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Yamaha XSR 900 is best of both worlds with retro beauty and bang up-to-date technology

The 2022 Yamaha XSR 900

A 3.5-inch TFT display comes with a bar-type tachometer

Paul Browne

If you like a classy looking, retro-styled motorcycle then you’re going to want to talk to your local Yamaha dealer about the new XSR 900.

If you don’t, and you prefer a modern machine with all of what we have come to expect of a bike developed over the last few years, then you’re going to want to talk to your local Yamaha dealer about an XSR 900.

With everything including that cleverly raised pillion seat on the saddle, the paint scheme, the gold wheels and forks, this is going to look cool parked outside your local café. Everything about the way the bike looks suggests that there is nothing here that isn’t necessary.

But the new Yamaha is so much more than a pretty face. While little details such as the pillion pegs that fold in to follow the line of the sub-frame show clever thinking on the part of the designers, under its skin is a whole lot of new tech wrapped in a beautiful package.

The new Deltabox frame is smaller and lighter than before. This allows the bike to offer the rider more straight-line stability and better handling in the fun bits. Speaking of the fun bits, the bike corners a lot better than the older one thanks to the swingarm being a fairly decent 55mm longer, which pivots inside the frame and is once again lighter than that of the previous machine.

The XSR has a set of radially-mounted callipers on the twin-disc front brakes with a single pot on a single disc down the back. The master cylinder is by Brembo and ABS is, of course, standard as on any bike of this size these days.

A 3.5-inch TFT display comes with a bar-type tachometer

Suspension is by KYB. The front is fully adjustable, while the rear single shock is hidden behind the engine.

The new wheels are ‘spinforged’. This is a Yamaha method of making wheels and these 10-spoke offerings save a staggering 700g over the previous bike’s weight. This helps the bike handle better, as well as allowing the suspension to work even more effectively.

The headlamp is a lightweight round LED unit. The rear light, also an LED unit, is hidden beneath the pillion seat.

The TFT is a 3.5-inch full colour display unit with a bar-type tachometer. The rider can configure the way they want to see the secondary information.

Ride mode selection is managed through a handlebar switch. The electric package includes a six-axis IMU, three for the lean angle and three for acceleration. This allows the bike to manage the lean angle and traction control and adjust the power to maintain grip when the bike is cornering or accelerating. Also included is a slide control system as well as an anti-wheelie setting. The ABS also works while cornering.

A quick shifter is standard as are four engine power choices, all of which are delivered via a ride-by-wire throttle. Cruise control also comes as standard.

The 899cc crossplane crank has more torque, an extra 43cc, lightened internals and 117hp. Torque is also up to 93Nm. All of this is delivered via an A&S clutch and a gear box with slightly higher gear ratios than before.

And what’s even sweeter is this is all yours for €12,499 from your nearest Yamaha dealer.

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