Optimization of the Yamaha XJ 600 S Diversion

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Optimization of the Yamaha XJ 600 S Diversion

Optimization of the Yamaha XJ 600 S Diversion

It owns the sympathies of the masses. Nevertheless, many owners of the Yamaha XJ 600 S Diversion want more stable driving behavior. MOTORRAD has tried out whether this wish can be fulfilled with parts from the accessories.

Uli Holzwarth


Sometimes it’s the simple things that lead to success. So it did Yamaha Already understood several times how to achieve top positions in the hit parade of motorcycle approvals with straightforward, no-frills bikes. Bikes like the SR 500, the XT series or the four-cylinder XJ models were even able to maintain their top positions for years. The XJ 600 S Diversion, which has been available since the end of 1991, is one of the brand’s most successful sellers. Together with its sister, the undisguised XJ 600 N, the attractively styled all-rounder has so far found more than 34,000 buyers, who were won over by the smooth power delivery of the four-cylinder, the comfortable space and, last but not least, the low price.
However, the suspension elements are less convincing on bumpy country roads when diversion is properly demanded when sharpening bends or when driving with a passenger. Above all, the too softly sprung and weakly damped, non-adjustable fork surrenders too quickly in such situations, rattles over bumps and goes mercilessly on the block when braking maneuvers. The directly hinged strut, which can only be adjusted in the spring base, pulls itself out of the affair a little better. It is also too weakly damped and often teeters, but it hits less often because the rubber stop buffer takes over part of the spring work and thus ensures the desired progression towards the end of the spring travel. Even though the XJ 600 copes with all ailments quite good-naturedly and never reacts beastly, many a pilot would like a little more stable conditions. MOTORRAD therefore tested various retrofit spring elements and other accessories on a used 1993 Diversion with 61 hp to find out whether they were suitable as tranquilizers.
The first thing to do was to help the fork develop better leadership qualities. Not an easy task, as it quickly turned out, because even after filling with tougher 15 mm fork oil, there was hardly any noticeable dampening of the compression movement (compression stage). This means that the springs also have to serve for puncture protection and require a correspondingly high or progressive spring rate, which in turn is at the expense of comfort. What is needed is the best compromise between comfort and puncture protection. The weight of the driver and the intended use play a decisive role. MOTORRAD has taken both factors into account and included them in the recommendations (see page 127). The fork stabilizer from Kern is a useful addition. It helps the Yamaha to achieve noticeably better steering precision, which is particularly noticeable when braking into corners.
A further improvement in driving stability can be achieved by installing one of the three retrofit struts. Despite the criticism mentioned, the conversion is definitely worth it, because thanks to the multiple adjustable damping, the accessories keep the rear wheel in check even if the original has long been pumping heavily and signaled the end of its capabilities on very bumpy terrain. As a welcome bonus, there are also plenty of reserves for transporting a passenger.
It is good when effective and finely adjustable brakes make work on the hand lever easier under such loads. In contrast to the original brake pads, which appear dull and require a lot of force, the three sintered metal pads from the test field meet these requirements perfectly and make conversion at the next opportunity almost a must.
On the other hand, it is imperative to equip one of the three pairs of tires tested, provided you have an XJ 600 with 61 hp. They are the only tires that are currently approved for the unthrottled variant and are still in production, while the versions with 34 or 50 hp are not subject to tire restrictions. If you want to de-throttle your diversion to full power, you should definitely pay attention to this point in order to avoid difficulties during the TuV approval.
You don’t have to worry about any problems with one of the inexpensive replacement exhaust systems. All specimens have an EC type approval and differ only slightly in terms of performance from the standard pots.
After almost 2000 test kilometers, many test bench runs and countless hours of work, it is now time to take stock. And that is definitely positive, because the XJ 600 benefits to a large extent from the installation of the spring elements, the replacement of the brake pads and the replacement of tires on the neutral Dunlop D 103. Anyone who expects a bike that has been transformed into an athlete in character hopes in vain because even a modified Diversion simply remains what it always was: a good, inexpensive all-rounder for driving fun away from the extremes.


