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2016 Yamaha XSR900: MD First Ride

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When Yamaha announced the 2016 XSR900, our first thoughts were that this is simply a styling exercise and otherwise identical to the FZ-09 we previously tested. The two models do share the same chassis components, steering geometry and wheelbase, and brilliant 847cc inline triple. There are several differences, however.

The most obvious is the “neo-retro” (Yamaha’s term for this bike) style. From the big, round headlight to the round LED tail light, there are plenty of styling differences from the FZ-09. The 3.7 gallon fuel tank is shrouded by hand-finished aluminum covers (obvious on the Standard model — we tested both the Standard and the 60th Anniversary editions), and some parts have a billet aluminum look, including the headlight brackets and the side covers adjacent to the rear subframe.

Attention to detail in the finish is obvious. The saddle has a stitched XSR900 logo, and two-tone finish (on the Standard model). The mirrors are a teardrop shape, and the radiator features aluminum covers.

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There are also functional differences between the XSR900 and the FZ-09. The new model gets traction control (with two selectable levels and “Off”), a trick slipper clutch with much lighter pull (thanks to a feature that forces the clutch plates together under acceleration), a taller seat height (by 15 mm), variable rate springs in the forks, ABS brakes, and a 16 pound increase (430 pounds) in claimed curb weight.

We expected the XSR900 to sit even more upright than the FZ-09, but the opposite is true. There is a small increase in the reach to the handlebars (perhaps a nod to the café racer movement), but the seating position is largely upright and comfortable with a decent amount of leg room.

If you pay attention, you will notice the lighter clutch pull the first time you ride the XSR900. The bike pulls away from a stop with the same urgency as the FZ-09 (same gearing and same engine tune). Yamaha has obviously worked on the fuel injection mapping, which is improved from the original FZ-09 in both the Standard and “A” mode (“B” mode was already pretty smooth), although throttle response remains sharp and quick.

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Handling is very responsive. We wouldn’t call it nervous, but don’t expect the XSR900 to handle like a cruiser or a typical retro model. Like the FZ-09, the XSR feels light and nimble, and we didn’t have any complaints with the suspension settings as tested.  The variable rate springs in the forks probably improve small, stutter-bump absorption, but it is difficult to tell without riding the bike back-to-back with the current FZ-09.

Handling was solid but, frankly, the pace at this particular press launch was pretty sedate — in part due to traffic conditions in the San Diego area.  We will get an XSR900 for additional testing and report back. If the traction control system ever intervened, we didn’t notice it, which is a good thing.

The ABS brakes are anything but “budget”, with the 298 mm front discs squeezed by radially-mounted four-piston calipers. In back there is a 245 mm disc. We found near sportbike-levels of power and feedback. Excellent for the price category.

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The six-speed transmission carries identical ratios to the FZ-09, and it shifted easily and positively throughout our ride. The spread of gearing is more than adequate given the engine performance, with sixth gear providing relatively relaxed rpm levels on the highway. The engine is very smooth, and vibration levels were never an annoyance.

That engine, once again, is the star of the show. The 847cc DOHC inline three-cylinder sounds fantastic, and feels even better! This motor has gobs of character, and power to match.  Strong at lower, street cruising rpm levels, it also rips on top. The experience is hard to distinguish from an open-classer when you twist your right wrist. Brilliant.

Yamaha is offering several accessories for the XSR900, and you can easily turn the bike into a touring-worthy mount with screen and bags. If you dig the neo-retro style, and want the added features compared to the FZ-09, we think the XSR900 deserves a close look as an all-arounder. In Matt Gray/Aluminum, the U.S. MSRP is $9,490.  It is priced at $9,990 in 60th Anniversary Yellow.  Visit Yamaha’s web site for additional details and specifications. We had video shot at the press launch, so expect a video report from us to follow.

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107 Comments

  1. Mr.Mike says:

    While I’m sure its a fine bike I can’t get past the looks of it. I like the look of modern bikes and I like the look of classic standards, having grown up in that era. This bike has the appearance of a failed combination of the two. The modern lines of the frame clash with the tank and other classically styled pieces and what’s that metal plate with the three holes for? Its probably great to ride but if I owned one I wouldn’t spend any time admiring it in the garage.

