YDCN News and Rumours

Diversion wedding / Project 115
Friday 11 May 2001
His name is Edwin Esman, rides a Yamaha Diversion XJ900S and is a member of the YDCN. Her name is Jeannette Hellwich, rides a Yamaha Diversion XJ600S and is a member of the YDCN. The club organize a Dutch Weekend in Sneek in 1999. The story begins...

It's for the first time in the history of the club that two members, meeting each other thru the club, are going to marry. There is a demand to do something special. A secret project P115 starts, with knowledge of Edwin, to suprise Jeannette and to do something with the common factor 'Diversion'. On a call thru internet to help with a Diversion escort, 40 people respond positive. This made Edwin to decide that he has to use a Diversion sidebike to transport his bride. He takes sidebike lessons in secret and a Diversion sidebike is rented.

On 11 May 2001 the weather is great, sunny, warm and dry. More people than expected join the escort. The suprise was complete. Over 40 Diversion bikes escorted the wedding couple to the ceremony place. Arriving there, the Diversion bikes split in two rows where the Diversion sidebike rides thru, followed by all the other family and friends by feet. With special permission of the council the wedding takes place outside the castle, in and on the Yamaha Diversion. There was no room for so many people in the wedding room...

Groepsfoto met pasgetrouwde stelArtikel in het plaatselijk dagblad
More (dutch) information about this day can be read here. Pictures say more than words.

Diversion XJ900S on cover KNMV Motorreizen 2001
Tuesday 30 January 2001
Although you hardly see any advertisement for the Diversion XJ900S, the machine is still popular and seems to sell itself. The machine still has the image of an affordable no-nonsens touring bike.

On the cover of the KNMV Motorreizen 2001 (travelguide) brochure you see the XJ900S Diversion of YDCN member Wim Beurskens. Wim wrote: I sent them some pictures taken last summer and see, there he is on the frontpage of the traveling brochure. On the background you see the well known Mont Michel. Cool!.

For foreign readers, KNMV stands for "Royal Dutch Motorcycle Association" and is the largest motorcycle association in Holland. The YDCN as club is member of the KNMV.

Click on picture to enlarge

Diversion XJ900S mini-review in English Bike Magazine
Friday 12 January 2001
No real shocking news, just to show that the Diversion XJ900S has not much changed since 1996 but still is the cheapest shaft machine in this touring segment. According to the reviewer, the price tag of GBP 5799 is still too high and should be interesting around GBP 5000. Nice is also to see that two website are mentioned, that of Yamaha UK and... the YDCN.
Click on picture to enlarge

Silly season: End of Diversion XJ600S ?
Wednesday 17 July 2000
Silly season has started again. What will the year 2001 bring us for Yamaha (Diversion) news? As we are the Diversion club, we are especially interested in everything news in this category of bikes. When you combine rumours with facts, the announcement of the Yamaha 2001 models might be the replacement of the Diversion XJ600S.

There are several indications that leads into this direction. First of all, the lifecycle of a motorbike type is around 10 years. As the Diversion XJ600S first appears in 1991, this might be the last year for this machine. The Diversion XJ600S is still a reasonable seller but not the tophit as in the beginning years. Another point are the increasing (noise) emission norms. One way to bring the number of decibels downwards is to replace aircooled engines by liquid cooled engines. One of the latest machines in this market segment, the Kawasaki ER-5, is liquid cooled.

The Diversion XJ900S came to the market in 1994, 3 years after the introduction of the XJ600S. It is still a good selling machine and still in the Dutch top 10 of best selling machines. So if the model year 2001 brings us a replacement for the Diversion XJ600S, the Diversion XJ900S will not be affected untill 2004. This "3 years distance rule" fits with the rumour that there will be a Yamaha FZS1000 (Fazer 1000cc) this fall, which is also 3 years after the introduction of the FSZ600.

Ofcourse, these are all personal speculations based on rumours as it is well known that Yamaha can keep a secret very well. So I expect a low-cost 600cc liquid cooled allround touring bike with chain, follow-up of the Diversion XJ600S and not with the name "Diversion", followed in 2004 with a 900 or 1000cc shaftdrive version. Let's see this fall how close (or not) I am.

Yamaha Diversion XJ900 GT
XJ900 GT build by Yamaha France 
Wednesday 17 November 1999
On the Paris Salon this autumn the new Yamaha Diversion XJ900 GT was introduced. Strange, as there was no XJ900 GT in the Yamaha 2000 announcements. It soon becomes clear that the XJ900 GT isn't an official Yamaha product but build by Yamaha France. The idea was based on the XJ900 police model. Besides France, the XJ900 GT is also sold in Belgium. To take care of the extra weight, the standard springs are replaced by HyperPro's.

YDCN YDIM1999 in foreign newspaper
Tuesday 17 August 1999
Believe it or not but the YDCN has reached the foreign newspapers. Don't think to much of this but it's a fact. The Yamaha Diversion International Meeting 1999 (YDIM1999), held from 2-6 August 1999 in Altmunster, Austria, was visited by 23 Diversion owners, merely from the Netherlands. Not so very much would we say but probably for Altmunster an event big enough to mention in the Salzgammergut Zeitung number 32, August 12, on page 11. And the Salzgammergut Zeitung is the local weekly for the whole Salzgammergut area which is quite large. So....
YDCN YDIM1999 in Salzgammergut Zeitung

YDCN welcomes 500th member
Friday 4 June 1999
Friday 4 June 1999 will go into the books as a historical date for the YDCN. Founded in 1994 the club reaches in 5 years a total of 500 members. In 1998 the number of members got a real blast as the club growed from 290 to 450 members, a grow of 67% in one year. It becomes clear that we would welcome our 500th member somewhere in the first half of 1999. Based on the date of payement it appears that Tom Metiary became the 500th member. Tom is 43 years old and got his drivers license this year. Asking some friends with sportive bikes for a good and reliable motorcycle, he got the answer 'buy a Diversion!'. And so he bought a 1997 red XJ900S Diversion. The Diversions club was easy to find on the internet and so he signed up.
Tom Metiary (Almere) member 500, receives his membercard
His main reason for becoming a member is that he is totally new to motorcycles and hopes to learn something more. Tom is married, has 2 kids and lives in Almere. He uses the bike for commuting and for touring. On friday 4 june Paul Veerkamp, Dennis van der Zon and Kim Kodde went to Almere to welcome Tom in the club and to give him some presents.

32e Lezertest Yamaha Diversion XJ900S
Monday 29 march 1999
Moto73 is one of the biggest Dutch motorcycle magazines. Number 6/99 contains a readerstest of... the Yamana Diversion XJ900S. Thanks to the help of the YDCN they got a response of 144 people which forms a good base for this readers test.

Very reliable was the title and general opinion of the test. And with a mean mark of 7.8 the Div 900 scores very well. Lowest mark was a 6.0 for the front suspension but that was also the only 6 on the list. Highest mark was 9.0 for reliability. Other interesting facts:
- most used tire Bridgestone
- km/year 12.367 km
- fuel consumption1:16.9
- oil consumption 1:10125
- life front tire 16245 km
- life back tire 12502 km

New Yamaha Venture
Wednesday 28 October 1998
It's unofficial but you can expect a new Yamaha Venture within 2-3 months. Let's see how good my information resources are... No news about a Diversion XJ1200S.

UKDOG stops activities
Wednesday 7 October 1998
After a promising start in 1997 the UK Diversion Owners Grouphave been faced with the fact that members lost their interest in the club. Requests to renewal their membership have been unanswered. Support from Yamaha UK was far to find. With nearly no funds and members to start local activities, it was impossible to go any further. The UKDOG still exists but all activities have been stopped. The website and email account have been terminated. New membership requests are refused as the club has not anything to offer. Without enough volunteers a club cannot organize anything. And without enough members there are no funds to even produce a club magazine.

Diversion Owners Club (Japan)
Saterday 22 August 1998
YDCN came into contact with the 3rd known Diversion Club in the world. The club is call Diversion Owners Club, is founded in 1998 and has currently 30 members. The members own both XJ600S and XJ900S machines, as well as the not in Europe available XJ400. For more information, visit the Diversion Owners Club website (Japanese) or email: Mitsuru Sanada

Yamaha Diversion XJ400S details
Tuesday 28 July 1998
Thanks to Paul Callomon, currently living in Japan, I have more details about the Yamaha Diversion XJ400S and the Japanese situation. There are so many 250cc and 400cc motorcycles in Japan because up to 250cc there is no special vehicle inspection, an expensive chore every two year. Also, a basic motorcycle license only allows you to ride bikes up to 400cc. That's why there are so many 400cc bikes in Japan, even a Ducati Monster 400! They tend to be dull and gutless, none more so than the Diversion 400. The Diversion XJ400S was basically a sleeved-down version of the 600, itself not the fastest bike on earth. But I was incorrect to say earlier that the capacity/power was the only difference. The 400 had a unique narrow fairing, split vertically and bolted together with about 60 cm missing compared with the 600 item. The 400 also had different passenger footrests, mounted at the rear of larger, longer footrest/muffler mounting castings (also unique to the 400). It bombed badly as almost any other 400 was faster and more fun.

