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XT660X Supermotard

Engine: Liquid-cooled, single-cylinder
Displacement: 660cc
Bore/stroke: 100mm x 84mm
Compression: 10:01
Valve train: SOHC, 4-valve
Fuel System: Fuel injection, 44mm throttle body
Fuel Capacity: 15 lt
Transmission: 5-speed
Final Drive: Chain
Chassis: Tubular steel backbone
Rake: 26 degrees
Trail: 94mm
Wheelbase: 1490mm
Dry weight: 173 kg
Seat height: 875mm
Front Suspension: 43mm Paioli conventional cartridge fork
Rear suspension: Single shock, linkage
Front Wheel: 17-inch diameter Excel, with 120/70-17 Pirelli Dragon
Rear Wheel: 17-inch diameter, with 160/60-17 Pirelli Dragon
Front Brake: Single 320mm rotor, Brembo four-piston caliper
Claimed peak power: 47.3 hp at 6000 rpm
Claimed max torque: 43 lb-ft at 5250rpm

Yamaha XT660X - Factory Supermoto

Road test by Adrian Percival

After riding an 2004 R1 for the previous couple of weeks in all sorts of conditions and types of traffic I had an opportunity to swap over for a while onto the new Yamaha XT660X Supermoto. So with some reservations I headed off on a sunny day to Brooklands in Surrey to change bikes. Now Brooklands is just off the M25 so it's inevitable that you will have to use some of this horrible motorway to get there, but with traffic the way it was and the road repairs on the main motorway I was glad in a way that I used it as all the smaller roads seemed to be in a state of gridlock!

I collected the XT and was reliably informed 'No don't use it on the motorway, take the twisties!', but with what I had just ridden through I decided to take the M25 back for a short way. After checking over the bike and the controls I headed off through the town and back toward the motorway, and with just 5 miles under my belt a switch went on in my brain - I had just turned into another type of hooligan - this bike is great, it's the kind of bike that every motorcyclist should own, a bike for all weathers and it just makes you smile...

Riding through the traffic is so easy, and as I passed yet another supersports bike with the rider all hunched up painfully over the bars I though of myself a short while before! Riding the same route on the R1 was not nice, but on this XT it was fantastic, let's see how it goes on the motorway coming up next...

The Yamaha XT660X seems to eat up most types of traffic and roads, it's versatile and easy to ride, you can have as much fun as you can possible have on any bike riding at normal speed limits and keeping your licence safe. For 2004, the XT660 has been completely redesigned and now features a liquid-cooled, single-cylinder motor with a 100mm bore and 84mm stroke. The motor also features a forged piston running a compression ratio of 10:1 in a ceramic-composite plated bore. A new fuel injection system with a 44mm throttle body feeds the all new SOHC, four-valve cylinder-head, and twin big-bore exhausts let the engine breathe nicely.

The power delivery from the XT is very snappy indeed, the torque delivery is pretty flat and that just encourages you to get aggressive on the acceleration out of corners. You can get all the power available down onto the ground without any real fear, in fact I had the rear sliding out of corners after a while (which I don't usually do!) under full control and had no worry about Mr Highside paying me a visit. This bike seems to handle all types of roads and every type of road surface you care to throw at it, it stable on fast roads and will tackle motorways for reasonable distances at well more than the legal limits. Not only that but as far as motorway riding is concerned I did discover that it is pretty resistant to buffeting from trucks and buses making it an easy bike to commute on. I did do a bit of commuting with it into London for a few days, and as a test I only used the M40 motorway from Oxfordshire to get into the city, it was easy and comfortable. The XT 660X is definitely the sort of bike you could ride every day, and you could have your dream bike sitting in the garage for those other special days.

The XT660 gives you the feeling that it is unbreakable when you ride it, it's an undemanding bike to ride but it has a very distinct road presence, but as always you will really have to ride one to understand what I'm talking about. On country roads and twisting 'A' roads it can be pushed as hard as you like into corners and leaned as far over as any current sportsbike without any fear, I did actually manage to touch a peg down at one stage which can't be bad from a bike derived from a dirt bike. There are a lot of lightweight dirt bikes that feel very nervous and skittish on the road, but the XT660X feels more like a normal middleweight naked road bike in reality, you don't get that feeling of vagueness from the steering and with the seating position and footpegs being as they are it gives you a much more sporting position than the usual dirtbike style layout. As I said before the power delivery comes in a way that plants the rear wheel on the road from very low revs right up through the range, it's much smoother and crisper than the normal big-bore enduro and very exhilarating in the mid range.

The XT uses a tubular steel frame with two upper frame tubes, the engine is utilised as a stressed member, this results in a chassis some 60% stiffer than its predecessor, so Yamaha say. Both the XT660 and the X have the same 43mm front forks, but the 660X is by far better on the road due to being less soft and better damped. To complete the road package the X has some excellent Excel road rims fitted, the front and rear 17" rims run sticky 120/70 and 160/60 radial tyres. In the braking dept the front is fitted with a huge 320mm floating disc and a Brembo four-piston caliper, the combination certainly works well and will haul you and the rear wheel up very quickly indeed! Yamaha have tuned the suspension for the XT660X and it works well, It's not just a dirtbike with road wheels and tyres fitted, it's a total package. With the right rider on it you will definitely surprise a lot of supersports bike riders on any country road pursuit, not bad for a 48bhp bike!

If you take a look at the Yamaha XT660X on the spec sheet then I doubt very much whether you would consider it. On paper the XT factory supermotard doesn't look that good, it weighs pretty much the same as the current R1 and has between 1/4 and 1/3rd of the power!! The single cylinder motor develops a meager 48bhp and has to pull along a mass of 170kg (dry), it all looks like a bike that will never thrill and have no performance at all. But ride one and think again..the XT660X will change your opinion of this type of bike, after a few minutes riding it you will soon realise that the fun factor is high and the reason for this just ride it on the stop everywhere you go, corners become a thing of the past and you just grin like a maniac!!

The XTX is a really easy bike to ride through traffic and the city, and it's serious fun winding country lanes, in fact the narrower the roads the better the XT gets! With the super sticky sports road tyres, which are incidentally designed for much more power, you can put down all the power and lay it over as far as you like. Ride the XT at any corner and keep the throttle open like you would on the dirt, it will steer quickly and precisely around and accelerate hard out, it great fun and I don't know of many other bikes that you can actually do that with! The suspension soaks up all of the bumps and undulations in a nice way without throwing the bike off-line, and when you brake a little hard it doesn't dive excessively. It's a different sensation completely to that of riding a middleweight bike hard, a lot of this is due to the relatively high seating position. Never think you will overstretch this bike, keep the throttle open and keep your weight over the bars, if you think you are going too fast or are over committed into a corner then back it off a bit, the XT won't bite back, then try again and lean it into the corner as much as you like, it will take it believe me!

The XT660X is a bike you can live with every day. It's not some highly strung supermoto that needs servicing daily, it doesn't vibrate you off the bike on every ride either, you can actually see through the mirrors at speed, and it's comfortable for reasonable distances. It has all the benefits of a normal road bike including (a bit of overkill in reality) hazard warning lights! On a Supermoto!! No it really is a bike for everyone, you can ride it to work and you can take on the big boys at weekends, and that says it all in a nutshell...


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