  2. Motorhead says:

    To me it’s a coin toss between this new Yamaha XSR900 and the new Suzuki GSX-S1000. If it’s heads-Yamaha and tails-Suzuki, I’ll keep flipping the coin until it comes up tails. I’ve got new bike fever and based on everything I’ve seen the only remedy in my budget is the 2016 GSX-S1000 F.

    • VLJ says:

      I was in the same boat. Here are the three reasons I opted not to get the Susuki: 1. Glitchy fueling, a la the FZ-09. 2. Seating position (leans forward too far for my reconstructed neck). 3. The fared version looks sort of goofy, and the naked version is just plain ugly. Way too fat, bulbous, and borderline Transformers.

      No doubt the GSX is faster, though.

      • Yoyodyne says:

        The GSX-S1000 weighs only 8 pounds more than the GSX-R1000. It may look fat and bulbous but in terms of weight it’s darned impressive.

        • VLJ says:

          I’m not saying it weighs a lot, I’m saying the naked one with all that silly Transformers bodywork looks fat and bulbous.

    • Gary says:

      Blech. The GSX is a me-too model … a street-fighter wanna be designed to look like a sportbike that has been crashed. No thanks.

  3. Gutterslob says:

    Bring on the MT-10 already, Yamaha!!

  4. PN says:

    Sorry, I just don’t care for the the looks of the FZ-9 and the XSR900 looks even geekier.

    • Scott says:

      I certainly respect your opinion, but just out of curiosity, what naked bike(s) do you find appealing?

    • PN says:

      The Triumph Street Triple, the Honda CB500 and VFR Interceptor, the old Yamaha FZ1 or FZ8, the Kawasaki Ninja 1000, and the new Suzuki GSX-1000 and restyled SV650 I all find appealing.

  5. Kent says:

    I’d be much more tempted by the XSR700. I’m on a 650 V-Strom now, and am happy with the power and mileage. I’m an every day commuter, and occasional 2 week “back roads and dirt roads” tourer.

    For my needs, small and nimble is better than heavy & powerful. 70 or so hp seems to be the sweet spot.

    • Bob says:

      I’d be up for the XSR700 also. I want a twin, but prefer the style and appearance of the XSR700 over the FZ-07. Come on, Yamaha, send them to the USA.

      • Dave says:

        Don’t go on Yamaha’s EU site. You’ll be sad when you see all the choices they offer over there..

        • Bob says:

          Yeah, it’s sad. Even the SR400 gets the yellow paint treatment. What I find ironic is that Yaamaha references the XS650, a popular seller in the US for years, as the bike that inspired the XSR700, and then doesn’t give it to us.

  6. fred says:

    I like it. I started riding in the 70s when standard bikes were the norm. 5gal tank and a flat seat with soft luggage and a small shield. oh yeah

  7. Fabio says:

    One sweet motorcycle price is a tad high but Yammie hit this right on the head and one thing wasn’t mentioned valve adjustments are 26,600 intervals.As Pacer said loved the Fazer and owned a 86 model wish they made a 1000 in 88.

    • Provologna says:

      I owned over 70 motorcycles, and enjoyed small talking w/wrenches whenever the opportunity arose. The only bike I rode for a period and did not personally check its valve lash clearance was a Ducati Desmo. The general rule appears to be, if it’s not spitting on deceleration, not idling rough, and the top end is not overly noisy, valve lash clearance is fine (providing the rest of the motor is tuned, especially throttle synchronization). For reason(s) I forgot, these rules do not apply to a Desmo type valve train.

      I suspect a large part of the justification for shorter service intervals for valve lash clearance is to get riders to visit the shops to spend money and see new models, and for the OEM to act as a partner w/the EPA, to influence owners to minimize emissions. IOW, less than perfect valve lash clearance likely increases emissions well before it degrades any other performance spec.

  8. Jamo says:

    I bet it’s a tiny little thing. Looks great, fun, high performance. Looks tiny. I think I’d ultimately be happier on a GSF1200SA, because it would be a little heavier, more supple on the roadway, and more room. Dealers now have big rebates. A new one for $7,600 is the price I got today.

