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Yamaha XT660R Trail Motorbike Review

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Yamaha XT660X/R motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 3

The new XT660 comes in two guises – the Yamaha XT660X (supermoto-style with 17-inch rims) and the Yamaha XT660R (taller, with an off-road friendly 21-inch front hoop). Both motorcycles are neatly styled, but sadly they’re compromised by a snatchy fuel-injection that blights their low-speed performance and a dry weight that borders on the morbidly obese. For commuting fun they pass muster, otherwise…

Engine

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 3

The SOHC, 659cc single of the Yamaha XT660 claims a decent 48bhp, with another 5bhp to come (and a decent weight-saving) simply by ditching the oh-so heavy dual cans and their catalysers for a single silencer. Sadly, though, the Yamaha XT660's fuel injection is very poor, spoiling the low speed performance with a strange surging that has no place in the modern biking world.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

The Yamaha XT660X handles just fine on its gorgeous Excel rims, right up to about 90mph when the bars start to weave. The Yamaha XT660R is less impressive – the brakes are especially woeful and probably some of the least convincing fitted to a road motorcycle. And there’s something about the R’s riding position that’s just not right – it’s too uncomfortable for a day’s riding.

Find a Yamaha XT660R for sale

Find a Yamaha XT660X for sale

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3

Both the Yamaha XT660R and Yamaha XT660X share a neat digital dash, smart plastics and the same monkey metal, easy-bend bars Yamaha fits to all its off-road bikes.

Yamaha XT660X/R (2004-current)

Detail Value
New price £6,499
Dealer used prices
£2,370 (2004) - £6,000 (2012)
Private used prices
£2,130 (2004) - £5,400 (2012)
  View full used price info
Engine size 659 cc
Power 47 bhp
Top speed 98 mph
Insurance group 10 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 3 rating is 3
Engine rating is 2 rating is 3
Ride & Handling rating is 3 rating is 3.5
Equipment rating is 3 rating is 3
Quality & Reliability rating is 3 rating is 3.5
Value rating is 2 rating is 3.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

Yamaha’s build quality is excellent and it shows on both the Yamaha XT660X and the Yamaha XT660R. The plastics are shiny and the finish is lustrous, though if you want to keep the R’s engine looking good an aftermarket bash plate’s the way forward, especially if you fancy some light trail work.

Value

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

As rough, tough commuters the two Yamaha XT660s work just fine, providing you can live with the horrid fuelling. But, to be honest, Honda’s FMX650 is nicer to ride and Suzuki’s DRZs cheaper and more versatile. Find a Yamaha XT660R for sale or a Yamaha XT660X for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 10 of 17

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Model History

2004: Yamaha XT660R and Yamaha XT660X introduced.

Other Versions

Yamaha XT660X (XT660R specs below): 17-inch Excel rims, 320mm front disc, 177kg, 875mm seat height.

Specifications

Top speed 98 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 14.06 secs
Max power 47 bhp
Max torque 44 ft-lb
Weight 177 kg
Seat height 875 mm
Fuel capacity 15 litres
Average fuel consumption 44 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 10 of 17
Engine size 659 cc
Engine specification 4v single, 5 gears
Frame Tubular steel cradle
Front suspension adjustment None
Rear suspension adjustment Preload
Front brakes Single 296mm disc
Rear brake 245mm disc
Front tyre size 90/90 x 21
Rear tyre size 130/80 x 17

See all Yamaha XT660R motorcycles for sale

Yamaha
XT660R

13000 miles

£2,595

Yamaha
XT660R

12343 miles

£3,499

Yamaha
XT660R

20204 miles

£2,499

Yamaha
XT660R

28985 miles

£1,999

Yamaha
XT660R

3618 miles

£3,999

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3(13 reviews)

