Family duel 600cc four-cylinder from Yamaha
Everything’s so colorful here
Basic, funky, classy, radical – Yamaha has the right 600 for every requirement. From the good XJ to the blazing-fast R6. One does not have to be abandoned by all good spirits to compare them with one another. But it helps.
Now let’s pretend to be stupid: Watt is a motorcycle? A motorcycle, so, um, that’s it? well, that’s a motorcycle. Correct. And what is an XJ 600? Pooh, cough, think ?? an XJ, strictly speaking, is also a motorcycle. I agree. And an R6? Also. And what are the two of them doing? Well ?? what they do, such motorcycles: ignite, exhaust, bounce, brake, flash, blow the horn ?? what happens at the moment. So what. That’s enough for an experimental comparison.
XJ versus R6. In between the links Fazer and Thundercat. Four 600 four-cylinder, all Yamaha, with a nominal power range of 61 to 120 hp. A family saga for the die-hard.
First chapter: “My mother’s bag”. Everyone knows such bags. They are medium-sized, simply structured, easy to hold and in terms of design, they are well above the times. They smell of peppermint and eau de cologne, carry hymn books, gifts and chocolate, and as a child you would have loved to live in a bag like this. The hangman knows why the XJ 600 N brings back these memories. Maybe it’s the old-fashioned quilting pattern of the saddle. Or in the cozy sitting position. In any case, there is complete comfort. You let yourself rock through the area, always accompanied by the good feeling that a higher power has everything under control.
Second chapter ?? “The stranger at the pool”. She looks sophisticated. Almost inaccessible. But deep inside … Hello, sorry, what was actually in your pocket? As? Well, was the bag empty? Oha ?? something went wrong. We interrupt the program at this point and switch to “product test”.
From now on only tough facts. We were at the FZS 600 Fazer. Ultra-modern, given the XJ. Young, cheeky, successful. Contemporary design, sleek half-shell, casually rotating, turbine-like engine. And then this resistance-free handling. A dream for digital freaks, bad for analogists. They find the overall Fazer package far too synthetic, not least because of the angular tank that does not allow classic knee closure. The FZS is one of the few motorcycles that look smaller from the outside than from the inside. It offers space en masse, and the not exactly protective cladding seems meters away.
3400 marks are between the Fazer and the XJ 600 N. In return, there is a performance surcharge of full 34 hp, a good deal of stability, and a pair of posh brakes.
Chapter three should originally have been called “Frau Radich, the Thunder Cat and I”. It’s actually a shame that nobody wants to hear it. Would have been really interesting. The Thunder Cat was a really ambitious athlete in her first life. She contributed enormously to her excess weight, but consistently ignored it. Radish, then chairwoman of “Cats and Depression,” had the problem … Hello!
OK. Got it. Thundercat ?? so. Also called the YZF 600 R. The only supersport tourer known by name in our hemisphere. That comes from said past? but sponge over it. We leave out the super, just say sports tourer and that’s it.
Well-engineered sports tourers are very fine motorcycles. They combine so many virtues. The Thundercat is no exception. It surrounds you from all sides with its unobtrusive presence. She can tour and play sports and is a great companion. Your bench would also pass as a born Birkenstock. In addition, there is a certain nobility, triggered by the sonorous sounding, supple motor, the spring elements, under which even ragged tar blankets look like heavy Berbers, and this full handling, free of any teenage nervousness. A good, rich driving experience: dynamic, comfortable, always on the relaxed side. Curves feel like curves, 140 km / h like 140 km / h.
On the R6, life doesn’t seem half as binding and somehow too short. Curves degenerate into straights, 140 km / h give you the impression of standing. The motorcycle is always completely under you. When driving downhill, you may feel uncomfortable: you could tumble forward. You knock on the gears, keep the engine speed between 10,000 and 13,000, pull the sixes around the corners like no motorcycle before – and yet it only gives you a small smile and the certainty that it can do all of this much, much better. The R6 is the most stressful 600 under the sun. And the most ingenious. So small, so light, so direct and transparent. Everything seems compressed to the highest degree, nowhere even a My Luft, this machine is like a vacuum pack.
And how far is the XJ 600 N now from the YZF-R6? Exactly 7,500 marks, 59 hp and 54.3 percent chassis. Nevertheless, the super sports car doesn’t just hang out of the bag on the country road ?? as long as he does not leave the path of virtue, of course. In order to stay tuned, the XJ has to give everything, turn what the old four-cylinder can give, while the R6 runs on the idle gas nozzle, but uses the same amount of fuel. It gets really funny when the tracks get pretty lousy, full of holes, pimply, frostbite, and the high-flyer begins to struggle with his tight suspension setup. Then the XJ sometimes even cheats by him. Resounding fork or not.
