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
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.
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.
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.
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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.