YAMAHA XJ900 DIVERSION (1994 - 2004) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£100|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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 vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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
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.
|Engine type||8v inline four, 5 gears|
|Frame type||Steel double cradle|
|Fuel capacity||24 litres|
|Front brake||Twin 320mm discs|
|Rear brake||267mm disc|
|Front tyre size||120/70 x 17|
|Rear tyre size||150/70 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||41 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£100|
12 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||90 bhp|
|Max torque||62 ft-lb|
|Top speed||127 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||12.6 secs|
|Tank range||215 miles|
Model history & versions
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.
Owners' reviews for the YAMAHA XJ900 DIVERSION (1994 - 2004)
22 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA XJ900 DIVERSION (1994 - 2004) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£100|
Annual servicing cost: £80
Had a 125 for years then passed my bike test aged 52!. This is my first large bike which I have had since Nov 18 and love it. It only had 9900 miles on the clock when bought and have added 6000 miles since. Very comfortable to ride and easy to handle, good mpg also. The shaft drive gives you a very smooth ride. Changed the continental tyres that were on it to avon storm 3d xm's and the handling was much better, especially in the wet. Upgraded the brake hoses last year from standard to Hel stainless braided hoses front and back which has really improved the bikes braking. Not planning on changing anytime soon.
Good comfortable ride. Brakes were OK but much better since upgrading to stainless Steel braided hoses.
Smooth power throughout the range and responsive when needed. Nothing to dislike.
Quality is good and in great condition for its age. It has been very reliable for me in the 2.5 years I have had it and never let me down once. I ride it in all weather's and it copes well whatever it comes up against.
Very easy to service and service parts are easy to obtain and replace and reasonably priced. I always use a decent oil. Running costs are good and regularly get around 46mpg.
Fairly basic equipment but all you need is there. A recommended accessory would be heated grips which I added and are invaluable in the winter months.
Good all rounder and a good upgrade to the 600
Breaks are outdated by modern standards however are acceptable.Blue spot calliper is a must for upgrade
Lazy engine, with a nice gearing. Pulls in any gear, ride all day long.
Starts first hit of the button, a bike you can truly rely on in all weathers. This is my Instructor bike and quite honestly the best motorcycle I’ve ever owned. Easy to maintain, shaft drive, and goes on and on and on. I have owned the 600 and prefer the 900, due to good power in all gears and maintenance free shaft drive.
Work on the bike yourself as no lower faring to cause accessibility issues. Oil and filter once a year and title run for everDownside is exhaust system rots, change for full system around £300.
Rev counter Speedo Fuel gage What more could you need ? Fuel senders tend to go, but have a good look in the tank and you’ll be fine.
Buying experience: Bought from a dealers £1000Don’t over pay
Version: XJ 900 S
Annual servicing cost: £50
Wanted to get a bike but didn't have a lot of cash to spend on one. Previous owner said he didn't feel safe on it, although he was on the shorter side and i am 6'2''. Came with Givi Rack top box and all the sensible mods such as, Bar Risers, Touring Screen, Crash Bars, Fender Extender, Rear Hugger.Rode it 89 miles to get it home and it was a pleasure. Plenty of real world power goods stance on the road and a very good level of comfort. Tyres needed replacing as the ones which were on were old and slippy in the wet. Michellin Road Pilot 4 made it feel like i was riding a sports bike.Have done over 1000k+ miles in the month i have owned and it has performed great.If there was ever any middle ground between a full on tourer and a sports bike, this is it. Shaft drive and oil cooled for low maintenance, but thin enough to filter through traffic. You could argue a VFR or something may do a similar job, but with the drawback of a chain instead of shaft drive and maybe not so much of an upright riding position? Would be interested to know what people would suggest, Deuville? Although a little down on power compared to the Diversion. It is a heavy thing mind you so smaller riders may be intimidated. Simple old school bike which gets you where you want to go with little or no fuss. Its not a sports bike, so it wont set your heart on fire. But it is still a lot of fun for someone who just wants a do it all bike that works at real speeds in the real world.
Its super soft to ride which is fine for my style of riding, but its not going to ever be a track bike. That could be down to an old shock and forks, but this is on my to do list to replace with Hagon ones. At 24 years old, the fork oil may never have been changed so hard to comment. Brakes are not great, but the bike passed an MOT so are obviously safe. The lines and pads could probably do with a change (ordered new lines from Sports Bike Shop, 69 quid for HEL lines with free brake fluid). The brake fluid currently looks like someone has left a T Bag in the reservoir, so is obviously long over due for a change.2 up riding was fine plenty of comfort 100 miles easy before a brake. i am about 18 stone and 6'2''.
