are excellent machines.

The Yamaha XT600 series of bikes clearly have the edge though, Just go and have a look at the Yamaha (XT600) sub-forum which is by far the most used place on this forum.
True, very popular on HUBB ... but UK numbers represent a small fraction of bikes out there traveling worldwide.
The DR650 has been for sale in the USA since the 80's. The SE model, since 1996. About 2000 Suzuki dealers in US, about 5000 to 10,000 new DR650's have been sold yearly since then. Sales are currently at all time high for DR650's. (in US)

You can find DR650 info on the BIG DR650 thread in the Thumpers section of ADV Rider (84,000 posts, 15 million views)
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=135295

Also check out the DR Riders forum, DR650 specific:
www.DRRiders.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by kentfallen View Post
In terms of pedigree - The Yamaha is out in front by a long distance.
Why is that? I've not ridden an XT600 since the mid 90's, not intimate with it's technical details, possible updates ... why and HOW is it "out in front" of the DR650?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kentfallen View Post
The Yamaha XT600 is THE most widely used budget RTW trial bike on earth. Anyone who states otherwise is talking kak.
Funny, I've only seen a few XT's out there lately ... but I don't follow every forum and mostly stick to Latin America. I have seen some XT's on Africa trips ... but are they still a 1st choice for travelers?

There have been quite a few DR650 ride reports going ... many travelers come here to California, buy a bike, and head South. Typically they buy a KLR or DR650. Not many XT's to be had as they haven't been imported to the USA since 1990.
Here are a few more ride reports from ADV Rider starring DR650SE:

No Jobs, No Responsibilities, No Better Time then Now - ADVrider
Big Al Smith and buddy crashing DR's all the way to Argentina!

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...50+Baja&page=3
Jedi Master S. America - epic pics!

Alaska to Argentina - N69S54A - ADVrider
Lars from Joberg (girl friend riding DR650)

South for a while… maybe longer - ADVrider
Air Borne Andy -raced Baja 1000 on his DR650!!!

San Francisco to South America, eventually - ADVrider
evermore

Travellin' Troz - How NOT to travel to South America - ADVrider
Girl Friend on DR/Husband on KLR

Trails of North America...a photo journal - ADVrider
JediMaster N. America - more great pics - Jedi Master sold his DR650 with about 75K miles on clock. Now riding a DRZ400S.

tuckers to tdf - ADVrider
Couple from San Diego, CA, riding South ... now in progress.

Prairies To Penguins Alberta to Argentina - ADVrider
Ride in progress now.

Several more ride reports featuring DR650's ... just got to dig them up.

As mentioned ... BOTH are great choices, cheap to buy maintain, tough and reliable.

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  #12  
Old 29 Nov 2013
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My ancient tenere has got me around Europe on I think 3 occasions now without any problems..yes I've had to due some repairs before setting off but some of these things are 30 years old now.
Are some of the current newer models still going to be working in 30 years time or even viable to repair?..
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  #13  
Old 29 Nov 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zandesiro View Post
In this week im going to check this XT600E.



Is 99' model with 40000km (24850 miles).
The price is 1400 euros (debatable)...

If runs ok i ll take it..


From today this xt600 is mine hope to get it ready for my trip the Pamirs...I am very happy new toy to my garage next to my varadero...

Safe kilometers to all.

zandesiro from Greece.
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  #14  
Old 2 Dec 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kentfallen View Post
Having owned and ridden both these bikes over a good number of years, I think I'm qualified to give an opinion.

BOTH these bikes are capable of doing what you want but the Yamaha has a much much wider following.

BOTH bikes are excellent machines.

The Yamaha XT600 series of bikes clearly have the edge though, Just go and have a look at the Yamaha (XT600) sub-forum which is by far the most used place on this forum.

In terms of pedigree - The Yamaha is out in front by a long distance.

The Yamaha XT600 is THE most widely used budget RTW trial bike on earth. Anyone who states otherwise is talking kak.

Maybe in the UK, Not quite sure if you've been out of Europe lately or seen how many DR650's are around, North America, Australia and most of Asia still get to buy new DR650's

Maybe out of the box the XT had slightly better suspension than the DR, but both bikes need suspension work for an RTW.

Ive ridden a couple of old XT's in the UK and owned a few Yamahas in my time, the XT600 airbox is possibly the worst designed POS Ive seen on what is supposed to be a 'Trail' bike, using a very small flat car type paper air filter in a highly restrictive airbox. At higher altitudes the XT dies with a lack of air getting to the carbs.

The XT is water cooled and heavier, but doesn't produce any more power than the DR, the XT wheels are steel and are not very tough.

Im not talking 'Kak"

I can also buy a brand new DR650 in Canada for 3500 GBP, spend about 500 GBP on suspension upgrades, a new seat and a jet kit for the carb and end up with a far better bike than an XT. I think 4000 GBP for a well sorted BRAND NEW bike is damn good value - and so do lots of other people.

The range of aftermarket parts for the DR is also huge, so if you want to turn the DR into a 790 fire breathing supermoto with fuel injection you can, if you wish to turn it into a great overlander you can, with great products from Keintech and Procycle.

Obviously the XT600 is well out of production, if we want to compare like for like, the new XT660 produces more power with its fuel injected engine and in stock trim is a better bike than the stock DR. I think its safe to say if you looking for a NEW bike and are in Europe/Russia buy the XT660 or even better the XT660Z, elsewhere the DR650 rules. If you are in Australia/NZ then you get to choose either!!!

Anyway, I see the OP has managed to pick up an XT600, enjoy!.
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Last edited by Gipper; 3 Dec 2013 at 00:15.
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  #15  
Old 4 Dec 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gipper View Post
Maybe in the UK, Not quite sure if you've been out of Europe lately or seen how many DR650's are around, North America, Australia and most of Asia still get to buy new DR650's

Maybe out of the box the XT had slightly better suspension than the DR, but both bikes need suspension work for an RTW.

Ive ridden a couple of old XT's in the UK and owned a few Yamahas in my time, the XT600 airbox is possibly the worst designed POS Ive seen on what is supposed to be a 'Trail' bike, using a very small flat car type paper air filter in a highly restrictive airbox. At higher altitudes the XT dies with a lack of air getting to the carbs.

The XT is water cooled and heavier, but doesn't produce any more power than the DR, the XT wheels are steel and are not very tough.

Im not talking 'Kak"

I can also buy a brand new DR650 in Canada for 3500 GBP, spend about 500 GBP on suspension upgrades, a new seat and a jet kit for the carb and end up with a far better bike than an XT. I think 4000 GBP for a well sorted BRAND NEW bike is damn good value - and so do lots of other people.

The range of aftermarket parts for the DR is also huge, so if you want to turn the DR into a 790 fire breathing supermoto with fuel injection you can, if you wish to turn it into a great overlander you can, with great products from Keintech and Procycle.

Obviously the XT600 is well out of production, if we want to compare like for like, the new XT660 produces more power with its fuel injected engine and in stock trim is a better bike than the stock DR. I think its safe to say if you looking for a NEW bike and are in Europe/Russia buy the XT660 or even better the XT660Z, elsewhere the DR650 rules. If you are in Australia/NZ then you get to choose either!!!

Anyway, I see the OP has managed to pick up an XT600, enjoy!.
the xt 600 is air cooled mate
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