YAMAHA XJ6 DIVERSION (2009-on) Review

Published: 29 January 2009

"Just like the old original, it offers practical, fun and above all, affordable biking"

Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - prettier than the old divvy

"Just like the old original, it offers practical, fun and above all, affordable biking"

  • At a glance
  • 600cc  -  77 bhp
  • 43 mpg  -  200 miles range
  • Low seat height (785mm)
  • £6,499

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The new Yamaha XJ6 Diversion is the half-faired version of the Yamaha XJ6. It's more powerful, better handling and prettier than the trusty old Diversion of the late 80s and early 90s. But just like that old original, it offers practical, fun and above all, affordable biking. It’s easy to ride, so it’s perfect for new riders looking for their first ‘big’ bike, it’s comfy enough to make a superb workhorse, and for those who just want to let their hair down and have a bit of fun, it’ll handle that too. Watch the Yamaha XJ6 Diversion video road test.  

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The Yamaha XJ6 Diversion has a new tubular steel diamond type chassis, using the engine as a stressed member, to save weight and add strength.  Bodywork and steel box-section steel swingarm is new and the forks are down 2mm in diameter compared with the Fazer to 41mm.
With its low seat and narrow fuel tank, the Yamaha XJ6 Diversion is very easy to get on and ride, short or tall, on your own or with a pillion. On the move there’s zero vibration felt from the engine and around town the Divvy is agile and easy to navigate through traffic. The steering lock is pretty handy and the wind protection from the half fairing is good too.
Although very basic (only the rear shock is adjustable for preload), the suspension does a good job of keeping the Yamaha on the straight and narrow. Of course, if you push very hard you can find the limits of the chassis quite quickly, but for the most part the Yamaha XJ6 Diversion is stable, corners easily and is easy to ride in any conditions.

Engine 3 out of 5

This is a retuned version of the engine you’ll find in the current Yamaha FZ6 Fazer, which in turn is an old-school R6 lump. It gets a new cylinder head, softer-performance camshafts, reshaped inlet ports, new forged pistons and a one-piece crankcase and cylinder block. The motor breathes through a new fuel-injection system with smaller diameter (down 32mm from 36mm) throttle bodies and a neat underslung exhaust, featuring a three-way catalytic converter. A new clutch and gearshift design make changing gear smoother and easier than the Fazer. All this fettling is designed to make the XJ6 Diversion flexible and friendly to ride. Claimed power and torque is less than the Fazer (by 20bhp and 2ftlb), but usefully delivered much lower down the rev-range (2000rpm and 1500rpm).
There’s less need to stir the six-speed gearbox to keep up with traffic than the Yamaha FZ6 Fazer, making town riding nice and easy. At very low speeds the throttle response is snatchy when getting on and off the gas, but as speeds increase and the engine is spinning more it’s less of a problem. Overall the motor is very smooth, friendly and has lots of power (77bhp) if you’re prepared to rev it; enough for decent wheelies if that’s your thing. It’s a heap more fun than the Honda CBF600, the Yamaha’s closest rival.
Despite the fettling to make the engine gruntier, you can still feel its supersports DNA and it never really relaxes, it’s always busy, buzzing and you often find yourself searching for another gear when you’re already in sixth. It’s not as bad as the Fazer’s motor and you soon get used to it, but more grunt and less revs would make the XJ6 Diversion even better. As it is, the engine is still impressive and the new, smoother-action clutch and gearbox help the job along.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

For a budget machine, the Yamaha XJ6 Diversion is well-designed, well thought-out and well-built. The paint finish is excellent and it’s solidly screwed together, although there’s a huge gap between the back of the engine and the rear shock, which you could fit a lunchbox in, which is a bit odd. Squeezed in under the five-grand mark, it’s a lot of bike for the money and right in the budget middleweight ballpark.

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

The Yamaha XJ6 Diversion is a superb machine, is more rounded than the Yamaha FZ6 Fazer, comfy, practical and fun too, but it doesn’t really bring anything new to the party; it’s simply Yamaha’s version of a Honda CBF600 or Suzuki GSX650F or Bandit. The current king of this class is the Kawasaki ER-6F or Versys. The Yamaha is physically bigger so would suit taller riders and it’s more powerful too, but those Kawasakis are just that little funkier, punchier and don’t take themselves too seriously, which we love. Find a Yamaha XJ6 Diversion for sale 

