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Yamaha XJ900 DIVERSION Naked Motorbike Review

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Yamaha XJ900S Diversion motorcycle review - Riding
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Yamaha XJ900S Diversion (1994-2004)



Detail Value
Used price range View Yamaha XJ900 DIVERSION bikes for sale to see current asking prices
Engine size 892 cc
Power 90 bhp
Top speed 127 mph
Insurance group 12 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4
Ride & Handling rating is 3 rating is 3.5
Equipment rating is 5 rating is 3.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4
Value rating is 4 rating is 4.5

MCN overall verdict rating is 4

Introduced two years after its little 600cc brother, the bigger Yamaha XJ900S Diversion is a real, no-nonsense all-rounder. Ok, so it lacks outstanding performance or any semblance of sexiness but who cares? For bikers on a budget who ride in the real world, the Yamaha XJ900S Diversion is hard to beat. Has a long standing and respectable heritage, too.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

There’s plenty of pull throughout the Yamaha XJ900S Diversion's rev range and in any gear and, while it won’t have you clinging on for dear life, it’s steady and consistent. Very dependable. What’s more, it goes on forever, is a doddle to work on and sounds lovely. Very smooth delivery. Down side? Things get a bit vibey on the Yamaha XJ900S Diversion at urban speeds.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

The Yamaha XJ900S Diversion is super comfy for rider and pillion but the suspension’s fairly basic and the forks are a bit soft. It feels stable and can be fun on twisty roads but it feels heavy in to corners and at slow speeds. Brakes are ample (but need regular attention)  and the transmission is smooth but the Yamaha XJ900S Diversion could do with a sixth gear, once out on the open road.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

Yamaha XJ900S Diversion's dash includes speedo, tacho and fuel gauge: all clear and easy to read. The Yamaha XJ900S Diversion also boasts underseat storage, grab rail, bungee hooks, large screen, excellent mirrors and a very comfortable seat (and pillions agree, too!). The Yamaha XJ900S Diversion's massive tank is great for touring and many used models will come with luggage.

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Yamaha XJ900S Diversion's engine’s super reliable and the finish is ok but keep an eye on it. Weak spots are welded areas on the frame, which can be a bit shoddy, and fasteners can quickly corrode. Keep it clean, however, and it shouldn’t get too bad. High mileage Yamaha XJ900S Diversions are common, which is a very good sign…

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Yamaha XJ900S Diversion is an excellent all-rounder at an affordable price: it’s no luxury mega-tourer but it’s supremely practical and great value. Cheap to run and insure, simple to service on your own plus spares are easy to source and not too pricey. Often overlooked and underrated, you can usually pick up a Yamaha XJ900S Diversion for peanuts. Find a Yamaha XJ900 Diversion for sale

Insurance

Insurance group: 12 of 17

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Model History

1994: Yamaha XJ900S Diversion introduced: an update of the old XJ900 which had been running since 1985.
1996: Yamaha XJ900S Diversion gets major update including improvements to front and rear suspension (the forks got adjustable preload). The choke lever moved to the handlebars and the redline moved to 9500rpm. Anti-corrosion nuts and bolts fitted.
1997: A further update for the Yamaha XJ900S Diversion, with new fork tube guards, a new seat and hazard warning switch.
2004: Yamaha XJ900S Diversion discontinued.

Other Versions

None.

Specifications

Top speed 127 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.6 secs
Max power 90 bhp
Max torque 62 ft-lb
Weight 239 kg
Seat height 795 mm
Fuel capacity 24 litres
Average fuel consumption 41 mpg
Tank range 215 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 12 of 17
Engine size 892 cc
Engine specification 8v inline four, 5 gears
Frame Steel double cradle
Front suspension adjustment Preload
Rear suspension adjustment Preload
Front brakes Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 267mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 150/70 x 17

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(11 reviews)

  • A little gemstone

    Kieran Wateridge

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Ride and Handling
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    Quality and Reliabilty
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    Engine

