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

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

2 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA XV950 (2013-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your YAMAHA XV950 (2013-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.5 out of 5
Equipment 3.5 out of 5
4 out of 5

Very Capable (Modern) Bobber

09 June 2016 by Mr Beats

Pleasure to ride both on A and B roads; call me crazy to throw this type of bike onto B roads, but you can really have some fun as long as you don't expect sports bike behaviour. I've had my XV950R for a year now, ridden through winter on a daily... Read more basis commuting to work and the only thing I'd improve is the back end feel in the wet... but it might improve with a different tyre.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
If I am picky, the seat could improve its comfort but it's absolutely fine for the regular 130 miles between refueling, especially if you are not doing motorways. I do not carry pillions so can't comment on that but the seat (which I removed) was tiny, so I suspect comfort would be worse for a pillion. Brakes are fine with the front being surprisingly good for a single disc and the ABS on this R spec is not intrusive at all. The suspension is "softish" absorbing well the majority of our road bumps.
5 out of 5
Smooth power delivery for a v-twin - but I guess this one's been trialled and tested for years. Absolutely love the torque which is not only present at the low end, making overtaking easy without dropping a gear even at motorway speeds... you ask for it and it replies: "yes Sir, right away!"
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Solid built quality, nothing feels cheap, no corrosion anywhere even riding through winter. I do tend to wash her every month and apply adequate protection products.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Great value; first service shy of £120, just serviced it at 4500 miles and it cost me £250 which for a years worth of riding i don't think is bad.
4 out of 5
I like it simple, so not a problem; it's a "modern bobber" as i've heard them call it, so it's blacked out and back to basics... but you know what? Basics are great! I will change the stock exhaust though... i would love it if they'd made it a bit gruntier; such a good looking bike, begs for a better and louder sound track.
Buying experience

Bought from a local dealer; extremely professional and helpful as always, with no pressure at all.

4 out of 5

04 August 2015 by El Gringo

Fun to ride, great engine. Ideal for first time rider despite weight. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
Just wish that the front brake was a bit better. Back end is a bit harsh, perhaps the R spec is better.
5 out of 5
Surprisingly quick, good on the motorway with instant overtaking power, no need to drop down a gear.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
I find this cheap to run. The worst mpg so far is 60, best is 73. Insurance costs are very sensible.
3 out of 5
Basic but I'm not bothered.Yamaha accessories are unbelievably expensive- ebay is your friend.
Buying experience

Good, professional dealer.

Read all 2 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2013
Year discontinued -
New price £7,199
Used price £5,400 to £7,700
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 10 of 17
Annual road tax £82
Annual service cost £250
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
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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