Insurance group: 12 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

It’s not overloaded with toys, but for the price, the Yamaha XJ6 Diversion comes with a decent level of equipment. It has a centre-stand as standard, a neat trick with the underslung exhaust where it is, a multi-function LCD dash and preload adjustment for the rear shock. Handlebars are adjustable back and forward by 20mm and Yamaha offer an ABS version for an extra £300. Accessories from the official Yamaha catalogue include crash bobbins, a backrest, panniers and top box, an engine guard, tank pad, tank bag and rack. Compare and buy products for the Yamaha XJ6 Diversion in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

12 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA XJ6 DIVERSION (2009-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.3 out of 5
Engine 4.2 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.6 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.7 out of 5
Equipment 4.1 out of 5
5 out of 5

Practical & Fun Commuter/Sports Tourer Style Bike

26 October 2014 by rideslikean00b

The XJ-6 is the first big bike I've owned, but not the first I've tried. I've fooled around on the Hornet, CBF600R, ER-5, MT-03, Thunderace and a few others. The Yamaha XJ-6 Diversion is a damn good motorcycle. I have the semi-faired edition... Read more without ABS in dark metallic blu. Ever since the first few miles it's never failed to impress me. It's not perfect but it does a lot of things right. Yamaha made a great deal of effort with the design. It's primarily a commuter with a bit of sports touring thrown in. Almost every aspect has been optimised for a reliable everyday bike: * Main stand so it's easy to lube the chain, brim the tank when filling over long distances etc. * Enough under seat storage to carry essentials: cable ties, wet wipes for cleaning visor/fairing, towel for if it rains and a slot at the back for a can of Yamalube chain spray. * Provision for fitting a top back and panniers, probably a tank bag too. I have a 46L Yamaha branded Givi top box to store helmet, shopping or clothes when travelling. * The mirrors fold in on the stalks, and the stalks fold towards the screen. Should the bike be dropped the mirrors are less likely to snap off. * The engine is a detuned R6/Fazer derivative, Yamaha chose a proven design and refined it for this particular use. As a result after 6,000 miles of riding the oil/brake fluid levels were still nearly at maximum. The coolant only really needs topping up every 1,500 miles or so - surprisingly low maintenance. Top speed was sacrificed for more torque across the rev range with a close ratio gearbox to match this approach. This means despite only 77BHP and weighing around 210KG the bike is surprisingly quick. It's as if there are two torque bands, the first below 5K for sensible riding/short shifting, the second 6K and up when you want to accelerate hard. I think you could wheelie this thing in second gear but I'm not skilled enough to try! * The display is uncluttered. Big MPH readout, two trip meters in addition to odometer and a simple yet effective fuel trip warning which counts up when you're low, meaning you need to gas up within about 40 miles before you burn through the reserve. * The bike has hazard warning lights/full beam flash, something not all bikes have at this price. * Crash bungs on the handlebars and crash bars on the bottom are effective. I've dropped the bike twice at low speeds with no fairing damage. * The seat is fairly comfortable for 50-100 mile stretches but for more than that something gel based might be a better option, i.e. for touring 200+ miles a day. * Tank range is above average for this kind of bike, based on my observations using premium fuel (Esso Supreme Unleaded): including dipping into reserve I average 150-200 miles. If I rode more economically I could get more, but where's the fun in that? Now to list some of the negative aspects before delving back into the positives to close: * The speedometer overestimates by about 5-10%. Although this is good for avoiding tickets from Johnny Law it’s annoying. * The engine is revvy even at low speeds, meaning if you may short shift to keep it manageable at low speeds. Upside - because it's making a fair old noise people will hear you as high revs when filtering can act as a warning. * I don't like the parking light mode. I once flattened the battery by over twisting the key when engaging the steering lock - lights were on all day at work. Electric starter means you can't go when the battery is flat without jumping from another battery or similar. * It's not a particularly good looking bike but this isn't really something you notice when you're sitting on it. * The gearbox is a bit notchy. The shift from first to second can be clunky plus it's too easy to find neutral when you don't want it yet not get neutral when you're trying to park. Second to third and upwards is smoother, but overall it requires a gentle touch/finesse especially with a pllion. I knock it into false neutral a little more often than I'd like too. The gearbox is the only major weakness on the bike. Anyway, back to the good stuff. For the weight and size this is a surprisingly nimble bike, get it up to a decent speed and it handles beautifully, naturally wants to lean into corners with you and flatters the way you ride in a way that's satisfying. I have Maxxis Diamond Supermaxx tyres which replaced the original Bridgestone BT-021s and the increased grip/slightly more pronounced understeer encourages me to lean to the strips where possible. Brakes even without ABS are very effective, I do go easy on the back one though, if it's used in anger it unsettles the bike. It's easy to take a pillion - the provision for a second person isn't an afterthought like it is on certain sports bikes, it's been considered so it's not a tiny rear seat with the passenger two foot higher than the rider. It doesn't vibrate heavily through the bars and pegs until you're well over a ton when solo riding, I like this as an indication that you're going fast and need to pay as much attention as possible to the road. Overall this is a brilliant introduction to the world of big bikes and would suit anyone looking for something affordable, reliable and capable of long distances with ease - a practical motorcycle with some fun further up the rev range if you don't mind pinning the throttle. It always puts a smile on my face, and I can't imagine getting rid of mine any time soon, not for a couple of years and some 50,000 more miles. I don't know how it compares to the original 90s Diversion but it stands on it's own as a great machine - it may be a little middle of the road but how many people want to be riding a 1000cc high maintenance/cost sportsbike everywhere anyway? I'd rather have something that works on a day to day basis. I’m genuinely impressed with this bike. It might impress you too.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great bike

