– Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Yamaha Announces 2016 XSR900


That RSD concept we showed you a short while ago did portend a production model which was introduced today by Yamaha … the XSR900. Based on the chassis and engine found in the FZ-09, it will be available in the U.S. market next year (pricing will be announced in February of next year). We think it is a cool looking bike (much better looking than the RSD concept, frankly), and can’t wait to ride it.  Here are some of the details from Yamaha (you can also visit Yamaha’s web site):

‘The simple, timeless styling of the XSR900 is perfectly blended with colour schemes and graphics to reflect Yamaha’s sporty DNA, its history and its iconic motorcycles of the past. Beneath the retro inspired exterior lies the latest and best of Yamaha’s technology, promising a true emotional riding experience.

‘The XSR900 delivers on its authentic feel with minimal use of plastic resin parts, instead offering high quality components to reward the senses. A 14-litre fuel tank with aluminium covers takes centre stage ahead of a split level stitched seat and is complimented by front and rear aluminium fenders, aluminium side covers and a sporty aluminium headlight stay. A matt black exhaust system with contrasting polished muffler end cap provides a throaty soundtrack to any riding adventure.’


Top Features:

  • A Style All Its Own
    The XSR900™ blends Yamaha’s world-class engineering with standout neo-retro style, creating a new type of machine for riders looking for an authentic and honest motorcycle that doesn’t sacrifice performance. Drawing influence from Yamaha’s classic “XS” series of motorcycles, the XSR oozes class, with exposed aluminum details, retro-influenced bodywork, stepped seat and custom lighting and instrumentation.
  • Advanced Crossplane Crankshaft Concept Engine
    The XSR900 features a thrilling 847cc Crossplane Crankshaft Concept liquid-cooled inline 3-cylinder, DOHC, 4-valve-per-cylinder engine based on the FZ-09™. The compact motor offers the best balance of both 2- and 4-cylinder designs, with an exciting, torquey and quick-revving engine character.
  • Cutting-Edge Electronics
    The XSR900 combines a classic heritage with modern performance, featuring ride-by-wire YCC-T® engine control, adjustable D-MODE throttle response, and an adjustable Traction Control System, allowing the rider to make the most of the potent engine and chassis.
  • Powerful Braking with ABS
    The XSR900 provides exceptional braking power with confidence thanks to sportbike-spec brakes backed up with the security of ABS.
  • Compact, Sporty Chassis
    The narrow aluminum frame features sport-oriented geometry to achieve light and nimble handling. Adjustable suspension front and rear allows the rider to customize their XSR900 to match road conditions and personal preferences.


    • Liquid-cooled, 850cc, in-line 3-cylinder, 4-stroke
    • Aluminium fuel tank covers
    • Traction Control System
    • Assist & Slipper Clutch
    • Vintage inspired headlight and rear light
    • Crossplane Concept engine design
    • Lightweight frame with aluminium parts
    • Adjustable front and rear suspension
    • Retro cool, powerful sports heritage
    • Stitched two-level seat
    • Powerful torque, incredible acceleration
    • Easy to customize


See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. Ron Beau says:

    I like the looks. I don’t love the looks – the XSR 700 gets in to love category. But 115 hp at 430 pounds, that gets my love. Far better than the well over 500 lb porkers from Moto Guzzi and Triumph that make ridiculously poor power.
    Now that they have this I can see why the 700 isn’t coming to the US, an extra 40 hp for only 35 lbs more and probably around $1200 in price.
    Not a fan of the two colors – the Kenny yellow is fun but not my tastes. But a vinyl wrap or paint is easy.
    I’ve been looking for a platform for a late 70s cafe racer style – clubmans, bullet fairing. Something with good performance and not too much vibration, I’m over my hardcore sportbike days but not ready to drag hard parts on the corners with a cruiser. It was looking like the Scrambler was my best bet, or a porky CB1100. But this fits the bill.
    Haven’t had a bike for four years, my only new Yamaha was a 1975 when I was a teen. Never had a triple. But this, yeah, I think I’ll be writing the check and then customizing away. (pending test ride of course)

    • Scott says:

      This is why it’s so hard for a manufacturer to please everyone. A couple of little subtle details can make or break a bike in people’s eyes.

