I bought the 2009 XT660Z in mid-2010, I was in England for a few days got to see the bike for about 5 minutes based on the agreement that they would hold the bike
for me, until I needed it shipped to Ushuaia Argentina in early 2011, it had 12,000 miles on the clock already
it looked like this…
as I didn’t get to go over the bike I rode it exactly as you see it for 38,000 miles
it had a few mods done and it saw me thru the mileage, there is a ride report here of that ride http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=668901
once I was finished it was time to strip the bike and do some modifications and upgrades before I carry on riding
here are a few shots from the trip…
so after all of THAT, it’s time for some work….
twin wall bars – DONE
heavy duty risers – DONE
dual GPS set up – DONE
high output spot lamps – DONE
front turn signal relocation – DONE
crash bars – DONE
barkbusters – DONE
side stand foot enlarger
center stand foot enlargers
kev fuel mod
new hard luggage
chain and sprockets
quick fuel disconnect
brake and clutch levers
…and probably a few more things – need to get this list done first!!!
time to get dirty
Here we go, the cockpit…
I did riser and bar upgrades…the stock risers are made, from one piece, this is good in some ways but not in others…if you are in the middle of nowhere and you have an off and one or both get snapped you are stranded, period. Some small villages/town might have only one drill, and chances of them having the right size tap to fix it…unlikely
I changed to some heavy duty risers that use a thru bolt design, for less that $50 it’s a good swap, same height as the stock ones, but I got 1 1/8 so I can fit Renthal twin wall RC922 bars, about 30mm higher than stock but the stock wiring and cables still fit
along with this, I added new barkbusters hand guards, after a good off in Argentina and another in Bolivia the old ones were done!
New levers $41 inc. shipping – they are a perfect fit, no cutting or filing required like some had people that I know tried to fit. I ordered black with red adjusters and the shorty version
the eBay link is for US eBay but they say they ship worldwide
these are the parts you need as they don’t specifically stock for the XTZ
Suzuki – GSXR 600 1997 – 2003 Clutch
Yamaha – FJR 1300 2004 – 2008 Brake
once I sent them this info they sent me a money request via PayPal, it took about ten days to get them
once I got them about 3-5 minutes to fit, brake side just be careful the piston rod in the master cylinder come out it’s on a spring, on the clutch side, reduce the pressure on the bar adjuster and fit, readjust clutch back to spec…easy
…and this is what they looked like
the first rule of Adventure riding…don’t ride at night! Besides the fact its dark so you can’t see anything…in the undeveloped world there are lots of dangers on the road be it dirt or black top, animals, cars with no light, road debris, potholes, kids etc, etc
the XT has a good looking light that works well in the low beam but on hi beam not so good…time for a lighting upgrade
I added 3600 lumens each spot lights from ADVmonster link to these lights is here…and BTW if you get these DO NOT look directly into them, they have the potential to damage your eyesight!!!
these photos were taken at 125th of a second for a comparison
before – standard HI beam
after just spot lamps
I built a separate wiring harness which included a relay and a waterproof switch, the switch for them is below the speedo
if you know the bike or looked at the older photos you will notice the spot lights are where the turn signals used to be, I moved the turn signals into the area where the running lights were, as the low beam is on all the time anyhow. if you do this make sure you have a quick disconnect on the spot lamps. If for some reason you have to take off those panels you don’t want to have to cut the wire, I use Deutsch connectors that are waterproof.
so take the wiring from the sidelights and turn signals and simply swap their locations…easy. Two connections per light. You will need new orange bulbs, they are part number 194NA and cost $2 per pair
I added new crash bars from SW Motech, LINK the stock ones had a broken tab, even though one of my trades is welding I didn’t want to fix them because they block the access on the left side of the motor to cover for the crank, so when doing a valve clearance adjustment you have to remove the crash bars!!! Great design Yamaha, or was it on purpose so the dealer can make more money to stop people doing their own adjustments?
