Yamaha  XT600 43F   

Last updated:Feb-2006

Well, my XT600 43F was completely stock original when I got it in 2005, so I took a lot of pictures before modifying anything. All stock parts have been stored in a safe place. Should you be in the process of restoring a stock 43F, follow this link to see more pictures.

XT600 or bust!

Yamaha's XT500 is the motorcycle I dreamt of as a teenager, in the 70s and early 80s, which I spent riding my Kawasaki Z200 and Yamaha XT250 for countless sunny miles to and from college and work on farms in South Africa. Many years, countries (and bikes) later we spent two weeks on the Greek island of Samos where I rented a KLR650 to explore the hills. Coming back from that ride I remembered the fun I used to have on my XT250 travelling the dusty Outback of South Africa from job to job. 

Remembering the dusty outback with a KLR ...nice bike

So when I got back to Denmark I sold off my diverse bikes and bought an XT600. Finally I had come home! A bike I can use all year, every day, and not have to worry about appearances. A real blood-and-guts bike which I use to work every day, but which I intend to use for my upcoming Denmark - Morocco - Denmark Adventure...(lights fade...projectors on...and:

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Specifications - XT600, Porsche killer

Well, I usually skip over the specifications section of Motorcycle literature, so I thought I would present some casually selected specs in context:

                    Porsche 911 SC            1983     180bhp        0-100 kmh: 7.0 sec
                    Porsche 944 2.5 Lux     1985     170bhp        0-100 kmh: 7.5 sec
                    Porsche 944 Turbo        1985     220bhp        0-100 kmh: 6,3 sec
                    Ferrari 308 GTS             1985     240bhp        0-100 kmh: 7,3 sec
                    Ferrari 328GTB              1985     280bhp        0-100 kmh: 6,0 sec
                    Yamaha XT600 43F     1985     44bhp          0-100 kmh: 5,8 sec

Yep, if you are going to thrash your stock standard XT at the traffic lights, you better have strong arms, and keep your mouth closed! The above spec. only applies to the first XT600 models. Subsequent models had considerably less "grunt", and the early models are prized today for their engine characteristics (and alloy rims. And kick-start rather than electric ditto. Oh, and their lower weight. Better handling. Uhm...drum rear brake. Rev counter. etc).

Winter biking with the XT600

Winter riding is the last great bastion of motorcycling. I class winter motorcyclists at the top level, together with GP racers and round-the-world daredevils ;-)

Two beat-up old-timers sharing a smoke, at the top level of motorcycling ;-)

There's nothing to beat the feeling of  satisfaction when you reach that state of nirvana on a piss-wet day with zero visibility and freezing temperatures, when your physical discomforts disappear, and the sound of your trusty and dependable winter bike fills your soul, and you glow with the realization that you are one with the elements, and you are the ONLY biker on the road...it must be the same feeling of elated solitude Everest climbers have for that split second before a party of Japanese tourists make the summit.

Its also the technical challenge of preparing a bike for a hard winter. My winter bike is an XT600, battle scarred and worn, gaunt and dependable.  I have the same feelings for this bike as an old bloke I saw at a watch shop the other day. I was standing next a to a young couple buying a real flash Swiss automatic chronograph with ALL the glitzy chronometer functions, helium release...you get the picture, and this weather-beaten old farmer walks in and takes off a heavy, battered tin mechanical wristwatch, asking to have it cleaned. The clerk smiled and pointed out that for the price of the cleaning he could buy a nice quartz watch and enjoy great precision, to which the farmer replies: My father set this watch every day to his grandfather's clock, and I have done the same ever since. My watch tells me what time it is, all day, every day. Clean it.

Follow this link to read about how I prepare my XT600 for winter riding.

Pennytech GPS screen

So, i was dreaming about a Dakar-type screen and a mount for a GPS. Oh, and a GPS. But as this is a hobby for me (read: things should be as cheap as possible, the commercial options where out of my range. Besides, I like to think up solutions to problems and solve them with bits and pieces lying around. Other people's rubbish etc... Solution: PENNYTECH!

GPS screen mounted. 

Follow this link to read about how I made the screen.

Magazine articles 

The following two articles are in  Danish, sorry! I will soon be scanning more articles, of which many will be in German or English. 


Motorcyklen 6/86                Motorcyklen 6/84

Model descriptions 

                               MC Revyen, Denmark, 1985

                               Motorrad Reisen & Sport 18/85

Big singles wear out quickly...

This is an "argument" I often hear, when people discuss the merits of their respective bikes. This may be true in theory, but these engines are tough as nails and simple, making repairs relatively easy, allowing mileages in excess of 200TKm, as witnessed by the following bikes:

270.000km XT600: www.weltreise-motorrad.de

200.000km XT600: http://www.xt-foren.de/dcforum/DCForumID15/924.html# ; http://www.motorradnomaden.de/

200.000km XT550: http://www.ring-carlsen.dk/index.htm

260.000km Tenere: http://www.tenere.ch/english/eh200k.html

Now, that's pretty impressive by my book! And, hey, when your motor gets to 270TKm, pick up another motor on eBay and ride another 200.000kms!

Technical details ...Motorrad Reisen & Sport 18/85

 If you have any questions or comments, please send me a mail .