Launch: Yamaha XSR900 ridden

Published: 31 January 2016

MCN Senior Road Tester Adam ‘Chad’ Child is on the launch of Yamaha’s new XSR900 in sunny Fuerteventura. The eye-catching XSR is based on Yamaha’s successful MT-09 and comes from the same Yamaha Sport Heritage stable which last year released the XSR700 which is based on the MT-07. The XSR900 is the big brother to the XSR700 merging retro Yamaha styling with the latest technology, which includes Yamaha’s highly acclaimedMT-09 847cc triple engine.

The XSR900 is loosely based on California bike builder Roland Sands Faster Wasp, a flat-track inspired hooligan tool, using the MT-09 as a platform. The Faster Wasp is stunning, but unfortunately a ‘one off’ and not a production bike. Therefore the all new XSR900 is a little tamer than the Sands special, but still with heritage retro styling. The Kenny Roberts tribute yellow and black speedblock scheme is the one to have, although the RD350LC ‘Rock Slate’ version is, for me, just as mouth-watering.

But it’s not just a styling exercise the XSR still retains the MT-09 qualities, that lovely 113bhp, 64.5ftlb inline 847cc triple. ABS comes as standard along with traction control and a slipper clutch. The frame remains the same as does the suspension, only the settings have been played around with to match the new bike's dimensions and weight balance. At a price competitive £7849 for standard schemes, and £7999 for the 60th Anniversary speedblock colours, it’s already got ears twitching and feet moving towards Yamaha dealers.

Read the full first ride in this Wednesday’s MCN - on sale February 3.

 

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