I did a tear down of the complete rear end to do a rear shock upgrade from the stock Sachs shock to a custom built Ohlins unit FA817…the difference from stock Ohlins was I got them to replace their standard spring with an upgraded unit and do some testing on the bottom mount and have everything set to be able to carry the weight of an RTW rider and all his luggage
I also did a front end spring upgrade to Hyperpro progressive springs but forgot to take photos when I did the swap, sorry about that
before I do the swingarm write up and show how it’s done
have a look at this, this is my front sprocket that I changed, this one has 35,000 miles on it…
so the new swingarm arrived very early so I have time to do a swap before the bike goes off to a show in a couple of weeks
the new one on the left and the old one on the right with the crazy damage
I ordered new needle bearings, spacers and seals to do a complete refit
these are the main set for the swingarm pivot
as I doubt any of you took your bike apart before riding it, this is what the needle bearing look new
I asked the dealership if they would put the bearings in for me, they quoted 75 pounds and told me it would take 1 1/2 to 2 hours!!!! Having owned a motorcycle shop I know it doesn’t take anywhere near that, I think they were trying to get some money back for selling me the swingarm so cheap
so here it is, using a hydraulic press
take a measurement as you go along so the bearings are in the same location and there is enough space for the seal
there is a lot of space in the swingarm for additional grease to be in there, so again make sure the bearings are in the right place with measurements
the whole job of putting all the bearings, spacers and seals in a new swingarm took me about SEVEN minutes
and just for reference I use Timken premium hi temp red bearing grease
to do a swingarm removal take out the rear wheel, I put zip ties over the sprocket to the spokes so keep it all together for an easy refit later, I have the cush drive rubber mod and it want to spring apart, this stops that happening
I this in my tool kit, if there is a problem getting the pivot bolt out this fits in the open end and it long enough to hold everything in place when putting it back together as well
get anything out of the way that is in the way!!! brake caliper and rubber protection
undo the lower dog bone bolt and remove it
once this is taken out then remove the pivot bolt and the swing arm can be removed, the chain does not need to be take off.
the stock exhaust was harder to get off than the new one was to put on…the retaining bolts on the exhaust clamps had rusted solid so had to be snapped to get them off. I replaced them with nickel plated grade 8 so it won’t happen again.
the stock rear exhaust hanger is replaced with the new unit, I’m doing a single stainless can, ordinarily, you would cut the other side off if it’s not being used to hang an exhaust but I am contemplating making an auxiliary fuel tank in the space left by the right can
once the stock system is taken off you can see the heat resistant pad which is silver colored, I sprayed it with hi temp black paint to help it disappear a little but still have the same effect if required to protect the electrics
before the rear wheel went back on I did the kev mod on the cush drive rubbers, it looks oily, it’s not, its soapy water to help it slide together easier…oh, and by the way, those cush drive rubbers have 40,000 miles on them!!!
just realized I forgot to mention tires…I did a front tire change to match the rear, the front has zero miles but the rear has 6000 on it, Kenda K270, I did maybe 2500 miles off road…the wear is good but they are a bit noisy on the tarmac, but cheap – pros and cons!!!
…and if you are wondering what the white patch is on the left side of my tank it a customs sticker from flying the bike from Colombia to Panama, it looks like $hit but kind of reluctant to take it off
had some spare time this week so when I found a crack in the chain guard it was time to make a new one
took a template from the original trimmed some aluminum sheet to size and bend it in a sheet metal brake
drill some holes and used a dimple die, they look like this
so basically lightened it up a little but the dimple adds strength to the piece
this is what it looks like against the original…not sure if I like it or not, or if I need to paint it black, or add another hole or more in the “V” area
got this finished quicker than I thought so I had a template for the head light, so started to make a rock guard, with the XTZ headlight being a complex shape it was easier to make a generalized shaped around the template
in the last photo you can see another one I was making as well…choices????
the bushings were out of stock and on back order, as the old ones were unusable I had to make new ones on the lathe in the shop where I work, the originals were made from 308 stainless which has a small amount of carbon hence the rust, I made the new ones from 316 S/S
Yamaha paper weight
pull out the swing arm…that’s it, about 15 minutes for it to be out, do some cleaning and regreasing if you haven’t done it before, when you put it back in i use that rod to locate everything and check the side play and make the adjustment on the nut on the inside of the right frame rail to get it to spec
so do all steps in reverse to put it back together, this is the new one back in place with the new chain guard painted with an additional hole!!!
