YAMAHA XV950 (2013-on) Review

Published: 21 March 2014

Watch out Harley Sportster, you might have a serious Japanese rival for the first time

YAMAHA XV950  (2013-on)

Watch out Harley Sportster, you might have a serious Japanese rival for the first time

  • At a glance
  • 942cc  -  51 bhp
  • 47 mpg  -  120 miles range
  • Insurance group: 10 of 17
    Compare insurance quotes now
  • Low seat height (690mm)
  • £7,199

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

Like any proper bobber, Yamaha’s XV isn’t for the long, open road but is more suited to the urban dude. Yamaha has kept it relatively light, at 247kg, and a super-low seat height of 690mm makes it easy to control for virtually everyone. An abundance of torque delivers a fun, responsive ride and having suspension and brakes that work goes a long way to increasing confidence. The belt-drive motor is lovely to use and the XV is a good looking piece of machinery. Watch out Harley Sportster, you might have a serious Japanese rival for the first time.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The XV950’s chassis is all-new and has been designed to be sportier than previous XV models as well as looking the part. Although it is a relatively small bike, the XV still feels fat and comfortable with a nice reach to the bars from the seat, however it is when the road develops a few corners that the Yamaha really impresses. Ok, the ground clearance is fairly limited, but the XV corners far better than most cruisers and can be ridden spiritedly thanks to a good chassis and excellent (although budget) suspension. The brakes also perform well and the ABS is effective in its operation.

Engine 4 out of 5

Not everything about the XV is new. The engine is the same air-cooled V-twin from the XVS950A Midnight Star which came out in 2009, albeit tweaked slightly with new inlet and outlets and a revised ECU. The result is it now pumps out 51bhp at 5500rpm and 59ftlb of torque at 3000rpm, which is more than enough. The belt-drive motor is lovely to use and the fuel injection is flawless. The 12.2-litre tank and 47mpg efficiency should see it cover over 120 miles between fill-ups, which on a bobber is more than enough to get you between cafes…

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

The level of detail and finish is very high on the XV950 and the air-cooled V-twin engine is a tried and tested lump.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

Bang on the price for middleweight cruisers

Insurance group: 10 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 3 out of 5

You get a good looking bike and that’s about it. Yamaha have used a lot of brushed aluminium, which is nice, but only the R version gets ABS.

Owners' Reviews

No owners have yet reviewed the YAMAHA XV950 (2013-on).

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2013
Year discontinued -
New price £7,199
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 10 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 51 bhp
Max torque 59 ft-lb
Top speed 110 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 47 mpg
Tank range 120 miles
Specification
Engine size 942cc
Engine type Four-stroke, air-cooled SOHC, 8v V-twin
Frame type Tubular steel
Fuel capacity 12 litres
Seat height 690mm
Bike weight 247kg
Front suspension KYB 41mm forks, non-adjustable
Rear suspension Twin KYB shocks, adjustable spring preload
Front brake 1x298mm petal disc. Two-piston caliper
Rear brake 1x298mm petal disc, Two-piston caliper
Front tyre size 100/90ZR19
Rear tyre size 150/80ZR16

History & Versions

Model history

2013: Model introduced

Other versions

The XV950R costs £7,799 and comes with a different seat, ABS and piggyback shocks.

Photo Gallery

  • YAMAHA XV950  (2013-on)
  • YAMAHA XV950  (2013-on)
  • YAMAHA XV950  (2013-on)
  • YAMAHA XV950  (2013-on)
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