Xt600 vs xl600

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by cbig, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. cbig

    cbig Rift- Raft, SCooter Trash

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    Thanks for any info -
    Interested in one of these two older kick start dual,sports..XL is something I am somewhat familiar with but the xt600 I here is a good bike as well. I see lots of examples in my area around 14-1600 bucks..

    Is either better than the other? I'm an xr guy but I did have an 80's Yamaha that worked well. How do. They compare reliability wise, street, on dirt? Parts availability? I'm interests in using the bike as an occasional commuter and a dirt explorer . I've got lighter xr's for more serious dirt work such as single track.

    Any reason to favor one over the other? Both seem reliable and capable of 40k + miles if cared for. Ay more comfy, better seat? Build quality better? Fit and finish? It may ride on the back of my jeep occasionally, so lighter is better.

    Thanks,

    CB
    #1
  2. Sub Zero

    Sub Zero Ice Breather!

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    XL600 hands down. not even a competition.
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  3. cbig

    cbig Rift- Raft, SCooter Trash

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    Specific?
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  4. Reposado1800

    Reposado1800 Juicy J fan!

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    Depends on the year. Both are great though.
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  5. cbig

    cbig Rift- Raft, SCooter Trash

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    A 1984-1988 bike. Must be kick start to meet weight requirements..
    #5
  6. BIG ED XT FAN

    BIG ED XT FAN Long timer

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    Well, Thats a Honda guy talking there. Lots of XT600 riders all over the world. Must be good for therm??:lol3 New bikes, old bikes there, Yamaha has got a ride for you. You can get the e-start Xt600 90-95 model for under $1000.00! Or the 84-89 model you can get with a motor that will do 90,000 to 100,00 miles. You can get that model for $100.00 to a 1000 to0!!:deal "Hands up for The XT600!!!!!??" How many do you have??
    Sound like a Yamaha ad???? Well, I have 3 TT600s, one XT600, Xt550 XT500 Too!! Ride almost everyday some where on one of my yamahas. I also have a KLR650!! Not all yamaha here. Good luck! BIG EDC XT&TT 600 FAN!!
    #6
  7. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer

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    The only issue I would have with the XT is the YDIS dual carb setup. All of the 80's dual carb setups were a stupid fad. But the YDIS was espescially lousy. If the XT doesn't start, idle and otherwise carburate perfetly I would walk away. To me, the XL dual carb is much easier to work on and tune.

    Another plus on the XL side is that some XR suspension components will cross over. You can graft an aftermatket XR shock on and make the forks work. Plus there are exhaust options from XR's. Not as much cross over as a quick look would indicate. But a lot more than you can find for an XT.

    But stock and running well I don't see much difference in performance.I would buy a clean XT over a beater XL and the other way around.
    #7
  8. BIG ED XT FAN

    BIG ED XT FAN Long timer

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    The "Kedo" catolog has all the parts for exhaust, hop-up you could ever need for a XT600. Thers a Hop-up carb for the XT600 too. All the crap of YDIS is gone. I run stock carbs and drain them. Never have a problem with them.:eek1:eek1
    #8
  9. cbig

    cbig Rift- Raft, SCooter Trash

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    Is the xr is about 15 lbs heavier, but has a wider transmission, 41 mm forks. The xt has supposedly a chrome lined aluminum cylinder, the xl is standard iron. Looks like a lot of people add on better dirt suspension. I have a xr600 for that, I'm mostly interested in the wider trans for street, fwy and mild dirt on an affordable backup to my street bike. Xts are more rare but have seen some cherry xls go for 1400. I figure 1400-1700 for something nice is about right?
    #9
  10. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer

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    My seat of the pants stock for stock always found the XL to be a little better offroad and the XT a little better on the street.. The stock suspension isn't much on either. But I could make the XL stick better in turns. Probably a function of better front suspension. So it gets my win offroad by a narrow margin. But then for whatever reason I was always more comfortable with the XT ergos. So it gets my vote on the street. Like I said, given a choice I would buy whichever was the cleaner example and better deal. There isn't that much difference. To me, anything under $2000 for a really clean dual sport is a reasonable deal.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. dman

    dman Been here awhile

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    From first-hand experience, albeit 25 years ago: I bought a new '83 XL600 in 1984 and rode it for over 20K miles in 6 years. My friend had an XT600. We rode them a lot together and swapped a lot. We rode everything from the MX tracks at local offroad parks (in my case, VERY slowly), to long tours (California to Alaska and back, for me), and lots of dual-sport riding, usually involving single-track one way and mountain twisties on the way back. My friend was a better dirt rider and I was faster on pavement, and any slight differences in the bikes didn't change that. Both bikes never broke. At the time, I thought the XL600 felt lighter and more comfortable in the dirt, and was also USUALLY easier to start, with both bikes having totally stock jetting and carb/emissions setups (California bikes). So my vote is for the XL600, all things being equal. BUT at this point either one is a 25+ year old used bike, and all things are unlikely to be equal, so go for the one that's in better condition or better priced, with an additional caveat that it may be easier to find Honda parts (OEM, aftermarket, or XR upgrades). Oh, one other thing .... my friend had an XT500 and XT550 before the 600, and for overall DS use with twisties and slab, the 600 was MUCH better than the smaller, drum-braked Yamahas.