As is so often the case, it depends on the attitude. If you want, you can experience just as much on a basic 600 as others do with a high-end product. Or more. For example, it is particularly attractive to drive until the bars bend. Use the full potential of a machine? in case it really presses. If you want to experience the same thing in the saddle of an R6, you either need a racetrack or a fairly large hole in the head.
The Fazer and the Thundercat are located in the wide field between basic and high-end. The Fazer, in its more agile way, comes closer to the R6 and still remains closer to the base. Yes, the FZS 600 is the incarnation of the egg-laying woolly milk sow. Especially now, after the 2000 facelift. The greatest achievement of the decent rear seat, thanks to lower pillion pegs. Also not to be despised: the larger tank with a volume of 20 instead of 18 liters. Also new are the spring base adjustment on the fork, the higher handlebars, a clock and the hazard warning lights. Of course, this is not for free. The Fazer now costs 13,390 marks. That is almost 700 more than before. But still a pretty good deal for a motorcycle that can do anything but knit and crochet.
The engine of the FZS is almost identical to that of the Thundercat, according to the test bench it has seven horsepower less, but still feels more agile. Smaller carburettors save him the slump at 5000 rpm, which the YZF has been tormented by for years. Again and again the Thundercat plops into this hole, which it can hardly overcome on its own and which is why it prefers to scream for the gearbox.
But the fun stops with the transmission. The Yamaha men and women may build wonderful engines, but they have a hard time designing good gear units. Whether Thundercat, Fazer, XJ or R6 ?? everyone has difficulty getting started. The R6 a little more. There is no trace of the promised improvements to the 2000 model. Under load from the first to the second, crashes violently as usual. And when you approach red beam lighted intersections, the motto is still: start sorting the aisles in good time. Incidentally, the R6 was equipped with new forged pistons and a neat, screwed upper shock absorber mount.
Roughly that was it. The chapter would now actually be: “Dogs, do you want to read forever”. But that’s really not right. So ?? very serious: is there anything else? Sure, of course. These things like wind protection, light and take-off behavior. Are in the scoring. OK. But with the Thunder Cat, something was still open. How does this compare to the R6? 1,095 marks to her left, 25 kilograms to the right and eight horsepower underneath? according to the test bench diagram. And that’s exactly how it feels. Not bad, but different. Soft, round.
E.The fact remains: Fazer and R6 are most closely related. Thundercat and XJ have this kindness in common. Fazer and Thundercat happen to have the same engine. XJ and R6 happen to have the same family name.
Engine: air-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, two valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, Mikuni constant pressure carburetor, Ø 28 mm, contactless transistor ignition, no exhaust gas cleaning, electric starter, three-phase alternator 280 W, battery 12 V / 8 Ah, bore x stroke 58.5 x 55.7 mm, displacement 599 cm³, compression ratio 10: 1, rated output 45 kW (61 PS) at 8500 rpm, max. Torque 55 Nm (5.6 kpm) at 7000 rpm Power transmission Primary drive via chain, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain. Chassis Steel double loop frame, telescopic fork, Ø 41 mm, steel two-arm swing arm, directly hinged central spring strut, adjustable spring base , Double disc brake at the front, double-piston calipers, Ø 289 mm, disc brake at the rear, two-piston caliper, Ø 245 mm, cast aluminum wheels 2.50 x 17; 3.50 x 18, tires 110/80 H 17; 130/70 H 18. Chassis data wheelbase 1445 mm, steering head angle 65 degrees, caster 97 mm, spring travel f / r 140/110 mm Dimensions and weights Seat height 790 mm, turning circle 5200 mm, weight with a full tank 214 kg, permissible total weight * 397 kg, tank capacity / Reserve * 17 / 3.5 liter guarantee Two years with unlimited mileageColors red, dark bluePrice including VAT. 9990 Marks * Manufacturer information
Life is too short to drive the wrong thing. Find out exactly what type you are. And no vanity, right. That you turn on such an R6 is okay. But sometimes that’s not enough. You also have to cope with the stress. A life between 8000 and 14000 revolutions is no walk in the park. And you can rely on it, there’s not much going on underneath. Sure, the chassis? a dream. But only as long as the roads are good. On bad roads you are even better off with an XJ. In general, the XJ is the surprise of this test. Just go along. All over. Nowhere really falls off. And wants nothing more than to be fun every day. Thundercat and Fazer are a bit more demanding. The first one is one of the “fast breeders”, is an excellent touring athlete, the second is known as a “sporty all-rounder”, is a little XJ, a little R6 and a portion of Thundercat in personal union. Actually a perfect mix. But not everyone likes that either. Because of character and such. But character without a head, that’s nothing either.
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