Originally Posted by vander
What's with that XTZ660? Who was the rider? Standings?
There must be some work inside that tank, I can't see any air refreshing the radiator.
Never seen that tank or tanks before. Looks like plastic, not aluminium?
These bikes were factory pre-production (test evaluation) versions
of what was to become the YAMAHA XTZ 660 production version (released in 1993?)
The riders in the 1991 Computerland Australian Safari were Hideaki Suzuki
a multi-time safari competitor and factory rider from Japan and Kalus Mueller of Australia.
Both finished somewhere in the top 20... outside the top 5 if I am not misstaken.
In 1992 YAMAHA came back with two other riders - Jeremy Davies
of South Africa (past Roof of Africa Rally winner)
and Australian Safari/Yamaha Aust. frontrunner - Mac Haigh
(his bike is the #2 machine pictured here).
Jeremy retired (crash) the morning of day four while engaged in a four way battle for the lead...
Mac had retired the afternoon prior with some electrical fault... once remedied he then loaded fellow safari competitor Andrew Norris
(blown up Husqvarna TE 610) on the back, and they rode the 400 odd kilometers from Birdsville back home to Mac's rural sheep station
in South Western Queensland.
The tanks were hand fabricated in aluminium, as were the sumpguards and water tank... the fairing was plastic/fiberglass of some desciption and bore similar resemblance to the eventual production version. The rest of the bike was pre-production/standard Yamaha componentry.
As I recall Jeremy and Mac said they were heavy and had inadequate suspension... something about being "like a lame dog"...
but the were
free (sposored ride