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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)

  • A great all rounder and a cheap way on to a reliable quick full size bike

    kintheuk

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I bought a 600N (the one with out the fairing) in 2004 as a way back to two wheels after 1 long time on four wheels. I have found the bike to be reliable, quick enough for getting used to two wheels again and plus a reasonable handling bike. The prices for these bikes are ridiculously low when you compare them to any of its logical competitors, it may not have the custome parts catalogue of the Bandit nor the assumed reliability of the CB500s but it does not suffer in most minds for this. Strengths: Reliable, robust, easy to work on (and I only just about know which end of a socket is which). Weaknesses: Image is its only weakness and possibly its low prices which work to make buyers happy but seems to be the yard stick by which many measure it. A same year bandit would probably cost near enough twice what I paid and I doubt would be any happier.

    20 October 2005

  • Supercommuter / hack

    gurninman

    Average rating rating is 3

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
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    Quality and Reliabilty
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    Engine

    Bought the bike to commute on - sick of late, astinking trains. Did everything asked of it, and provided a fair bit of fun. Easy to ride, easy to service, cheap to run, comfy. Discovered this : http://groups.msn.com/yamahadiversions - the friendliest, most informative bike group on the net. Strengths: Cheap, comfy, cheap, easy to service, cheap, unintimidating for new riders, cheap. Weaknesses: Cheap a bit slow.

    20 October 2005

  • Inherited bike from friend emmigrating to Aus'

    Frampy

    Norwich

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    This bike does it all. Commutes in sun rain and snow. I have managed to keep up with Suziki Bandits down lanes and on A roads. As long as you remeber its got basic suspension its fine. Strengths: Reliable, cheap to service and maintain. Will sit at 80 all day and return 40 - 45 MPG. Weaknesses: No fuel warning light! Soft suspension. Yamaha paint comes off of the wheels.

    18 March 2005

  • My Review

    sheepie

    Average rating rating is 2.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    If you've got a limited Budget and do sky high milage, this could be the bike for you, If you can put up with the lack of speed that is. In 50k only one break down and that was due to a corroded connector. Not sure why people moan about the finish. Wash mine once a week and still looks ok. Crashes well to boot. Chucked it down the road at 20mph, still rideable afterways. Could do with another 20bhp and shaft drive but you can't have everything. Hold on a minute maybe you can xj900 here we come :)

    17 July 2003

  • My Review

    bonser

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Cheap, reliable transport. Used it to do 90 mile a day motorway commute. Generally reliable- rear fuel pump, shocks and wheel bearings replaced under warranty. Electrics are placed in a vulnerable position under the seat so the starter switch wire corrodes over time.

    17 June 2003

  • My Review

    Stefanbear

    Average rating rating is 3

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Dislikes - Rear brake collects dust and squeaks no matter how much it's cleaned. Mirrors not much use at high speed due to vibration. Likes - perfect bike to learn real riding on after doing my Direct Access. Nice sounding engine. Very reliable.

    06 November 2001

  • My Review

    dpabbott

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    The buzz at 4000-4500rpm makes the mirrors vibrate badly enough to make them useless - pity that 4000-4500 rpm equates to motorway cruising speed...

    25 September 2001

  • My Review

    steve hyland

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    An excellent bike for riding to work everyday whatever the weather. Handles adverse weather very well, has so far felt very capable of handling most situations remaining stable throughout . Extremely comfortable to ride for hours, although on out of town journey's the wind buffeting can get a bit tiring. However if I lie on the tank I have got 116 out of it.

    07 July 2001

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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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