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Yamaha XJ600 DIVERSION Naked Motorbike Review

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Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 3

The Yamaha XJ600 Diversion is a Vauxhall Astra diesel amongst motorcycles… with all the worthiness (and dreariness) that implies. Designed from the outset to be soft, cheap, versatile, simple and novice-friendly, the curiously-named Yamaha XJ600 Diversion is pleasant, predictable and a useful hack. But note the complete absence of the words ‘desire’, ‘excitement’, ‘performance’ or ‘thrills’.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

The Yamaha XJ600 Diversion is softer than a marshmallow in a swimming pool. But then, that’s the way it was meant to be. Purpose-designed aircooled four is mechanically bullet and idiot proof and pretty much the same to use. Don’t go hunting for power bands – there aren’t any. But the Yamaha XJ600 Diversion purrs around without a glitch quite happily and lasts forever. Looks a bit like an old classic Honda engine, too…

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5
Again, the Yamaha XJ600 Diversion is adequate and novice-friendly rather than in any way inspiring or exciting. But as versatile, first-big-bike-type transport, the Divvy delivers the necessaries. The suspension is rather basic and the brakes a little soft, but it steers sweetly and the ride is good for two.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3

Not much to write home about but first time big bikers or couriers (cos they love em too) won’t find much to complain about with the Yamaha XJ600 Diversion. The mirrors mirror, the instruments inform, the switchgear has everything in the right place… just like a Vauxhall Astra diesel, in fact…

Yamaha XJ600 Diversion (1992-2004)

Detail Value
Dealer used prices
£940 (1996) - £1,030 (1996)
Private used prices
£860 (1996) - £940 (1996)
  View full used price info
Engine size 599 cc
Power 61 bhp
Top speed 117 mph
Insurance group 9 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 3 rating is 3.5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Ride & Handling rating is 3 rating is 3.5
Equipment rating is 3 rating is 3
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4
Value rating is 3 rating is 3.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Yamaha XJ600 Diversion was built to endure rather than impress. So steel proliferates over alloy, chunkiness over finery and straightforward, simple mechanicals over high tech. It works, too. Not much goes wrong with the Yamaha XJ600 Diversion and mileages the wrong side of 50,000 are fairly common.

Value

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

In truth, not much comes close. No other four is as purpose-built for novices as the Yamaha XJ600 Diversion and they were cheap new, and are even better value second hand. The biggest thing against it are its looks and comprehensive lack of excitement. In that respect, a decent Bandit does everything the Yamaha XJ600 Diversion does, but with added thrills, for the same money. Find a Yamaha XJ600 Diversion for sale

Insurance

Insurance group: 9 of 17

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Model History

1992: Yamaha XJ600 Diversion launched.
1993: Yamaha XJ600 Diversion gets new fairing with air scoops, screen now has grey trim.
1994: New Diversion logo on fairing.
1996: Yamaha XJ600 Diversion gets oil cooler. New carburettor. New fairing with indicators mounted on the sides. New headlamp. Choke now mounted on left handlebar. Redesigned bar end weights. Reshaped side panels.
1997: New fork leg protectors. Now with hazard warning light switch. New seat.
1998: Revised centre stand. New 41mm (from 38mm) front forks.
2004: Yamaha XJ600 Diversion discontinued.

Other Versions

1995: Naked Yamaha XJ600N Diversion launched, subjected to same revisions as above.

Specifications

Top speed 117 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.5 secs
Max power 61 bhp
Max torque 34 ft-lb
Weight 182 kg
Seat height 770 mm
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Average fuel consumption 52 mpg
Tank range 165 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 9 of 17
Engine size 599 cc
Engine specification 8v transverse four, 5 gears
Frame Steel tube double cradle
Front suspension adjustment None
Rear suspension adjustment Preload
Front brakes 2 x 320mm discs
Rear brake 245mm disc
Front tyre size 110/80 x 17
Rear tyre size 130/70 x 18

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3.5(28 reviews)

  • Noobz

    skellyjelly

    Average rating rating is 3

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    Who are these non-owning noobs who write this shite for MCN? If I don’t want to ride at 200mph, have the latest environment-robbing alloy frame and hit 62mph in less than 2 seconds, whilst still pulling a wheelie for the front cover for those so-called bikers, where should I turn. I’ll tell you where, the owners opinions. These are the guys who parted with their hard-earned and who use it like you bought it. Check Warren Pole doing his best as a TV presenter on some obscure TV channel to see how they view motorcycle journalism. We’re just a step up for the ambitious. Be who you are, and ignore the power rangers. They’re part-timers, at the best.

    20 February 2010

  • great for first big bike

    edboo

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    I bought a 1997 divvy in October as my first big bike good in all weather it hasn't let me down.I recommend it for fist big bike but cont compare it to anything else as its my first big bike.

    16 January 2010

  • So easy

    Meaty79

    Average rating rating is 4

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    To ride. This is my first big bike and I'm not a experienced rider as I passed my CBT in May and my DAS in late July. Since then I have been riding a 25 year old KH125 which is about half the weight and a fraction of the power so was a bit concerned about riding the Divi the 80 miles home from Cambridge but was pleasently surprised to find it is one of the easiest bikes to ride that I have riden (and I am talking about the big bikes the riding school uses). Mine seems to pull top gear well from about 45 and just felt right from the off. Very comfy on the hour and a half trip home and handles better than I can. Highly recommended as a first big bike or comfy tourer with a bit of grunt.

    23 November 2009

  • A bit gut less

    Mjollnir

    Average rating rating is 3

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    but a good first bike. You have to rev the tits off it to get anywhere quickly though. The suspension is a bit soggy. The long wheel base both makes the bike stable, and not quite as nimble in the corners. As a first bike I think this is a great buy, and wouldn't let you down. It would would also be good for city commuting.

    05 August 2008

  • Dream Divi

    Joe de Hoop

    Brighton , UK

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Bought mine last month, nine years old in great condition(from local Yamaha dealer),. It does exacly what I bought it for, every day use around town with occasional trips out, very flexible (low geared), does around 50mpg, cruises at 80+, comfortable for two, small screen remarkably effective. Just about cured the vibration at 4000rpm(or the symptoms of...)still have the clutch tick, ticking noise spoken about above, but I really find it very comfortable & flexible - but not a 'scratcher'in handling or performance. But I did'nt buy it for that!

    04 October 2007

  • Gutless, but great beginners bike

    KWAK6ftRider

    Cambridge , UK

    Average rating rating is 3

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    the bike is very easy to ride, but lacks power, even above 6000 revs. the suspension is soft. It is good for beginners and won't steer them wrong, but they will quickly be wanting more out of a bike.

    13 April 2007

  • Great budget or beginner bike

    Angelus1981

    Cardiff

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    I bought mine after passing DAS. I`ve never felt intimidated. Bought it cheap and spent virtually nothing running it. If you want a cheap run around that you can sit comfortably on all day then this bike is perfect. Strengths: Cheap to buy, cheap to insure, cheap to run, comfortable soft suspension. WIll cruise at 80 all day. Weaknesses: Not the prettiest of bikes. Lacks some power for experienced riders. Exhaust is prone to rust and wheel bearings are known to fail.

    08 September 2006

  • A revelation

    hondapartsman

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    After 20+ years riding a CB250RS and convincing myself I didn't need anything bigger, realising I'm getting older and after five and half years off two wheel or anything much with a chronic illness I decided that maybe something bigger would be nice, I decided I needed something that would cost me no more on the insurance, be cheap to run but give me adequate power and after reading about it had to be a CB500, a Bandit or one of these. In the end this one came up a the right price so had to be it, 30,000 on the clock, new tyres, chain and sprocks and a nice new MOT it couldn't be bettered although my boss was a little taken aback that I'd got a Yamaha instead of Honda. Great bike though, pulls like a train, more than enough power for the riding I do where I consider 80mph to be plenty fast enough, I love riding it, mind of the boss man offered to swop me a new CBF500 for it I'd be tempted. Strengths: Adequate power, good fuel consumption (60mpg plus) comfortable for me (6'4") and carries me and my nine year old with ease, easy servicing, just a good solid workhorse with the oomph to get me past the Sunday drivers. Weaknesses: Isn't a Honda and getting spares takes too long ( 2 weeks for a genuine speedo cable, got pattern in the end). Choke seems to do nothing but starts okay anyway and annoying vibration at 50mph but the at least the encourages me to crack on just a little faster.

    19 July 2006

  • 1999 XJ 600 naked 12,000 miles

    gochef

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    I have looked everywhere and weeks for my first bike. Like many others, I looked for a Bandit to start and even test drived a few. But something was not right with the Bandit,..no Love I guess. I am 6ft2 and rugby player, so I needed a bike who was going to be just the right size, economical, solid and easy to look after. The XJ 600 had more all of the right attributes and much more! The seat and suspensions are comfortable, the handling is newbie friendly, the service is cheap and the parts very easy to find. the twin exhaust give that extra monster look. Please remember one thing, this is not a superbike! There is no electronic and pretty fairing. Just a good basic (solid) bike ideal for everyday commuting.. ask yourself the question? Do you really need to reach 160mph? Strengths: Good on fuel, enough power, easy to look after, solid engine good value for money. Weaknesses: Not commum as Bandit ... therefore harder to customize.

    19 June 2006

  • A great novice work horse

    rustyyamaha

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    This is my 1st bike and from talking to people in the trade, friends and family, this type of bike seemed to fit the bill of what I wanted. I had only riden a bike 5 times (and that was doing my cbt and test) before riding it, and what a joy it was. For a complete novice it is a very user friendly bike. Also it is a very nippy bike that is able to get you out of trouble if required. Strengths: Usability for novices, and it lightness make it a great starter bike. The nippiness of the thing as well, make it a good starter bike. Weaknesses: Because it was only riden once in a year, I am finding if it is not ridden for a couple of days it can be very sluggish for a few miles, but thats just this bike. Apart from that I have not had it long enough to find a weakness.

    20 May 2006

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kaz650

kaz650says

First BIG bike after test

I was well chuffed when I had mine a fortnight ago. It ran lovely, suited me to a T, no problems starting or running at all.

Then I serviced it (oil/filter/plugs), and gave it a good wash down. Started it immediately after wash down, ran lovely.  Went to it this morning and DEAD, just like when the sidestand cut off switch is working ?!!?

Tried to WD40 all the usually areas, around the starter circuit, but no click from starter motor at all. With a push it bumped, and ran superb, until stopped, and the DEAD again ??!!! I am so peeved, on my GT200 on the moment, but want to use my NEW addition to the family ?!??! poo HELP

08 February 2010 22:09

kestrel69

User's Badge

kestrel69says

XJ600N

I used the N (naked) version for 4 years as an instructor bike. Sold it on with over 90K on the clock & still running well.

Have to say I found it very comfortable & easy to ride. Extremely reliable. It only let me down once when the battery died on me.

It is a basic bike but a few simple mod's improve the suspension & handling no end. I upgraded to 15 grade fork oil & switched to a Hagon rear shock. Massive improvements all round.

Brakes were a bit soft but braided hoses on the front & HH pads son sorted it.

For what it was designed for I still think this is a very under-rated bike & would happily buy another.

06 November 2008 20:29

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