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XT660R Reviews The "R" - Good or Bad

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  #1  
Old 04-10-12, 19:04
Golota Golota is offline
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Smile XTR review -wanted one, got one

Hi there,


My first encounter with the XT660R was during our summer vacation in 2007, in Rhodos, Greece. My wife and I rented a this bike and we were impressed by its power, practicality, do it all attitude, relative comfort and low fuel consumption. This was my first time riding a big thumper and even though I had had several more powerful multi-cylinder bikes (a Blackbird XX at that time), I liked the character of the XT.

For the past 5 years, I had a Tiger 1050. Wonderful bike, severely underrated (actually, rated high, but less popular than it deserves), excellent all-road tourer for 2 up. However, this year our baby was born and I found myself riding solo for one day trips only on bad quality pavement and trails.

So I thought that I might as well sell the Tiger, go for a smaller, lighter bike, do the same trips and save a significant amount of money by the price difference. So it got me thinking. The XT660 was an obvious choice, but a KTM 690 SM was also in the mix.

First I tried the KTM. I was impressed by the power, build quality and the top notch components. I was less impressed by the fact that that bike is a real hooligan. It is virtually impossible to ride like a law abiding citizen on that bike. Every ride would be a blast, but at the same time, I would be struggling to stay alive. The Katoom is a weapon, but I was looking for a tool. I was also intimidated by the possible service cost, comfort (the lack of) and the reliability.

This is how I got back to the XT. I tried several ones before settling on a 2005 model with 12.000 kms on its clock, complete service history, in tip-top shape, from a very likable (trustable) 54 years old owner.


So let the upgrading and farkling begin...


- Worn Michelins off, new Metzeler Tourances on. I was looking for a "dual sport" tire, as I ride quite a lot on pavement and did not want to sacrifice road manner. At the same time, I needed something that can be taken off road, even if not for hardcore offroading. So far I'm impressed.


- The original front springs were horrible. It was wallowing like a drunken duck and was not comfortable enough. Lacked feel, dived under braking and the sag was outrageous. I think this is a must to get rid of these and get something that actually does the job. In came the hyperpro springs. I knew from experience that they make a huge difference, but in this case it was a revelation.

- Givi rack and top box added. No explanation needed here.

- Bash plate. I got the one from moto-discovery from Greece. Had to fiddle a litltle, but looks good and its a heavy duty plate with a reasonable price and excellent customer service.


Mods so far:

- New cush drive. The original has little to do with rubber. Luckily, the Hungarian XT Club has an excellent solution for this. They have a source who molded the same piece from real rubber. The difference in look and feel is massive.


- My bike was cutting out from day one. I adjusted the rpm from 1250-1300 to 1400-1450. Problem solved.

- There was some surging. I checked my ECU and it's a 01. What a relief. I don't care about the snatchiness. I think all the fuel injected bikes do that, especially if they are powerful enough. I learnt to drive around that and I don't even notice. However, surging at constant throttle can be annoying. I followed Kev's advice and installed a 1KOhm trimmer between the temp sensor and the ECU. I lowered the measured temp by 10 C. Wow! What a difference. The surging is gone and most of the snatchiness too.


I really like this bike. I think it has a lot of character and is a good compromise between road manners and offroading ability. I'm impressed by the touring capability: it's comfortable, has good power and fuel consumption is very acceptable. There could be more powerful bikes out there, with better suspension, but for me this is the best mixture. I'm a happy camper.
  #2  
Old 04-10-12, 21:10
mudrock mudrock is offline
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Smile

Sounds like u know want u want and how to sort it out, ,

I had a R, some time back, wished I never sold it, got an X At the moment, this time Its a keeper,

Good luck with your ride, looking forward to your upcoming posts,
  #3  
Old 05-10-12, 07:16
Golota Golota is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Hungary
Posts: 7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudrock View Post
Sounds like u know want u want and how to sort it out, ,

I had a R, some time back, wished I never sold it, got an X At the moment, this time Its a keeper,

Good luck with your ride, looking forward to your upcoming posts,
Thanks Mudrock. This is a great forum, glad to be a part of it.
  #4  
Old 05-10-12, 09:52
javahouse javahouse is offline
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Location: Cheshire
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Hi ~
I have a R too, excellent fun, and as you say, good balance of abilities.
Welcome...
Rob
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