      Just as you prefer the XSR700 to the 900, I see it the other way around. When the FZ09 came out, I liked it instantly, even though many here (and elsewhere) were critical of its styling. Yet, when the very similar but slightly different FZ07 was introduced it got raves from some of the same people who didn’t like the 09. On the other hand, I actually didn’t like the FZ07 at all when I saw the pictures. When I saw it in person I found it to be better-looking than I thought it would be, though I still like the FZ09 better.

      I’m neutral about the XSR700, but I really like the 900. I’m sure I’m not alone, but I’m far from the majority, I guess.

      KTM’s get a lot of love around here, but personally I think most of them look like a**, and I don’t think I would ever buy one. However, I do like most of the Ducatis on the market, even though they get slammed here on a… er, DAILY basis.

      When it comes down to it, I don’t imagine there are too many bike models that comprise more than about 10% of any manufacturer’s sales, so if even 10% of the riding public likes a bike, it should sell. Even if 90% hate it! 😆

      • mickey says:

        An impossible job to please more than 50% of the people. They take their swings. Some are hits, some are home runs, some triples some doubles some singles and sometimes they go down swinging. Thank goodness they keep trying.

  2. beasty says:

    As to the first pic. When did udders become part of motorcycle design???

    • Scott says:

      I’m thinking mid-2000’s, when people started saying “OMG, did you see the size of that muffler!” every time a new bike came out. 😕

      Ayway, I wish MD hadn’t led with that particular picture. It’s really a terrible angle, and the lighting makes the aluminum tank look cream-colored. If the opening picture had been the shot of the yellow bike from the middle of the article, I bet there would have been a much more positive reaction to it!

      • beasty says:

        The yellow bike is better looking, but overall, it’s an ugly bike. I’m sure I don’t want anything that Yamaha’s design team is snorting. I mean, look at the gap between the tank and the frame and between the seat and the tank. The tank doesn’t even look like it belongs on the bike.The lines go every which way, there’s no continuity or flow in the design. The exhaust looks like something pieced together from stuff fished out of a dumpster. I’m sure it’s an engineering marvel, but it just has no visual appeal.

        • Scott says:

          Matter of opinion, I guess. The yellow XSR has plenty of visual appeal to me. I’m sure I could pick apart the looks of any bike on the market, including your favorite. Nothing’s perfect…

        • todd says:

          All the gaps and mismatches are there to make it look like a garage-built custom (i.e. Hipster Hack).

        • Scott says:

          Yamaha has been putting a curved gap between the tank and frame for years. It’s practically their signature.

          As for the seat gap? Gee, I see the same thing in those Guzzis you love so much! 😏

          • beasty says:

            Really? I just looked at their Sport and Supersport lineup, and I don’t see any tank/frame gaps in any of those bikes except this one. Wanna see a good looking bike? Go up to the article on the BMW RnineT Scrambler. That’s how you design a motorcycle.

          • Scott says:

            Oh, I’ve looked at the RnineT. It’s cute, but I wouldn’t buy it. Yeah, it’s got a nice-looking exhaust. For the kind of money they’ll be asking, it better have some quality components on it!

            The new Guzzi Bobber has a gap under the seat, and you (beasty) wrote: “Great looking bikes!” Well, it’s okay if you like Guzzis. I don’t. But again, I don’t go into the other bike threads and tell people how much I hate the bikes they’re gushing over.

          • beasty says:

            Hate? I checked back on my comments, and nowhere did I say or imply hate. I voiced an opinion, and others in this thread seem to share that opinion, as others share yours.

