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  #1  
Old 9 Feb 2021
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XT660Z original Yamaha panniers???

What are your opinions of the original Yamaha metal panniers for the XT660Z?

I am contemplating buying one of these bikes in the near future - maybe two even (for my GF as well). I will likely not keep the bike more than a few years. If I can avoid spending extra money on luggage by buing a bike that allready had them, that would be nice. What I don't want is to pay a premium for a bike which has side carriers and panniers which I will swap out.

The problem is that I see that a lot of used bikes either come with these original panniers, or only with a more classic permanent side carrier without any panniers (owner either keeping the hard panniers or selling the bike with some crappy soft bags or no panniers/bags at all).

From the looks of it, it looks like the side carrier /rack for the original Yamaha panniers will only be compatible with the Yamaha panniers. Also, the whole setup doesn't look as strong as your more typical rack - though it might in fact be entirely opposite (attachment front bottom corner?). Lastly, the panniers look very small. This last pont is not a huge issue at the moment, but would be on a long trip.

I have never seen this type of set-up up close, so I can't really make an informed opinion. All the bikes for sale at the moment are a 12 hour drive from where I live - so a trip means "ready to buy" or I don't go. Also, there is not a lot of bikes to choose from (non on the market with a complete setup with decent after market panniers - only the side carrier or the Yamaha original pannier.

It seems to me that the only real attractive feature with the original Yamaha setup is that with the panniers removed, the attachment hardware/rack is virtually invisible - and the bike is kept slim and neat. Also, that the bike is kept slim even with the panniers on - compared to more typical side carriers that add width.

I guess by investing in a removeable rack from motech, many of the Yamaha original benefits could be kept - but at a hefty price tag.

To add some additional context: I will not be using the bike for an RTW any time soon - maybe a 3 week adventure at most (i.e. Norway, Morocco or Iceland). What I really want is a T7 or an Africa Twin, but I can't justify the expense at this time - not with the riding I intend to be doing the next few years.

My ideal setup would be either hard panniers (i.e. Touratech) on a quick detachment rack from Motech, or the semi rigid MotoBag from Lonerider on the same Motech rack (when they release their quick detachment solution), possibly Mosko or Kriega.

So, what are your thoughts on the matter?
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  #2  
Old 10 Feb 2021
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there is so little traffic in the XT section that i doubt youll get much response here, never mention that most people are into 600 no the 660


you might want to publish the question in advrider forum, bet youlj get much more info
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  #3  
Old 10 Feb 2021
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I get you.

I'm in no absolute hurry though. I'm very loyal to HU which was there for me from the very beginning - many, many years ago, and which has stuck with me ever since. There is som much great searchable content here, structured far better and in a far more accessible way than ADVR... or anything which can be found on social media for that matter. SoMe is an utter forum-killer, appealing to instant gratification for impatient people - but loosing out on compiling searchable content in a structured and accessible way. leading to many of the same questions being answered over and over agin, and often only half way so, with each post having a very short life span.

It is integral to keeping HU and this format alive, that we favor it by posting and responding here as much as possible - even if it every now and then, on some marginal topics like this, can take a bit longer before someone responds. I still find ten year old content on HU that is still very much relevant today. It would be a shame if future adventure riders lost this well of information because we as posters only thought of our own needs at the moment, and not those that come after us and could otherwise search in our collective well of knowledge.

So, if I'll give it some time - and if no one responds, I will ofcourse post elsewhere and probably come back here and relay what I found out.
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Old 10 Feb 2021
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noble feelings
btw the link in your signature no longer works, but saw the videos!
nice going!
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  #5  
Old 10 Feb 2021
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelie View Post
I get you.

I'm in no absolute hurry though. I'm very loyal to HU which was there for me from the very beginning - many, many years ago, and which has stuck with me ever since. There is som much great searchable content here, structured far better and in a far more accessible way than ADVR... or anything which can be found on social media for that matter. SoMe is an utter forum-killer, appealing to instant gratification for impatient people - but loosing out on compiling searchable content in a structured and accessible way. leading to many of the same questions being answered over and over agin, and often only half way so, with each post having a very short life span.