Strong solid power delivery from nothing right up to the higher rev range. Its not a performance machine, but certainly has enough to get you into trouble. Again more than enough power for real world riding, overtakes etc......
Only owned it for a couple of months, but if other reviews are anything to go by it should run forever.Bought with old tyres on which give me a scare or two in the wet. When changing the air filter and removing the tank, the brass fitting come out of the fuel tap which just pushed back in so not a drama really.
Air Filter, Oil Filter and Oil plus gear oil for the shaft drive. All in all about 50 quid.I did opt for some new tyres Michellin Road Pilot 4's which from a local garage cost me 218 pounds, but i had to take the wheels to him. Worth it as the bike handles so much better now.200 miles + on a tank of fuel.
Rev counter, Speedo, Clock, Fuel Guage + Light along with all the other standard lights.Think i have already touched on tyre choice.
Buying experience: Managed to pick up my XJ900S for a grand with 23k on the clock. Was advertised for GBP 1100.00
Annual servicing cost: £40
has never let me down. Very simple to service which cuts costs as I can do it my self
the only thing which has ever broken is the centre stand. expensive to replace
I do it my self so just labour is free
Buying experience: I bought from a dealer 20 years ago
Annual servicing cost: £50
Had the bike for 7 years and have been across Europe on it no problem. I have confidence in the bike that it will get me to where I want to go and get me back. Hard pushed to think what I would replace it with.
I standard trim I found that the wind comes round the sides of the fairing and rattles your helmet and you also get your front wet. I made plastic filler pieces to round off the dished in sides of the fairing. Result was massive improvement in reduced wind buffeting and now only the outer edge of my arms picks up water. I have toured across Europe and covered 400 miles some days but always felt ok to get on the bike the next day and do it again. I never ride 2 up, prefer to carry my luggage instead. If you prefer to ride to ext-reams then not the bike for you. Normal riding the bike handles well and is a solid as a rock with no nasty tricks up its sleeve. Would I swap for a BMW ? Well I had the chance of GS 1200 with only 1500 miles from new at a very low price and did a lot of soul searching and in the end still have the Divi I think running costs, reliability and the devil you know won out in the end.
in context, the engine for its age and design is simple and not over stressed. Will cruse at 85 MPH all day. Open it up and it is probably quicker than anticipated and under normal road conditions will keep up with most bikes of its type. Tends to have a slight vibration at about 50 mph which I have never really cured otherwise smooth. Keeping the Carbs balanced cures any slow speed problems and the bike feeling heavy. Shaft drive is good with no lifting of the back end as I have had on other shaft drives. ( Why mess about with chains ? )
Reliability is as good as it gets. I do all the service work myself which cheep and easy. My bike is 16 years old and not ridden through winter. Swinging arm tends to need a bit of silver Hamerite every now and again but the bike has aged well,
Servicing is basic with oil change and filters and spark plugs ( which are £16 for 4 ) Half hour job. Carbs need balancing now and again but seem to need less attention as the bike gets older ( half hour job if you have a balance kit and an extra pair of hands) . If the Carbs are out then the bike is hard to ride at low speed and will feel heavy. Replaced front pads twice in 7 years and rear once ( I am not heavy on the brakes) Change the oil in the diff on the shaft drive.
Space under the seat for tool kit and other bits and pieces. Has a fuel gauge and a clock on the dash which are handy on longer rides. Fixing luggage is not a problem. I tend to use the 2 compound tyres for touring. Tyre life I have found to be 6 to 8 K depend on the type of riding more than the tyre however I think that the Divi tend to ride on the revs and not all torque which probably helps. I I put 5lb extra than the highest recommendation in the rear tyre when carrying luggage as it keeps shape better and doesn't run as hot.
Buying experience: I bought the bike in 2008 for £1500 with 17K miles. Previous owner was short in the leg and the bike had fallen over on him ( few scratches on silencer and paintwork) otherwise like new. He had reduced the oil quantity in the front forks and put heavier oil in an attempt to lower the bike which made the bike dip at slow speed and the carbs were a mile out. ( no wonder it fell over on him )
Best feature os the silky smooth ride on the open road. Worst feature is low speed vibration and heavy at low speed too.
The kind of bike that you never want to get off. I always take the longest route possible.
Love the smooth power delivery. After v-twins it is a welcome change
Can't fault anything except cold start can flood carbies. Everything else works perfectly even 18 years on.
I do my own servicing so cost is not a problem.
Love the fuel gauge, clock taco no need for extras.
