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January 14, 2019

Yamaha XSR900 - Cafe Racing

Yamaha XSR900 - Café Racing…

The Yamaha XSR900 already has a lot going for it. Thanks to Yamaha's ‘Faster Sons’ options on the range it now has even more to offer in the styling and performance stakes. Indeed the motorcycle we were presented with this month is probably the coolest XSR900 we’ve seen on the road. With a lot of specials we see something that is built to be looked at or at best only ridden on the best of days. This isn’t the case here.

Faster Sons is a Yamaha brand for accessories and clothing. There is a huge range of cooler than cool kit to choose from as well as accessories for a wide variety of the companies bikes. Subtly branded clothing as well as individualised motorcycles are the name of the day. The great news is that they are all available from your local Yamaha dealer.

Yamaha XSR900 - Make yours one of a kind

The bike is already a pretty cool machine. Limited editions being built in partnership with Abarth and Fiat, as well as a raft of Yard Built specials. Last year saw new colour options as well as a VRT sale on the 700. The triple cylinder engine in the 900 is the same unit that is used in the class leading Tracer and the MT 09.

Starting with the cool blue option the task was to add a few pieces from the collection and bring the machine from standard to very special without breaking the bank. The Clubman bars are very old school. This design prompt comes from a time when riders would race their day bike. In an effort to get more speed, they would turn the bars upside down to create less drag. They were the predecessor to the clip on’s that we see on race replicas like the R1 and R6. The ones fitted here were just that little low for city use. The clever people at Yamaha have added a set of Gilles Billet risers. They now sit at a comfortable height while still looking the part.

Yamaha XSR900 - Power Delivered

The standard chassis needs no modification. The front brakes are a radially mounted set that sit on the end of a pair of upside down forks. The engine is a stressed member, hanging from the frame and the swing arm is curved as a gull arm. This last bit has all the obvious weight saving and handling characteristics. It also shows off the end can quite well. Even more so when it’s a low slung Akrapovic twin end can with cool black sleeves!

Pillions are given a colour matched seat cowl. If you do happen to meet a nice one, a pillion that is, the cowl can be removed easily and without any tools. Apparently even I could do it without hurting myself. The screen is incredibly sympathetic to design of the front of the bike. Being a small sports screen it takes nothing away from the design or lines of the machine.

Yamaha XSR900 - Supreme Handling

It’s not just about looking and sounding great either. The front suspension has been treated to an Ohlins cartridge kit while down the back there is a full Ohlins shock. Both have all the adjustability that one could want to set a bike up just the way you’d like it. The adjustability continues with a set of Gillies Billet levers on both the front brake and clutch. Both can be span adjusted with ease, look so much better that the standard, ones and save a bit of weight.

The bike is now protected with a set of engine sliders. This allows the bike to slide rather than catch. The sliders also look seamless when it comes to the lines on the bike. They manage to do their job, if needed, without taking anything away from the Yamaha XSR900.

The radiator guard is branded and colour matched to the frame. Made of a stainless steel mesh, it features the XSR logo in the centre with subtle Yamaha branding on the frame. All of these parts are available from the dealer network and don’t impinge in any way on the original warranty.

There are a whole host of other options available including carbon fibre covers for the subframe and side panels as well as a hugger. There’s a mainstand, a suite of luggage if fancy a spot of touring, and even a set of heated grips if you like riding in the winter.

The Yamaha XSR900 featured is based in Dublin and can be viewed by appointment. Call 012859177 or talk to your local Yamaha dealer. All the accessories listed are available through their parts system. 

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