    Most people overlook these slightly old and boring looking machines but they would do well to consider them. While the mechanics are definitely rather basic and the old style carburetors mean a little bit of willing choke is necessary to start the beast on a frosty morning, you couldn't hope for a more reliable bike. The seat is comfortably low and the weight of the rather large engine are low in the bike's center of gravity, making it quite easy to control her when walking it about. 90bhp is roughly the same sort of power you would expect to see out of a BMW R1150RT, demonstrating that while the mechanics are a little bit old it's no slouch. Unlike any other bike I have owned, the Diversion is plenty happy to gently pull around at 2,000RPM, with little to no surging like you get on many fuel injected bikes at that rate of engine rotation. There's easily enough poke to shame cars and even some smaller sports bikes at the lights, though the engine gets a little wheezy and breathless above 6,500RPM. The suspension is decidedly soft, especially the front forks, so the bike is never going to be doing knee down frantic frolicking but its more than capable down a twisty country road, if you respect the weight and use it to your advantage when muscling the bike through a corner. Easily the best thing about the bike is the dash; so many old bikes have horrendous information displayed on a frankly awful dash. The Diversion 900 is not so; the dials are large, pretty darn accurate (tested with GPS speed meters) and easy to read; the fuel gauge seems pretty accurate, and the backlighting at night is superb. There are only two niggles that ruin an otherwise excellent bike. I think the bike could really have done with a 6th overdrive gear; motorway work is easy but the engine always feels like its spinning a little bit higher than is strictly necessary. A nice 6th gear to reduce the bike to 4,000rpm at 70mph would be lovely, and economical. The other thing is a consequence of excellent build quality. it is a real pain in the derriere to do any form of electrical maintenance as the wiring boxes AND the battery are all buried under umpteen body panels on the right hand side. I understand WHY they have done it, and the solid quality feel of it all is definitely confidence inspiring but it makes charging the battery quite a length affair as getting to it isn't that easy. other than that, I can't fault it. It'll ride happily, long distance, two up with absolutely no complaints and will put a smile on your face while doing it.

    19 June 2013

  • back on two Wheels

    robertreeves

    Average rating rating is 4

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    1995,Thursday morning 05:30 my Honda cb125tde was stolen! That was the end of my biking life. 2011 talking to mate who past his full motorbike liciences, riding a bandit 500. i told him about my goal of touring on a bike. you get a bike we are off! june 2012 - converstaion with a northerner at my place off work informs me? 1996 xj900s £500 and it is yours, went to the wife like ya do! she turned to me and said who am i to block your goals!. It is a great mechine, handles great, looks great makes me smile by the way i am off to France for my four day tour. It has been mentioned alot it is realy easy to work on.

    09 January 2013

  • Its that Good

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    I've had the Divi 900 2 years now and I love it, easy bike to work on, you look after it and nothing will go wrong. It rides and handles well, ok its no sports bike but it will keep up with the crowd, big plus is the air cooled four cylinder engine thats will run for ever, mine as reached 61,200 and still sounds like new, easy to maintain engine. It handles the twisty roads very well for a sports tourer and will run all day on motorways.Big petrol tank so not many stops. A bike that is also easy and cheap to alter for your needs if you are under 5'9" So if you are looking for a sports tourer don't over look the Divi.

    25 April 2012

  • superb machine

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    i have had my divi for about a year and use it for work and pleasure and so far has not misssed a beat, it is ridden in all weathers and i have done 3 tours with 2 more to come this year ,it averages 60mpg on long runs and 48 round town, i cant praise it high enough and even after 12 months i cant wait to get on it not, encountered any glitches so far apart from seized choke cable and rear brake caliper i love this bike so much i cant think of anything to replace it except a newer one in few years time,if you are in the market get one you will love it.

    06 September 2009

  • Real-world Bargain

    lordmelbury

    Average rating rating is 4

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    I've had a selection of bikes over the years (haven't we all). The most recent being a CB1300 and an Aprilia Caponord. The XJ900 kind of beats them all really. Mine cost £1500 on eBay and only had 7000 miles on the clock. I've no idea why it was so low mileage but the dent in the tank led me to believe someone had fallen off at low speed & stuck it in the garage as they didn't want to get back on.... Anyway - I ride all year round in London and this is absolutely the most reliable bike I have ever had. It has never failed to start even on frosty days after 2 weeks layoff and it's not covered & is left in the street. It sounds really good when you crank it up. I can get around Old Street roundabout as fast as sports bikes and frankly - in the city you couldn't buy a better bike - that's why it's a courier hack of choice. It's not really that fast and it's a bit floppy suspension-wise, the brakes could also be a little better but with the shaft drive & a build quality that would put BMW to shame I can't complain about this bike at all. If you were wanting a CBF1000 there's no point. Save yourself about £3000 and buy one of these. It rocks. That said - I\d like a KTM 990 Supermoto for the weekends, oh and maybe a Road King....