YDCN in dutch motorcycle magazines
Monday 22 June 1998
In the past few weeks full page advertisments for the YDCN have been published in the dutch motorcycle magazines Motor,Motor73 and Promotor. Are we such a rich club? To be true, no, we are not. The advertisements were paid by Yamaha Netherlands. Ofcourse, we are very glad with these adds.

YDCN won price again
Saterday 13 June 1998
Last year we attended the Bussumse Stoomfiets tour and won the first price as largest participating motorcycle club. This year we rode as club the VMTC Motory for the second time and guess what? Again we won the price as largest participating motorcycle club. Only this time at an event of more than 900 motorcycles.

01 February 1998 YDCN receives Cool City Award
Sunday 01 Februari 1998
IRE Motorcycles sent us the following mail:
kim....we have selected your site as a Cool City site as one of the top 5% most interesting motorcycle sites on the web. we make our selections based on visual impact and our impression on which sites help promote motorcycling to the industry.....
IRE Motorcycle Cool City Award
The award is sponsored by IRE Motorcycles (http://www.iremotorcycles.com). nicely done....

UK-DOG Cafe Racer
UK Friday 31th October 1997
Here is the first picture of the UK-DOG demonstration bike for 1998 exhibitions and shows. UK-DOG President Sue Schofield shows that a lot can be done with a plain 'out-of-the-box' Diversion.

UK-DOG Cafe Racer

Technical info:

Diversion 'Cafe Racer' concept bike, designed to emulate the Cafe Racers of the Sixties. Yamaha Diversion XJ600N 1997 with Stage 1 Tune, Dynojet and K&N filter, clip-on "Cafe Racer' type handlebars, and tuned front suspension. The custom paint is by Cycle Sprays of Guildford UK. The bike makes ten percent extra power over the stock engine, with five percent extra torque. Goodridge braided hoses, and extra pre-load on the front forks improves braking. A rear Hugger (supplied by UK DOG ) keeps dirt out of the rear suspension, and the rear body work is altered slightly to improve the bike's looks. The bike (reg no. OIL 3298) will be on show at most Yamaha UK DOG events next year and is available for test rides. Top speed is 120 mph+, (194 Km/Hour).

Yamaha Motor Internet site
NL Friday 18th July 1997
Yamaha Motor Europe has opened his internet site. The url isyamaha-motor-europe.com. On this website you will find the usual specs of the Diversion motorcylces. Nice gadget is that all Diversion models (XJ600N, XJ600S and XJ900S) can be seen in all their current color.
Watch the NEWS section around September 16th as there will be an announcement of their 1998 models!

YDCN won first price
From Kim Kodde, NL Thursday 8th May 1997
It's only a small price but worth to mention. On a rainy 8th May the YDCN joined a tourride of the Bussum motorcycle club "De Stoomfiets" and won the price of "biggest participating club". With 18 YDCN members we were the biggest club among the 147 bikers. Also during the ride is was good to see a more than normal number of Diversion.

UK Diversion Owners Group
From UKDOG (Sue Schofield), UK Wednesdag 23rd April 1997
The UK Diversion Owners Group is currently being formed. There is a lot of work to do yet and any help is welcome. The UKDOG can be visited on the web and be reached through email and fax...

(links removed as they no longer exist)

  UKDOG logo

YDCN on Dutch Television
From Kim Kodde, NL Friday 7th March 1997
The YDCN internet site was a few seconds on Dutch television. In the second episode of "Nederland Motorland" on RTL5, broadcasted on 6 and 7 march 1997, you could see the start-page of this site. Beside that, my personalOur motorcycles page was shown with pictures of myself on my old XJ600S and my wife Lida with her Yamaha Virago XV535.

New Diversion XJ1200 will not arrive in 1996
Drawing of the Diversion XJ1200
From Kim Kodde, NL Monday 7th October 1996
On friday 4th october 1996 I visited the IFMA in Koln. As I already expected there was no Diversion XJ1200. As the ProMotor magazine already suggested, perhaps in 1997 but nothing is certain. But I hope it is clear to Yamaha there is a demand for such a bike and I hope it will arrive next year. In the mean time, enjoy the new features and colors of the XJ600S en the XJ900S.