    • Scott says:

      I don’t know what you consider tiny, but I’m 6-feet, 200 lbs. and I don’t feel like I dwarf this bike at all. It feels perfectly sized for me…

  9. Gary says:

    Yamaha appears to be on fire. Good for them. I’m glad someone is pushing the envelope and setting trends, rather than reacting to them a year or two too late (cough cough Honda cough). I love the retro bumblebee look. I always thought the yellow/black race livery resulted in the nicest looking bikes in the paddock.

  10. North of Missoula says:

    Another great offering from Yamaha. I can’t wait for the FZ-10 to hit the Canadian showrooms in July.

    My only criticism of this bike is the funky looking electrical box on the frame behind the steering head. It really looks like an afterthought. Surely they could have located that stuff on top of the airbox or under the seat like is found on many bikes these days.

    • Scott says:

      The little boxes don’t bother me at all. I don’t know why it’s such an issue.

      Anyway, the one on the left has an ambient air temperature sensor inside it, so you can’t really stow it away or it wouldn’t work properly. It has to be out there. On the FZ and FJ, they cover it with the “fake plastic air scoops” that everyone seems to hate, so it’s a no-win situation.

      Inside the right side box, among other things, is a handy 12-volt plug-in that you can use to power GPS units, etc. So it’s nice and accessible.

      It might even make a handy place to mount a GoPro camera!

      • North of Missoula says:

        I have two bikes with ambient air temperature sensors, both of them are hidden up under the headlight. They rely on air flow and don’t have to be out in the open. Having said that its the large box on the other side that looks out of place. Not a deal breaker in my opinion. It just looks a little funny to me.

        Congrats on your purchase, I am sure it will be a great bike. I like the stove pipe finish on the exhaust.

  11. randy says:

    one thing I always enjoyed about having a motorcycle is when you open the garage and just see this cool,beautiful motorcycle sitting there.This bike does not do anything for me.Functionally it may be great,but it just dosent flow visually.

    • Duc Dynasty says:

      I agree, Randy. It looks somewhat cobbled together to me.

      • Blackcayman says:

        Its a total miss in blending the retro ques on top of the modern chassis.

        The current Ford Mustang GT is an example of successful blending of retro and modern.

        In motorcycles, if you’re going retro, you should go all the way like the new Bonnies or at least further on the way like the Ducati Scrambler.

        IMHO….of course (for the haters)

        • Scott says:

          Well now. You can’t really say it’s a “total” miss, since plenty of people who do, in fact, love the looks have been buying them as quickly as they hit the showrooms.

          It’s also not “retro”. If anything it’s simply “conventional” styling on a thoroughly modern chassis. Seat. Tank. Engine. Wheels. It just looks like a motorcycle. Having a rounded gas tank instead of sharp edges doesn’t make a bike retro.

          The Bonneville? Right. Get back to me when the Bonnie looks just like a classic Triumph, but stops, turns, and goes like a Street Triple, with all the modern electronics, and priced under 10 grand.

          I’ll wait.

        • Don says:

          I think it looks great. I love the clean modern lines with the industrial aesthetic.

          I think the current Ford Mustang GT looks sort of “meh” though.

          I guess different folks have different tastes.

  12. TimC says:

    “The experience is hard to distinguish from an open-classer when you twist your right wrist.”

    Heh well it IS a freakin’ 900 (fine, 847 but typical rounding has always applied). Amazing how this is apparently “midsize” nowadays.

    PS I think I managed to report my own comment while trying to click “Edit”.

    • Chris says:

      847 would round down to 800 not up to 900. 😉

      • TimC says:

        Oh FFS. You know what I mean. Common practice since the dawn of time to treat things like “847” as “900”. Except in Ducati and KTM case where they apparently just aim for what number sounds right – occasionally even matching actual displacement.

      • DCE says:

        Or 850, but maybe then it would be confused with the old XS850 triple 😉

        • TimC says:

          True but man are we getting mired here! Of course, I do love a good mire, so…my original point was still that a modern 850/900 is a) more powerful as technology naturally advances and b) these days considered “midsize” when it’s much closer to “open” class (generally 1000 class aka 972 or whatever) than what used to be midsize (5-600).