    -dman
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  12. cbig

    cbig Rift- Raft, SCooter Trash

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    Any mechanical differences to lean one way or other?
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  13. Carter Pewterschmidt

    Carter Pewterschmidt Long timer

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    Mechanical differences? Like reliablity wise? I wouldn't think so. The only main deal is the carb difference. My friend had the Yamaha dual carb setup on his xt350 but other than a leak between the carbs it never gave him grief. I'd say the Honda might be easier to find parts for since they probably sold twice as many, but the XT is still cool. I would have got one provided I didn't find my XL first.
    #13
  14. elsalvadorklr

    elsalvadorklr southern xr rider

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    I had an 89 xt600, the last year before they made some big changes...

    that engine was as peppy and reliable as my xr6 engine...

    the xt is a great engine...be sure you dont have issues with people lugging 5th gear as that was a known problem just as 3rd gear is on the xr line....

    I tried many xl6s before buying my xt6, the xl6 had more off the line power and was lower...they both had conservative suspension with my nod going to the xt by a smidge, all the xls I was looking at were more expensive than the yammies...just a thought for those looking.

    ps. there is nothing wrong with yamahas ydis carb system, people just had to mod them and then started having problems...

    swap on some raptor carbs and done...

    both are great awesome bikes

    the KEDO catalog will make your 80s dakar juices run...most xt modding and aftermatrket parts come from europe something to think about.

    :D
    #14
  15. elsalvadorklr

    elsalvadorklr southern xr rider

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    here is my old yammie...some mods like tank and barkbuster but that was it...

    I was about to go riding down to south america but changed plans at the last moment...

    I miss it! and this coming from a full fledge honda xr guy now!

    [​IMG]

    christian
    #15
  16. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

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    Christian, what happened to this bike? I like the Yammie TT/XT600s too. (see sig and avatar) I had an '84 TT600 back in the mid '90s that was an absolute rocket. The one I have now is pretty close to the old one but there's a few things I gotta fix before I can give a legitimate comparison.
    #16
  17. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I have the XL6, and have owned a number of Hondas from the era, so I am biased toward the Honda reliability. It sounds like the XT6 is a pretty solid bike too, though, so I agree that either in good condition would be a good buy.

    I give the edge to the Honda simply because of parts availability. There are lots aftermarket suppliers who make XR stuff, and much of that could be used on the XL if needed. Having sold so many of them, used parts would be more easily found as well. Oh, and the XL seat is soooo comfy!

    I just noticed the passenger pegs mount differently, too. The swingarm mounted pegs would be a bit lower and more comfortable for a passenger.
    #17
  18. BIG ED XT FAN

    BIG ED XT FAN Long timer

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    Cool bike!!:eek1:lol3:lol3:wink::freaky
    #18
  19. daviethebiker

    daviethebiker Adventurer

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    I have a 1989 Yamaha XT600 I have had since I bought it new in 1990 and a 1987 Honda XL600R I bought used last year. I bought the Honda because my ex was making it impossible to get my motorcycles after the court stuff was done and I wanted to go riding. I found the XL600 cheaper than going back to going to court . About 5 weeks after I bought the XL600 the sheriff called me and told me to make an appointment to get my motorcycles. I like both bikes but they are good for different riding. The Yamaha is better for freeways stock and I always used a 4 teeth smaller rear sprocket since I bought the bike. I originally used the Yamaha to commute to 100 miles a day. The Honda feels like it has more low end power and better for all out dirt riding. My Honda has been modified some what though, as I know the exaust is super trapp and the carbs. have been jetted, what else I am not sure about yet.
    Either bike can make a person happy. I can still get parts for either bike. I would agree with getting what is in good condition and a fair price is the best bike to get. Both bikes can cause the owner to make goofy grins when the front end comes up.
    #19
  20. cbig

    cbig Rift- Raft, SCooter Trash

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    Xl bikes hold their value...performance being similar. Does the chrome bore xt last longer than an xl? Does the xt in fact have a wider trans?
    #20