It is integral to keeping HU and this format alive, that we favor it by posting and responding here as much as possible - even if it every now and then, on some marginal topics like this, can take a bit longer before someone responds. I still find ten year old content on HU that is still very much relevant today. It would be a shame if future adventure riders lost this well of information because we as posters only thought of our own needs at the moment, and not those that come after us and could otherwise search in our collective well of knowledge.

So, if I'll give it some time - and if no one responds, I will ofcourse post elsewhere and probably come back here and relay what I found out.
reading / completely agreeing to all this and express this by pressing "like"?
not this time : )
longer way (like whole this post) feels much better, even if it tends to be off-topic..
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  #6  
Old 11 Feb 2021
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The original Yamaha panniers are ok. Not as strong as those who are solid metal through. And I belive the frame was partly made of hard plastic - thus not superstrong. They are also not that big, which can be both positive or negative depending on your use.

The good things about the Yamaha panniers are that they sit very close to the bike, so youre not as wide as with some other brands of panniers (which I painfully experienced when I came through a narrow passage with concrete barriers with new wide panniers mounted which I easily passed through with the original panniers.... - not so with the new wider panniers)
And what you self mention - that the original frames are almost invisible.

Unless you have heaps of cash or plan to use it real hardcore offroad (which the Ten actually is too heavy for) I would have chosen the originals.
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  #7  
Old 11 Feb 2021
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I bought an XT660Z in 2009, great bike and at the time it was the best 'out of the box' adventure bike going, with large capacity fuel tank, long travel suspension and good cockpit/wind protection. I learned a lot on that bike.

One common failing is the voltage regulator which needs careful connection otherwise it sparks and eventually burns out the wiring loom. Have a google online for this.

The deeply scalloped seat forces you to sit in one position, so I used an Airhawk to level it off. If I hadn't already had the Airhawk I probably would have had the seat remodelled.

Although only five gears, they are very wide-range. The engine is a bit intractable at low revs and there's a fuel enricher known as the 'Kev mod' that helps resolve this, see https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Fuel-Kev-...-/133504061404

Without pannier rails it's very difficult to lift if you drop it—nowhere to grab onto at the rear. With rails it's easy. I had the Yamaha panniers, they were terrible. No supporting bar going round the back of the wheel to brace them and the locks were so flimsy I always feared the key breaking off. And yes, they are small. So I replaced them with Metal Mule panniers, but Touratech or many other inexpensive brands would be better than the Yamaha panniers.

In 2013 I moved to the much lighter-weight KTM 690 Enduro R which I still use for Morocco.


In the middle of a heat wave (hence the ice cooler) on a six-week trip in Morocco in 2012

Some notes I wrote in 2012....

It's about time for some words about the bike and equipment used on this trip.

The motorbike is a Yamaha Ténéré XT660Z which is a single-cylinder 660cc bike with long travel suspension, a large 23-litre fuel tank and rally-style cockpit arrangement. It's one of the best 'out of the box' bikes for dual sport use, i.e. the ability to ride fairly long distances at (legal) motorway speeds, yet then take to rough tracks. There are better bikes for the motorway bits and there are better bikes for the offroad bits, the challenge is to get a bike that will do both reasonably well.

There's only three downsides for me. The first is the engine is fairly intractable and won't pull from under 3000 rpm in high gears, so you need to be alert to engine revs. The second is the wheels are designed to use tubed tyres with inner tubes, rather than tubeless tyres. If you have a puncture with a tubeless tyre you can mend it with a 'mushroom' plug without having to take the wheel out. With tubed tyres you are into a minimum of 30 minutes struggling with removing the wheel, taking off the tyre, replacing the tube, then putting it all back together again. And then you still have to get the tube mended. The third downside is only noticeable in high temperatures and the problem is that the dual exhaust pipes are both routed up the left hand side of the bike and tend to broil the rider's leg.

Although it only has a five-speed gearbox the ratios are extremely well spread allowing a low first gear whilst at the same time providing a top gear high enough for sustained 75-80mph motorway riding. If only one could couple the Tenere with the tractable 800cc engine from the BMW F650GS twin, plus a wide ratio six-speed box, it would be a world-beater. Or even better, if BMW would do an adventure/rally version of the F800GS with tubeless tyres.