          Now, don’t get me started on BMW (car) and M-B numerical nomenclature and its deviations from actual (already starting to steam slightly as these systems make So Much German Sense yet then they Go Off The German Ranch for much more random reasons. Ducati pales in comparison).

          • mickey says:

            Or bmw motorcycles where a 650 cc can actually be called an 800 or vice versa. Doesnt matter the engine size only the name if it makes it sound more powerful or more economical.

    • ben says:

      To your 900cc comment, I would normally agree, but if we disregard torque the power is very similar to an R6. I’m pretty sure the FZ09 and R6 make about the same horsepower figure, it’s just that the FZ09 has a MUCH better curve.

  13. Scott says:

    I picked up my 60th Anniversary XSR900 last week, and I couldn’t be happier with it.

    I understand that styling is a matter of opinion, and maybe 80% of people absolutely hate it (or don’t get it, or whatever). That’s fine. I’m in the 20% that completely love it, and as far as function, it’s an extremely satisfying bike to ride.

    I hope everyone can someday find that special bike that rings their bell, because I’ve got mine.

    • Neil says:

      Now we just have to see you like it so much you put 5000 miles on it a year, or more!

      • Scott says:

        Is that the target number now? I don’t think that’ll happen. Between children to raise, a business to run, and property to maintain, I just don’t put that much mileage on motorcycles these days. I ride in my free time, which is pretty scarce at the moment. But I’m pretty sure I still like her enough…

      • VLJ says:

        5000 miles? I’m halfway there, a little over a month in!

        • mickey says:

          I’m at 6821 for the year as of tonight..in the Midwest, where we have actual winters and all. Love riding, but then again I’m retired now and got nothing else to do. Back when I had a job, and children I average just under 11K a year. Thank goodness they are grown and gone and the job is in the rear view mirror and getting dim.

          • VLJ says:

            Well, I meant I was halfway to 5,000 miles on my new XSR, which I’ve had for a little over a month. I wasn’t counting my Street Triple R mileage.

            🙂

          • Hot Dog says:

            My hat is off to both of you guys. You ride, you’ve got an arse of leather and balls of steel, that I respect.

        • Dave says:

          I’m halfway to 5k on a bicycle this year (in the Midwest, where we have winter). My taint has the texture of the bottom of a dag’s paw.

          Haven’t ridden my moto much…

          Edit: add me to the “report self” club. Also, if my humor is over the line, please delete.

          • mickey says:

            Impressive Dave. Can’t imagine myself. I quit pedalling bikes when I turned 15 and got my first street motorcycle. What a revelation to just turn my right wrist and go someplace instead of all that pedalling.

            As far as riding miles on a motorcycle I do it simply because it gives me great joy to do it. I ride nearly everyday and everytime I come in from a ride my wife will ask how the ride was, and the answer is always the same ” great ride”. Even the 5,000 mile ones. When the answer becomes “I didn’t enjoy it” then I will hang up the helmet and leather jacket ( well mostly cordura these days). I have known lots of motorcyclists, but only 1 real rider in my life. A guy who rode no matter what. When I die I want someone to say the same thing about me,, “that guy was a rider”

          • ben says:

            While I haven’t put that many miles on my bicycle this year, I do find myself spending more time on the bicycle than motorcycle. I just am usually on my mountain bike where miles don’t exactly come easy.

      • todd says:

        Right, 5000 miles a year is a shame and suggests a person isn’t “really ” into riding all that much. Going back and forth to work is a great reason to ride every day and easily gets up to 15,000 miles a year. At those rates you become quite a bit more familiar with your bike – and don’t have to spend a bunch of money on a redundant car.

        • Scott says:

          Hmmm. Judge me by my odometer, do you? Mmm, hmm.

        • Tyg says:

          I ride ~13k/year, but it’s commuting. One of these days I’ll go out and ride just for the fun of it, and/or on a camping trip.