02 February 2013 by R1MALPS

I have many bikes over the year but old age catches up with you so I got an XJ6. At the end of the day it is a great little bike for knocking about on or even going for a blast with the lads. Although I'm blitzed on the straights I keep them honest... Read more on the bends, saying that my only gripe is the suspension nearly gives up when I'm hanging off it but hey ho it is a "budget" bike. A bit of preload on the front forks would have been great. Bike for beginers or long term bikers either way. Overall I'm pretty well pleased with the bike and so is my back!

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

brilliant for commuting & long trips

30 October 2011 by heath9144

Found this bike as a bargain 6 months ago loaded with all the extras you could ever need and 7,000miles later i'm glad I did. As i'm young and only held a full licence for 3 years the insurance companies see me as a high risk so my dream R6 was to... Read more costly to insure so the xj was the only option. Absolutly brilliant for commuting, never misses a beat and does it in comfort, I love the GP inspired exhaust, and highly rate the OE Bridgestone 021. add a top box and soft luggage and it'll take you round Europe and back (with a gel seat), very pleased I didn't opt for something sportier as this bike is the perfect blend of tight corners and a workhorse for £4000.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Very underrated

29 October 2011 by pilninggas

This is my second XJ6 (the first got written off in sept 10, after 1-year/10000miles; smidsy'd). I have had it for 6 months now/5500miles. I do not commute on it, it is purely for pleasure. They are great value £4000 on 24months 0% yam deal,... Read more less per months than some 600 hondas were over 60months!!! Awesome bike, okay power is not it's strength, but like the first one I did 2600miles in Europe (this year in 9 days) and it will stick hours at 80/90 on the m'way/autobahn. Also handle pretty well, bumpy surfaces only unsettle it with full luggage under heavy braking. The brakes can also get a little overloaded under repeated heavy turns, riding down an alpine pass is fun as a result; due to the decent spread of torque and user-friendly drive you can also mix it with heavier, more powerful kit. lots of accessories now - the germans, italians and french love it, also the ameicans have it as the FZ6R and really love it. Tyres as standard (bt021s and dunlop qualifiers) are pretty rubbish - yam should fit better rubber. Both of mine have been geared-up to make them less busy on fast roads. Need to get a tail-tidy and braided hoses. As an experienced rider (past bikes zx6r, tdm850, fzr1000) I think this bike is a little gem.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5

Courtesy Bike

15 September 2011 by Meaty79

I have this as a courtesy bike and must say I'm impressed, I commute about 70 miles a day and I find this bike perfect for the job it's quick enough for my liking, comfortable and handles well, my own bike is a 1990 CBR 600 and although the CBR... Read more obviously has more power the Diversion is better on the road as the power comes in a lot lower in the rev range and as for the looks compared to my 1993 Divvie that I had a year ago there is no comparison in fact the only problem I have with this bike is that Yamaha shouldn't have called it a Diversion as it's nothing like the Diversion of old. Everyone who has seen it always asks what it is and how its much better looking than the old one.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Most uncomfortable bike ever

21 August 2011 by kenm

Bought mine -an ex demo, with 600 miles on and at a good discount. Looks good handles well, but with everything set up for me, it is still the most uncomfortable bike I;ve ever riden. The seat is si thin backside is numb after 20 miles, arms and... Read more hands are numb after 30 miles. I have a Kawasaki er6-f and I can ride that 200 miles in one go and not have any problems. I really wish I had given the Diversion a longer test ride-and I never would have bought it.

