Test, Yamaha TT 600 E, Yamaha TT 600 S
Yamaha TT 600 E / TT 600 S.
In the case of muscle loss, Yamaha prescribes a new preparation, the TT 600 E with an electric starter. MOTORRAD tested side effects
Many will still remember the duck, Citroen’s legendary 2 CV. Built until the mid-eighties, it was definitely not one of the cars that spoiled the driver with lavish equipment.
Most motorcyclists now also spare themselves physical activity. The electric starters work so reliably that hardly anyone misses the missing kick starter. Even with enduro riders of the harder kind, the fronts soften. An XT 500 with an electric starter – unthinkable in 1976. With the recently presented DR 650 SE, however, the starter was accepted as a matter of course. And soon the protagonists of the pure off-road apprenticeship, Husqvarna and KTM, will be offering electrified sport enduros, Husaberg already has some in its program. However, there are weighty arguments in favor of kick-starting, especially with enduro bikes: E-starters make the machine heavier because they require a powerful battery.
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Yamaha TT 600 E / TT 600 S.
The Yamaha TT 600, which is offered as an E with an electric starter and as an S with a kick starter, is a good watch: 163 to 156 kilograms is the duel of the fully fueled machines on the scales, so it makes seven kilograms of luxury surcharge for the push of a button. Incidentally, the abbreviation S in the Kickstart TT does not stand for kicking or sweating, but for sport. Logically, the difference to the E-Start version is therefore not limited to the starting device, but also affects the spring elements. The S boasts an expensive Öhlins shock absorber and 270 millimeters of travel on the rear wheel, the Italian Paioli counterpart of the E, also adjustable in rebound and compression, gives the wheel a meager 220 millimeters of travel. At the front, the differences are smaller: 285 millimeters for the Kayaba fork of the S are compared to 260 millimeters for the Paili fork of the E, whereby the fork, which can be adjusted in compression and tension damping, resembles one another like an egg. Saving suspension travel apparently also means saving money at Yamaha. Because how else is it to be explained that the E is 500 marks cheaper despite the additional expense for the starter and battery? The Öhlins damper alone hardly explains the difference.
The differences in the spring elements are hardly noticeable on gravel tours or gentler off-road operations. Only those who can really crack it in the terrain get to feel it. The reason for the breakdancing of the E version over deep waves is less in the excess weight than in the shorter spring travel and more comfortable set-up. The E sags under heavy use, the reserves are used up in no time and the box reacts stubbornly. The cut spring travel also inevitably means that there is a lack of ground clearance. This applies to the footrests that plow through the terrain in ruts or inclined positions, as well as for the projecting engine, which is very well protected from the consequences of rough contact with the ground by a sturdy aluminum sheet. An advantageous side effect of the flat design: The seat is also two or three centimeters closer to the ground, short-legged people will appreciate this and give a damn about the last reserves in cross operations.
The sporty variant is more enjoyable to swallow in such situations. The S shouldn’t be taken too seriously either, the TT is miles away from a real sports enduro à la Husky or KTM. But at least you can dare a bigger leap without sinking into the mud with your notches. And even with a couple of consecutive potholes, it doesn’t crack so badly in the framework. The large steering angle of the air-cooled TTs, which is not restricted by water coolers, is very pleasant on trial passages.
The fact that there are limits to the sporting ambition is of course also related to the engine characteristics. The TT engine is a real farmer’s engine, in a positive sense: simple, gentle, predictable, tame. The Single pulls in robustly without too hearty vibrations, turns a bit tough at the top and is also discreetly restrained when it comes to top performance. The 41 horsepower is definitely sufficient for everyday use on and off-road. If the temptation arises to remove the screwed-in insert of the silencer – in contrast to the manifolds made of rust-prone steel instead of stainless steel – for the purpose of more power: It does not help, on the MOTORRAD test bench the TT was more noise, but not a single additional one To elicit PS. Apart from the fiddly turn signal switch, the equipment of both models is practical. These include aluminum rims (even blue anodized on the S), light metal swingarm, stainless steel manifold. Everything is clearly arranged and easily accessible. The start number plates are inserted, the air filter can be changed without tools, and the chain can be adjusted in a flash using an eccentric. The somewhat toxic rear Nissin fountain pincers of the E and the seating position for the passenger would be objectionable.
Both TTs are not racing machines, but sporty everyday enduros are. The E in particular is an interesting alternative to the lackluster, staid XT 600 E for everyday enduro riders, especially since the price is really okay given the good equipment. The longer-legged S attracts off-road freaks with the urge to exercise more, but it only shows its advantages when used in cross-country style. Perhaps there will still be an SE one day, the version with starter and sport suspension?
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