MOTORRAD verdict: recommendable

With the somewhat insensitive appealing Hagon shock absorber (599 Marks), adjustable in the spring base and damping (acts on rebound and compression), the Yamaha is more stable in curves and takes more relaxed lean angles. In need of improvement: comfort and cushioning behavior. Small bumps are dampened too much, while long waves are a little too weak. Still a good choice for drivers over 85 kilograms and frequent trips with a high payload.

Progressive suspension

MOTORRAD verdict: recommendable

As sensitive as the original, but much more stable ?? The five-way adjustable spring strut from Progressive Suspension (759 marks) hits the golden mean and works really well both solo and in pairs. Because of the relatively soft spring, the rear end sinks a little too deep with the pillion passenger despite correct preload. Not so good: The spring base can only be adjusted on the removed strut.

White Power shock absorber

MOTORRAD verdict: recommendable

The satisfactorily sensitive White Power shock absorber (849 marks) with its rebound damping that can be adjusted over a wide range offers considerably more reserves and feedback than the series. Correctly tuned, the Yamaha is stable both solo and with two people, but sometimes blocks with a pillion passenger on rough heels. Cumbersome: To adjust the spring base, the spring strut has to be removed.

Promoto fork springs

MOTORRAD verdict: recommendable

The progressive Promoto springs (139 marks) help the Diversion in conjunction with SAE 15 fork oil to achieve a more stable and precise driving behavior with good feedback. But you have to accept losses in comfort and handling, the latter due to the slightly raised front compared to the standard rear. These springs are a good choice for riders over 80 kilograms and frequent pillion rides.

White Power fork springs

MOTORRAD verdict: recommendable

With the White Power springs (179 marks) and 15 mm fork oil, the fork leads noticeably more stable without sacrificing comfort and responsiveness. However, it still bottomed out when braking with a full load. Overall, the spring rate and damping harmonize well with the standard shock absorber. Particularly recommended for drivers up to 60 kilograms (air cushion 150 mm) or 75 kilograms (air cushion 130 mm).


MOTORRAD verdict: recommendable

High puncture protection with full payload as well as more stability with still acceptable comfort and responsiveness are the advantages of the progressive fork springs from Wirth (159 marks). The difference in level between the raised front and the standard rear is, however, even greater than with the Promoto conversion; as a result, the XJ is a bit more unwieldy. Good for high payloads and drivers over 90 kilograms.

Yamaha original

MOTORRAD verdict: still recommendable

The standard brake pads show a sluggish response behavior and appear quite dull. The high level of manual force makes precise braking maneuvers difficult, as does the only moderate controllability. Little fading after three emergency stops from 100 km / h. Type: 4BP-W0045-00Material: organicPrice: 38.79 marks

Carbone Lorraine

MOTORRAD verdict: highly recommended

The A3 rubbers from Carbone Lorraine impress with their spontaneous response and strong deceleration with noticeably less effort and significantly better feedback compared to the series. No fading after three emergency braking.Type: 2391 A3Material: sintered metalPrice: 69.90 marks

Hein Gericke

MOTORRAD verdict: still recommendable

The response behavior, braking effect, controllability and reduction in braking effect (fading) of the inexpensive performance pads are on a similar level to the original pads; only the manual force is slightly lower.Type: 24002413Material: OrganicPrice: 29.95 Marks


MOTORRAD verdict: highly recommended

Two for all cases: The Lucas SV rubbers respond spontaneously, can even be dosed linearly up to the blocking limit, even for beginners, offer great deceleration performance with significantly reduced manual force and are also stable.Type: MCB 640 SVMaterial: sintered metalPrice: 57 , 88 marks


MOTORRAD verdict: recommendable

The Nissin rubbers have to be braked carefully, but then show a good response behavior and can be finely dosed with moderate hand strength. In terms of braking performance and fading behavior, they only have to admit defeat to the pure sintered metal pads of the competition.Type: 2P233Material: Semi-SinterPrice: 49 marks


MOTORRAD verdict: conditionally recommendable

The organic pads from Polo are at series level in terms of responsiveness, controllability, manual strength and braking effect. When fading, however, they drop significantly. Type: 50 100 100 320 Material: Organic Price: 29.95 Marks


MOTORRAD verdict: highly recommended

A thoroughly convincing performance was provided by the very spontaneous gripping, but with little manual force, finely dosed Premier pads with impeccable braking performance and formidable stability. For beginners, however, the response behavior is almost too snappy.Type: PH 105Material: sintered metalPrice: 34.90 marks

Dunlop K 275

The K 275, which is fitted as standard, makes a major contribution to the feather-light handling of the XJ 600. When braking in an inclined position, the Yamaha stays neutral on course, hardly stands up and shines with the best self-damping on bumpy surfaces. The disadvantages of the K 275: light handlebar flutter and limited, somewhat doughy steering precision and cornering stability thanks to the flexible carcass construction, which is particularly noticeable when changing lean angles. For light pilots and restrained driving style, the K 275 is worth a recommendation. Price: front 180 marks; back 202 marks

Dunlop D103

With very good cornering stability, even with a full load, high steering precision and good handling, the curve-neutral D 103 turns the XJ 600 Diversion into the better motorcycle. The Dunlop gains further sympathy because it does not even begin to be stimulated to shimmy the handlebars. The downside: The D 103 rolls relatively hard, is uncomfortable on bad roads, the steering becomes a bit restless at top speed and rough patches, but harmless. Recommended for sporty driving and pillion rides. Price: front 180 marks; 196 marks in the back

Metzeler ME 33 / ME 1

In terms of cornering stability and steering precision, the Metzeler combination is at the level of the standard tires, but falls significantly behind in handling. The righting moment when braking in an inclined position is also much stronger with the Metzeler. In addition, there is a pronounced flutter of the handlebars, which can also be felt when cornering. Due to the inherently soft suspension setting and the general tendency of the XJ 600 S to flutter the handlebars, the Munich rubber pair does not harmonize with the Diversion and is therefore only conditionally recommendable. Price: front 181 marks; behind 187 marks

Yamaha original

Price: silencer left 523.25 marks, right 508.35 marksMaterial: chrome-plated sheet steelWeight: 3.9 kg per silencerDamping length: 40 cmDiameter: 11 cmSpecial features: excellent fitConclusion: relatively expensive standard silencer with naturally the best fit and proper workmanship. The power and torque curves show a drop in the middle speed range


Price: 559 marks (including connecting pipe) Material: silencer, polished aluminum; Chromed sheet steel connecting pipe Weight: silencer 3.78 kg; Connecting tube 1.58 kgDamping length: 49 cmDiameter: 11.8 cmSpecial features: four-in-one look; difficult assembly of the connecting pipe due to tight fits at the transition to the elbows; satisfactory fit; best workmanship in the test field; Main stand omitted; EC operating permit Conclusion: The well-made Ixil system gives the Diversion an independent look, but the main stand has to be sacrificed. The peak performance is slightly below the specifications of the original, but there is a little more power at medium speeds


Price: 659 MarkMaterial: Chrome-plated sheet steelWeight: 3.68 kg per silencerDamping length: 41 cmDiameter: 11 cmSpecial features: very easy to attach replacement silencer with a good fit; Processing only sufficient, incipient rust on a weld seam; EC type approval Conclusion: well-fitting replacement dampers that allow the XJ 600 a minimal increase in performance at the top, but whose curves are otherwise always below those of the original exhaust


Price: 498 MarkMaterial: Chrome-plated sheet steelWeight: 3.56 kg per silencerDamping length: 40 cmDiameter: 11.2 cmSpecial features: two new seals included; easy construction; satisfactory processing; Fit on the left problem-free, on the other hand unsatisfactory because the welded-on threaded flap is positioned too low; EC operating permit Conclusion: cheapest retrofit solution with fitting problems and slight losses in performance and torque up to 7000 rpm; Top performance slightly above the original


Price: 569 MarkMaterial: Chrome-plated sheet steelWeight: 3.40 kg per silencerDamping length: 40 cmDiameter: 10.6 cmSpecial features: two new seals and rubber buffers for the main stand stop included in the scope of delivery; easy construction; satisfactory processing; Fit on the left good, but the right damper only barely covers the manifold flange; EC type approval Conclusion: With the Sito silencer, the Yamaha ?? despite slight losses in the lower and middle speed range – the top performance and maximum torque of the series system

Yamaha XJ 600 S: Optimization + Model History – Model History

At the end of 1991 Yamaha presented the XJ 600 S Diversion with 27 HP (4 BRB) or 50 HP (4BRA). A conversion kit to 61 hp was available from the start. For 8600 marks cost price for the first model, the buyers got a higher touring screen and two screw-on hand protectors free of charge. Criticism of the too soft and underdamped strut as well as occasional breaks in the strut mount on the swing arm prompted Yamaha to equip the 1993 model with both a reinforced swing arm and a firmer strut a year later. In addition, the fairing was widened at handlebar height for better wind protection; the hand protectors were omitted. For the 1994 model year, the Diversion got its undisguised sister name XJ 600 N Set aside with chrome headlights and round instruments. This was technically identical to the S with the exception of the conventional steering lock instead of the combined ignition / steering lock. The throttled version now had 34 hp (4 LX). Both models received a major overhaul in 1996. Since then, the engine has had an oil cooler and its mixture is allocated via new, electrically heated carburettors with a throttle valve sensor. The cladding of the Diversion was given a more angular layout including a new headlight, and two-part side panels made the sisters look slimmer from then on. The extensive model maintenance measures were rounded off by greater ease of use thanks to the fittings that are easier to grip, the relocation of the choke to the handlebars and the larger storage compartment with space for a padlock. In the following year there was only a quilted and better padded bench, plastic protectors on the fork and a hazard warning system. In 1998, the XJ 600 models (RJ 01) were last modified significantly: Since then, a stronger fork with size 41 stanchions ensures stability and a brake system with two floating discs finally ensures deceleration that is customary in this class. There is also an adapter plug for a retrofittable alarm system on the wiring harness of the XJ 600 models from model year 1998 onwards. The Yamaha XJ 600 in MOTORCYCLE: T 24/91; VT 1/92; KT (61 hp) 8/92; VT 10/93; LT 1/94; VT 8/96; GK 23/96; T 26/97; VT 8/98; VT 14/00 The Yamaha XJ 600 N in MOTORCYCLE: T 22/93; VT 24/93; VT 6/95; KV 18/95; KT 6/97; KV 17/99; VT 23/99


Original parts: Yamaha Motor Germany, phone 02131/1640 exhaust systems Ixil: Paaschburg & Wunderlich, phone 040 / 2540360Jama: Laser Germany, phone 02431 / 96990MIVV: Hagen Motorsport, phone 0911 / 936950Sito: Hipp, phone 05139 / 894906BremsenCarbone Lorraine: Spiegler, phone 0761 / 611010Hein Gericke: phone 0211 / 98989Lucas: phone 0211 / 98989Lucas: phone 02631 / 9120Nissin Systems, Phone 0911 / 936740Polo: Phone 0211 / 979696Premier: Paaschburg & Wunderlich, phone 040/2540360 Spring elements Hagon / Promoto: Wilbers Products, phone 05921/6057 Progressive suspension: M & P Gotz, Phone 07476 / 933150White Power: Phone 05941 / 920780Wirth: Phone 04189 / 811020ReifenDunlop: Phone 06181 / 6801Metzeler: 089 / 149080OtherAlpha Technik: Phone 08036 / 300720Five Stars: JF Motorsport, Phone 06002-40 / 91039 Stabi: 07644 / 6413MRA Klement: Phone 07663/93890 Speed ​​Brakes: Motacc, Phone 07666/913860

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