This is was my first motorcycle, purchased in November 2014 with 5,500 kilometres on the odometer. In the last twelve months (to November 2015) I've averaged about 1,000 kilometres each month and the odometer clicked over 17,000 kilometres only yesterday.
The "L" designation is for the LAMS variant. It complies with power-to-weight ratio rules by means of a re-mapped ECU that progressively limits power output from 7,000-10,000 RPM and a throttle restrictor that gives about 40% turn. The XJ6 has a "torque-tuned" version of the R6 engine and is quite tolerant of being low in the rev-range for a four cylinder.
When I was looking to buy a motorcycle, I narrowed my choices to the Suzuki SFV650 Gladius, Honda CB500X, and Kawasaki ER6NL - all twins. I missed a great deal on an ER6NL and then happened to hear a Honda CB400 with a Staintune exhaust. The inline four growl through that pipe was superb and all of a sudden it was all about four cylinder bikes for me. The Yamaha was the first one I saw for sale by a dealer and within four days it had been delivered from Sydney.
The riding posture is quite upright and suits my 183 centimetre height. Airflow over the instrument cluster and front of the motorcycle is very clean. The acceleration and gear selection are smooth. The throttle can be a bit snatchy in lower gears and sometimes "searches" for a consistent rev band, something I've heard can be found with other Yamaha bikes. Acceleration is very predictable, linear and gets to my Provisional licence 90 km/h limit very quickly.
The suspension is adequate but as the pre-load on the rear mono shock absorber is clicked up toward the maximum setting of 7 it does become a bit like a Pogo-stick on rural back roads. Brakes are again, nothing outstanding, but do the job with correct progressive technique. Earlier on I locked up the rear a few times at night when kangaroos leapt out in front of me. The introduction of ABS would be no bad thing on this model.
The bike has seen me progress from a Learner to Provisional licence with a lot of cone-weave, U-turn and emergency stop practice. I commute thirty highway kilometres to and from work several times each week on it and also the occasional weekend ride around the region. XJ6(NL)'s seem to be a relatively rare motorcycle. I know of one other in the area I live in apart from which I have seen only one in Sydney CBD recently. I have enjoyed every moment riding mine.
Here's a video from TheBikersGarage of a unrestricted XJ6 being ridden by a madman in Curitiba, Brazil:
Another from RoadcraftNottingham reviewing the XJ6 in Britain: