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webBikeWorld Yamaha XSR900 Review

Discussion in 'Motorcycling News' started by NetriderBot, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. #1 NetriderBot, Sep 23, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2016
    Retro sporty heritage with a big fun factor. Here is a First Impressions look at the 60th Anniversary Edition.

    If you’ve been following Yamaha’s string of new motorcycle model announcements over the past few years you know they’ve been busy.

    One of the jewels in the newly minted lineup is the triple cylinder MT-09, released in 2013.

    The new 847 cc three-cylinder engine received a lot of praise from the press and MT-09 owners, despite some “abrupt” fuel issues transitioning from a fully closed throttle.

    Beyond these teething problems with fuel mapping, the MT turned out to be a blast to ride and this helped it overcome the early production issues.

    The MT was followed up by the Tracer 900, a sport-touring version based on the same engine in 2015.

    By the release of the Tracer, the fueling issues had been addressed and for 2016 a third model based on the triple engine was released.

    The new 2016 bike would be closer in spec to the MT-09 and on paper it is very difficult to tell one from the other because fuel capacity, wheelbase, rake and trail, etc. are all similar.

    But cosmetically, the bikes appear distinctly different. So let's take a quick look at the Yamaha XSR900, a melding of sport, retro and Yamaha history from their new "Sport Heritage" collection.


    The XSR-900, shown here in the 60th Anniversary livery, is a member of what Yamaha is referring to as their "Sport Heritage" line of bikes.

    This group includes the XSR900, the SR400 ingle cylinder, the Bolt C-Spec, the new SCR950 "Scrambler" and the venerable V-Max.

    It doesn’t take long after viewing the XSR900 and the MT-09 side-by-side to tell that the two bikes share quite a bit of their substance; the engine, frame and swingarm all appear to come from the same parts bin.

    This is not a bad thing.

    While the MT-09 has been lauded as a fun bike to ride, the “looks” have definitely been more divisive among reviewers.

    Personally, I’m not thrilled with the looks of the MT-09, but then again I’m not turned off by it either. It simply is.

    What the Yamaha has done with the XSR900 is taken a good base and put it in a new wrapper and the result is more than just the sum of its bolt on parts.

    To me, the cosmetic changes have transformed the bike with a perfect blend of old and new.

    The XSR900's looks definitely recall the appearance of a few Japanese motorcycles from the 1970’s, yet it looks fresh and hits the buttons for the current retro trend.

    Yamaha dipped into their past with the XSR900, especially with the 60th Anniversary edition yellow Yamaha paint scheme (a $500 USD option).

    The bikes that come to mind are the inline triples of that era; in fact, both Yamaha and Kawasaki released motorcycles in the 1970’s with three cylinder engines, including the Yamaha XS750 (and later the XS850).

    They weren't huge sellers, but the bikes had a reputation for being smooth and reliable.

    Fast-forward to present day and you can see how the new meets the old with the XSR900. Built on the MT-09 base, the XSR presents some very interesting and functional design touches.

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