YAMAHA XTZ660 (1991 - 1999) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 3.4 out of 5 (3.4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £130
Power: 47 bhp
Seat height: Tall (33.9 in / 860 mm)
Weight: Medium (443 lbs / 201 kg)

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
2 out of 5 (2/5)

The Yamaha XTZ660 (or Teneré) comes from a time when Continental cool meant enormous trail-style bikes and a far-away look in the eyes. Actually that might just have been piles, since the Yamaha XTZ660 boasts one of the most uncomfortable seats ever created outside of the Inquisitions of 15th-Century Spain. The exhaust and spokes rot and the electrics are poor.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
2 out of 5 (2/5)

The Yamaha XTZ660's lofty perch and wide bars make for easy, confident bend swinging and superior vision of the road ahead. You’ll need it too, since the brakes are lamentable – the lack of bite exacerbated by some colossal fork dive. And by God, the Yamaha XTZ660's seat’s uncomfortable, too.


Next up: Reliability
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The Yamaha XTZ660's SOHC single thumps away with its five-valve head, but the motor never feels like it’s comfortable much past 75mph. It doesn’t respond well to low rpm, either, but there’s decent power in the mid-range that makes blatting around town a breeze. Careful riding will easily see 55mpg from the Yamaha XTZ660 and push the range to almost 200 miles.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
2 out of 5 (2/5)

Presumably because it’s so unstressed the Yamaha XTZ660's motor is very reliable, which is more than can be said for the electrics, the head bearings (the oil-in-the-frame design heats up the grease, leaving the bearings to fend for themselves). The Yamaha XTZ660's downpipe rots and the finish goes off over a winter.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
2 out of 5 (2/5)

The Yamaha XTZ660 is miles cheaper than a BMW and its bigger Yamaha brother the 750cc Super Teneré, but nowhere near as good. Buy a Honda Dominator and be happy. Find a Yamaha XTZ660 for sale


3 out of 5 (3/5)

The Yamaha XTZ660 definitely looks the part – a big tank, chunky protection and big dual headlights. The lights, though, are truly feeble. Even with aftermarket high-power bulbs the Yamaha XTZ660's lights offer little more than raw carrots in terms of added night vision.


Engine size 659cc
Engine type 5v single, 5 gears
Frame type Tubular steel cradle
Fuel capacity 20 litres
Seat height 860mm
Bike weight 201kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake Single 282mm disc
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 90/90 x 21
Rear tyre size 120/90 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost £130
New price -
Used price -
Insurance group 9 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 47 bhp
Max torque 42 ft-lb
Top speed 93 mph
1/4 mile acceleration 17.2 secs
Tank range 185 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

1991: Yamaha XTZ660 introduced – early models have a square, single headlight.
1994: Twin headlights introduced on Yamaha XTZ660.
1999: Yamaha XTZ660 deleted.

Other versions


Owners' reviews for the YAMAHA XTZ660 (1991 - 1999)

5 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA XTZ660 (1991 - 1999) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your YAMAHA XTZ660 (1991 - 1999)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 3.8 out of 5 (3.8/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 3 out of 5 (3/5)
Engine: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Reliability & build quality: 3.4 out of 5 (3.4/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Equipment: 3.2 out of 5 (3.2/5)
Annual servicing cost: £130
4 out of 5 Retro desert rally cool-getting better with age
25 August 2022 by Lagartijo

Version: 3yf

Year: 1991

Annual servicing cost: £125

Diy paris-dakar-london

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5

Brakes not great, but no-one won any races by having great brakes. They work though. Engine not the fastest or most powerful of fourse..can be docile or can bite a bit, depending how u want to ride it. Conservative or like you stole it. Ride it hard and it will respond surprisingly well...the bike will take anything you throw at it and will never moan. Seat is as everyone says...painful after the 60-80 minute mark. Just take it like a man/woman.

