Yamaha has unveiled its hip new take on the excellent FZ-09 platform: the XSR900. It uses its own narrow all-aluminum frame and adjustable front and rear suspension, however the XSR is powered by the FZ’s torquey liquid-cooled 3-cylinder, crossplane-crank, 847cc engine, complete with YCC-T ride-by-wire fueling with adjustable D-modes and Traction Control.The XSR900’s motor utilizes an assist-and-slipper clutch unit for a nice light-feeling clutch at the lever, and of course reduced rear-wheel hop when downshifting aggressively. The FZ’s excellent brakes fitted to the Yamaha XSR900 are complemented by standard ABS.
The XSR clearly draws some influence from the classic XS series of the seventies and early eighties, and the cosmetic treatment now gives the great performance of the FZ-09 some “cool”. Exposed aluminum details, retro-influenced bodywork, custom lighting and instrumentation and a stepped seat that moves the riding position back a little, all contribute to the cafe racer ethic. The result is a retro-looking machine that will likely appeal to all ages of rider.The Yamaha XSR900 will be available in two colors, Matte Gray/Aluminum and 60th Anniversary Yellow. The aluminum fuel tank covers on the Matte Gray/Aluminum model are hand-buffed, and are painted in Yamaha’s classic speed-block design for the yellow-and-black version.The MSRP for the 2016 XSR900 will be announced in February, and models will be available in dealerships beginning in April.
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!