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Endurance test final balance Yamaha XT 660 X

The tent travelers

Thirty years after their debut, the youngest generation of the Japanese packhorse also had to undergo a tough test. What’s left of the XT myth?

Number of valves doubled, kick starter rationalized, engine water-cooled, contacts replaced by electronic brownies and the transparent carburetor mechanics replaced by an injection? what have three decades made of the legendary XT?

Is she still right to wear her abbreviation, which has become synonymous with adventure? Is she still packhorse, tent partner and the epitome of the men’s motorcycle? And above all: Is it as tough and resilient as its great-great-grandmother, the XT 500?
June 1977, somewhere in the south of Algeria: A MOTORRAD employee fights his way through the sands of the Sahara on an overloaded Yamaha XT 500. He has bunkered 48 liters of fuel, distributed over the enlarged hand tank, an additional tank in the bench and in bottles. He carries 120 kilograms of luggage with him, fights sandstorms, relentless heat and uses 75-octane fuel. Everything within the 25,000-kilometer endurance test. When the XT, Model 1U6, is disassembled for analysis, the technicians are surprised. Sand got into the engine through a leak in the air filter box, excessively worn pistons and cylinders, and ultimately increased oil consumption to 1.7 liters per 1000 kilometers. In addition, the connecting rod eye is worn out, but the rest is presented
in great condition. "These extreme 25,000 kilometers correspond to 75,000 in normal use," was the conclusion at the time. This is how legends are born.
And so they gradually crumble: In 1982, Yamaha presented the XT 550 parallel to the 500 series, which was still being built. With four valves, a proud 38 hp, cantilever suspension and a weight of 145 kilograms. Using modern technology, it is intended to attract customers for whom the 500 series seems too old-fashioned. The test machine spooled 25,000 kilometers in just eleven months. The drivers stand in the dark six times and the machine has to go to the workshop four times because of carburetor problems.
In conclusion, MOTORRAD criticized the workmanship and attested that the piston clearance was too large? overall grade three, so satisfactory.
In 1986 things got even worse: Countless XT 600 Z Ténéré (type 1VJ) with 46 hp died of overheating. The reason: the bulbous tank, which, in cooperation with the wide front fender, allows too little fresh air to reach the cylinder head. MOTORRAD also aborts the endurance test at mileage 31005. After five blown head gaskets,
As a result of torn head bolts and additional carburetor membrane problems, it does not seem to make sense to fight your way through to the targeted 40,000 kilometers.
Two years later, the successor model Type 3AJ, in which the carburettor, intake tract and oil circuit, among other things, have been optimized, then covers this distance without any problems. All weak points have been eliminated, but the twin headlight version does not finally manage to rehabilitate the XT 600.
In 1991 revolutionary technical innovations come: the XTZ 660 has for the first time
in the XT model history water cooling, its cylinder head now houses five valves like the four-cylinder street athletes of the house. The XTZ weighs 202 kilograms, has a nominal output of 48 hp and shows only minor damage in the MOTORRAD endurance test over 50,000 kilometers: vibrations tatter the license plate and destroy many light bulbs, the starter strikes more often. And at the end of the test distance, the clutch is over, as are the fifth gear wheels. Comment by the MOTORRAD technician: "Despite winter operation, except for the rear silencer in good condition in terms of corrosion technology" (MOTORRAD 11/1993). Sales of the five-valve model will be from 1999 onwards-
placed, the parallel available, unchanged air-cooled and on schmäch-
The XT 600 E with a throttled 39 hp remains in the range until 2003. That’s it. Thought the now decimated fan base.
Hardly anyone believed that
the XT again in 2004 from the totge-
said would be resurrected. But almost 28 years after the legendary 500 series, Yamaha presents a new engine, which is similar in construction to the old 660, but again works with four instead of five valves and modern fuel injection instead of outdated carburetors. And for the first time, the classic enduro version XT 660 R is being accompanied by a trendy Supermoto version, the X. The latter takes part in an endurance test at MOTORRAD.
An adventure marathon remains
Machine spared in contrast to its ancestor. Nevertheless, the 660 only rasps
20 months from their target. She collects the most kilometers on short breaks and
Weekend trips: Around 20 tours around 1000 kilometers make up almost half of the total distance. A member of the MOTORRAD action team hammers in
the French Maritime Alps within
two weeks around 5600 kilometers on the supermoto. His conclusion: a super agile fun motorcycle. With restrictions: The bench is a ordeal in the long run and the clutch too stiff. But a supermoto isn’t a tourer after all.
Or is it? The small Yamaha can load 185 kilograms. For comparison: a BMW R 1200 GS can lift a maximum of 183 kilos. The XT’s suspension strut, which is only variable in the spring base, is definitely suitable for all types of pillion rider-
prepared, i.e. tuned. And in the course of the endurance test it repeatedly received bitter criticism: "Too hard attenuating, insensitive, does not work in harmony with the fork," is
read in the logbook. Right. Because the fork, which is already very comfortably designed, becomes increasingly spongy over time. MOTORRAD tries to solve the problem first with progressively wound springs from the specialist Wirth. This improved the fork’s response, but the damping remained weak.
The drivers come to terms with it to some extent, but the factory-made chassis tuning is not completely off the mark. Shortly before the end of the test, the fork and then the shock absorber are sent to the specialist HH-Racetech (07472/281706). It fills the fork tubes with 10 oil, changes the air chamber and damping and installs Simmerrings from Kayaba. The shock absorber receives a spring with a changed rate, a new housing and a modified damping setting. Cost of the action: 620 euros. Not cheap, but a sensible investment. Both the fore and hindquarters now react sensitively, provide plenty of damping and are puncture-proof up to the maximum load.
