The retro-themed Yamaha XSR900, part of its company’s Sport Heritage lineup, gets a complete reboot this year, with a new motor and frame, plus a rash of electronics. While it may have styling cues from the past, the new 2022 Yamaha XSR900 now has all mod cons. We’re going to tell you about them.
The triple-cylinder motor powering the 2022 Yamaha XSR900 looks the same on the outside, but it’s what’s inside that counts. Displacement is increased by 43cc to 890cc thanks to a 3mm stroke increase, making it a legit 900. Add plenty of major new components that are lighter—camshafts, pistons, fracture-split connecting rods, crankshaft—and we’re looking at a motor that should be torquier and quicker revving.
The six-speed transmission returns with a standard quickshifter. Although this feature doesn’t scream “retro,” we don’t mind. When you do use the clutch, you’ll notice that it has the assist function to lighten the lever action. The slipper action helps on too-aggressive downshifts whether you touch the clutch lever or not.
The intake system has been redesigned to take advantage of the natural sound output from the crossplane-crankshaft inline-3. Always keep in mind that Yamaha is a musical instrument company, and sound matters on the highest corporate levels—the tuning forks are on the company logo for a reason (though oddly missing from the XSR900). The intake ducts have different lengths and cross-sections, resulting in a resonating effect that changes the sound as it runs through the rev range. A pair of bonus intakes on each side of the tank are there to make the motor sound better when it hits the mid-range and top end.
The new aluminum frame is control-filled die-cast aluminum, and it’s lighter than before. Yamaha varies the thickness of different frame sections, reducing weight as they manipulate the torsional, lateral, and longitudinal flex. A focus has been put on improving straight-line stability and boosting feedback to the rider.
Yamaha makes its own spin-forged aluminum wheels. This is another place some weight has been saved, and unsprung weight shaved off helps the suspension and turning.
The new ’22 XSR900 is five pounds lighter than its predecessor, tipping the scales at 425 pounds with its 3.7-gallon fuel tank filled.
A six-axis IMU makes its debut on the ride-by-wire 2022 Yamaha XSR900, and brings some rider aids with it. After getting the signals from the IMU, the ECU dishes out traction control, wheelie control, slide control (under power), and cornering-aware ABS. The aids have three levels, plus off, except for ABS—you have a choice of cornering-aware or standard ABS.
There’s a new 3.5-inch TFT display to monitor the XSR900’s settings and performance.
Many of the high-end features on the XSR900 are not instantly identifiable. Don’t miss the forged brake pedal, bar-end mirrors, machined headlight brackets, camouflaged passenger pegs, and aluminum XSR logo.
You’ll have to dig a bit deeper into your pocket to get the 2022 Yamaha XSR900. Hand over 100 Benjamins, and you’ll get a buck back. That makes this year’s XSR900 $500 more expensive than last year, and Yamaha has plenty of upgrades to justify the price boost. Also note that the price gap between the XSR900 and its close brother, the MT-09, has closed to just $500. Sit tight, though—the XSR900 won’t hit dealership floors until April.
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Motos and Friends—the weekly Podcast brought to you by the editorial team at Ultimate Motorcycling.
My name is Arthur Coldwells.
In this week’s first segment, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the much anticipated Yamaha MT-10 SP. That’s the model with the Ohlins semi-active suspension. It’s only been available in Europe for the last couple of years, but finally the good news is, that it’s coming to America. The big question is, whether the extra 3k you’re going to have to pony up for the Ohlins is actually worth it, or perhaps there’s just not that much improvement over the stock KYB suspension that has suited the Yamaha MT-10 so well until now?
In the second segment, Associate Editor Teejay Adams chats with Val Collins. Val grew up on motorcycles and learned to love speed, however her real love is Formula 1 tunnel-boat racing. These are the guys and gals that are strapped into a tiny cockpit and then hurtle down the straights at 120 mile per hour and pull 5G in the corners. We attended the recent season finale in Lake Havasu and watched our friend Mike Quindazzi try to take the win. Val chats with Teejay about her love for two-wheels and tunnel-boats. Yeah, it’s crazy stuff.
From all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode and have a great Thanksgiving Holiday!