Motorcycle News (UK) - - Features - Jeff Turner, Yamaha UK

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

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