Retro-Styled Yamaha XSR900 Due In Dealerships Soon

Yamaha’s retro-styled XSR900 should be in dealerships in the next few weeks, and will sell for $12,999 plus on-road costs.

The bike is based on the very popular MT-09 and is the result of design input from famed motorcycle customiser Roland Sands.

In creating the original concept for the Yamaha XSR900, Roland Sands adopted Yamaha’s “Faster Sons” philosophy.

Yamaha Motor Europe Product Manager, Shun Miyazawa explained the philosophy as “a mind-set to respect what comes from the old days, pureness, quality materials and design simplicity, blended with cutting edge technology.”

In line with that philiosophy, the XSR900 has a simplistic design with aluminium fuel tank covers, aluminium guards and a round retro instrument panel, headlight and taillight.

The stitched split level seat adds to the retro feel, and to pay homage to Yamaha’s racing heritage the XSR900 is available in a classic yellow and black “bumblebee” colour scheme reminiscent of Yamaha’s race bikes of the 70’s and 80’s.

The 2016 XSR900 is also likely to be offered in Australia with the matte grey colour scheme seen in Yamaha’s release photos.

Yamaha has combined the retro look and feel with the latest technology of the MT-09.

The XSR900 uses the same 847cc 3-cylinder engine.

The compact motor gives the best balance between 2 and 4 cylinder designs, is quick-revving and torquey. It generates 85kW and 88Nm.

The XSR900 also has Yamaha’s fly-by-wire throttle and three setting D-MODE power control, as well as traction control, ABS, and an Assist & Slipper clutch.

The frame is lightweight aluminium alloy, and the swingarm is mounted outside the frame to give a narrower footpeg position and more comfortable seating position.

The front suspension is 41mm upside down forks with adjustable rebound damping, and the single rear link has both preload and rebound damping adjustment.

Overall weight is 195kg fuelled and ready to ride.

Given the resurgence in popularity of retro-styled motorcycles and the sales success of the MT-09 on which the new bike is based, Yamaha seems to be on a winner with the XSR900.

About the author

Steve McDowall

Steve is the team’s motorcycle writer and contributes to the podcast each week. He started his “on air” career as a guest on 4BC where he met Joel, and has been with Behind the Wheel now for over 6 years. Steve’s fascination for anything with wheels and an engine started as a child and even though he still loves his cars, he found his true passion was with motorcycles. He is also an accredited rider trainer, consultant and coach. Check out Steve’s website –

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