  • hidden gem

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4

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    I bought a 2008 model S/H it was cheap and I thought it would do as a winter hack. What a surprise really enjoyable to ride. Its very involving to ride I like to take it out just to take it out just for a spin and when I get home I cant help wearing a silly grin I love it. I have changed a couple of things I have raised the bars and changed the footrest as the original items were round rubber covered and was a bit slippy when wet so fitted a set of SW Motech pegs and now its just great. I have not experienced any of the fuelling problems which seems to plagued some and well written about. One gripe, I wish I got one years ago. One reason that you will not see many XTRs on the road is the cost new £6500 that's a lot when you look to see what else there is on the market and I don't think many folks will give it a second glance. One thing I would recommend is that you take a big single out for a test ride you may be surprised

    02 November 2013

  • 18 month Review

    HF_ZX10r

    UK

    Average rating rating is 3

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    I'd love to say that living with the Xtx over the past 18 months has been all sweetness and light but it hasn't. However it's not been all bad the bike starts on the first turn of the engine. Handling is impressive and can embarrass the odd sports bike as long as the road has no straight bits.

    05 February 2010

  • Should I be worried?

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Did I miss something when trying this bike?? I was hoping to have bought the ideal greenlane tourer. A true X/C (cross country) bike. I owned a BMW 650 Dakar which was a great tourer for the smaller roads but proved to be underpowered for more challenging off-roading and always threatened to cost a fortune should I drop it. Then I tried the Suzuki DRZ 400. A phantastic greenlaning bike, although the fuelling does cause me some headaches. But the road sections are a real pain (literally with that seat). And the engine sounds as if about to blow at more than 60mph. The XT660R sits right in the middle of these two. Lets hope the fuelling issue, mentioned so many times, does not appear and spoil the fun. I am more worried about the lesser ground clearence. I do hope the rock plates are going to be delivered soon (before a rock rippes the exhoust off.....)

    14 December 2009

  • Frustrating

    furor2

    Average rating rating is 2.5

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    Lived with this bike for 12 months now. Chose it as I had not ridden anything for about 3 years so wanted to ease myself back in to riding. I am now definitely looking to change it as it frustrates me too much to be able to keep it. I am 6'2" and 16 stone. Good Points (quite a few) :- Seat fairly comfortable for a couple of hours riding. Seat is also ideal for my height. Starts every time in the wet and/or cold. 120 miles for 11 litres of fuel. Looks good. Over 40 mph on A roads its a hoot. Screen actually provides pretty good protection at 85mph (you wouldn't want to go much faster for long, also I find a weave starts to appear. Great on rough country lanes (with tarmac), go very carefully if you are off the metalled surfaces, hardly any clearance. Bad Points (one howler) :- Fuelling Fuelling Fuelling. I say again Fuelling. Around town whilst commuting its a nightmare and really tiring. I read someone else's review saying that Yamaha say you have to ride around this 'feature' they were not wrong. No matter where I am riding, if I am below 35 mph the bike drives me mad. It seems that no matter what gear I am in at these speeds the fuelling problem presents itself. i.e. its very much either on or off. Further niggles, finish on wheels/spokes is suspect, but that may have been previous keeper. LCD speedo is clear but the glass buzzes in its housing, thank god I wear ear plugs to ride. This next point is not a negative really as the bike does not sell itself as a performance machine, but overtakes on A roads have to be very well planned as it does not have a lot more 'go' than your average family car - this too has now become too much of a pain to make me want to keep the bike.

    14 June 2009

  • It is what it is...

    windy12

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Mine is the X, the Supermoto, I am in to my third year of ownership, 2 of us bought these at the same time, we ride them for fun only, out on twisty tarmac roads, moor roads etc, we both think that these bikes are the business and neither of us can believe that we prefer these to sports fours, it takes a while to get used to a single (no revs change quickly) and a while to get used to a Supermoto bike and what it can do with the right warmed up tyres. Some sports bikes do pass us, in the three years we have had them probably around 8 only!! First we thought that we were steady riders but a maybe a little quicker than average Joe, now since we are riding in areas where there are loads of sports bikes (hundreds) we realise that these Supermoto bikes are perfect for tight twisting roads, we use three quarters of the bikes power and all of the gears, Sports bikes are blasting down the very short straights but in second gear and slipping clutches round the tighter bridges and bends, we are riding at a steady rate but the wide bars, long travel suspension and ludicrous roadholding and lean angles makes riding effortless for us, we are getting, one up, around 69 mpg!! A day out for about £12-15, around 45- 50mpg two up on the same tight twisting roads. You have to have a go on one of these on roads that suit them not up and down a motorway or straight A road they are a superb machine, plus if you want it is easy to lose 10-20KG off them and add a bit more hp but we have enough fun as they are. Only complaint? The seat could be slightly more comfortable, the seat gets you off the bike not boredom. Got to be tried to be believed.

