Having recently presented the new XJ Diversion at Iwata, Yamaha plans to conquer the sport-touring target by giving a touch of modern engineering and style to an already comfortable motorcycle. Revived as a result of increasing demands for middleweight models, the Diversion satisfies that request successfully as it is brand new and stands out thanks to its sports engine, low seat and elegant design of its half fairing.
The engine powering it is the same as on the FZ6R, a 600cc liquid-cooled four-stroke, DOHC 16 valves tuned for low-to-mid-range linear power in all of the bike’s six gears. Featuring bore x stroke dimensions of 65.5 mm x 44.5 mm, together with a high compression ratio of 12.2:1, Yamaha’s new middleweight engine doesn’t give any clue of being derived from the R6 engine as it develops 78 HP at 10,000 rpm and 6.1 kg-m at 8,500 rpm.
Chassis is all new on the latest Diversion, but what immediately stands out as you’re being introduced to the bike is the tubular steel diamond-type frame built for all-around performance and featuring a low seat height (only 30.9 inches). Built from high tensile steel pipes, 31.8 mm in diameter and 2.3 mm thick, the new frame is as simply designed as it is resistant. Yamaha designers made sure that the new frame won’t feature more than the necessary welds and bends, something that almost makes it pass unnoticed. You sure can’t say the same thing about the 41 mm diameter front forks which are tuned right at the point where maximum rigidity is assured without sacrificing the absorption abilities.
The brakes are composed of 298mm hydraulic discs in the front and 245mm at the rear. Probably the most notable touch of modernity is the anti-lock braking system. This has been developed to improve feel when hitting the brakes and still ensuring a linear control (3-position) ABS.
Also like on the FZ6R, the Diversion features Monocross suspension and the same pair of wheels holding the same 120/70 ZR17M/C 58W front and 160/60 ZR17M/C 69W rear tires.
The new instrument panel features both digital and analog instruments.
The Yamaha Diversion, code name XJ600S, also known as Seca || in the U.S., is a sport-touring motorcycle which draws its roots back in 1984 when the first Yamaha XJ600 was introduced. It continued being produced until 1991 and its biggest advantage was the fact that its 598cc, air-cooled 8-valve inline-four engine developing 61 HP and 55 Nm obtained low mpg while the bike handled great and the ergonomics were worthy of a touring bike.
From 1992 the Seca || started being produced without significant changes apart from fairing refinements and the addition of a second front disc brake in 1998.
The Diversion ended up in 2003 still featuring an early 1980s look, but that was to be changed as Yamaha would introduced the 2004 FZ6 in order to be a bit more competitive. That was the last we’ve heard of the Diversion up until the 2009 model year was announced.
Even though Yamaha has had the “S” and the “N” version of the XJ600 in the 1990s and despite the introduction of the similarly styled FZ6R, it made the crucially important decision that it would revive the XJ600S. But this half faired motorcycle hasn’t got much to share with its predecessor if you exclude the name that is.
Angular lines now replace the previous smooth ones as the new Diversion is suppose to pass as a more expensive motorcycle than it actually is. Very similar to the FZ6R, the lack of a lower body fairing doesn’t affect the bike’s aerodynamic efficiency, but unveils the matte-black painted engine and enhances the attraction of the bike if you’re preferences are similar to the ones of an European biker.
The bulky looking gas tank is typical to a Yamaha sports bike, but it is positioned down into the frame for a low center of gravity and to allow the rider to tuck under the windscreen. Low positioned, the seat makes it possible for all sized riders to flat foot the ground and also helps when it comes to handling the thing or maneuvering it at slow speed.
Wheels are a pair of golden five-spoke ones which match every color that you choose: Ocean Depth, Graphite and Lava Red. Also, a range of accessories is available and it consists in a 46 litre storage unit, wind shield and tank protection among others.
In order to satisfy customers from all continents Yamaha offers diversity in the form of the XJ6 Diversion. Have it called FZ6R in the U.S., strip it down just a little bit and mention you’ve revived the old XJ600S and you’ll have a winner said engineers to the marketing directors. I believe they were right.