Security ?? the keyword of the XT community. For the first time in history, a machine with this abbreviation
supplied by a gasoline injection. What if the buck stops in nowhere? A carburetor can usually be repaired on site, the fans think. Correct. But even the happy 500 series often struggled with hot start problems and the long-term test XT 550 had to go to the workshop several times with carburetor problems. Also the XT 600
Z models from 1986 onwards suffered frequently
on torn, porous membranes in the secondary carburetor.
The injection of the XThe T 660 X, on the other hand, works from the first to the last day without any noticeable malfunction. Once it goes out while idling, twice it doesn’t like to start at the push of a button in the rain. That’s it, actually. Nevertheless, the drivers are not completely satisfied with the engine management. In contrast to the rather harmless emission limit values ​​of earlier times, the Euro 2 standard forces a very lean engine set-up, which is particularly difficult for large single cylinders. In the partial load range, when the throttle valve is only opened very gently, this leads to constant travel jolts. This problem does not seem to occur on all machines with equal intensity and becomes to-
perceived differently by the respective driver. Some of them are annoying
others take it calmly. Yamaha has responded and is offering those affected a modified control unit as part of a free exchange campaign.
As an alternative, MOTORRAD tried a Power-Commander (freely programmed ballast for engine management) plus a DNA air filter element (available from the accessories specialist Off the road, phone 0221/7680560). Both measures together generated 1.5 HP more power in the lower and upper speed range, made the constant-speed jolting disappear and the engine turning more freely at the top, but are not legal.
Whereby the standard 48 hp are fine for most single fans. After all, the newly developed drive is a completely new world both in terms of performance and mechanically compared to the old, air-cooled 600 and water-cooled five-valve engines. With considerably more pressure at low and medium speeds. In addition, the 660 is economical: one employee noted the lowest consumption of 3.1 liters per 100 kilometers on his weekend tour, another the highest with 6.3 liters, known to the editorial team as a heater. Tea average consumption over the entire distance is a very good 4.8 liters per 100 kilometers.
So it’s all bella, right? Not everything. On the one hand there is the stuck ignition lock,
which is very often criticized. It occasionally calls for a dash of graphite. On the other hand, the lack of driving stability: Depending on the load, the Ge-
Due to the weight of the driver and the condition of the road surface, the Supermoto oscillates more or less strongly above 130 km / h. This could not be remedied by different tire pairings or by changing the chassis setup. The enduro version XT 660 R runs straight ahead in a comparatively much more stable manner. Probably the cause of the tendency to pendulum lies in the changed geometry of the handy trimmed "X": The steering head is 2.25 degrees steeper, the caster is 27 millimeters less and the wheelbase is 20 millimeters shorter.
And otherwise? At mileage 20,000, a driver notices a loss of cooling water. A replaced hose clamp can help. Vibrations tatter the license plate and the attachment of the camber-
bracket. In addition, the single cylinder eats rubber. Incredible eleven rear and eight front tires wore the XT ?? On average, the rear had to be resole every 4500 kilometers. That is partly
because the Supermoto skins used are designed for grip rather than mileage. Only the Avon Azaro lasted 7200 kilometers behind.
Fear for the patient’s life arises for the first time at 33,560 kilometers. The engine rattles like the crankshaft is doing a rap dance. Not that bad: The mother of the primary drive had loosened, you just had to tighten it again. Second generation XT drivers will remember. Because with exactly the same problem many 550 and the first 600 models struggled until the mid-eighties. Strangely enough, the mother of the MOTORRAD endurance test came off 6300 kilometers later and became
retraced in the specialist workshop. In the worst case, a loosened nut can shear off the wedge that fixes the primary drive and the drive wheels for the balance shaft and water pump.
On December 16, 2005, the XT will be on the MOTORRAD workbench. The speedometer shows 50039 kilometers. »Motorcycle works
totally worn out, ”notes the technician. The stickers had come off after a good 9,000 kilometers. The rust gnaws in many places. The frame remained wide-
going spared, but not attachments, screws and the luggage rack. In terms of processing, the XT made in Italy could still improve significantly. The single cylinder, meanwhile, has put the 50,000 kilometers away with flying colors. The technicians were particularly excited about the condition of the transmission. Almost all four and five-single-cylinder valve from Yamaha have suffered from strict pitting on the fifth gear pair.
The subject is obviously history. The fifth gear is relative to
the previous models extremely large. Like almost the entire interior of the drive, the gearbox is in very good condition. The only flaws: The seats of the exhaust valves are a bit wide. An inlet valve no longer closes completely tight, and the connecting rod shows minimal pitting, which should not be a cause for concern. So reassemble and drive on? With two new exhaust valves, a set of seals and new piston rings without any problems.
Still, wishes remain. Hopefully the XT of the future will have a red oil dipstick again. And maybe an ABS. Because the current XT generation, like the very first, is not only recommended for the home route, but also for tours around the globe. Whether with a tent or Visa card is up to you.

