I have owned my XT600e (2001) for 1 year now, the bike was bougth second hand with 22,000k on the clock. So far I have covered 15,000Km (9,300 miles Approx). Current K's 37,000
Today the bike has gone in for service - total parts needed:
new brake discs and pads (front and back)
oil filter + oil change
instrument lights (both popped during -14 winter riding)
chain and sprokets,
plus its time to have the valve clearence checked.
This bike is a real work horse, it has never let me down and has survived a freezing winter, galons of rain and a blistererinlgy hot summer. I have owned all kinds of bikes from XL125V's, GSF's and CB900's and this is in my top 5 - riding this bike is easy, confidence building and good fun.
It does exaclty what a big traile bike should do and if your a gravel man or a tarmac junkie the XT600 will tackle both with ease. Maintenance is low, just keep the bike clean and well oiled (engine and chain) and you'll have no problems.
I have toured extensivly with this bike and with my 100 kilos plus luggage it still a beast and delivers good low and mid range power no matter the conditions. On one memorable occasion I did St Davids Pemborkeshire to Thetford Norfolk on B roads (500k) in the pouring rain with not even a moan or a grumble from the XT..................only from me.
Motorways can be a problem in Europe it will do the 120kph speed ( I even got my one up to 149kph) but overtakes need to be carefully planned, but anyway if your going touring why would you take the motorway anyway???? stick to B roads I say!!!.
Vibration is everywhere on this bike but try to find a 600 sinlge that doesnt rattle....... after a bit of time you get used to it and when it gets to much you can always stand on the pegs.
If its boiling hot and your stuck at a set of lights its a good idea to kill the power to the engine or it could over heat, but thats what you get with air cooled engines, I have the E model so a push of a button and im on my way again. Same appies to the K model as long as you dont mind kicking!!
Change the exhaust can, the original is a big and heavy and looks like it belongs on a Russian tank, I have fitted a Quill exhaust and the performance / sound is greatly improved!!
Protection, the hand guards are made from soft plastic this may stop the odd bug from hitting your hands but in the event of an off they will do little to help you, I have fitted some Acerbis hand guards they look just the job and are practical too.
Headlight, I changed the factory standard bulb to a Philips Super F***king bright one, it makes the differnce between seeing and being seen on those dark winter mornings.
Rust..... change the header pipes for stainless the originals look like they are made from old bean cans and the salt just eats them away, this is the next change on my list, as are a 23ltr Acerbis tank and CRD sump guard.
All in all... whether your looking for you first bike, a good commuter or the bike that will get you to Mongolia via Dakar......you cant go wrong with an XT600,
Oh and one last thing..........heated grips are a god send!!!
Hope this review helps any questions about the bike and you can e-mail me at email@example.com