1990 Yamaha XJ600


Good all rounder


Front brakes stopped working

General Comments:

Motorcycles I have owned prior to the XJ600 were:

Yamaha XS 750, 3 cylinder, double overhead camshaft. A big machine, good for a tall rider I thought. Performance is very poor, 100mph top speed, 29mpg, mine lasted for 3000 miles, a disaster of a purchase.

Kawasaki Z440, 2 cylinder, the size of a 250. Poor performance, horrible to ride, gutless and a dreadful waste of money. It was astonishing how bad it was. The engine went after a few thousand miles. Traded it in for £150.

Suzuki GS 425, another 2 cylinder, bored out 250. Dreadful performance, not suited to the roads of Britain, money down to the pan. Engine blew after 20k miles!

MZ 125-150. A single cylinder two stroke with abysmal performance. Cost so little, but they are not even worth pennies. 50mph top speed - a nightmare on wheels.

MZ300, another very strange machine to look at in the performance department. On a trip to Dover and back, it would not go above 20mph. After a few weeks, the gearbox disintegrated as it was being ridden up the motorway. £1100 wasted as it had only covered 1,000 since it was purchased. Total garbage.

Suzuki X7, 250 cc. A very fragile machine. The engine blew after less than 20,000 miles. A total waste of money. Rebuilt as the engine blew again after a few thousand miles.

List of all bikes owned:

SS50, 45mph, 12,000 miles, traded in 1977. A Honda Cub makes more sense than this ‘sporty’ moped.

CB200, 65mph, 12,000 miles, traded in 1979, cost £525, good for India or China.

X7, 100mph, 3,000 miles, holed piston, 1982, fragile.

VT250, 95mph, 1,000 miles, traded in 1982, hyped up.

CBX550F2, 130mph, 3,000 miles, traded in 1982, fast sexy fun small bike.

XS750, 100mph, 3,000 miles engine went, 1982, horrible 3 cylinder nightmare.

GSX750ES, 135mph, 18,000 miles, traded in 1983, cost £1800, fast sexy and fun.

Z440, 95mph, 3,000 miles, camshaft went, 1983, horrible.

GS425, 95mph, 3,000 miles, big end went, 1983, horrible.

MZ125/150, 50mph, 500 miles, would not work, 1983, ridiculous throwback to the 50’s.

FJ1200, 150mph, 26,000 miles traded in 1986, cost £2600, adrenaline pump, you will have post traumatic stress disorder after riding it.

CX500, 110mph, 2,000 miles, sold as too boring, 1987, cost £1100, maggot or plastic pig sums it up, will go forever very cheaply.

MZ300, 90mph, 3,000 miles, gearbox disintegrated, 1987, an abomination.

Honda Benly 185, 65mph, 2,000 miles, stopped working, 1991, cost £150, tiny chain came off, why?

XJ600, 120mph, 3,500 miles, 1996, horny machine, good to ride, wears out fast, will go around IOM at 100mph!

Company bikes ridden, but not owned, not in order of use:

Suzuki GS500, 1990, excellent performer with good stopping power and fuel consumption. 110mph top speed, 50 mpg, is good around town and on the open road.

Kawasaki GT750, 1991, much more powerful than a GT550, but the same fuel consumption. Much nicer to drive over long distance or short distance, old fashioned.

Kawasaki GT550, 1992-2004, under powered version of GT750, very out of date now, old fashioned in the 80’s when they were first sold.

Honda CX 500, 1992, plastic pig or maggot, will keep going as can be bodged, but not exciting, will plod on forever, very 70’s technology.

Honda VT500, 1984-1986, sorted version of CX, all problems overcome, but cannot be bodged up, so very few around, most broken for parts.

Honda RS 250, 1983-1984, a small bike liked by couriers, does not like motorways as poor oil flow to cylinder head, alright as ‘rat’ bike.

Honda NS 125, 1991, small and slow, but otherwise reasonable.

Honda CB400 Super Dream, 1991, 110mph seen on speedo with a gale force wind behind me. Reasonable 70’s technology, good ‘rat’ bike.

Honda Hornet, the 2004 21C has arrived in the bike world, vicious acceleration, fabulous ride, handling and feel. 120 mph, 0-60 very quick, 50 mpg, the best of the lot.

Best bike is the Yamaha FJ1200. Worst bike, take your pick of the MZ125/150 or the MZ300. All are appalling.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th July, 2006

16th Jan 2012, 14:18

Er... you have owned some incredibly bad motorbikes in your time. Impressive..!!

29th Jan 2012, 15:39

Used to race Suzuki X7s in standard production racing; a very reliable machine. 100 mph top speed after some slight modifications. Would rev. around 10,000 rpm on almost standard exhausts etc. Only unreliable ones I ever saw, and built over 20 of them for racing in production classes, were ones which had been misused or modified away from what was good engineering. Holed pistons? Never with correct settings, spark plugs etc. Would last a whole season. One of the best little 2 strokes made.

1998 Yamaha XJ600


Loved it


Yamaha XJ600N - naked Diversion.

None. The bike had perfect reliability.

General Comments:

Yamaha XJ600N - naked Diversion.

The previous owner was a Police Motorcycle Instructor. He obviously cherished it. When I bought it at two years old, it was immaculate, and I made it my challenge to keep it that way.

Performance wise - it was not lightening fast - but quick enough for me. Two up, it would feel the extra weight, but my wife is small.

Brakes, suspension and handling were perfectly adequate for a bike of this calibre and cost.

I only sold it as I was emigrating, otherwise I would have held on to it - forever.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th March, 2006

10th Apr 2006, 16:18

I owned a 1993 Yamaha 600 'Diversion' (faired) for three years. I agree with the previous comments, except that rust was an ever-present threat, requiring much 'TLC'. This did not prevent the exhaust rotting through at the collecter after the first year. I replaced it with a Motad 'Nexus', and thereafter I can say that the 'Divvy' was a lovely bike, and suited my 12 mile commute and weekend jaunts admirably.

I later bought an MZ Skorpion and ran both these bikes for a year, only deciding to sell the 'Divvy' after much deliberation, being the older of the two.

20th Apr 2006, 08:10

I owned a 1996 XJ600 (diversion model) for two years from new.

The power delivery is smooth and the handling is reasonable, but not great. It's quite a heavy bike, but can be lifted up with a bit of effort if you drop it (as I did 3 times!). The 8 valve, 4 cylinder, 4 carb engine is reliable and puts out about 50 bhp, and the bike is not over complex mechanically.

The brakes are adequate, but not good for emergency stops.

Ask yourself what you want from a bike first though.

The XJ600 is a reliable workhorse, but there are better bikes available for similar money.

16th Jan 2007, 19:20

I just purchased a 1997 98 XJ600. I don't know much about it or what it's worth. Was $1500 too high?..

19th Feb 2007, 14:04

I have found my XJ 600N very reliable in all weathers, and although it may not be the most exciting bike I have ever ridden, I can't fault a bike that looks pretty good and has never let me down. It's a good basic bike with no frills.

6th Aug 2007, 18:59

I bought one two years ago (1996 model). It's been a great bike, and as the others have said, not too powerful, but great for commuting and weekend trips.

My exhaust is still there, but does not look too healthy. Always starts and stops when I want it to, and is comfy; carries two and a bit of gear... enough for me right now.