2024 Yamaha XSR900 GP Review | A modern weapon in a retro frock


  • 117bhp, 67lb.ft
  • Gorgeous appearance
  • Sporty credentials

At a glance

Power: 117 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.9 in / 835 mm)
Weight: Medium (441 lbs / 200 kg)


New £12,506
Used N/A

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

There are a lot of machines that blend a level of modern performance with a retro appearance, but no one has been able to pull of such a well-rounded machine as well as Yamaha have, with the XSR900 GP.

Although the GP looks utterly gorgeous from both afar and up close, it isn’t all about show – the XSR900 GP handles like a sportsbike, with an impressive level of feedback and feel. However, by doing this Yamaha have compromised a little on the comfort, and the GP has quite an aggressive riding position that makes it uncomfortable on the wrists and the rear end after a long time in the saddle.

But one of the best things about the XSR900 GP is that glorious CP3 motor, which offers usability and fun in equal measures, with a broad spread of torque available from the very bottom of the rev range. At road speeds all 117bhp can be accessed without being too intimidating, but unlike a true supersport machine that makes all its power at the top end, the GP has an incredible mid-range that is happy to pull, from just a few thousand RPM. It makes an incredible noise too.

With a well-executed electronics package that covers everything from rider aids to a slick cruise control and quickshifter set-up, Yamaha really have left no stone unturned in putting together a complete package, while keeping the price point relatively modest too.

The XSR900 GP is an impressive mixture of performance and nostalgia. It may be a nod to the glory days on two wheels, but it’s far more than just a retro frock – it’s a sublime mixture of composure and excitement, dressed up in one of the most glorious silhouettes on sale today.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Although the XSR900 GP is relatively similar to its retro sibling, it does have a sportier riding position that is closer to an R7 than a standard XSR900. This means that the riding position is more aggressive with more weight over the front end, giving a nicer, more engaging position at swifter speeds.

However, it’s not overly uncompromising compared to a full-on supersport bike; the ‘bars aren’t set aggressively low which still leaves a reasonable level of comfort on the wrists for shorter journeys, and even though the pegs have been raised the seat has more padding to which not only gives more ground clearance, but a reasonable amount of space for legroom too.

The aches only really set in after a full day of riding, but due to the lengthy tank and hefty dimensions, it does suit a larger rider better, with lots of space. The seat is also very hard.

Although the chassis changes are relatively minor with a revised headstock bracket, engine mount brackets, a thicker subframe plate and an aluminium steering tube, the nature of the GP does feel sporty enough for a spirited ride. This is aided by higher grade suspension than the standard XSR which has a wider range of adjustability, alongside a stiffer sprint rate on the forks and a softer spring on the rear (possible because the mass of the rider has moved forward).

The grand total is a machine that is not only incredibly stable mid corner but a bike that is also reasonably agile too, with the support on the front end ample enough for heavy braking through those four pot calipers. Although the rear is perfect for road riding, on a proper track day it might need to be jacked up a little bit, although this is easily done via the remote preload adjuster.

The new Brembo master cylinder has also improved the feel through the front brake lever too, giving more bite on the initial pull.

Yamaha XSR900 GP track tested at Donington Park


Next up: Reliability
5 out of 5 (5/5)

We’ve been screaming for that 890cc CP3 motor to be thrown in a set of fairings, and it absolutely does not disappoint.

It has the ability to be exciting all the way up and past 10,000rpm, but the main attraction comes in the mid-range, with a whopping 64lb-ft of torque on tap. On the road, it offers a near-perfect blend of exciting performance up to and above reasonable speeds without being too intimidating, with an intimate feel through the ride-by-wire throttle. It’s happy to be ridden lazily a gear or two too high yet it’s still a throaty enough motor to hold its own on track too, with an impressively wide operating window.

And then there’s the noise; Yamaha have been clever in the design of their intakes, in order to accentuate the frequency sound. Although it doesn’t jump out excessively, it has a gorgeous roar to it and more raw noise than a lot of Euro5+ machines can offer.

It can be tailored to the riders’ desire too, as there are four engine modes which alter the throttle map; with the throttle map on its highest setting actually gives more power than the throttle asks for which makes it a bit too aggressive at slow speeds, while knocking it back one setting strikes a perfect balance between not being too jerky, while still being impressively responsive.

This means that just as happy as it is being thrashed, with the throttle mode knocked down a few notches it has the ability to be soft and docile too, happy enough bumbling through town or sitting at 70mph on the slick cruise control system without being excessively vibey or noisy.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
5 out of 5 (5/5)

Many riders have been crying out for a machine that looks as good as the XSR900 GP, and thankfully, it’s not just from afar that it looks gorgeous – up close, it’s a beautifully finished machine for the price point.

The details have been well thought out too; the front LED headlight is minimal, the tubed structure bracket in the cockpit (a nod to the TZ250) is absolutely classic while at the rear end, the seat unit has been crafted in a minimalistic way, hiding the shock while still allowing for remote preload adjustment. It’s a classy machine.

Although the GP is a new model, it’s heavily based on the existing XSR900 platform which has received glowing owners’ reviews since its release in 2022.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

If we determine the XSR900 GP’s rivals as high-performance retro sportsbikes, then it goes up against the likes of MV Agusta’s £19,900 Superveloce and Triumph’s £17,950 Speed Triple RR – which are both far higher in terms of cost, and in the Triumph’s case, specification and performance too.

It’s hard to argue against the XSR900 GP’s price point and although it could be compared to the current crop of supersport machinery in Kawasaki’s ZX-6R £10,599 and Honda’s £10,499 CBR600RR, it’s a very different machine, in a different sector.

Considering the price, specification and the performance, the XSR900 GP is priced very competitively – however the complete appearance with an external end can, smoked screen, tidier number plate holder and bottom fairings adds an additional £2,950 to the £12,506 asking price.


5 out of 5 (5/5)

Although the XSR900 GP appears to be retro, its tech package is anything but. A six-axis IMU powers pretty much all the rider aids under the sun, which are impressively refined in their usage too. There’s lean angle sensitive traction control, ABS, wheelie control, a motor slip regulator to aid on downshifts and a suite of rider modes, which are all fed through a hefty 5" TFT dash which has a really nice old-school interface option, along with Bluetooth connectivity and navigation as standard.

Alongside this, the XSR900 GP comes with an impressively smooth two-way quickshifter, self-cancelling indicators, a USB-C charger and cruise control, alongside four pot calipers, grippy Bridgestone S23 tyres and fully adjustable suspension.


Engine size 890cc
Engine type 4-stroke, Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-valves, In-Line Three-Cylinder
Frame type Diamond
Fuel capacity 14 litres
Seat height 835mm
Bike weight 200kg
Front suspension Fully adjustable 41mm KYB USD forks
Rear suspension Fully adjustable KYB monoshock
Front brake 2x298mm discs with four pot calipers. Cornering ABS
Rear brake 1x245mm disc with a single piston caliper. Cornering ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption -
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost -
New price £12,506
Used price -
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 117 bhp
Max torque 67 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 130 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

New for 2024

Other versions

Yamaha XSR900: The un-faired retro machine that the GP is based upon, comes equipped with the same engine, but a tweaked chassis and riding position, for a more laid back style.

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