          In the meantime, I’d say it’s hard to say that someone who only rides of miles is “really” into riding, but that number’s going to be different for everyone. I’m really into skiing, but have barely gone the last few years because of a groin injury. Does that mean I’m not into skiing any more?

        • ben says:

          I guess I’m not really into riding that much, as I would rather sit in my car during my 30-45 minutes of stop and go commute every day. Why would I want to feather the clutch my entire ride while sweating my ass off when I could just take my car?

  14. achrider says:

    I’ve seen both color in person. The speed block one has glossy black and yellow which I found a bit busy to look while the white aluminum in contrast very attractive and handsome. Styling to me is superior to FZ-09. Sitting on the bike pushes you further back a bit comparing to the FZ which is too close to the handlebar. I think it fits tall big riders much better. Overall it looks great and almost perfect vs. its sibling FZ.

  15. Skif says:

    I can’t get my head into this because I’m still so angry about the XSR700 not being here.

  16. stinkywheels says:

    Such a nice bike with not enough range. What is it with these tiny gas tanks?

    • Dave says:

      There are too few purchasing riders who ride that far. ie. no demand.

      The motorcycle industry thinks you want a FJ-09.

    • Fred says:

      Keeping unnecessary weight down for the improvement in fuel economy that your Government demands to benefit you. When the cheap shale oil beds run dry sooner or later, you won’t need a large tank, just fill up more often and with a lot more Dollars too.

      Glad they have fitted a far better looking speedo head unit as the MT 09 looks like a home assembled LCD kit from Tandy or Radio Shack.

    • Scott says:

      Eh. Conspiracy theories aside…

      It may be simply down to engines being more highly tuned these days, so they require larger air boxes. Couple that with compact packaging, and something has to give – fuel capacity. Back in the day, you had these giant bikes with skinny tube frames and tiny air boxes under the seat, and there was all kinds of room for a huge fuel tank. So there’s a trade-off.

      Or you can blame the government if it makes you feel better.

    • todd says:

      Now that fuel weight is part of the bike’s specs the tanks are getting smaller. It’s an easy way to trim a number of pounds off the spec sheets.

  17. Joe Bogusheimer says:

    So, I’m going to eat my words now. When this bike was first announced I decided it looked terrrible, based on the pictures available. I’ve seen one in person now at my dealer, and in person it actually looks pretty cool. You can’t really see the brushed aluminum texture on the tank cover in pictures, or the visual and tactile quality of the added/changed bits of the bike.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I agree it is one of those bikes that looks better in person, though I even liked in when all I had to go one were pictures.

    • VLJ says:

      So true. Based solely on the pics, I was all set to buy the yellow and black one. When I showed up at the dealer and saw the aluminum model in the sunlight, however, I liked it even better than the speed blocks version. In person, I think it looks fantastic. I could do without the two black boxes tacked on to the top of the frame, and I ditched the plastic, silver-faced clutch cover on the right side of the motor, but otherwise I think she looks uniquely cool.

  18. Hot Dog says:

    I’d hide the radiator in the rear tire area and duct air over it. I think that this is a really nice machine.

  19. Neil says:

    Rode the FZ09 and GSXS1000. The Gixxer was better in every way. The thing had stonking power when you want but was easy to ride and looks great IMHO. I like the XSR. I sat on it at Daytona. I even like its odd mechanical looks which are made to tinker with, actually. What’s not to like about a great motor? Handling gets better with clip ons. But the same is true by adding the fairing to hold down the front of the Gixxer. Overall I like it but I really like the Gixxer.

    • Auphliam says:

      The Zook has a 150+cc size advantage. No surprise it was stronger. The two are completely different animals, IMO

      • bikeman says:

        I would say they are different animals but not completely. Neil’s comment is relevant in my opinion due to the fact that they are both “standards/nakeds” and very close in price. Sure would be a hard decision for me to decide between the two. Both great bikes at a great price.

        • Auphliam says:

          Yeah, maybe from that perspective I guess it makes sense. I’ve just always had this cutoff in my own head when it comes to reaching the litre threshold. People shopping for litre bikes compare litre bikes. They generally don’t shop down because there’s no way the smaller bike is going to get a fair shake once you twist the throttle. I would think any one of the naked class 1000s currently available is going to easily outperform the FZ09.