  3. Scott says:

    Yamaha has a handful of accessories being previewed on their website now…

    Not sure I care for any of them. The seat cowl is a little TOO old school, and the windscreens are a little cheesy. If you’re going to put a windscreen on the XSR, it may as well be more like the old RZ350-style fairing, like Bill C suggested below. I’m sure there will be plenty of aftermarket choices before long.

    Of course, most of the FZ/FJ chassis accessories already on the market will work on the XSR…

  4. Norm G. says:

    re: “much better looking than the RSD concept, frankly”

    yeah, no.

  5. Roland says:

    This is not it. They shouldn’t have severed their tie with GK Dynamics. Huge mistake IMO.

    • Scott says:

      GK Dynamics… hmmm… Aren’t they the ones who designed the ’09 R1, which everyone hated? Or the old XJR1300, which came straight from the 70’s and looked like it weighed 500 lbs. (but only because it did)?

      So, when you say “this is not it”, can you elaborate and tell us what you think “it” is? I mean, I’m sure everyone has an idea of what their ultimate fantasy bike would be, but I don’t understand why people get so upset when a manufacturer doesn’t read their minds and build exactly what they evisioned.

      So let’s hear some ideas…

  6. PN says:

    Uh, no. Yamaha can do better than that.

  7. Scott says:

    Well… I guess I’ve put my money where my mouth is (or “come off the dime”, as Norm would say)…

    I just put down a deposit on a 60th Anniversary XSR900. So there.

    How ’bout it, Jeremy? Do it…………! 😉

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      BOOM! Congrats! I am giving it some thought, despite the irritatingly small fuel tank.

      • Scott says:

        Hey, maybe the seat will really suck and you won’t mind stopping more often? LOL

        • mickey says:

          that’s almost a given. One thing Japanese designers have never figured out is seats (or windshields)and the aftermarket thanks them for that.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I just put down a deposit on a 60th Anniversary XSR900. So there.”

      impressive, most impressive. (Vader voice overtop sound of saber ionizing air)

  8. Blackcayman says:

    When the DT-07 came out…I was drooling. I asked for a DT-09.

    This obviously isn’t it and its as close as its going to get. Oh well, its just a distraction anyway. What I need to add is a Touring Bike.

    Still have a soft spot for a real FJ”R”-09

  9. Joe Bogusheimer says:

    I like new styles. I like retro. I threw up in my mouth a little when I saw the first picture in this article. It looks marginally better in other paint schemes than that one, but only a little. I wouldn’t have thought it was possible to make a FZ-09 uglier, but I’ve been proven wrong.

    • Scott says:

      Okay “Joe”… Since you seem to like saying that about every new bike… Just out of curiosity, what bike do you consider attractive?

      • Joe Bogusheimer says:

        I like plenty of bikes. I like FZ-07. I like the new R1. I like the Scrambler and think the new Triumphs, especially the “Street twin” version look good. I don’t much care for the look of a little retro smeared onto a bike that clearly isn’t. This one just looks awkward, IMO, at least in that first pic at the top of the article, although not so bad in the pic at the bottom.

        • Stuki Moi says:

          The top pic exaggerates the fork rake and handlebar height, due to the angle it’s taken from. Only Harley people are primarily concerned about what their bike looks like from the angle of drunks passed out in parking lots… 🙂

          I LOVE the look of this one, based on the side pic. I’d still want to see it up close, as I’ve been rather underwhelmed with the detailing of the FZ/FJ compared to my two naked faves, the Z and CB. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a retro/moderno combination work as well as on this bike. The Griso’s domination of that niche may just have come to an end…..

        • Scott says:

          Fair enough.

          The thing is, every time a new bike is introduced, I see so much disdain posted by so many people. What’s the point? It seems like there’s literally something for everyone out there these days, and if you can’t find something you like on the market, I can’t help wondering if you really like motorcycles to begin with!