New Diversion XJ1200 comes in October 1996 ??
From Kim Kodde, NL Saterday 14th September 1996
At the end of week 37 I saw two Dutch motorcycle magazines mention the Diversion XJ1200S. First the weekly "Motor" number 37 gives a whole page of new 1997 Yamaha models. They receive a very large information map from Yamaha but the IFMA part was... empty. The 2-monthly dutch motorcycle magazine "ProMotor" published a whole serie of drawings from Glynn Kerr. One of the drawings is the one already published by the British MCN. "ProMotor" says that it might be not 1996 but 1997 before the Diversion XJ1200 will arrive.

New Diversion XJ1200 comes in October 1996
From Sue Schofield, UK Thursday 25th July 1996 2100 hrs GMT
You read it here first, but Britain's tabloid weekly Motor Cycle News (MCN) has just broken the news about the forthcoming Yamaha Diversion 1200.

Inspired not so much by the ageing Divvy 900, but by the loss of market share to Suzuki's 1200 Bandit, the new four cylinder Divvy will feature an air/oil cooled 125 hp motor with shaft drive, and a possible 155 mph top speed. (The 1200 Bandit produces 95 hp). It will almost certainly retain the Divvy's comfortable riding position, soft suspension and good but noisy screen and fairing, but styling will be much more radical in keeping with the design updates to the TDM850 and other Yamaha sports bikes. Expect a radical beak-like fairing, and some loud paint schemes at launch time. Expect too, a drop in the sales value of second hand Diversion 900's as the bike is dropped from Yamaha's 1997 product range.

However, the Divvy 1200's lead over the Bandit is likely to be short lived. Engine tuners can take the current stock Bandit up to 145 bhp with not much more tuning than a new exhaust can and a set of carb jets, and it is probable Suzuki will hit back with a faired MKII 150 bhp bike in the next year.

MCN say that 4590 600cc Divvies and 1378 900cc Divvies have been sold in the UK since these models were launched, and that the new bike is likely to be featured for the first time at the Cologne Show in October. This will coincide with new 1997 model launches from Honda and Kawasaki.

UK's Ride Magazine August edition featured a head to head battle of 600cc bikes. The top award went to the 600cc Bandit, followed closely by the 600cc Diversion, which came a very close second. The reason? Ride Magazine preffered the Divvy's good fairing over the extra 20 hp of the Bandit for motorway touring. This is possibly something to do with the UK's climate, which generally tends towards the damp, especially away from the short summer season. The secondhand market for 600 Divvy's is also very bouyant with depreciation on well looked after bikes being very low. The moral seems to be to keep everything sprayed with WD40 and have the bike dealer maintained for the first two years. This keeps the factory warranty, and the good second-hand prices intact.

New Diversion XJ1200 specifications
From Peter McKenna, UK Wednesday 24th July 1996 1800 hrs GMT
In todays MCN, the rumours seem to be borne out:
  • New Yamaha Diversion XJ1200
  • Uses the FJ1200 engine
  • inline 4 cylinder air-cooled
  • 125 BHP
  • 155 mph (250 km/h) tops
  • Shaft drive
  • Steel double cradle frame
  • 25l tank (200 mile/320km range)
  • Set to be unveiled at the Koln show in October
  • Price expected approx 7000GBP (900divi 6300GBP, 600divi 4700GBP)
Looks good!

Is the Diversion XJ900S dead ?
From Sue Schofield, UK Saturday 29th June 1996 0900 hrs GMT
Yamaha look set to announce the all new 1200 Diversion in the next few days. The bike is a direct response to the 1200 cc Suzuki Bandit which is creaming off sales of the staid 900cc Yammy tourer. While no technical details are yet released, Yamaha may opt to keep the shaft drive of the 900 Divvy, whilst upping the engine output to 100 bhp or more. The 1200 Bandit is chain driven.

In the UK the 600 and 1200 Suzi Bandits are grabbing sales from both Diversion models, now seen as 'sensible' middleweights by the biking fraternity. For sensible read 'boring'. The Suzuki's, despite as yet unproven longevity, pump out more horses and cost less to buy than the Yamaha equivalents, although service costs are likely to be higher for the more complex Suzuki engines. In addition, recent Yamahas have come in for much criticism from the UK press for soft suspension, although all the experts agreee that soft bikes (and comfortable seats) make for easy long distance cruising. The Bandits are noted for neither.

The 900 Divvy now looks dated alongside the 1996 600 model, which has many engine mods, plus an updated aerodynamic fairing and improved metallic paint on the Dark Metallic Blue model. But a side by side comparison of the 600 Bandit and the 600 96 Divvy, shows that the Divvy has the edge both in build quality and in styling. And the Genesis Concept angled engine of the Diversion, with it's low center of gravity makes the parts-bin Bandit look years out of date.