Engine 5 out of 5

In terms of reliability and user friendly diy servicing, i love it. Won't break down. It's torquey and it won't kill you y throwing you at ridiculous speed on public roads. Fuel range is great on 20 ltr tank...reasily over 200 miles before reserve kicks in. Btw, never allow a y garage to clean and service your carbs unless you really know and trust them. After 2 garages and 'expert' mechanics servicing my carbs and bike still struggling to start after 5 days or longer being stood, I took carbs out myself and readjusted them to yamaha specs (2.5 turns out for pilot screw and 25mm-27mm float height) specs which I had shared with them and still it was all wrong when I checked it! (Why????) The bike rides and starts absolutely spot on, and will start after 1-2 weeks of no use in a few turns of the engine and as it should. Just bear that in mind.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

A bit of corrosion it's great maladie...engine never broke down. Regulator packed up in acrid smoke, bike leaving a trail like a spitfire in flames. Could still ride home. Bought quality replacement tourmax and good to go again forever&ever. Choke cable also corroded but a clean and grease and good again. That's as bad as it got in over 30 yrs

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

25 pounds to change oil and filter and 100 pounds for insurance. Valves can be adjusted on the side of the rd...the bike can easily be serviced and maintained by an enthusiastic mechanic. After all, they were built to do a desert rally where spares, time and patience would be a rare commodity.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Basic lights and instruments that will never fail and will give you all the info you need to know to get you across any desert...or big city, lol. I wired a switched usb charger to the battery and can charge and use on the go any phone or sat nav without any electrical glitches. Switch it off when notin use and the battery will never drain. Great stock rear luggage rack. Big stock orange indicators hard to miss by sleepy car drivers. Lovely stock front fairing and side covers/cowling directing air to centre radiator. Makes it aerodynamic and incredibly stable at higher speeds. Liquid cooled engine that can travel to the sun and still keep cool. Big rubberized rider and pillion foot pegs. Great flat seat without weird restrictive shapes. Tall bike. Probably forget a coup,e more things. They don't make them as cool and hardy as these anymore.

Buying experience: Very rare to find in decent condition these days either people that have one don't want to sell them, like myself, or there's not many of them left after 30+ years. I was lucky to find mine oline, but had to look for it for a few months...this was back in 2016

4 out of 5 Everyone should own one at some point
29 August 2020 by B

Version: 3yf

Year: 1999

Twin headlights, riding position and the sound and feel of that thumper engine

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5

Standard seat you’ll manage 2 hours riding, pillion less! Ride is great though position and feel of the bike on the winding roads.

Engine 5 out of 5

Reliable strong thump.

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

Poor electrics. Can’t moan about corrosion on a 21 year old bike! I’m told Bull riders practice on this bike For how hard the seat is and soft suspension.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Oil and filters cheap. DIY. At some point you’ll have to get electrics sorted and replace exhaust system every 15-20 years (aftermarket). Great on fuel

Equipment 3 out of 5

Headlights look great. And the horn works. Brakes take the edge off your speed, but good pair of boots are more effective

3 out of 5 Want to sell really but can't be bothered.
25 June 2020 by DreamingThumperInAtlantis

Year: 1999

Annual servicing cost: £250

It's the least used bike in the garage, other two are much more versatile.

Ride quality & brakes 2 out of 5

The bike is wonderful on our current pothole-ridden roads, but it doesn't want to go over 70 easily due to its gearing, nor it wants to go very slow due to big thumper engine. The breaks work and stop the bike. The seat is as uncomfortable as they come, and literally painful after two hours.

Engine 5 out of 5

It works, no complaints, no issues, no problems. Every day chugs along unstressed as long as you're doing 55-60. It can go around the world in dirt roads at this speed just fine.

Reliability & build quality 2 out of 5
Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

Every time I think of selling it, something goes wrong with it. It's had a dangerous MOT fault every single year - I get it fixed, something else breaks. Not that I ride it a lot, but for a 21y old bike it shows its age. Engine is solid though, one part that doesn't fail. Extremely frugal when it comes to fuelling costs, does 65+mpg easily at all times and this is a carburated bike.

Equipment 2 out of 5

There ain't any to talk about. It's got mirrors, does that count?!

4 out of 5 Awesome bike
13 May 2019 by Joe

Year: 1998

Annual servicing cost: £100

I love this bike, I put on a sheep skin cover on the seat and it is comfortable now. I also put in led lights and they are bright as day. It can go anywhere on or off road. It has a lot of torque to climb hills. I will never sell it.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5
01 February 2018 by Big B

Year: 1999

Annual servicing cost: £30

Great looking bike

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5

Upgraded with my Mountain Bikes Brakes! Seat is hard. Handles well

Engine 4 out of 5

Thumps for ever

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Electrics are poor

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Cheap to service, but plug access is a joke

Equipment 2 out of 5

Electrics are poor. Twin headlamps look amazing to be fair

Buying experience: Stratford Motorcycles. Or CROOKS if you like

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