Yamaha XJ6 Diversion Is the Divvie the BEST used buy in Britain right now?
What we said then
“The Diversion slots in under the Fazer as Yamaha’s entry-level, new-riderfriendly all-rounder. It’s comfy, has good wind protection, is agile and will turn in a serious turn of speed when you fancy it. It’s less peaky and buzzy than the Fazer and there’s more power at lower revs, which makes it just as fast in all but the most extreme conditions. Chassis and suspension are basic, but the Diversion stays composed no matter what you throw at it. There’s little to complain about, and it offers fun and practicality. It’s a lot of bike for a very small amount of money.” MCN launch report | January 17, 2009
But what is it like now?
Yamaha’s middleweight, novice-friendly Fazers and Diversions have largely been forgotten since the success of the MT-07 and MT-09. But I’m instantly reminded how good the budget, 600cc fours are – and how useful and tempting they can be – on seeing this immaculate, 10,000-mile example on sale for a tempting £4995 at Wheels in Peterborough (01733 358555).
Being a 2014 model it’s one of the last and though deliberately budget, with its simple clocks and fairly basic brakes and suspension, it’s also reassuringly honest and straightforward. It’s handsome enough too with its half-fairing and unmarked, gleaming white livery.
It’s a reassuringly simple and straightforward ride, making it great as a first big bike for novices or as an affordable, unfussy commuter. The four-cylinder motor is no powerhouse and seems overly revvy and breathless at first but it does the job and is smooth and glitch-free. The chassis is nicely proportioned, well balanced and, though a little old school, is capable, unintimidating and effective.
Equipment-wise, it has everything you need, thanks partly to some worthwhile additions, to make it a thoroughly effective all-rounder. This Diversion may not be as fashionable as some newer models, nor have their ‘riding modes’ and suchlike, but as an affordable, real world all-rounder it’s hard to beat.
Any worthwhile extras?
The standard Diversion was intentionally fairly basic, half-fairing aside, to keep it affordable. This machine, however, benefits from some very useful additions. Along with the factory-fitted ABS (a £300 extra at the time) and Datatag security marking, it also benefits from a rather welcome centrestand, Oxford heated handlebar grips and a quality Givi V47 Monokey topbox, together turning it into a brilliantly useful yearround commuter.
Or obvious problems?
Not much goes wrong with the XJ6 family, being proven mechanically and simple in terms of spec. Instead, being a ‘first big bike’, you should look out for maintenance issues or damage. This example is probably about as good as they come with full service history, good Dunlop Sportmax tyres with plenty of life left and cosmetics that, on the whole, are immaculate. Our only very slight query was a slightly bent brake lever, which suggested a lowspeed or stationary drop, although we couldn’t find any other damage.
Divvy’s still worthy
Bikes don’t get much more honest and straightforward than Yamaha’s Diversion. It’s an affordable, useful and unintimidating four-cylinder middleweight that, while certainly no glamour machine, is handsome enough and does exactly what it says on the tin – so there’s lots to like. Best of all, though, this example of the now defunct breed is both in virtually mint condition and benefits from some very practical accessories. So, whether you’re after a first big bike on a budget or want a no frills workhorse that can eat up yearround miles economically, the Yamaha XJ6 Diversion still has plenty to offer and is worth a second look.
‘So I took this Diversion and just ended up in a field’