- Published On: 26 February 2018
- 4 min read
This modern retro is based on the MT-09 and could be headed to India this year.
At first, we were surprised by the fact that we would be riding powerful Yamaha bikes around a 200m track. This track was part of the Yamaha Riding Academy in Thailand and was very tight. However, this compact track was built for a training programme. Another factor which affected the test was the heat and humidity in Thailand.
Yamahas have always been fun to ride and we had managed to turn the small area into a mini racetrack. However, one must consider that we only rode the motorcycle in an area so small that we couldn’t use more than the second gear. Nonetheless, we had a long enough time with the bikes to gain a good initial impression.
The XSR uses modern retro styling and is surprisingly good looking. The name harks back to the original 1968 XS 650, which later became the XS 400 and the XS Eleven. This motorcycle is more modern than retro, it has the frame and engine from the other 900s – the MT-09 and Tracer 900.
The bike is surprisingly tall and keeps you in an aggressive riding position. This position is committed but not the painful kind. The fuel tank on the bike does look like it belongs on this bike and the single seat is surprisingly spacious. Furthermore, the bike uses a regular handlebar and digital instrumentation. We found the upper half of this motorcycle to be heavy throughout our short ride on the bike. The bike also shares the three riding modes with the other motorcycles powered by the same engine. Interestingly, Yamaha allows you to disengage traction control but not ABS.
The XSR is a fast bike and is targeted at buyers with roots in an older generation of riding. This motorcycle is quick and technologically advanced while remaining calm. Powering this naked is an 847cc, in-line three cylinder engine. The bike could be ridden at 50kph in sixth gear; one can also accelerate gradually from there. Like all of the other Yamahas powered by this in-line three engine, it is easy to lift its front wheel.
The bike has wheelbase of 1440mm and 25 degree rake angle which makes it very stable while also being fun. The motorcycle uses an upside-down fork and monoshock at the rear, both shared with the other two 900s. However, the one on the XSR is considerably softer while also being able to handle twisty roads. The bike also has a usable ride height of 830mm and manageable kerb weight of 195kg.
Should I buy one?
Overall, this Yamaha is a pleasing motorcycle; it’s appealing but slightly more expensive than the MT-09. At present, Yamaha is not commenting on its Indian arrival but it will liked by a number of people. More so, by people those aren’t race-track enthusiasts. Being a CBU from Japan, we can expect a price tag of around Rs 11.5 lakh (ex-showroom).