Buy complete item

Endurance test final balance Yamaha XT 660 X
The tent travelers

MOTORCYCLE measurements

Initial / final measurement 1,036 km 49,892 km

acceleration
0 100 km / h sec 5.1 5.1
0 ?? 140 km / h sec 11.6 11.3

Draft
60 ?? 100 km / h sec 5.2 5.5
100 ?? 140 km / h sec 6.5 6.3

Average fuel consumption over 50,000 km
Fuel (super) l / 100 km 4.8
Engine oil l / 1000 km approx. 0.25

Status

Cylinder head: one intake valve leaking, exhaust valve seats too wide and clear traces of burn, only slight traces of burn on the intake side, carbon deposits
Smashed in the combustion chamber and exhaust port, exhaust valves, camshaft and rocker arm in good condition.
Cylinder: Piston with uniform contact pattern, but thick oil carbon deposit-
stanchions on the bottom, ring and top land and discoloration in the area of ​​the
Piston bottom / piston pin seat. Cylinder has some grooves, but is still true to size and shape.
Crank drive: connecting rod bearing with radial play within the tolerance, slight pitting on the connecting rod bearing surface. The piston pin and small connecting rod eye show be-
incipient signs of wear.
Power transmission: The gearbox is in very good condition
The clutch basket has minor chatter marks, but is fully functional.
Frame: The paintwork of the frame makes a good impression, but there is clear corrosion on the luggage rack, on the footrests / levers and on the chain tensioning mechanism. The decorative stickers have completely peeled off in the course of the endurance test distance.