    10 June 2009

  • jobbo

    jobbo

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    This is the best buy bike. If you want a true all-rounder at low cost. This is a fun fun road bike but even more fun off road. I've taken this bike places you could never take a BMW-GS. So much so it left me hungry for more off road stuff so I now also have a KTM450exc

    17 January 2009

  • If you know your bikes...

    windy12

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    If you know your bikes the fuel problem can be sorted, mine never cuts out and it only takes three minutes to correct, where do these other people come from?? It is what it is, fun economical bike that it great on country roads and around town, ideal for up to 250 mile trips with three stops, no-one seems to make a better replacement seat yet!! Brings back the simple fun to biking without the expense, fantastic handling with good fuel economy.

    03 August 2008

  • Try before you buy

    HF_ZX10r

    UK

    Average rating rating is 3

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    I bought the XTX last Saturday and had it back in the dealership first thing Monday morning. You quessed it! The fuel injection is crap and that's not under selling it. If you join the Yamaha Owners Club there are a few tips to reduce the effects but you'll never get it completely fixed. Now don't get me wrong, it's not all bad news for the XTX. It has a great seating position albeit a little firm and riding on Metzeler rubber this machine will corner like its on rails. Having ridden dirt bikes for years this bike is a slightly heavy crosser for the road and is a lot of fun in the sensible speed bracket, so you get to keep you licence (Nearly). It is an absolute blast on the twisties, which let's face it where it should be. Getting used to the big single after riding a 1000cc straight four takes a bit of thought, as dropping a couple and cracking the throttle open tends to only generates more noise or an ill advised trip to the rev limiter. However once you've mastered the low revs and the powerful torque from the basement, lifes a blast. I have done 500 miles on this machine in the last two weeks and it has returned 63 mpg. For that alone I can just about live with the "poor fueling at low throttle positions" as yamaha put it. My advise would be to test drive this bike before you buy one. That said, I will be keeping mine as it ticks enough boxes in the looks, performance and handling brackets for me to keep it for my daily commuting.

    14 July 2008

  • What a waste of time

    Sticky11

    Average rating rating is 1.5

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    I have owned an XT660 for 6 months and hated it from the first day. The surging is ridiculous and the cutting out between 3rd and 2nd gear is just dam right dangerous. It vibrates like a jack hammer and more than 100 miles and I've had enough. It weighs a ton and weaves all over the place above 85 mph. I've tried the '07 model and that is just as bad for surging. You could try a power commander but you would be wasting your time as the problem is in the ignition timing and that is locked into the ECU. The suspension is rubbish and the brakes are nothing special. Good points. Erm.........looks good but that is all.

    05 March 2008

  • Not brilliant but nice.

    Big T.

    Ducklington , UK

    Average rating rating is 3

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    Well I bought this bike pre registered with 0 miles for £3495 so I think it has been a good bike and good value. Had I paid full price for it then I think I would have been upset. The good bits. The bike is quite friendly to ride and seems to be well put together The finish is good and seems to be robust, it has fair off road ability and as far as commuting goes, it is about as good a bike as you could get. Economy is great, I weigh 19 stone so I am a bit of a windbreak but still get around 55 to a gallon. The bad bits. The brakes are are a little bit wooden but not dangerous. However the real achilles heel of this bike is the fueling at low speed, getting back on the throttle on wet mini roundabouts is almost frightening and low revs power delivery can be very snatchy and these two factors ruin what could other wise be a very capable little bike. On balance the fueling problems out weigh all the good points of the bike but if you can live with that then buy one and enjoy it but don't pay RRP for a new one as thay are expensive for what they are.

    02 December 2007

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