          • Neil says:

            The GSXS is THE beast Gixxer motor. It’s the, can I really ride this thing?, motor. Then you get on it and pull away and you’re like, yes I CAN ride this thing. And you get a little behind your friend, or you need to pass, or you just need to get out of the house or office and ZING! Hello! I have a CB500F. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had other 1000s and 750s. The Gixxer just says, “The wife’s at work and I have the morning off! ZOOOOOOOM!” Screaming in your helmet: “Yeah baby! That’s what I’m talkin about yo! Whooooo!” It’s riding by the beach and the girls double take and you’re like, “That’s right. This ain’t no disco.”

  20. Auphliam says:

    It’s funny. When a new cruiser is revealed, from any manufacturer, all the comments are along the lines of “quit building poser machines” or “I’d rather have function over shiny paint and chrome”. Then a manufacturer builds an highly capable (albeit weird looking) and inexpensive bike and all the comments are “I hate the looks”. Let’s face it, we’re all poseurs.

    Personally, after initial reservations with the style, I now find myself oddly attracted to this weird looking contraption. Watch a couple YooToob reviews and its a very exciting and capable all-around bike. I could easily see myself writing a check for this bike, especially in the Anniversary dress.

  21. Jason says:

    Meh. It looks like it was designed by Toyota. No thanks.

  22. bmbktmracer says:

    I want to love this bike, but the styling is too awkward and incongruous. It has a modern frame and swingarm, but then tacked-on retro bits like the DT-1-inspired taillight, bumble bee paint, and other kit. It’s like the Caitlyn Jenner of motorcycles: the hands and feet just don’t go with the other parts.

  23. Doc says:

    Not a Yamaha fan but this bike is worlds better looking than the FZ-09. Have always liked the bumblebee color scheme. But, (there is always a but) that tail light is an odd choice. It would look better on bobber type.

    • DCE says:

      See Yamaha Bolt.

      • Doc says:

        Yes I know about the Bolt. That’s the point. The taillight looks much on it than this bike. Regardless of the taillight, it’s still a better looking bike than the FZ-09.

  24. azi says:

    Definitely a winner in this class, considering how the Speed Triple has priced itself into premium territory, and the four cylinder nakeds being significantly heavier.

  25. Lonerider says:

    I test ride the xsr last week-end. I really don’t like the look of this bike. But i had a great ride. A real seat, nothing like the pseudo-seat of the FZ. The feeling with the xsr was it get different gear ratio or different mapping for the fuel injection.

    I tried the FJ-09 next. THe xsr is, for me, a better ride. No noise caused by a windshield.

    • MGNorge says:

      “No noise caused by a windshield” Interesting comment considering if adjusted correctly (when able) a windshield can leave the rider in quite the silent cocoon. The lack of wind rushing over a helmet can really help on a long journey.

      • VLJ says:

        The FJ-09’s windshield was unbearably noisy for me, even in its lowest position. The slight bit of pressure taken off the chest by virtue of having that small windscreen was more than offset by the headache-inducing buffeting.

        Conversely, the smooth, quiet airflow on the XSR allows me to do 400-mile days in serene comfort.

        • TimC says:

          I can’t believe in this day and age that windshields are such an issue – do bike manufacturers just go for looks and how it “probably should” work vs wind tunnels? This is a VERY common complaint on FJs and it’s a bike designed for touring!

          (Aside – I understand market stuff but what a shame “sport tourers” are mutating into “sporty road adventure bikes” – better get that K1300s before they’re gone I guess!)

          Back on track, I can’t believe the lessons learned in cars with digital bar graph tachs haven’t been learned on bikes yet, either. Fueling problems I can see (especially if a bike maker doesn’t have an auto counterpart that already worked them out with the transition to FI) but in general there’s lots of things about bike engineering that seem like they should already be solved problems.

          • Scott says:

            I think it’s just an inherent problem with motorcycles in general. Since you can’t be fully enclosed like in a car, you’re always going to have issues with airflow. Your body is always going to be sticking out into the air stream, messing things up, and there will always be turbulent air right behind you, sucking and twirling.

