2022 Yamaha XSR900 | Faster Son

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Yamaha’s XSR Sport Heritage range is like no other, if Yamaha’s latest press release is to be believed. Why? Because each model pays tribute to an iconic Yamaha of the past. True; no other manufacturers’ ‘heritage’ range pays tribute to iconic Yamahas of the past.  But they wouldn’t, would they? Anyway, Yamaha want to offer performance minded riders the very latest in terms of engine and chassis technology, but combine it with a genuine respect for the past, and for their rich history. That’s why for 2022, Yamaha have updated the XSR900, and given it the latest MT-09 spec, CP3 engine.

So let’s start with that, the engine. It still has a crossplane crank and three cylinders. But that’s where the similarities end. It’s been completely redesigned and nearly all of its major internal parts are completely new, which has helped make the motor 1.7kg lighter than the old one (that’s including the new exhaust). Not only is it lighter, capacity is up by 42cc, making the new CP3 lump 889cc. Peak power is up by 4hp, at 117hp (at 10,000 rpm) and you get 93Nm of torque (at 7,000rpm).

The chassis’ had a proper going over too. It features an all-new ‘Deltabox-style’ frame, manufacturerd using Yamaha’s latest ‘Controlled Filling’ technology. Londitudinal, lateral and torsional rigidity have all been increased thanks to the chassis upgrades, resulting in more straight line stability; and not at the detriment of agility, which is so often the case.

You also get some saucy lightweight ten-spokers thanks to Yamaha’s ‘spin forging’ technology; altogether the wheels are 700g lighter than the old XSR900s wheels. Nice.

And because it’s 2022, or it will be very soon, the new Yamaha XSR900 comes with a 6-axis IMU which supports lean sensitive traction control, anti-wheelie, and cornering ABS. You get four rider modes, a 3.5 inch full-colour TFT dash, LED lights and a shifter and blipper. I’m a massive fan of some of that tech, on certain bikes, but I can’t help thinking that, excessive electronics, on a retro, or self-proclaimed ‘heritage’ bike, may be a little bit overkill.

XSR900 Action images

Even still, there can be no mistaking the XSR is a proper retro/modern classic/heritage motorbike. Everything from the round headlight, to the humped seat, vented bodypanel, ‘muscular’ tank (Yamaha’s words not mine, I just couldn’t think of a better adjective for it) and (almost) café-racer riding position gives the thing a real sense of recollection. And of history. I’m fairly sure that’s what Yamaha were going for with this one.

I did a fair few miles on the new (for 2021) MT-09 SP earlier on in the year and loved every on of them. And whilst the 2022 Yamaha XSR900 has a slightly different vibe about it, it is heavily based on the MT-09. So as an educated guess, I expect the new flagship heritage model from Yamaha will be a banger.

You can have any colour, as long as it’s (Legend) blue or (Midnight) black… unless you’re in a rush for one; because there won’t be any in dealers until February 2022. Still, good things come to those who wait. That also goes for the price, as we’re still wait to hear what that’ll be.


3 Responses

  1. For me the tech and the fact that it’s based on a well regarded modern (lunatic) bike just with a fancy dress is what made me choose an XSR over other bikes where retro sometimes means nodding to the past via a lack of performance or creature comforts.

    The hump on the 2022 seems to be putting a lot of people off (myself included) fully expecting the aftermarket scene to figure out a way to do something sensible with that rear end. If that happens I think I’ll be trading mine in for the new model.

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