          Maybe you think the XSR is the worst thing ever created, but I don’t care. I like it (enough to actually buy it), and I think there are enough like-minded people that they’ll sell plenty of them…

          • mickey says:

            Scott we all have preferences and for many of us the new genres of transformer bikes or 200 hp bikes with nasa like electronics, or sky high seated ” enduros” that weigh 600 pounds portending to be off road capable, won’t draw admiring comments, and then again you might not care for and make disparaging comments regarding my favorite style of bikes. No biggie. We are all just motorcycle enthusiasts conversing about our favorite subject.

            Personally speaking I spent 17 years in the MC industry before getting a real job ( ie one with pay, benefits and decent hours) and then 25 years in the highway safety business. I am retired now, my kids are grown and gone, my wife still works so ” you internet guys” are the only ones I can intelligently discuss motorcycles with (which I enjoy doing) and do between motorcycle rides everyday. Life is good.

  10. john says:

    Love the looks of the bike in the retro yellow. Any idea on the weight?

    • Scott says:

      430 wet, which is 16 lbs. heavier than the FZ09 for some reason…

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Less plastic, more metal?

        • Scott says:

          Yeah… I don’t know. You’ve got a tiny rear fender and two side panels on the tank that are aluminum instead of plastic. That can’t be too much of a difference. ABS… maybe a pound with the wheel speed sensors. I just can’t see where that amounts to carrying a bowling ball around.

          But in any case, it isn’t terribly heavy to begin with, and you could trim plenty of weight with the usual mods. The more I look at this bike, the more my head spins. I like it more every time I look at it…

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            I forgot about the ABS. ABS also comes with a power / valve assembly module, which is a fairly heavy piece in all but the latest, cutting edge systems. If that wet weight figure includes ABS, that could very well make up most of the additional weight.

          • mickey says:

            abs adds 7 pounds to the CB1100

          • Curly says:

            ABS adds 6.6lbs. (3kg.) to the standard FZ-09 (MT-09). So the rest is extra metal, seat padding, fuel tank panels and such.

  11. Zac0479 says:

    I’ve been riding one of these for 2 years! Its called at Moto Guzzi Griso….

  12. BillC says:

    Good starting point here.

    Add a bikini fairing like the RZ350 had, do something about the seat/rear fender to bring it more into the cafe-racer look, and add the gauges from the FJ09 and it would get closer……..

    • Scott says:

      Everyone seemed to like the RSD “Faster Wasp” concept, but that wasn’t much more than an FZ09 with some cheesy TZ bodywork slapped onto it. You could easily replicate that with the XSR. Stick on an aftermarket TZ tail and a number plate up front, paint the wheels gold, and everyone would think it was the same bike in the RSD video!
      You could even add a set of clip-ons and an aftermarket fairing and you’d have a cool retro cafe racer with all the modern conveniences…

  13. Mick says:

    I love that bumble bee look. I rode an MT-07 that had that styling this spring. That triple is a nice engine in every way save the whine. I cannot tolerate that whine. Particularly riding back to back with the 07. The 07 is a very nice sounding, whine free engine. I wonder if Yamaha will ever un-whine the triple.

    I wonder if it is something that the aftermarket can or will address.

    I’ll stop whining now.

  14. Skybullet says:

    I like retro but I don’t like this. Bad execution. Yamaha, you can do much better.

  15. hh says:

    seems like a Yamaha 9T to me, ok don’t everyone go crazy on that. city bike?, day cruiser?,
    you get on and ride. In a bunch of years this may be a funky classic.

  16. Scott says:

    I always liked the FZ09, and I’m really digging this one (with the speed blocks 🙂 ).

    Lots of negativity floating around MD today – what else is new – but to each his own…

  17. tpet says:

    Yeah, the FZ-09 is still better looking than this. I think Yamaha got the style closest to right on the 09, then went downhill since then. The 07 looks ok, but not as good as the 09. These “bro-retro” bikes are unable to hide their modern frame design, so the whole thing looks off.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “These “bro-retro” bikes are unable to hide their modern frame design, so the whole thing looks off.”

