Yamaha XSR 900 Driving Report (2022)

“Legend is reborn,” “sports heritage,” and “faster sons” – these are terms from Yamaha’s jargon of marketing jargon around the new XSR 900. But what impression do you make when driving?

Medium blue stripes, light blue, subtle yellow – this color combination adorned a pack of cigarettes, and then as part of the sponsorship, the racing machines used by French importer Yamaha Sonauto. Today, mixed with subtle metallic luster, it forms the most exciting look of the two Yamaha XSR 900 color variants available. This paint is the only feature on the Yamaha XSR 900 that reliably links the present to Yamaha’s history. It seems that other features have been talked about, which are supposed to do just that. Either way, it’s all about appearance. Only when riding does the view from the top opens up a view of the interior of a motorcycle. It clearly and authentically reveals one thing: the Yamaha XSR 900 is a completely modern sports bike.

The technology is compatible with Tracer9 technology, but the Yamaha XSR 900 needs no fairing and has a lower steering wheel. With its crossover sister, it shares the engine, frame, long swingarm, long rear suspension travel, brakes, steering aids, and just about everything. But the different ergonomics design alone results in a completely different driving experience. It is easier for the driver to change his body weight depending on the driving situation, especially in front. As mentioned, the handlebars sit closer to the fork bridge on shorter levers; This mode also improves the feel of the front wheel. You can tell for the fact that you quickly gain confidence in the Yamaha XSR 900 and let it take its corners at a fast pace.

XSR 900 willingly gives way even at tilt

The ride over a bumpy, bumpy curve was particularly impressive. The suspension and damping were sporty, and they certainly could have provided more comfort with softer damping rates, but they kept the wheels surprisingly well on the road even in a company environment. The Yamaha XSR 900’s relatively long suspension travel pays off on these roads.

In contrast to well-developed methods, it is advisable to constantly switch between long-range vision and close-up vision. After all, who wants to fall into the pit of the person who will lead their own crown on the next turn? So you have to avoid those suddenly opening up in front of the front wheel as best you can. The Yamaha XSR 900 voluntarily and lightly follows such conversions, even if it is operated at a large angle.

With the second sharpest engine mapping, it was also possible to work well on lanes with narrow alternating bends, and ABS and traction control remained unobtrusive in the “bourgeois” settings. Driving lightly without having to press a button is a lot of fun in the Yamaha XSR 900—in that respect, it’s actually pretty close to the classic models.

95 dB constant noise thanks to the rubber mat

For those who value following Tyrolean noise regulations, the Yamaha XSR 900 has good news: unlike the MT-09 and Tracer9, it is compatible with a constant noise of 95 dB. Yamaha engineers found that the tank acts as a resonator and amplifies engine noise. With a rubber mat on the underside of the tank, they adequately contained this effect.

So the three cylinders, famous for their attractive properties, can remain unchanged. Its acoustic and spin capability perfectly matches the sporty character of the Yamaha XSR 900. Current test bench measurements with the Tracer9 have shown that power and torque build up evenly, with a marked preference for the top speed range. But don’t worry, thanks to the relatively short translation, the three cylinders also pull hard from the low and ground revs. And despite the short translation, it sips very little from the fuel supply. This wouldn’t be significantly different in an XSR environment, these expectations are bold.

Last but not least, the small, easy-to-read TFT display deserves praise, which puts the Yamaha XSR 900 ahead of other Yamaha 900s. Although it appears less than the Tracer dual screen, it doesn’t hide what it says.


The XSR 900 in its new version is already revealing sporting talents in the first kilometer winding. It’s powerfully erect, fully cushioned and powered by a spirited engine, exceeding the driving dynamics demands of a classic car. If you like sports, you can safely ignore its classification in this sector.

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