    08 June 2009

  • A Nice Change

    regsy

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Just got a '94 model with 12k on the clock, its a lovely tidy clean bike. My previous bike was a CB1300 X4 so this isn't as torquey as that or as fast but I am enjoying hustling it around a little. Its very light (in comparison) and came with a set of Yamaha Diversion panniers fitted and a top box, the only other custom part is a taller screen which suits my 6' 4" frame nicely. It seems a very tall bike to me and quite narrow but the engine is very willing, the shaft drive in nice and while it may not be as exciting as the X4 it still has brought a smile to my face. Looks like it will b great for touring a little with my wife on the back and so far its been ultra comfy. I would recommend this to anyone who doesn't do race days and wants a cheap all rounder for work and pleasure, lots of after market bits available and loads of cheap spares on E-bay. Brilliant.

    11 February 2009

  • The other bike

    DerekMcWilliam

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    I have a GSXR1000k1 for myself and the 900Diversion for touring with the wife and we both love it. It is so much fun it should be banned. It also a nice change from the madness of the gsxr1000. Dare i day it but i have more "fun" on the Divy than on my gsxr, hence its up for sale!

    28 January 2008

  • Great all-rounder, with a few vices.

    Richard Ellis

    Haverhill , UK

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    I've always wanted a true "all rounder". This is it - well, almost. The only real vice this bike has is the headlight, which is truly pathetic. My Honda 125 scooter is miles better! Also, the bike is a bit on the heavy side, and the fuel consumption is a poor (in my opinion) 42-45mpg. This compares unfavourably to the K100RS I had, which easily averaged 52mpg while delivering similar performance. If only Yamaha had used fuel injection. Finally, at 6ft 1", I find the screen too low for comfortable long-distance riding. As far as quality goes, I've never risked riding it in the winter (unlike the BMW).

    09 June 2007

  • Great all rounder, low maintenance and good economy.

    Charterhouse

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Solid and reliable bike giving all year round riding and reasonable weather protection and 200 mile tank range (more on longer business trips). Comfortable two up with good passenger comfort. Quick enough for me. Bridgestone tyres work best for me, 8k from rear and 10k from front and thats not riding at a snails pace. Paint work still looks good with regular cleaning. No other maintenance apart from mid year oil change. Strengths: Dependable, comfortable, shaft-drive. Weaknesses: Little on heavy side but this does not affect riding.

    30 August 2006

  • NICE BIKE

    CHEAL

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    I HAVE OWNED THIS BIKE FOR 10 YEARS (BORING I KNOW) BUT MY PREVIOUS BIKE WAS A HONDA 750 KZ -REALLY OLD. THE COMPARISON WAS REMARKABLE THE YAMAHA STOPS IN THE WET (GOOD BREAKS) THE MOTOR IS BULLET PROOF (ALL I HAVE DONE SINCE THE FIRST FEW SERVICES IS CHANGE THE OIL AND FILTERS. THE SHAFT IS MAINTAINCE FREE. THE TYRES ARE GOOD (AVON SOMETHINGS), THE RIDE IS EXCELLANT ALTHOUGH I THINK I NEED TO LOOK AT THE SHOCKS, THE FINISH IS EXCELLENT ALL ORIGINAL PAINT AND BITS INCLUDING THE EXHAUSTS. I REGUARLY RIDE THIS BIKE ONE AND TWO UP AND CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEXT TRIP. THE BIKE GOES AS FAST AND HANDLES AS WELL AS I NEED IT TO AND STILL TOPS THE TON + WHEN MR PLOD IS NOT WATCHING. I WISH YAMAHA HAD MADE A NEW SIMILAR SHAFT DRIVE TO REPLACE THIS MODEL. I AM THINK OF A NEW FAZER 1000, PERHAPS I WAIT UNTIL THEY FIX THE FUEL INJECTION. Strengths: RELIABLE LOW MAINTAINACE FUN. Weaknesses: NOT TRENDY.

    29 June 2006

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octavedoctor

octavedoctorsays

109,988 and counting...

i hated this bike when it came out. I was used to the old styling of the XJ and I didn't like the name. I still think Diversion is a stupid name, but I had to own one to appreciate the prodigious reliability of what is one of the best bikes ever made by Yamaha. My old one is now on it's second run round the clock (although unfortunately on it's second engine owing to mishap with a blocked oilway), looks like a scrap heap but still purrs like a kitten and pulls like a train. Yes it's not a Fireblade but I'm a realist and I want something that doesn't eat expensive parts for breakfast and gets me from A to B with no fuss. And starts when I hit the button. Just bought another. Nuff said..

20 February 2011 17:55

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