Yamaha XTX 660 test
Intro: FOR THE GLORY OF THE SUPERMOTO
Super Moto has never been as popular as it is today, after exploding onto the scene in the mid 1990s. For
a long time, competitors had to the change the tyres, brakes and suspension of their bikes, themselves.
Esthetique: AS AGGRESSIVE AS YOU LIKE
From the front, the Japanese bike is very aggressive with its impressive inverted head fork. The very large petrol tank hides the radiators and weighing in at over 170 kilograms the machine has a daunting presence at rest. But there is no reason for panic; the seat provides a comfortable riding position giving the XTX an all-round good balance. At the rear are missile like exhaust pipes on each side of the break lights, identical to those on the "R" model, and they too contribute to the aggressive look of the XTX. The instrument panels is basic and in fact, maybe too so. The lack of a rev. counter is unfortunate, which is always useful when pushing a motorbike to its limit. On the other hand, when the low fuel light comes on, the trip, automatically, resets to zero. Yamaha hasnt forgotten about passengers on the XTX. The proof... real handles and foot rests at the back.
Motorization: ITS ALL ABOUT THE TORQUE
The engine is an enlarged single-cylinder from the XT, coming in at 695cc to be exact, delivering 45 horsepower from 6000-rpm and 6-mkg of torque from 5000-rpm. The performance level is identical to the XT-R, which takes another turn thanks to the chassis... In first, second and third gear, you can do pretty much what he wants. But as soon as you go into fourth, you quickly realize you have only 48bhp at your disposal. The motor, seriously, lacks power and there only five gears... a sixth would be very handy. Dont forget that this is a single-cylinder and the pleasure is found in playing with the available torque.
On the road: PLAYFUL
Very early on, the XTX shows why it is fun to ride. The ability to amuse oneself in combining the tight corners is the XTXs true terrain of predilection... a lot more anyway than the original version. And this explained quite simply : to give the XTX more liveliness, the fork angle was reduced as well as the wheelbase... The result being that the bike practically turns on itself. While riding the XTX one must remember to grasp the bike tightly between the legs because the acceleration and gear changing renders the machine unstable, which is not a very pleasant phenomenon, especially when riding through a corner on a bumpy road surface. The XTX comes with some serious equipment : Excel wheel rims, Pirelli tyres, a Paoli suspension and Brembo brakes. The Yamaha engineers definitely used their racing experience to incorporate all of this for the road and it certainly has paid off. At the entry point of each turn, nothing is more fun than to pitch the XTX into a slide. The 320mm Brembo disc and its aviation break lines are up to the task. Powerful and long lasting, they provide the rider with plenty of confidence. Even though the Paoli fork seems a bit too soft, they do provide for better and more precise steering than the trail version... In short, if you wanted to reduced speed, too bad... It can run even faster ! The two large foot rests are there for better stability when changing direction and thus the rider will sense that the bikes trail tendency is very near, and it holds its ground whether in the turns or on the dirt. The large moto-cross type handlebars assure an optimal riding position. Upright on the bike and remaining glued to the petrol tank will result in a near perfect handling n the bends. Unfortunately, the wind deflector, which protects the instrument panel to perfection, is there for cosmetic effect, because from 110km/h, the rider will have to have the neck of a rugby man to cope with the swirling wind. With a stunt tendency, which is all the rage these days, the XTX can count heavily on its look and character.