Yamaha XT 600 Ténéré
Through thick and thin
The Yamaha XT 600 looks like it got lost in the city traffic at the Paris-Dakar rally from the Ténéré desert. And their drivers soar over everyday problems like potholes and road damage.
If there were a few ramifications in the German road network that were just as disgustingly littered with holes and corrugated iron as the infamous Ténéré desert, then the Yamaha would be sure of lasting applause. Because she hovers over such things. But red-rimmed signs prohibit entry on dirt roads, red and white striped bars get in the way on forest trails. So what’s the point of the Yamaha XT 600 Ténéré? The projection of the Paris-Dakar adventure onto the gray asphalt of everyday traffic. Or, to put it more simply: A show mobile with the outstanding quality to attract attention in front of the street café. With the XT 500, the prototype of the rustic enduro, the new Ténéré has at most the designer in common. And even that must have been brainwashed in recent years. For example, the start ceremony of the original XT was still regarded as an entrance exam for the circle of the illustrious, but despite the thicker piston, the new 600 also obeys the uninitiated who have learned a standard formula by heart: a cold engine requires choke and little gas, a warm engine wants with a half-open The throttle grip. Incidentally, the single cylinder is satisfied with a few meters of travel and then shoots in time with no problems.
The answer remains stuck in the throats of even die-hard barkers at the motorcycle bazaar. The roads are far too flat for the complex chassis of the new XT. It got long-legged and unwieldy for city traffic, and it is exhausting and too thirsty for highway hunting (up to nine liters / 100 km). So what is the XT 600 really??
However, he leaves no doubt about the enormous masses that have to be moved over 8.4 centimeters in each work cycle in the 95 millimeter thick stew. In particular, the valve train with overhead camshaft, four valves and chain rattles a lot when it is warm. In any case, compared to the mechanical noises, the sound of the exhaust looks rather modest. The power delivery of the 595 cm³ unit is rough. Below 2500 revolutions per minute of the crankshaft equipped with low centrifugal masses, the Yamaha is very rough, but then hangs spontaneously on the gas up to around 5500 rpm. When accelerating, the 44 hp single-cylinder does not even reveal when the second, the constant pressure carburetor, intervenes in the mixture preparation. Only when braking does it become clear that the second gas factory closes again halfway through the throttle grip. The motor then suddenly switches on to the deceleration process. Back to acceleration. When starting, this does not go as planned as long as the engine is still cold; because then the clutch disks stick a little. The pleasant, because incredibly powerful interlude between 3000 and 6000 rpm is quickly followed by disillusionment. Although the performance increases a bit, the machine only turns unwillingly higher and becomes rough.
How does the XT 600?
The massive tank defines the appearance of the XT 600 Ténéré.
Sensitive minds, in particular, who have already gotten tingly from tingling in the handlebars and in the footrests, cannot bear that. Despite the gear-driven balancer shaft, the Yamaha can’t hide what happens when a beer mug full of gasoline / air mixture is ignited. Of course, the engine also has to tear vigorously at the O-ring-reinforced drive chain to propel the XT 600. Because it is important to overcome a fair amount of air resistance. Explanation: The driver is enthroned in the XT saddle higher above the road than standing firmly on both legs. Only after climbing to this height can the driver feel as sublime as a Paris-Dakar professional in the Sahara behind the huge petrol barrel with a capacity of 28 liters. Desert curses will at least cast out by short-legged people when they have to stop at the traffic lights in the city. Supporting oneself from a seat height of 90 centimeters is only easy for extremely long-legged people. A curb as a step is very welcome. The tribute has to be paid to the enormous spring travel of the XT, which, although ironing practically all bumps, takes a long time to get used to it. The generously dimensioned fork with a stanchion tube diameter of 41 millimeters plunges in as far as it will go despite 255 millimeters of spring travel when braking. Of course, this also shows the downside of the commendable medal that the XT with the disc brake has tremendously effective deceleration instruments for an enduro.
Behind the cylinder: the oil cooler.
The rear drum brake deserves praise for dosage and responsiveness. Likewise, by the way, the detailed design. As is usual on racing machines, the brake lines are steel sheathed. The XT 600 fits neatly into rough terrain, as the spring travel and, above all, the monocross rear suspension, copied from motocross sport, speak for it. Right Moto Cross insoles, however, are a bit in the way of the heavy weight and top-heaviness of the 171-kilogram vehicle. Especially when the tank is full, the Yamaha struggles to land on the exemplary dampened rear wheel after jumps. With medium fuel reserves, baffles in the tank should prevent the fuel from making waves and affecting driving stability through its own movement. The chassis and suspension elements, however, come to terms with rough terrain surprisingly well. After all, the front wheel control has already passed its tests in the Moto Cross model, and the progressive swing arm linkage was ultimately born on the cross slope.
Small and shaky: the instruments of the Ténéré.
Just as the XT chassis sets new standards off-road, so too can the front disc brake. It can even survive driving through water without any noticeable loss of effectiveness. However, the professional-looking high-pressure brake line blocks the view of the somewhat poor and unsafe instruments. The trembling speedometer needle shouldn’t actually be hiding. Because it swings up to 160 km / h on the motorway. At this speed, however, a tank bag as a windbreak is urgently recommended.
The footrests do not want to fit in with an optimal long-distance seating position. You slid too far forward. The pillion is more comfortable there. He can place his feet on supports that are fixed to the frame. However, on the sloping bench, he is always inclined to come up against the driver. Under these circumstances the fabulous range of action of the XT can only be enjoyed at a leisurely pace. 300 kilometers are always to be covered with one tank of fuel, with a moderate pace, when strolling on the country road, it can be over 500 kilometers. With an average speed of around 75 km / h, a full eight hours can be spent high on the Ténéré without a refueling break. Isn’t that a nice prospect? hjn / ws
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