Single cylinder for commuting - Yam XT, BMW G650GS +

Got myself an XT660X not too long ago, mainly used for city duties and love the kick it gives when taking off from the lights - wheelie city :wink:

Being new to single cylinder bikes, I wondered what kind of mileage I can expect from a thumper, as I’m on track to knock up 18k this year. I do fancy trading it in for something newer like the XT660 Tenere or BMW 650GS, but would want to keep a new bike for a few years at least.

With normal (not OCD but no laziness either) maintenance, will I just wear it out within 2-3 years, or will it last the course? Anyone on here racking up the miles on their single cylinder motor? I’m trying to decide whether to stick with single or if a move to a twin or four would be more sensible and easier on the wallet.

Cheers :cool:

I used to have a XT660X. Got around 40mpg and it was reliable… can’t help thinking there are better commuter bikes though (obviously not as much fun as the big thumper was).

I guess if you keep on top of the maintenance then any bike made in the last 10 years it should be good, regardless of type.
There are plenty of single cylinder bikes that do RTW trips so they must be up for a bit of commuting :slight_smile:

:)bmw 650. awesome gas mileage and pretty hardy

Aren’t some of the later F650GS’s twins?

Fortunately… no sign of my single cylinder MT03 giving up the ghost after 5 years. I need it to keep running until I can afford to buy a replacement (another ten years should be sufficient):). Only done 20 something thousand miles on it so far :satisfied:. but it has got better with age (and a few mods). And the engine is a cracker and does seem to live up to it’s reputation for being bullet proof- other than an initial teething problem with over-heating (fuelling rather than engine related) the bike has only really needed consumables…and it has never broken down. It can’t do more than 110 but other than that I can’t really fault it.

Never liked the XT though…

…only joking :wink:

Mmm… seen what looks like (from the photos) a fairly tidy MT-03 (5k miles, '06 plate) at a dealers for £2700. Always considered one but have been a bit sceptical about the MT-03 having read some bad user’s reviews about reliability on MCN. Yor seem to have gotten a good 'un. Maybe I’ll visit that dealer after all. The price is right, but will the bike be for me at 6’3".

Pretty much what LiM said. My Aprilia Trail has probably done 20K. Apart from needing a top end clearances job next year, the motor is fine.

Ignoring the BMW for the moment the XT 660 has a Kawasaki designed motor built in Italy by Minarelli as a customer engine. (Kowasaki own Minarelli.)

That engine has been around so long and used by so many bike manufacturers I can’t be bothered to list them. It’s pretty softly tuned (59 bhp from a 660?) so easily good enough to out last the cycle parts if you simply service it once a year or every 6,000 miles. That same motor in an earlier guise was briefly used by BMW once they gave up on the Rotax copy, also built in Italy.

Know nothing about the current GS engine except it’s a BMW factory build which can be good or bad. (BMW do both very well.)

I’d not worry too much about either engine. The “fit” and the cycle parts are far more important. On balance, I’d go for the XT and get a gel pad fitted into a reupholstered seat and save a shed load of money.

At 6’3" you’d be better off with the XT as the MT has a relatively low seat…but you are saying you already have an XT :ermm:…

I sold my XT660X with 22k miles or something like that, and I still regret not keeping it as a commuter. It sold cheap, and it’s the best commuter ever.
I wouldn’t worry about mileage. It’s the same engine that was in the old XTs, and some people have put 100k+ miles on those engines without needing rebuilds. As oldguy said, they’re pretty mildly tuned, so they last.
The only issue I had with mine was that the finish isn’t great. The engine paint was flaking and the wheels were a bit grotty. But that was after 3 winters of riding nearly every day unless there was ice or snow (actually I got stuck in snow once, I don’t recommend it).
I’d keep the old XT, and if you fancy something new, try to keep it as a workhorse. That’s what I wish I had done instead of selling it.

Thanks for all the advice. Good to know that these engines can last the distance as that was my main concern. If I buy new or nearly new, I’d look to put possibly up to 18k miles on it per year and keep it for 3-5 years before trading in for a new one. Hopefully that annual mileage might drop but that all depends on forthcoming changes on the job front. The XT I’m currently using belongs to my son, but as he’s presently working in Spain I have the use of it all the time. Fortunately he isn’t precious about it or the mileage it’s doing, but I will need to get around to sorting out a bike for myself again in the near future. I stopped in to look at the MT-03 this morning and you’re right about it being quite a small bike. I’m thinking along the lines of a nearly new XT660 Tenere. Hopefully something that will be a ‘keeper’ for a change.