When Yamaha introduced the first XT model, some 40 years ago, it would have been hard to imagine that we had started on a journey that would lead to numerous race victories and the creation of so many iconic motorcycles.
The XT badge has been worn by numerous different models over the years including 125cc, 250cc, 350cc, 550cc and of course the famous 500cc and 600cc models before the current line-up of 660cc and 1200cc machines. For Yamaha, the launch of the XT500 was a real milestone, demonstrating our engineering innovation with the four-stroke engine and opening up new opportunities for riders looking for real adventure and travel with a machine that gave them access to some of the most remote corners of the world.
Today, there are two versions of the twin cylinder XT1200 available and three versions of the XT660 of which the XT660Z Ténéré was by far the most popular in the UK.
However, the arrival of new stricter noise and emission regulations look set to affect this famous single cylinder engine more than most.
Advancements in engineering and design have eaten away at the advantages of a single cylinder engine with modern twin cylinder engines offering better efficiency and smoother power with little or no weight penalty – and with the ability to meet new Euro regulations more easily.
2016 sees the end of the current XT660 single cylinder powerplant being imported into the UK, as the decision has been taken not to invest in the technology required to make the engine compliant with the new regulations and therefore current stocks of the XT660 will be the last of this famous line.
The XT and famous Ténéré designation continue though, with the XT1200 Super Ténéré flagship still leading the way in Yamaha’s Adventure Sport line-up and with the passion and history surrounding the XT badge, there are bound to be future models that will continue the XT story.
Ôadvances in engineering have eaten away at the advantages of the single cylinderõ