Years Made: 1985 -2000 Style: Dual-Sport Engine Type:
Weight: 265lb HP: 30 Torque: 22.4 Top Speed: 90mph MPG: 70 New Cost: $4,849 (1992) – $5,549 (1994) – $6,149 (1996) – $6,149 (1997)
Average Used Costs: Low $920 Medium $1,784 High $3,105
UMG Says: Neat thumper, potential as a road bike. Runs to 45k if well serviced; cams, valves go first – some in trouble at 20k. Later models restricted to 17hp but simple to derestrict. Many ended up well knackered from off-road excesses – frame quite easy to bend. Starting can be difficult. Rear linkage and exhaust go.
IGM Says (XT350, XT550, XT600): This bike traces its roots back to the original big Japanese thumper, the XT500 of the 1970s. Although it was a very nice dual sport, it wasn’t competitive with the other thumpers from Japan and was discontinued in 1995.
IGM Says (Best buy, Best first bike): Yamaha’s XT350 provides adequate, if not stellar, power for riding in traffic. The advantage the 350s have over the bigger thumpers is that they are lighter and easier to ride, both on and off-road. Personally, I’d spend the extra and buy the bigger Kawasaki KLR650, a more useful all-around motorcycle.