            You can alleviate some of these issues with a great big full-touring fairing and windshield, but not everyone wants that much bodywork on their bike. Anything smaller will always be a compromise, and since people come in all shapes and sizes you’ll never find a perfect solution.

            It’s simply not possible to make a 1 square foot piece of windshield direct air around a motorcycle and its rider efficiently…

  26. Random says:

    Just a pillion foot peg from being the perfect bike. However I can’t justify buying a bike my girlfriend can’t ride on.

    • Ron says:

      There are very visible passenger pegs on the bike.

    • Somebody says:

      Look closer, my Friend.

    • VLJ says:

      It has foot pegs for the pillion. The rider’s heels don’t even run into the passenger peg’s brackets, the way they do on many recent Ducatis.

      • Random says:

        Thanks guys, I’ve seen there are pillion footpegs. I was just talking about how useless they are. Nor to be a nitpicker, but go take a look at the ergos at cycle-ergo dot com. My girl would have to be 3′ or less to ride confortably on it.

        • Scott says:

          I was looking at the passenger pegs on my XSR, and for me it’s not really a problem, since my wife rides her own bike and the only passengers I would be taking are my kids in a couple of years.

          However, it seems like it would be really easy to add an extension plate to the passenger peg brackets (picture a piece of steel in a parallelogram shape, with four holes drilled in the corners), to move the pegs down and back a little bit. Basically, “passenger rearsets”.

          If that’s the only thing keeping you from buying this bike, it may be worth thinking about…

  27. xLaYN says:

    I don’t get why so much talking bout the MT 07 when you had the MT 09.
    I’m probably biased to aluminum chassis but I would risk to predict this engine will last a very long time on Yamaha lineup with good reviews akin to the Suzuki and SV650 engine.
    And probably the next year they will carry all the refinements back to the standard MT 09.

    These are good times to enjoy riding a bike.

  28. ducman says:

    I’m agonizing over that object behind the seat. where’s my sawzall. I love the retro look but this is retro to what? and while i’m venting, why $500.00 more for paint? this bike does nothing for me but I would probably buy one just to get the engine and the sit up riding style [only sat on an fz and declined a test ride. gave need a strange feeling of being vulnerable. too much of sitting on top instead of being part.] anyway, Yamaha needs to hire a European stylist [Italian preferably] and stop the transformer styling.

    • Scott says:

      This is pretty funny. You’re obsessing over a tail light? They make all kinds of aftermarket lighting, you know. That’s an easy fix if it’s that big of a problem.

      $500 for a paint job? True, but you also receive a personal invitation to King Kenny’s ranch for a wine and cheese party, so there’s that.

  29. Marty O says:

    Grab handles and a center stand would be nice. I am not sure what would make someone want this over an FZ09 though. I think it’s time for some 80’s bike retro styling rather than 70s 🙂 Think Seca 400, Vision 550, Fazer 700. Those were pretty bikes.Dang it I went to edit and hit “Report” on myself! How do I un-report 🙂

    • Curly says:

      I’m a Yamaha guy for 51 years now and even owned an XS400RJ and an XZ550RK. The 400 was nice looking enough but the 550, while being a great ride, was really ugly. The Fazer was cool in that mid 80s way.

      On the XSR900 I’m pretty sure the FJ-09 centerstand will fit up. You might have to trim the muffler heat shield. Also the accessory lowering links will fit and lower the seat height by 15mm.

    • VLJ says:

      “I am not sure what would make someone want this over an FZ-09 though.”

      As an owner of an XSR900, and a guy who also gets to ride a 2015 FZ-09, let me enumerate the reasons…

      1. Far superior looks. The XSR looks like a real motorcycle. The FZ-09 is straight-up Transformers.

      2. Far superior suspension. We’re talking night and day. The XSR can be ridden hard in the twisties, without worry. The FZ-09 is hopeless.

      3. Far superior fueling. The FZ-09’s is simply awful in A-Mode, and not particularly sorted in Standard-Mode. The XSR’s fueling is nigh-on-perfect. It can be ridden in A-Mode in 1st gear switchbacks, in stop-and-go city traffic, at steady-state throttle, or wherever, without a thought.