the previous owner put on the lowering links on it and lowered the center stand, not a pretty job, basically, his welding sucked, this is what a 50,000-mile center stand looks like, lots of abuse
also, some of the gussets had welds missing, so I corrected it all and added BIGGER feet
made some slug to lengthen the stand and welded it all back together and repainted it
regrease the bushings when it was reinstalled
now the rear wheel isn’t on the ground like it was before with a new knobbly, when I make new jack up links and add an 18″ rear when I get to Europe I now have space
I’ve been away from riding…here is the last thing I did I think!!!
a gas tank mod, the fuel cell (plastic) is stock at 23 liters but it’s very difficult and slow to get the last few liters in, and even when you do you never get it completely full
easy one-minute fix with a HAND DRILL – no power drills for this otherwise you get to hear an EXPLOSION
now I’m getting about an extra liter and slightly more in the tank… a result
not exactly a mod more like a HUGE upgrade
once all the mods were doneImet Al Jesse of www.jesseluggage.com he took my bike to make welding jigs so his luggage would be available for the XT660Z
they are not on his website as of this post but they are available, mine are 10″ a total of 110 liters, i have more stuff in them than i was carrying on my pan american ride of 38,000
superb craftsmanship, strength and design. they are adjustable backwards and forwards by around 5 inches
i had more tools as i’d done these mods and was riding back from AZ to Louisiana and just in case something needed fixing on the road that i had do a mod on…it didn’t everything was good
found a few other minor details needed looking at
sump guard had a cracked mount and I was holding it on with safety wire, not good!!!
made a new bracket from stainless steel – fixed easy
after the ride back from Arizona my rear tire had almost 10,000 miles on it so i did a swap
here’s a shot of the Jesse Luggage new to the stock Yamaha version
i was riding with a friend and he told me my turn signals weren’t too bright, tried cleaning them but no good so i switched to some small LED’s
my touratech 12 volt crapped out so i did a swap for a marine grade until
can you see the new one???
its right here…
and also got a new USB adaptor, nice and small
just found some other stuff i did that i forgot to add
because of leaving to do a scouting ride there is a lot of offroad riding I wanted bigger pegs, problems is being in the states finding some!!! Some companies claimed theres might fit??? So instead I had a spare stock set set so I jut made some wider pegs myself
i made them so they still fit the stock rubber tops, and i’m guessing you knew that hole in the passenger peg mount was the place to keep them when not in use??? Well it is now
Also having gone to a single can exhaust i had some space left over on the right side, so utilized the mount from the MTC exhaust and fitted a locking tool tube. I add some tools that were of approximate equal weight to the Exhaust can to balance the bike out again
Here’s the first and only issue I had with the bike…
I crossed the border at Niagra Falls in the rain which had been falling all day long, I headed towards Dual Sport Plus in Stoney Creek, south of Toronto, this is where my bike lived for the next few days as I stripped it down to try and figure out an idle issue that would happen intermittently – the bike was idling around 3000 – 4000 rpm on occasion
the tech (Rick) helped out along the way but as an overlander, you kind of want to work on your own bike wherever possible, the result of multiple times of stripping the bike rebuilding it, testing it – failure…rinse and repeat about 3-4 times
it looked like a sensor issue, having a bike in the states that isn’t available here means a lot of internet research for parts that maybe compatible…every eventually pointed to a faulty sensor…OK order…buy…$171 (fuck)…didn’t solve the issue (double fuck) electronic components cannot be returned (anyone need a sensor let me know part 5PS-82380-00)
in the end, it was a fast idle issue on the bottom of the throttle body and crystalized coolant and carbon build up on the gas side
here’s the broken part that let the dust/ sand get in to make this issue start
some cleaning and the 5 cent fix, a valve cap – Yamaha would only sell a full throttle body for $600!!!!
a test ride, a longer test ride, an even longer test ride….all good