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MCN Fleet: XSR900 v MT-09 - which wins the beauty contest?

Published: 03 July 2016

Updated: 29 June 2016

The Yamaha XSR900 has proved a brilliant bike since I took ownership of it a couple of months and nearly 2000 miles ago.

But I've had that niggly feeling for a while now that I'd maybe let style win over substance. I rode the MT-09 (the bike on which the XSR is based) shortly after it was first released - and I loved it. I wasn't bothered by the snatchy fuelling or even the bouncy suspension that seemed to upset so many at the time. My bike of choice at that tine was Yamaha's smaller MT-07, so I'd probably become accustomed to bouncy suspension!

And with the MT-09 costing £500 less than the XSR, I wanted to make sure I'd not messed up. After a ride on road and track, back-to-back with the MT-09 and XSR, I am now convinced I made the right choice.


I think the XSR900 looks loads better than the stubby, brash and bull-nosed MT-09. I love the XSR's cafe racer look and I intend to go even further down that route with some of Yamaha's super-cool extras.

But do you agree? I'd love to know what other MT owners think? And what other motorcyclists think. Is the XSR900 a better-looking bike than the MT-09 and worth paying an extra £500 for?


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