This is a brief review I did for my own site......thought it might interest some of you!
Let me point out I'm no Mark Williams or LJK Setright when it comes to journalism.....but here goes!
I was looking for an allround workhorse.....something I could use on good days for work, and something that I could ride for pleasure if I had any free time.
I didn't want to spend a fortune....up to 2K max.....so it was not going to be anything exotic.
The choices were pretty limited.....there were various niche market bikes like sportsbikes, sports tourers, tourers, adventure bikes, muscle bikes, dualsport, offroaders, custom etc.....but all I wanted was a BIKE! Something that could turn it's hand to anything....with the exception of focussed offroading obviously.
Try finding a BIKE? It's not easy.....and it was looking more and more like I'd end up with a Bandit 600. But then I saw an ad for a 2003 XJ600N! June 2003 model (one of the very last), 9000 fair weather miles, FSH, very good nick, and two previous owners who were the two partners in a lesbian relationship. So the bike had been known since new. It's actually unusual to find a Divvy like this because they're generally used as commuter hacks and don't inspire much pride of ownership.
However, I'd owned two Divvys/Secas in the past.....a 600 and a 900....so I knew what to expect.
Anyway, sent Ren in and picked it up for £1350. Yes, you can look around and get cheaper earlier ones, but invariably they've had hard lives and have a much higher mileage.
So....what do you get?
Well you don't get a lot of performance with only 60bhp on tap. Things do pick up a bit higher in the rev range, but don't expect your face to get distorted with G forces!
You don't get sharp handling....tbh it's pretty wooden so you have to ride within it's limits.
Brakes? Mine is the later model with double disc and they're excellent. More braking power than engine power really.
Comfort? It's genuinely very comfortable.....it doesn't look it, but it is.
Fuelling? Old fashioned carbs! No FI, no high tech computers and all that shit...just plain, old fashioned carbs. And you know something? They do the job well. Put it in 6th at 25mph and it just pulls....no splutter or hesitation. Granted, there's not exactly much forward motion.....you'd be better off consulting a calendar than a speedometer....but that's not what the bike is about.
Gearbox? Yams are known for notchy boxes.....but the Divvy has one of the best I've come across. No cracks or clunks, just a positive quiet action.
Manoevrability? Excellent at low speeds because it's so small and light. Cobbled footpaths, low speed turning, and even getting on and off the stand are a piece of cake.
Build quality? Middle of the road....not the best and not the worst. You will see a lot of rusty old Divvys about, but bear in mind what they're used for.....couriers, commuters etc. High mileage and little (if any) cleaning or maintenance. The equivalent Suzuki would have disintegrated.....did I tell you about when I bought a new Bandit and there was rust on it from new?
Reliability? Even without regular maintenance the motors just keep on going. You can belt the things day in, day out (and most people do) and they just come back for more.
I could just jump on it now, ride 1500 miles to the UK, and turn round and ride back and it wouldn't miss a beat. How many bikes costing £1350 could you say that about?
Kit out a new R1200GS and you'd pay ten times that much......and if I had to put money on which of the two could make that trip without any problems, I wouldn't be betting against the Divvy!
Maintenance? Simple oldtech aircooled motor, and tyres, consumables, and insurance (Group 9) are cheap. And quite happy to run on mineral oil.
Running costs? Depending on how it's ridden, anywhere between 50 to 60mpg.
Depreciation? They're cheap to buy so you'll never make money on them. But an original in outstanding condition is hard to find since they were discontinued in 2003. So I estimate I could keep it a couple of years and only lose a few hundred quid....which is cheap motorcycling really.
So to summarise! It's old tech, old spec, cheap and cheerful.....but it does the job. If you want fun and excitement....then look elsewhere.
But if you want a BIKE, as they were originally intended to be (before all these ludicrous genres of bikes were created to make bikers buy more than one).....a good Divvy is worth a look. In terms of value for money it's hard to beat.
As an example, I would have paid double that price if I'd wanted to buy a Transalp of a similar year. Yet the Divvy betters a Transalp in all areas except handling and limited offroad capability ....that's a fact!
And you know the irony here? If I'd bought a Transalp, people would be saying what a good bike it was. As it is I bought a Divvy for half the price and it's looked at as a sad POS.
Funny old world! We're all living out of time you know! Bit like the Divvy!