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Cult bike Yamaha XT 600

Most successful enduro ever?

Usually a game of hide and seek is organized around motorcycle novelties. With the Yamaha XT 600 of all places – one of the most successful enduros to date – things were completely different.

Usually a lively game of hide and seek is organized around motorcycle novelties, at the end of which muttered sentences from the development department or distorted Erlkonig photos for a little oil on the fire. With one of the most successful enduro bikes to date, of all things, things were completely different: Everyone knew that the founder of the long-distance travel genre, the XT 500, which had been built since 1976, needed a successor. The much more modern, but unfortunately misunderstood, XT 550 was unable to fill this role between 1981 and 1983, presumably because the competition had raised the displacement standard to 600 cm³ and because it was only moderately paying homage to the trend towards cross building. So everyone swore that Yamaha would act again, everyone suspected that the Paris-Dakar successes would be marketed. In fact, the Yamaha desert ship appeared in 1983 XT 600 Tenere and the wiry athlete TT 600. And afterwards everyone knew that something normal was missing.

Cult bike Yamaha XT 600

Most successful enduro ever?

Bring the Yamaha XT 600.

Narrow bench for gymnastics exercises in the field

Like the whole series, it uses the expanded four-valve engine of the 550 and thus has one of the healthiest and most powerful single-cylinders of its time. The chassis with aluminum swingarm, deflection system to the rear mono-spring strut and sturdy 43 mm Showa fork almost resembles that of the Tenere. Of course, their 30-liter fuel drum had to give way to a slim 11.5-liter tank, which, however, still lasts for almost 200 kilometers if you drive carefully. After that it’s good, because instead of the world-famous desert sofa, the normal Yamaha XT 600 has a narrow bench that conveys very little long-distance comfort, but is suitable for off-road exercises.

Enduros in this condition developed into very popular all-rounders from the mid-80s, played their fixed handling in the city, their bitter charm in front of the cafe and their versatility on weekends. Right at the forefront is the Yamaha XT 600 with its robust, even above 5500 tours, because of the hard vibrating engine, whose approximately 42 measured and extremely homogeneous horsepower with a full tank of 154 kg naturally have easy play. An electric starter has rarely been missed, and an XT always starts well in a reasonably good condition. On the road, their disc brakes do better than the bumblebees of their predecessors, and their suspension travel, which is actually superfluous for asphalt, teaches that even stick dams are very easy to drive on. There are no bad roads for these suspension elements, so fast people should forgive the deep immersion when braking. And the drivers of today’s travel “Enduros” should finally stop grinning arrogantly. Otherwise the XT will simply turn onto a gravel road and give them a lot of dust.

All articles about the Yamaha XT 600

Technical data Yamaha XT 600


A nominal 44 hp ensure an acceleration from 0 to 100 in 5.8 seconds.

Yamaha XT 600 (model 43F from 1984)

Air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, 595 cm³, 32 kW (44 HP) at 6500 / min, 50 Nm at 5500 / min, five-speed gearbox, single-loop frame made of tubular steel with forked support, weight with a full tank of 154 kg, front tires 3.00 x 21, rear 4.60 x 18, Tank capacity 11.5 liters, top speed 146 km / h, 0-100 km / h in 5.8 seconds.


In its first and second edition (from 1984 to 1990), the Yamaha XT 600 is a prototype of a robust enduro, the 2 KF (from 1987) with a detailed engine, longer swing arm (unfortunately steel instead of aluminum), rear disc brake and 13 -Liter tank crowns the entire series. Yamaha probably sees it differently, because the significantly modified XTs from 1990 sold even better. With shortened spring travel and electric starters, they became very popular with women as a hearty all-rounder. 

But goods also stout: empty weight 175 kg. All normal XT never achieved the cult status of TT or Tenere, but are welcome guests in the local scene. Well-known specialists (; are still keeping the Yamaha XT 600 today, and the repair instructions from Bucheli Verlag are still available.


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