2009 Yamaha XJ6 and Diversion road test review

Niall Mackenzie goes walkabout with a pair of Yamaha’s budget bikes in the Australian outback. Disappointingly, Jenny Agutter is nowhere to be seen.

Niall Mackenzie's picture
Submitted by Niall Mackenzie on Wed, 31/03/2010 - 13:58

Click to read: Yamaha XJ6 owners reviews, Yamaha XJ6 specs and to see the Yamaha XJ6 image gallery.

Considering the state of the economy, Yamaha couldn’t have picked a more appropriate year to launch these two entry-level 600s. With my favourite of the two, the XJ6, costing just four and a half grand, you get a cracking bike, but more importantly, a whole load of fun for your money.

Starting with looks, the naked XJ6, in white at least, is a proper little stunner, with a cheeky presence suggesting it will be a bit of fun to ride, and, as I’ll explain in a moment, it certainly doesn’t disappoint.

At the front end, the dash, headlight and conventional 41mm front forks have a minimalist but functional look, which I actually prefer to the more expensive, sporty FZ6. The naked bike also sports excellent solid mirrors, which are positioned perfectly for maximum rear vision. Heading to the rear, I also like the chunky contours of the tank leading back to the nicely exposed frame rails under the seat.

Exhausts these days are becoming a work of art, and this one is no exception. The stubby silencer and pipe sits directly under the engine, and I think it looks the part. It makes a good noise too, unmistakably Yamaha but with quite a loud distinctive growl. If I had to pick one item be the skinny black swing arm.

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