Cost – Yamaha XT 660 X

Operating costs over 50,000 km
12.5 liters of oil at 10.37 euros each 129.63 euros
3 oil filters at 6.75 euros each, 20.25 euros
2 air filters at 14.39 euros, 28.78 euros
2 spark plugs at 6.43 euros each 12.86 euros
2 sets of front brake pads at € 26.30 each € 52.60
3 sets of rear brake pads at EUR 26.30 each EUR 78.90
2 chain sets 449.64 euros
Brake fluid 5.52 euros
Small parts, lubricants 43.81 euros
Seals 7.24 euros
Inspections and repairs 954.26 euros
Tires (including assembly, balancing, disposal) 3470.00 euros
Fuel 2737.54 euros
Total costs 7,991.03 euros
Acquisition cost 6750.00 euros
Loss of value 3550.00 euros
Estimate (dealer selling price) 3200.00 euros
Costs per kilometer (without depreciation) 0.16 euros
Costs per kilometer (with depreciation) 0.23 euros

Maintenance + repairs – Yamaha XT 660 X

Front and rear tires renewed, Avon Fernia AM 43/44 km 3832
Rear tires renewed, Avon Fernia AM 44 8994
Front and rear tires renewed, Avon Azaro ST 13296
Chain set and rear brake pads renewed 17298
Front brake pads and radiator hose clamps renewed 20159
Front and rear tires renewed, Avon Azaro ST 20375
Front and rear tires renewed, Continental Force Max 23800
H4 bulb replaced 25346
Front and rear tires renewed, Pirelli Dragon 28645
Chain set, anti-slip protection, shock absorber, wheel bearing and
Rear brake pads renewed 29617
Rear tire renewed, Pirelli MT 60 RS 31354
Nut primary drive crankshaft tightened and
Front and rear tires renewed, Dunlop D 218, D 220 33 560
Front and rear tires renewed, Dunlop D 207 RR 38637
Front and rear brake pads renewed,
Nut of primary drive crankshaft retightened 39841
Front and rear tires renewed, Bridgestone BT 090 42350
Rear tire renewed, Michelin Pilot Road 44196
Chain set renewed, fork revised 45615
Shock absorber revised 48020

Yamaha takes position…

…to the relatively bad
processing.
A higher sensitivity to corrosion when driving-
from European production compared to motorcycles made in Japan
we do not confirm so. Corrosion damage is usually due to inadequate care.
…to the detached stickers.
The stickers were produced from March 2005
changed. Since then, the problem has belonged to Ver-
past.
…to the loosened mother of the primary drive.
This is an individual case for which we have not yet had any experience.
…on oil consumption and residues in the
Combustion chamber.
This oil consumption gives no reason to
Disturbance, far below that of the
Manufacturer specified maximum.
…to the beginning of pitting in the connecting rod foot.
Here, too, we have no complaints or experience from the vehicle fleet.

