YAMAHA XJ600 DIVERSION (1992-2004) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"A pleasant, predictable and a useful hack"

Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Riding

"A pleasant, predictable and a useful hack"

  • At a glance
  • 599cc  -  61 bhp
  • 52 mpg  -  165 miles range
  • Low seat height (770mm)

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

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’.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 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.

Engine 4 out of 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…

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

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 & Running Costs 3 out of 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 group: 9 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 3 out of 5

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…

Owners' Reviews

28 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA XJ600 DIVERSION (1992-2004) 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 3.8 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.5 out of 5
Engine 3.7 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.8 out of 5
Equipment 3.3 out of 5
4 out of 5

Good little bike

13 April 2014 by Leighj0121

I owned this bike being on the full throttle all the time had 130mph out of this was a very good bike apart from the weight which is unbelievably hard to take corners or hold in slow traffic but still overall good bike 4** Read more

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

Good first big bike

05 March 2013 by ChayD

Can't really compare to other big bikes as it;s the first one I've ridden having converted from 125s. Wasn't really as big a step up as I'd imagined which was a pleasant surprise, and it's nice to have that bit of extra power, even if it's not a... Read more crotch rocket; being able to accelerate to 70 without having to have a good tailwind and a steep downhill slope whilst the little 125 engine bounces off its rev limiter is a refreshing change. I should imagine it would get boring after a few months but still, it's fun for now...

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 3 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

Yamma Divvy

10 January 2013 by Detonation

I got this bike after having to sell my FZR 1000 when I lost my job, yet I still enjoy ridding the diversion round town after downgrading, BUT! I hate it on dual carriageways and motorways, it just doesn't have the pull needed and is wobbly as... Read more he'll. The engines deliver very little power considering you can pick up a 600cc with nearly double the power for the same price but they are truly bulletproof. The suspension is the worst I have ever experienced but that was easily sorted by swapping them with some advice from www.xjrider.com

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

Divvy Dependability

01 December 2012 by lewp

I had a Divvy for about a year and covered around 6k miles. This bike is a great commuter, reliable, robustly built, and has a good level of weather protection. It is, as others have said, a little boring, but boring can be good sometimes. The only... Read more trouble I had with the bike was when I left the park lights on by mistake and even then I could bump start it without problem. It is worth noting that it you turn the ignition key past the steering lock that it leaves the back parking light on :-)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 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
3 out of 5

Does its job

15 October 2012 by megger

I have owned many many bikes, and when choosing a bike, you have to ask "what do i want it for". This i brought for a runaround, i wanted something around the 600cc mark, good for going to work on and somthing the the theiving scum wont want to nic... Read more (thats why i did not go for a crosser) I have done the whole sports bike, and just cant trust myself, so there a no go. So the XJ came up, good value for money, as said, its a no thrills bike, but it does what it was designed for and it does it well. room enough for two, it goes and stops and not much else. Saying that i am not disapointed with it, as i knew what i was buying.

Overall Rating 3 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 4 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
3 out of 5

XJ 600 S Divvy

21 March 2012 by JustChillOut

Astra diesel sums it up well! It's a great budget bike for the daily commute - I struggle to get less than 50 mpg normally 55+. Riding position is good, handling in traffic is nice and light. I've spent 18 months and 12k miles through 2 winters on... Read more mine and it's hardly missed a beat. Riding out 'for fun' I'd like a little more excitement but that isn't really why I bought it so can't complain. Vibration and other niggles are minor and I don't really notice now.

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

xj 600n

30 September 2011 by gstring75

my first bike is an xj 600n tbh not much different from the 125 i did cbt on! Read more

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 2 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 2 out of 5
Equipment 1 out of 5
4 out of 5

XJ 600 S in Germany

04 October 2010 by SteBev

Im very surprised with my XJ600 now thats saying something because my last bike was a GSXR750 and yes i was a bloody maniac on it. I like the riding position and the smooth motor above 50 mph but the Exhausts are cack to say the least, that will be... Read more 444 quid for a new 4-2 (dont like the 4-1) i just hope her indoors dont ask me the real price ! its not to stable but i still throw it around the back roads and see off some of the racer boy wanna be's just hope the tyres will last, only time will tell !

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

xj600n what a cracker

01 June 2010 by iford

Being a 55 year old my views may be strange? i am athe peverbial bore again rider (last 7 years) since I have had 2 customs 3 classics 2 trailies and 3 all rounders. The xj600n?diversion gets some slagging as boring and bland etc. I have to say I... Read more aggree a lot with "skellyjelly". As a general use Motorcycle the little divvy is a cracker. It is a simple no nonsence bike designed for basic all round riding and it does its job perfectly. It is so light and easy to ride and reasonably comfey, quick too when required. Each time it seems when I pull up at the lights next to R1's etc stretch and groan and in these days of speed traps and of course idiot car drivers keeping your speed down a bit ain't a bad idea!! Fuel useage is low 60 to 65 mpg top speed ton+ (if you can hang on)insurance low. If you tinker with home maintaince an ablsolute doddle

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 3 out of 5
4 out of 5

xj600n what a cracker

01 June 2010 by iford

Being a 55 year old my views may be strange? i am athe peverbial bore again rider (last 7 years) since I have had 2 customs 3 classics 2 trailies and 3 all rounders. The xj600n?diversion gets some slagging as boring and bland etc. I have to say I... Read more aggree a lot with "skellyjelly". As a general use Motorcycle the little divvy is a cracker. It is a simple no nonsence bike designed for basic all round riding and it does its job perfectly. It is so light and easy to ride and reasonably comfey, quick too when required. Each time it seems when I pull up at the lights next to R1's etc stretch and groan and in these days of speed traps and of course idiot car drivers keeping your speed down a bit ain't a bad idea!! Fuel useage is low 60 to 65 mpg top speed ton+ (if you can hang on)insurance low. If you tinker with home maintaince an ablsolute doddle

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 3 out of 5
Read all 28 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1992
Year discontinued 2004
Original price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 9 of 17
Annual road tax £58
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 61 bhp
Max torque 34 ft-lb
Top speed 117 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.5 secs
Average fuel consumption 52 mpg
Tank range 165 miles
Specification
Engine size 599cc
Engine type 8v transverse four, 5 gears
Frame type Steel tube double cradle
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 770mm
Bike weight 182kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs
Rear brake 245mm disc
Front tyre size 110/80 x 17
Rear tyre size 130/70 x 18

History & Versions

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.

Photo Gallery

  • Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Front view
  • Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Engine
  • Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Front view
  • Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Engine
  • Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha XJ600 Diversion motorcycle review - Side view