[Edit: BMW has subsequently introduced a F800GS Adventure but with just with a bigger tank and screen, and no change to the ridiculously close-ratio gearbox, so no thanks.]

I bought the 2009 Yamaha Ténéré XT660Z with just 1200 miles (1920km) on the clock. At the end of this trip the bike has now done 45650km and a rough calculation shows that since I bought it I have ridden about 5200km in Spain/UK and about 38500km in Morocco, 6000km of which has been on this trip.

I was the third owner on a three month old bike, so obviously the other two owners hadn't understood or liked what they bought. After fitting basic protection such as engine bars, aluminium bash plate, hand guards and a centre stand I had the Ténéré shipped to southern Spain where it's been based ever since with the exception of one 'holiday' in the UK.

I was going to say it's fairly standard, but when I totted up what I have done since it's seems it's now a bit customised. To try and make the engine more flexible I have fitted a stage 2 DNA airfilter and inlet, removed of the catalytic converter, and added a nifty device that allows me to moderate the fuel mixture (for the previous two changes).

On the electrical side, the fitment of a fuse box wired via a relay enables me to run a variety of electrical devices (mainly satnav, auxilliary lights, heated grips, heated jacket). Oh, and some other bits: AirHawk inflatable seat, the Garmin Zumo 550 satnav, and an internal/external temperature gauge to measure shade temperature.

Security
The bike is fitted with an imobiliser, I have a security disk lock for the rear wheel, a cable lock to secure the luggage roll, and another cable lock that can be used to secure my jacket and helmet if I leave them with the bike. Finally, the tank bag has a hidden catch and the zips are secured with combination locks.

Luggage
Trying to save some money I first bought some secondhand Ténéré OEM luggage but was forever worried about the strength of the plastic fittings and the 'chocolate' lock mechanism. Also there's no securing strut to brace the two panniers together. So for this trip I bit the bullet and bought a set of 37-litre Metal Mule panniers--very expensive, but the best going. I tend to use the panniers for things I won't bring into a hotel room, so one has tools, spares, chain lube and the like, the other has my tent, sleeping roll, sleeping bag, JetBoil stove and similar stuff. The things I want overnight I carry in my luggage roll so this has toilet bag, notebook computer, charging gear, fresh clothes and so forth. Then I have a tank bag for things I want to be able to access whilst riding such as camera, guidebook, sunglasses and trail food. My Krieger hydration pack holds 3 litres of water and I carry more as necessary in the panniers or luggage roll.

Clothes
I blame the terrible weather in the UK for my very basic mistake in leaving the UK with an unsuitable jacket. I took my BMW Rally Pro suit which is great for spring/autumn riding but is really far too heavy for Morocco in the summer. Fortunately I was able to persuade my wife to bring out my lightweight Revitt AirFlow jacket when she flew into Marrakech. This was a life saver. It offers practically zero air restriction so you can ride with it fastened up which given my experience with beasties landing in my open jacket is a real bonus.

Helmet
I've never been keen on the 'Darth Vader' style enduro helmets. They limit the ability to communicate (even smile) with locals, look fairly menacing, limit the use of hydration tubes, prevent a decent air flow, and so forth. In my opinion, the best helmets for Africa are open face or flip-ups. Until recently I've used BMW's System 4 and System 5 helmets which are flip-up helmets that convert to open face. This trip I was using the Caburg Hyper X which is a modular helmet that converts in seconds from full face to jet style, with a pulldown sun visor as well. This has proved absolutely brilliant and I am in love with the helmet.
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  #8  
Old 11 Feb 2021
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Good things come to those who wait. Brilliant replies. I guess I can make do with the originals to bridge me over to getting something better.

I was not aware of the voltage regulator issue - thanks for the heads up!

I am aware of the seat issue and will have something done about it.

The kev mod seems like an inexpensive and easy fix. I will ride and see - aybe the stock is good enough. If not, I now know there is a work arround to get richer fuel.

As for innertubes - there are benefits. I'm ok with innertubes and they give me peace of mind when having to depressurize while riding in remote places, where tearing a tyre or breaking a rim can get you into heaps of trouble. Then again - tubeless rims and a spare tube in the luggage, with some rim tape, etc - would be preferable. If the bike was newish, I would have gone your route, but I can't justify the expense to convert to rimless on such an old cheap bike.