Buying experience: Private sale. Very happy experience.
Annual servicing cost: £150
Purchased from Scotland so first ride back 330 miles home in snow/rain/drizzle 2 up, rear puncture on M6 just to add to the fun and the bike coped admirably - including a great blast down the A7 - and this after being on the bike for just 15mis! I was going to just use for daily commuting but after a month ownership it's now got a set of panniers and ready for trips away - it's good easy fun to ride and a surprisingly good mile eater
Ride quality pretty good, soft and lazy, comfortable both solo and 2 up, throwing it around just takes a bit more effort but it's ok(ish!) Brakes are ok, I commute mostly and use the rear a lot and it's nice and easy - faster stopping requires a lot more effort but it has got the original brake lines on so I'll be changing them to see if an improvement can be gained.
Good, smooth and pick up in any gear is effortless, never going to rip up the tarmac behind you but that isn't what this bike is for. Plenty of power for top gear overtaking and I don't miss a 6th gear - after riding an old commando for years with "just" 4 gears I think Yamaha got the 5 speed box just right
Too early to tell really, I've had to replace one fork seal (and looking at the oil I suspect it had never been changed) which seems a common problem, the choke cable is seized (must do before next winter) but doesn't effect starting, otherwise it's what you'd expect - starts first time and runs very sweetly for a bike with 47k on the clock
Purely a guess - doesn't use any oil (nearly 2000 miles covered since purchase) I'll change oil, filters and pads in the near future but can't see much more to do.
What equipment? As far as I can see as standard you get a motorbike! joking aside the fairing works, the dash is fab, this one has crash bars fitted and they look good, Nonfango rack and topbox - too small (just got a huge one and panniers for no money off ebay) replacement stainless exhaust which sounds great, tyres are Avon Roadriders - not that impressed in the wet - I'd like to try Michelin Road Pilots - had them on a Ducati and they were awesome in the wet - anyone tried them on a D9?
Buying experience: Private sale, excellent experience, advertised at £850 got it for £800 - paid for the fuel back home, I've seen D9's for everything between £500 and £3k - after owning this model for a short time I can see why they're so well liked and regarded, mines a keeper - cheapest bike I've had for a long time and cracking VFM
Annual servicing cost: £150
I always overlooked this bike when buying. I love this bike already after 2 weeks.
Good brakes and really comfortable seat.
Could do with a 6th gear but overall a nice engine.
I like the look and build of this bike. Easy to work on.
It has everything I need for travelling.
Buying experience: I bought private from a really cool Bulgarian Chef in London. He gave me an amazing price and the bike is in superb condition. It is worth around £1400 & paid £950. He had it up for £1000.
probably the most boring bike (a little) money can buy.... I got this bike as a daily commuter. it's just about what it does everyday if you want but only if you have no other option. in fact it's a bit too heavy for city use, a bit too light (it could certainly benefit from a 6th gear) for real touring. corners like a tank when the fueltank is full. but the good things are: shaftdriven engine, low cost and easy maintenance, starts everyday, low fuel consumption, cheap to buy,...
all-rounder but nothing special...
needs an extra gear!
watch out for rusty welds!
Just bought a 2004 XJ900 with 6000 miles on the clock, 1 owner from new. i paid £700 which is about right i guess. it's been fantastic, i cant fault it at all. 55mpg all day long, no rattles or shakes
Buying experience: i bought from dealer for £700 as it was a part exchange
Annual servicing cost: £150
Buying experience: Bought private for 700£
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.
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.
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.
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.
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....
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.
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!
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).
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.
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.
After a lay off of a few too many years I bought the XJ900S. I live in Cornwall but was working in the Midlands so needed a tourer to carve through the summer traffic heading into Cornwall. I am 6'3" tall and find it pretty comfortable, I do get a bit of wind blast on the helmet but just dropping down a few inches takes me into the shelter of the screen. it has a large tank and will easily do further on a tank than I am prepared to sit ...so as I was doing 300 mile trips I found it convenient to have a fuel stop and a coffee at 150 miles, half way through my trip. Fuel gauge and warning light are very handy. Now I have sorted the forks and brakes out it really does move, got a good grunty engine and a great induction growl when you give it a handful. It will never break any land speed records but that isn't what I got it for nor is it designed for. However I took it to the Isle of Man in 2005 and I never disgraced myself on it going round the circuit with friends on sportier bikes. Strengths: Simple no nonsense, reliable tourer with gutsy well proven engine. Weaknesses: <br>Forks are soft, replaced the springs with Ohlins and upgraded the brakes with HH pads and braided brake lines.