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great all round package

18 August 2010 by uncleturtle

Bought mine new in March and got a great discount. Easy running in period and cheap first service. Now the engine is run in, opening up shows that this is a bike that can better most, if not all, of the other all rounders out there. The engine is... Read more strong and pulls well, even two up. Its easy to handle in all conditions. OK, its not going to worry riders on sportier machines but thats not what it was made for. As a first big bike or an affordable, reliable commuter that will get the job done, you won't get better. I'm was originally thinking of swapping it after a year but I like it too much!

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

excellent first bike

21 July 2010 by divvy1

bought mine 2 weeks ago and only covered 600 miles.restricted to 33bhp at the moment as i am still on restricted license.A lot quicker than my cg though.As some others have mentioned it could do with another gear as the engine always sounds busy and... Read more i also keep trying for the 7th gear.I have had it up to 7000 revs after just having it serviced and don'feel any vibration at all yet.took it on a 190 mile run at the weekend and worked the mileage out at 59.3mpg,mainly motorway and 2 up so i thought that was good.clocks are easy to read and it is a comfortable ride.As a newby to the big bike world i can't compare it to anything else but as a first big bike i would say they are fantastic,and would recomend them to other people.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
3 out of 5

Good but Vibey

18 April 2010 by wombat4

I bought the new Divvie to replace my GSX650F in March 10. I have now covered about 1100 miles and comments so far. Good Bits It's light and very Manoeuvrable Throttle response is Brilliant no on-off stutter or delay at all. Love the... Read more underslung exhaust it makes a pleasant noise but more importantly doesn't get in the way - the monstrosity on the GSX650F was a pain. Handles nicely and grips well on the Roadsmarts it was supplied with although the ride is a bit choppy. Good instruments - can see the clock at the same time as the odo. The headlight is good despite only having a single H4 bulb, however is does have a left dip pattern which means masking if you want to go on the continent. Fuel consumption so far 55-60mpg. Bad Bits The worst Vibration - it is pretty vibey just like the old Divvie I had. Around 6500rpm is the worst this is 70 - 75 mph. Build quality - it hasn't seen salt although has been used in the rain and some fasteners are already showing signs of corrosion. Keeping it clean isn't going to be easy, I have fitted a Fender Extenda to try and help keep the Engine clean. The plastics especially the top fairing are a bit Flimsy. That's it, good in parts but I think so far the GSX650F was better.

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great first big bike

03 March 2010 by MCN_Sam

I covered about 5000 miles on the bike in all weathers. It's a great bike, really good value for money and ideal for commuters. The handlebars can vibrate a bit at about 6000rpm but it's not a problem if you wear thick gloves. Read more

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
Read all 12 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2009
Year discontinued -
New price £6,499
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 12 of 17
Annual road tax £58
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 77 bhp
Max torque 44 ft-lb
Top speed 140 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 43 mpg
Tank range 200 miles
Specification
Engine size 600cc
Engine type 16-valve, in-line-four
Frame type Steel tubular diamond-type
Fuel capacity 17.3 litres
Seat height 785mm
Bike weight 211kg
Front suspension none
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake 2 x 298mm discs
Rear brake 245mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 17 in
Rear tyre size 160/60 17 in

History & Versions

Model history

2009 – XJ6 Diversion launched.

Other versions

Yamaha XJ6 (naked)

Photo Gallery

  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - prettier than the old divvy
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - easy to jump on and ride
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - superb workhorse
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - clocks are FZ6 style
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - screen makes Dversion more practical than naked XJ6
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - tasty underslung exhaust
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - well designed
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - paint finish is excellent
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - zero vibes form the engine on the move
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - suspension does a good job
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - decent pillion space
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - comes with centre stand
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - swingarm
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - odd gap between engine and shock
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - a lot of bike for the money
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - front
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - underslung exhaust
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - ABS is available
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - Detuned FZ6 powerplant
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - rear wheel
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - prettier than the old divvy
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - easy to jump on and ride
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - superb workhorse
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - clocks are FZ6 style
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - screen makes Dversion more practical than naked XJ6
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - tasty underslung exhaust
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - well designed
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - paint finish is excellent
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - zero vibes form the engine on the move
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - suspension does a good job
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - decent pillion space
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - comes with centre stand
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - swingarm
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - odd gap between engine and shock
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - a lot of bike for the money
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - front
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - underslung exhaust
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - ABS is available
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - Detuned FZ6 powerplant
  • Yamaha XJ6 Diversion - rear wheel