I'll probably change out the exhaust, if only for the weight savings.


Once agian - thank you all for your input!
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  #9  
Old 11 Feb 2021
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yep good inputs and glad to be proved wrong.
in my 9 years here i think i ever saw a handfull of posts on the 660, ditto for posts from our two friendly helpers.
just look at the list of topics in this XT section, 6 in the last two months....


no complaints, its something i noticed also in a few other specific vintage models forums i am in, interest and activity with 25-30 or more years old bikes is dwindling. Water cooled bikes? Thats way to modern for me!


I do actually have just one, with your motor.... its powered by an XTZ660 highly tuned 700cc unit in a TZ250 GP bike frame, 75hp on 110 kg, used it for a couple of season of Supermono racing.
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Old 12 Feb 2021
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I didn't convert to rimless, though the profile of the rim looks like it would take it. In reality the deep profile just adds to the difficulty of getting tyres off and on.


Puncture in the rear tyre just before sunset.

It was a lot darker than the photo shows, so despite not having a tent with me, I slept beside the bike under a cedar tree. Just as I got the wheel out the next morning, a local rocked up in a Mercedes and offered to take it into town to be mended. He returned 90 minutes later and wouldn't take any money. #kindnessofstrangers

Even with the benefit of a centre stand, refitting the rear wheel if you are by yourself is a real pain in the åss due to the spacers each side that need to be fitted at the same time. I took to carrying in my took kit a thick twig that was just long enough to go through the left spacer, the axle hole and the right spacer. Then, sitting on the ground behind the bike, offer the wheel and twig assembly up to the swinging arm and use one of your feet to keep the wheel at the right height whilst gently introducing the axle which at the same time pushes the twig out of the other side.
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Old 12 Feb 2021
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Hey Tim


What is the blue and white yoke on the rear seat..
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Old 13 Feb 2021
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Hey Tim
What is the blue and white yoke on the rear seat..
See the caption to his photo above...
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Old 13 Feb 2021
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Yes they were a great adventure bike, but way too much vibration from engine..
Every time i came back from Morocco on one i was shattered due to the vibes !
My T7 is a far better bike . but a bit heavier
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Old 13 Feb 2021
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What are your opinions of the original Yamaha metal panniers for the XT660Z?
...
So, what are your thoughts on the matter?
Hello

The original panniers are just plastic with aluminium pannels just for the optik.

New they were very expensiv, just a bit under Touratech panniers.
So if you get them on a used bike, it may reflect in the sales price of the bike.

I did't buy them, but got a original topcase included when buying a used XT1200Z.
It fits also the XT660Z, but is to small, hardly enough for my helmet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelie View Post
I was not aware of the voltage regulator issue - thanks for the heads up!
I had the problem on my first, did open/break the plug and soldered the pins on the regulator, worked fine for the rest of the livespan of my first one.
On the second one I did the same before there was a problem.

Stearing bearing (wright word in english?) has no grease when leaving the factory, grease or replace it.

The rubber things in the rear wheel don't last long but if you put in some pieces of tube they last forever.

The XT660Z was a simple bike worth the money but not more.
If you can get one to a reasonable price, go for it.
I don't know the market for used bikes in Norway, but what iI see in the german speaking forum (xt-660.de), the prices are pure phantasie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Cullis View Post
Even with the benefit of a centre stand, refitting the rear wheel if you are by yourself is a real pain in the åss due to the spacers each side that need to be fitted at the same time
I put something under the opposite wheel to level the axis so that I can just roll the wheel on/off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by badou24 View Post
Yes they were a great adventure bike, but way too much vibration from engine..
Did you use the original handelbar weights?
It's a huge difference if you use handelbar protektors without them.


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Last edited by sushi2831; 13 Feb 2021 at 16:00. Reason: -c, +e, -t, +f
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Old 14 Feb 2021
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Head bearings went on mine as well. I'd never experienced that before on a bike. The rubbers in the cush drive tended to wear, but yes, stick in some bits of old inner tube. I never had a problem with vibration.

I bought mine nine months old and less than 2,000km on the clock for £4,000. Well worth it.
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