      I dig the steampunk vibe to the design personall. Looks great in the speed block yellow theme in my opinion.

  18. todd says:

    “Timeless styling?” You gotta be kidding me. I don’t see “simple” or “retro inspired” either. I’m sure it will be a very nice and capable bike with great personality but, sheesh, they didn’t even get the round headlight right!

  19. Alex says:

    I’m not 100% on the styling, but it’s worlds better than the Stealth fighter/Transformers look. With that engine, it’s a winner.

  20. Grover says:

    Only looks good with the Bumble Bee paint.

  21. Jeremy in TX says:

    I like it. I wonder if the US version will get ABS. I couldn’t live with the silly 3.7 gallon tank, I am tempted to give it a shot.

  22. beasty says:

    Yamaha. Perfecting “ugly” one bike at a time.

  23. Ferd says:

    Good God !!! that is one ugly bike……

  24. Butch says:

    That fuel tank blows.
    Not sure what the little boxes are, mounted on the frame near the fork trees, they blow too.
    The Ducati Scrambler still looks better to me.

    • Curly says:

      The boxes cover the wiring looms and pump assembly for the ABS.Should easily “blow” the Ducati Scrambler into the weeds.

    • Skif says:

      The boxes are what the faux air ducts have mutated into. Same on the XSR700. Much prefer the boxes. They still sort of pretend to be something they are not, but not nearly as obvious.

  25. ag_streak says:

    Wow! The two pictures showing the solid-colored tanks make the bike look a little awkward and cluttered, but the retro yellow Yamaha tank version is FRIGGING AMAZING. Stunning!

    • Yoyodyne says:

      And still only 3.7 gallons…sigh.

      • TimC says:

        It’s a CityBike.

      • Scott says:

        That still gives it easily 140-150 mile range. At my age, I’m not riding any further than that in one stretch unless I’m on a full touring bike. And it’s a lot more range than my Hypermotard, and that hasn’t proven to be much of a problem for me.

        You guys who expect to go 300 miles on a tank of fuel… I don’t even know why you bother looking at bikes like the XSR. It’s clearly not your market. There’s plenty of bikes I have no use for, and I would never buy, but I don’t go into those threads and bad-mouth them…

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          At my age, I can ride all day.

          I look at bikes like the XSR because those are the kinds of bikes I like. I don’t want a 200+ mile range to put along the highway for miles on end behind a fairing looking at daisies. I want a lot of range so I don’t have to stop for gas regardless of how or where I am riding. Even if I commuted on the bike, I’d want to make it through the work week without having to stop on the way to or from work to fill it up. 4.5 – 5 gallon tanks were pretty standard not too long ago.

    • Tom K. says:

      My reaction was exactly the same, it’s amazing what a paint scheme can do to change the whole shape of the bike, the yellow/black looks great (at least in the photo provided) – at first glance, I thought there was going to be two different versions. The 3.7 gal. tank is a bit on the low side, but I lived with a V-Max’s 4 gal. tank for years, with no doubt less range than this bike at 3.7 gal. I like it!

      • Curly says:

        Funny but I like the blue one that’s not coming here. We could get sick of the yellow and black and the matte grey is really matte meh.

        • Scott says:

          Well, the yellow is the 60th Anniversary colors, so that’s only for one year. The “matte grey” is actually brushed aluminum, which could look pretty cool in person, but if you don’t like it, the “gas tank” isn’t one unit. The sides are removable panels that would be a piece of cake to get painted – or even anodized or powder coated.

          This bike would be pretty easy to customize, I think…

          • Lupo 606 says:

            I’m thinking Anniversary colors with a painted to match “bum stop” tail that integrates the round tail light (I haven’t quite figured that out yet) and maybe some clip ons or clubman bars?

wordscape cheatgun mayhem 2 unblocked games