      4. A real-world seating position, as opposed to the FZ’s Supermoto stance that makes freeway riding a serious chore.

      5. ABS

      6. Traction control

      7. A much better seat.

      8. 20% lighter clutch

      9. Slipper clutch

      I know I’m missing some other reasons, but merely the first three listed above are more than sufficient to justify the XSR over the FZ-09.

      • Kevin P says:

        As an owner of a 2016 FZ-09, in blue, I confess to loving both sisters of the same mother! I only paid $7400 (US) for my 2016, then I added an Ohlins Shock plus Andreani fork kit (about $1250 total), Seat Concepts 2-up seat ($159), Yamaha rack ($190) and Oxford Heated grips ($75) … $9074 with all upgrades which is just barely cheaper than the XSR900. I’d reckon that my upgraded suspension is a notch above the XSR. But even upgraded, these Yamahas are cheaper than the competition.

        The XSR looks awesome in my opinion. The real aluminum bits, the nice details are sweet. Had it been available in January one would be in my garage.

        To clarify some misleading reports, the newest 2016 FZ-09 DOES have smooth fueling now even in A-mode but is ultra smooth in Standard mode. Reports of snatchy fueling seem to be almost entirely from 2014 test bikes. While A-mode is more abrupt than my V-Strom, my right hand has learned to be smooth in A-mode. The stock FZ-09 definitely needs suspension and seat upgrades. Personally I like the lack of traction control as my FZ power wheelies in third like a dirt bike on steroids. On wet roads I select B-mode for ultra mellow throttle response. First and second the front tire goes up almost unconsciously. I’m certain the XSR900 will offer the same controllable lunacy. The XSR’s lighter clutch, slipper, ABS, and trick bits all seem like very well thought out improvements … albeit at a 20+lb weight penalty.

        Yes there are center stand kits such as SW Motech (about $250) that probably fit both models. But I chose to keep the bike light and get by with rear spools.

        The entire bike market is on a roll. And this time the U.S.A. is getting the cool models. Get out there an add another bike to the stable. Yamaha is certainly throwing down cool bikes for the money, now more than ever.

        • VLJ says:

          Haven’t ridden a 2016 FZ-09, but the 2015 model still has very snatchy throttle response, even with the factory reflash. Also, the XSR’s traction control can be turned off.

          Btw, the wet-weight difference between the FZ and XSR is only fifteen lbs, not “20+ lbs.” The addition of ABS accounts for nearly half of that difference, with the rest going to the thicker seat, and metal parts where the FZ-09 uses plastic.

    • Pacer says:

      I love the old Fazer. If it were up to me the V-Max would lose some heft, and the FZ09 would be the Fazer. Power standards… with working air scoops.

    • Scott says:

      This is why it’s so hard to please everyone: The little details! I’ve owned Yamahas continuously since 1982. Still own several of them. There were some I thought looked good back in the day – Seca 400, Seca 650, FZ750, V-Max… but others I didn’t care for so much, like the Vision and the Fazer. Subtle differences to be sure, but that seems to be all that matters sometimes.

      I could sit and nit-pick any bike on the market today, even ones I really like. There’s no perfect motorcycle.

      I rode a 2016 FZ09, and all I could think about were all the things I would have to change about it to make it fit my desires and needs. My XSR, on the other hand, I could ride forever in the exact condition it was in when I rolled out of the dealership, and I would never feel it was lacking.

      That’s the difference from my perspective.

  30. JimW says:

    I like it overall. Too bad they didn’t do a better job with the radiator, just kinda of hanging there with no apparent effort to integrate it in the styling….

    • xLaYN says:

      Seems like radiators are always that one part difficult to get in line with the rest of the bike.
      I wonder if there is a particular execution people agree looks good.

    • obamay says:

      so what ?… I can’t see the radiator while out RIDING it.
      seems any excuse not to own one is good for those afraid to RIDE

    • Hot Dog says:

      I’d hide it in the back wheel area and duct air over it.