2021 History Yamaha XT600Z
XT600Z TENERE 1983-1990
2021 History Yamaha XT600Z. Building on the success of Yamaha’s Dakar Rally motorcycles in the period Tenere was born. This bike is named after a particular difficult part of the Dakar Rally in Africa. Over a decade it was estimated that 20,000 bicycles were sold in France alone, about 30% of total production. The 600s featured a large overland tank (23-28), large wheel travel and improved suspension. This was an advancement in the enduro scene back then and started a legacy that is still going strong today.
XT600Z (34L) – (1983-84)
The first generation of the Tenere family that is 40 years later, is still going strong. The 34L was launched at the Paris Motorcycle Show in 1982. With its signature large 28l fuel tank, kick start, long wheel travel and mono cross suspension, the 34l became a popular land bike. This bike is an upgrade on the previous 500/550, now producing 43hp and powerful low end power. The mono-cross suspension system was big news for an enduro bike upgrade of the time. Combined with a large tank and a host of other upgrades, this makes the Tenere a powerful road touring bike capable of serious travel.
XT600Z (55W) – (1985)
In 1985 Yamaha introduced the 55W to European countries only. Featuring only moderate changes and upgrades this model is appreciated for its relative rarity, only being produced for 1 year and only in European countries. Common problems still include 5th gear wear which is a common problem for all Teneres this decade.
XT600Z (1VJ) – (1986-87)
1VJ marks the second generation of the Tenere family. Designed to provide some more comfort to the rider it was highly anticipated. Major changes were made, including adding an electric start, moving the airbox under the tank which had the effect of reducing the tank size to 23 liters.
XT600Z (3AJ) – (1988-90)
The XT600Z 3AJ is the 3rd generation of the 600 Teneres and the solution to the overheating problem of the 1VJ. The most notable change is the addition of twin headlights covered in full fairing.
XT600Z (3DS) – (1988-90)
The XT600z 3DS is a 3AJ manufactured for the Swiss market. While lacking in the traditional 40hp+ power of other models due to Switzerland’s strict emissions policy, it outperforms rivals in height. Designed to take the higher altitudes of the famous Swiss track, this bike is equipped with a height compensator.
After finding a set of Ingo Lochert Yamaha XT600z Tenere rally replica images I fell in love with their unique style, design and look. Masses of stickers and decals, baked guards and lots of extra protective accessories. Shortly after I bought my own Tenere as a project to restore an Ingo replica image. When I researched more about Ingo bikes, I realized they hadn’t been seen on the Internet for decades! I really wanted to produce my own replica and bring this bike back into the public eye. With that, I set out on a yearlong quest to restore and customize my bike.
I paid £1600 for my Tenere. It is in poor condition cosmetically but recently underwent an engine rebuild for £600+. Given that this is an unusual bike, I showed no qualms and skipped the bidding process to secure the bike into my possession. I have found that in my experience it pays to be bold and forward when securing the desired item. In the end, the bodywork is rusted, the tank is damaged and the plastic is aged. When doing a full recovery, it seems odd to leave anything in less than perfect condition. That meant that I got rid of my wheels and had a new excel rim with the wording stainless built for this project for £500.
Over time on my own, my Dad and a number of others helped paint, powder coat and source new parts to complete the bike. In the end, the bike is basically new from the whole wheel down to the tiniest nuts and bolts.
In the end, I estimated the total cost to be around £2500 for the restoration. Which took my total investment to £4100. I’ve seen this Teneres 3AJ sell for £4750. So still room for profit. Not that I’m going to sell it. I wonder if it could be one of the best examples in the country, though, not genuine. In 2020 there is another strong contender for the best 3AJ in the UK. The blue one was built by a guy named Darran, I actually supplied him with some decals for his project.
Features of Yamaha XT600Z
- New fairing and mounting rubber repairs.
- Tank cleaned, repaired and POR15 Lined & Sealed.
- Tanks, Fairings and Plastics painted white.
- Custom Decals Dapply. Buy here.
- Standard low mudguard replaced with UFO TTR 250 high mudguard.
- Windshield/screen replaced with +4cm SlipScreens tour screen.
- Homemade Dakar Rally Plates
The XT600 I bought came with a second engine. The engine in the motor at the time had recently had a high end engine rebuild so it was theoretically good to go for a long time. The second engine is about 80% complete, electric starts only and has a few issues, however it is the original engine for my bike. It was useless to me in its current state so I started rebuilding the original machine to go into its native 3AJ. During the investigation of the original engine, it was uncovered that the crank case was damaged beyond repair. The original engine project has now been put on hold until I can locate the crank case from the 3AJ, although, it has now lost its original engine number. When I found the crankcase I would rebuild it as follows:
- Official Yamaha Head Gasket
- Gasket rebuild set.
- Engine oil sealing equipment.
- Heavy Duty Clutch Equipment.
- Clutch springs.
- Machine paint job. black.
For now, the engine that was rebuilt in 2016, is a 3TB engine that has kick and electric start. During my 3AJ recovery I will give the machine one more time before painting it.
Hand guard. Top and bottom extensions/spoilers to match BYRD Ingo replicas and his Acerbis guards. I use BoloniMotorcycle because they are identical to Acerbis but much cheaper. You can read about this creation here.
- XT600z Fork Guard Red.
- Acerbis rear disc guard.
- Homemade Vinyl Decals
- Crashbar (Reinforced)
- Replacing the fuel pipe.
- Cleaned and painted fuel lines for spring protection.
- Metal fuel filter installed under each fuel tap.
- Raised handle bar.
- Seat lowered and recuperated with Yamaha david Lambeth black and red Overland seat covers.
- Rickicross sump (which of course, appeared on ebay during my own build)