Yamaha XJ600 buying guide

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Hello, this guide is to help you to decide whether a Yamaha XJ600 is for you, or not!

The XJ600 was the equivant of the Yamaha Fazer, fifteen years ago!

And it can't have been a bad motorcycle, as Yamaha has brought it back in 2009.

Well the good points!

There easy to restrict to 33bhp for anyone whom has a class A1 license.

They are cheap to buy, prices from £500 for a good 1996/97 example.

The ride is comfy but not cruiser soft, you can feel the bumps but they won't hurt like on a sports bike!

They come with or without fairings, XJ600N is unfaired, XJ600S has fairings!

Plenty of spare parts available on ebay and at your local bike garage

Insurance is cheap too, my insurance was £145 (2005) for a year, and I was 23 when I insured it, in 2009 my insurance is just £66 per year!

Bulletproof engine, there very reliable too, mine starts every time, and I ride all year round, 2009 update : I don't ride all year round, but i do ride in all seasons, this bike can go months without running without too much hassle getting it started!

Good fuel comsumption, normal A to B riding is about 60mpg, a brisk summer ride is about 50mpg!

Chain and sprocket lifespan is very high, mine has done over 15000 miles and still has the same one, 2009 update : chain and sprockets lasted 18500 miles before hitting there strecth limit, which is good going by any standard, D.I.D chains are a recommended replacement, very tough and not overly expensive, typically around £80 a set!

Some bad points!

Headlights are not brilliant, a stronger bulb is recommended to see well at night time!

Exhausts, most don't have there original stock ones, most have either a MOTAD or NEXXUS aftermarket one, also if the one your bidding one that needs a new exhaust, forget it, they cost nearly £400 to replace!

The footpegs are a bit dated by todays standards, but some aftermarket ones should cure that!

Engine power, which was 60bhp when it left the factory ten years ago, expect 50 to 55 bhp realistically!

Top speed, which was 125mph when it left the factory ten years ago

Buying tips!

Tyres, go for Brigdestone BT45's, good all rounder, grips well in all weathers, good lifespan too, some people prefer Dunlops, but I nearly came off round a corner with them on, so I changed them!

Listen for engine rattle if possible, sign of worn camchain, which is not a cheap replacement!

Electrics, they can be faulty, but usually not!

In extreme cold (-15c of less), the one of the cylinders may stop working, this is known as 'dropping a cylinder', this is a common  fault, having discuss this with another 'divvy' owner.

Oil on top of the engine, sign of a worn / high mileage engine, or as I discovered, aftermarket 4 into 1 exhaust systems, oil goes into the airbox and lacks out when the engine is not running, look for oil stains down the side of the gear selector!

If you are lucky enough to come across an original exhaust system, which comes in two parts, get it, your engine will run far smoother than with any aftermarket 4 into 1 exhaust system, the engine's mid range power improves drastically, and it's nice and quiet, handy if you intend on touring.

Rust forming on brake system nipples is a bit of a problem, they tend to snap if you've left them for a while.


The XJ600 is a good bike overall, comfy, reliable, cheap to insure and run, it lacks power but for 99% of the riding that your going to be doing, that's not a problem!

Recommended first bike after your test, because it's easy to ride and live with!


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