Reader experiences – Yamaha XT 660 X

My XT 660 X now has 15,000 kilometers on the clock. The single always started at the push of a button and showed no defect, I wasn’t even allowed to top up oil. Has solid performance. Compared to the original Pirelli MTR tires, the mounted Continental Road Attack not only offered higher mileage, but also more grip. The oscillation in the higher speed range noticed by other XT drivers did not occur to me, but I always ride solo and without luggage. For me, too, the stickers on the sides of the tank came off; not bad,
I like the XT better without. The much discussed constant speed-
Jerking occurs only occasionally in speed 30 zones due to a modified control unit (Yamaha). The consumption fluctuates between four and five liters, the minimum consumption of 3.1 liters given somewhere in a test remained unmatched. For fighting huskies on the kart track & Co the power is too low and the weight is too high. Nobody is perfect.
Jürgen Wenzel, Herne
Since July 2004 I have mostly used my XT 660 X.
almost 8,500 kilometers in twos. Right after
Purchase annoyed the constant travel jerk. During the 1000 inspection, my dealer set the injection system
changed. Unfortunately, the whole thing didn’t bring anything. That is why the helm was introduced in early 2005-
device replaced under warranty, and now that is
Jerking almost gone. I also installed an Iridium spark plug and am satisfied with the smooth running (after all, it’s a single cylinder!). The consumption is sometimes under oven liters and actually only increases on the motorway at a speed of 140-150
up to six liters. The first rear drawn (Pirelli MTR 02) had worn out after 2400 kilometers, the second held 2200. Since I consider such a mileage to be a joke, I decided on the Avon Fernia despite the poor performance in the Supermoto tire test. After almost 4000 kilometers including the Dolomites circuit (partly in the pouring rain) I am completely satisfied with these tires: the wear is very low and the grip is more than adequate for normal mortals! Conclusion: an absolute joker with great brakes, an engine with enough steam and good design. Would buy this bike again anytime!
Michael Möser, Sinntal-Schwarzenfels
I bought my XT 660 X spontaneously in June 2004 after an exciting test drive. The constant travel jerk, which I criticized three weeks after handing over the machine, was largely eliminated in April 2005 after reference to the article in Motorrad by replacing the control unit. My machine is in a dry garage and is only used from March to October. After a short drive in the rain in May 2005, I noticed rust in the lower part of the tank. My dealer removed rust from the bottom and sealed the spots with black varnish.
Shortly before the end of the season (September 2005) and the associated basic cleaning, I noticed that the paint on the engine was starting to peel off. The on-
glue on the sides of the tank were on the tips
all detached and could be removed without leaving any residue. I asked Yamaha to comment on the poor quality. They referred to my dealer who was supposed to examine the whole thing. The machine is now in the workshop, and all the faulty parts are replaced under guarantee. The bad workmanship is all the more annoying because the XT-X is simply fun: great engine, good handling, good touring suitability.
Frank Landschoof
My XT has now unwound 22,000 kilometers, more time in the city and on the country road, more kilometers on the motorway. As part of the 10,000 inspection, the injection system was readjusted, thereby alleviating the constant speed jerk. It’s no longer bothersome at all. I weigh 110
Kilos at 1.92 meters tall and have a top case and case
from Hepco & Becker mounted. On the long-haul trips between Munich and the Rhineland to visit my children, the machine occasionally even commutes without a load. Not bad, it’s easy to get to grips with without having to slow down. Loosened at 19200 kilometers
the mother of the primary instinct. That caused nasty engine noises. The construction was secured again with a new locking plate and Loctide. My conclusion: the XT 660 X is a great motorcycle. Very handy and convenient, even suitable for long journeys.
Bernd Loos, Munich

Long-term test rating – Yamaha XT 660 X

The rating table gives an overview of the MOTORRAD endurance test machines from the last two years. A maximum of 100 points can be entered, divided into five sections. The costs per kilometer include expenses for inspection, spare and wear parts, such as tires and chain sets. The basis for evaluating the fuel consumption is the average consumption over the entire 50,000 kilometers. The loss in value is based on a DAT estimate at the end of the endurance test. The relation to the list price is evaluated at the beginning of the test. Extraordinary workshop visits result in a deduction of each
one point. Breakdowns where the motorcycle could not continue,
will be penalized with a five point deduction. In the technical condition, the wear dimensions and the visual condition of the individual parts are included.
The bottom line is that Honda’s reliable VFR is ahead, despite its cost
and fuel consumption only weakly scores. In this regard, the Suzuki V-Strom is
1000 better, but had to go to the workshop four times unscheduled.
The MZ 1000 S has the best wear pattern. The Yamaha XT 660 ranks fourth with the lowest consumption and breakdown-free journey. The BMW R 1200 GS has two breakdowns despite the low maintenance costs
Midfield back. Just ahead of the Kawasaki Z 1000, which is not uncomfortably noticeable in any criterion. The Harley-Davidson V-Rod also keeps up with solid technology. With the KTM 950 Adventure and Ducati 999, many visits to the workshop and the moderate technical condition were decisive for the modest end result. gt

Price overview used Yamaha XT 660 X


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Used Yamaha XT 660 X are rare and hold their value well.

The Yamaha XT 660 X is surrounded by a myth that is rarely found on the used market. Used XT660X are rare and keep their value very stable. An overview of the current range of used Yamaha XT660X can be found here: used Yamaha XT 660 X in Germany.

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