But UK bikers vote with their wallets, and a bike with 30% more power for the same price will always attract more buyers, regardless of build quality and increased depreciation for Suzuki models. Will Yamaha get the formula for the 1200 Divvy correct and produce a Bandit beater? Only time will tell. Given Suzuki's penchant for producing low cost power products it seems unlikely that Yamaha will choose to compete in the bangs-per-buck department. Expect better build quality and a definitive touring bike, as opposed to Suzuki's 'street fighter' offering.

What is good news in the light of this yet-to-be-announced announcement is that prices of used 900 Diversions will fall. This is bad news for sellers, but good for buyers as the existing 900 Divvy has few faults, other than needing a new paint job and a fairing update. A late model 95 or 96 900 Divvy will become a good bargain, especially for buyers who can part-exchange '95 600 models for existing dealers stocks of the 95/96 900 Divvy.

Will Yamaha keep the 900 at the launch of the 1200 Divvy? It seems unlikely given the market penetration of the 1200 Bandit. Unless we hear differently, the 900 Divvy will be withdrawn sometime this year.

You read it here first. The 900 Divvy is dead. Long may it live on.

Yamaha Diversion XJ400S
Yamaha did produce an Diversion XJ400S in the years 1992-1993, ment for the Japanees home market as Japanees seems to love to 250-400cc bikes. Besides Japan the XJ400S has also been sold in Israel where beginners must drive for one year on a bike with no more than 500cc. The Yamaha Diversion XJ400S looks outside exactly the same as the XJ600S, the difference can only be found inside. 400cc for 42hp.

Alan Peterson from Australia confirmed me that Japanse licences are 250cc, 400cc and 'open'. There is/was indeed a 400 cc Diversion.

New motorcycle drivers license in the Netherlands
New laws for getting your bike-drivers licence in the Netherland will begin on june 1st, 1996.
  • A special theory exam is needed, even if you already have your car driver licence
  • There are two bike driver licence, one "limited" for light machines and one "unlimited" for all machines
  • For the "limited" motor drivers licence the exam bike must have at least 120cc and the power is limited to 35kW (47.6hp). The maximum speed must be higher than 120km/hrs. But watch this! After getting this drivers licence you may only ride for a period of two years on a bike with a maximum power of 25kW (34hp) and this bike may not have more power than 0.16kW per kilo weight! This results in a 25kW bike with a minimum weigth of 156.25kg or a 10kW bike with a minimum weight of 62.5kg. Can you imagine, a Diversion XJ900S with oil and fuel, 274kg and 34hp? The real reason is to exclude bikes like fast and light Aprilia's. After two years you may step over to heavier bikes without doing another exam. The "limited" licenced is obliged for people under 21 years of age. In practice it is possible to do exam when you are 18, don't drive one single mile, wait until you are 21 and buy a Yamaha VMAX.
  • For the "unlimited" motor drivers licence the exam- and own-bikes are not restricted by new rules. The only differences with the situation before june 1996 is the special motor bike theory exam.
The answer from Yamaha can been found in the price-list of the 1996 brochure: a special 34hp version of the Yamaha Diversion XJ600S/N.

Nice to mention is that for 'ultra-light' motors (mopeds etc) now also a 'licence' is needed. People older than 16 in 1996 can buy this 'licence' at the post office for f 25,- if they don't have a car or motor drivers licence. People becoming 16 years must do a exam.

Jimmy Kjellson from Sweden told me that Swedisch versions of bikes have less power than their US version. That's been done because the insurance is much cheaper for these machines. The modification they made for the Diversion XJ600S was a thicker rubber between carburators and valves. It takes about one hour to get rid of these things.

New motorcycle drivers license in the Sweden
In Sweden there is a new system to get your drivers license. In short:
  • 16 years old: 125cc bike, maximum 15 hp
  • 18 years old: min 160 kg, max 34 hp bike
  • 20 years old: no power or weight limit if you had the 18 year-bike
  • 21 years old: no power or weight limit
European regulations are good visuable.

A revised XJ600S ?
Rumours said that Yamaha is going to deliver a revised XJ600S soon, because of the tough competition from Bandit 600. The revisions includes different carburators (maybe for more power?) and an addition of oil-radiator (as in the Diversion 900).

The above text was published here a year ago. Now in 1996 we all have seen that this wasn't just a rumour. Yamaha did changed the 1996 model of the Diversion, new aerodynamic fairing, new paint, many engine modifications and of course the oil radiator.

Contributions to this chapter are made several persons. If you know something for this chapter, please write. Any news from any country is welcome.
E-mail: Kim Kodde

Last update 07-Jul-2002