2022 Yamaha XSR900
An all-new chassis, more advanced electronics suite, and an updated 890cc inline-triple borrowed from the latest MT-09 and Tracer 9 GTby TJ Hinton, on
Yamaha expands its “Faster Sons” footprint in 2022 with the new XSR900 naked/roadster model. This sled has the distinction of relying on ’80s design inspiration for its looks, while under the hood, its performance chops are respectable with plenty of modern amenities and electronics to make it a thoroughly contemporary ride.
2022 Yamaha XSR900
Top Speed:150 mph
2022 Yamaha XSR900 Design
- All-around LED lighting
- New 3.5-inch color TFT display
- Race-bike DNA
- Bar-end mirrors
Much of the build, to include rolling chassis, engine, and the electronics that bind them, comes straight from the MY21 hyper-naked MT-09.
The factory calls it “all-new,” but much of the build, to include rolling chassis, engine, and the electronics that bind them, comes straight from the MY21 Hyper-Naked MT-09. Looks like the “new” part comes in with the XSR900’s overall look which borrows heavily from the Grand Prix Yamaha race machines of the ’80s – a nice Easter Egg for those of us old enough to remember that decade.
Granted, that retro look is only apparent in the flyline when viewed in profile, the individual components are entirely modern. It starts at the pared-down front fender and its spoiler-style uprights that ensure efficient penetration and protection for the exposed inner fork tubes at the bottom of the usd front forks.
The 3.7-gallon, flyline-defining fuel tank joins little side-cover trim pieces to form the entirety of the painted “sheet metal,” so this sled wastes not an ounce on superfluous bodywork, and there is nothing without a performance purpose. Of course, it’s all about weight savings, and to that end the factory managed to reduce curb weight down to 425 pounds, down from 430 pounds.
The tank rocks deep knee pockets to pull your legs into the bike to increase man/machine integration and give you the room for some English if you’re one of those fiery-eyed pegdraggers. A stylized taillight joins with a mudguard that mounts the plate to complete the gear in the rear, and since it rocks all-around LED tech, you can count on effective two-way visibility.
The modern goodies continue into the instrumentation with a new 3.5-inch, color Thin Film Transistor display that bundles the electronic ride-quality controls for effective centralization of the pertinent metrics.
2022 Yamaha XSR900 Chassis
- Adjustable KYB fork
- New corner-optimized dynamic ABS
- All-new compact, lightweight aluminum frame
- IMU-enhanced Brake Control System
Updates to the steering geometry improve straight-line tracking and apparent feedback in the handlebar when cornering.
Efforts to reduce weight on the XSR900 didn’t end with the bodywork, not even close. The new frame and swingarm are both cast aluminum, formed using Yamaha’s Controlled-Filling process for tight quality control and a consistent product. Variable wall thickness in the frame members let the factory tune for flexion where it’s needed, rigidity everywhere else, with no weight wasted on unnecessarily thick sections.
The steering head was lowered a skosh relative to the previous version to improve straight-line tracking and apparent feedback in the handlebar when cornering. As for the bar itself, it comes with a bit of rise to push the pilot into a more-relaxed, upright riding posture while leaving open the option of tucking in for sportier riding shenaniganery if you please.
Go ahead and pencil me in as a fan of the bar-end mirrors too. Their minimized presence cleans up the control area quite nicely, and contributes to the sweet flyline in profile.
Aluminum is the material of choice for the 10-spoke, 17-inch wheels as well, but they’re manufactured using the spin-forging process to minimize unsprung weight at both axles and lower wheel inertia. Bridgestone supplies the hoops with a 120/70 ahead of a 180/55, both in a top-tier “Z” speed rating with the Battlax Hypersport S22 tread pattern for the urban grip they bring to the table.
New KYB stems are on deck with 41 mm, inverted front forks and rear monoshock; the former of which rocks the full trinity of tweaks while the latter is slightly less noble with only preload and rebound-damping adjustments.
Dual Brembo calipers bite 298 mm discs up front with a 245 mm disc and another Brembo anchor out back. Here, we find the first of the real fandanglery in the IMU-enhanced Brake Control System that comes with two levels of ABS protection – one for the new corner-optimized dynamic ABS feature, and a second one for straight-line ABS performance.
|Suspension, Front/ Travel:||41mm inverted fork, adjustable preload, compression and rebound/ 5.1 in|
|Suspension, Rear/ Travel:||Single shock, adjustable preload and rebound damping/ 5.4 in|
|Rake (Caster Angle):||25.0°|
|Brakes, Front:||298 mm dual hydraulic discs; ABS|
|Brakes, Rear:||245 mm single hydraulic disc; ABS|
|Tire, Front:||120/70ZR17 Bridgestone® Battlax Hypersport S22|
|Tire, Rear:||180/55ZR17 Bridgestone® Battlax Hypersport S22|
2022 Yamaha XSR900 Drivetrain
- New liquid-cooled 890 cc CP3 engine
- 17 hp & 68.5 lb-ft of torque
- Standard-equipped cruise control
- Standard-equipped advanced up/down quick shift
A new RbW setup borrows from the R1 program delivering a natural resistance to roll-ons and tendency to return to the throttle-closed position, just like a mechanical throttle feels.
The electronic wizardry on the XSR900 continues into the engine-control systems with more IMU-supported features. Lean-sensitive traction control joins with the new wheelie control and slide control for excellent electronic support and a multilayered safety system that’ll help you keep it between the stripes and dirty-side down.
Borrowed from the naked MT-09, the engine boasts the Tuning Fork Company’s Crossplane technology that eliminates inertial losses in both the rotating and reciprocating components alike. It’s a three-banger, so it carries the CP3 label, and the factory went to great lengths to lighten the individual components in the cases for a lighter overall weight and reduced power-robbing inertia for quicker spool-ups and less in the way of mechanical losses.
Looks like it paid off. Small gains in both power and grunt add up to 117 horsepower at 10,000 rpm, and 68.5 pound-feet of torque at 7 grand. A 78 mm bore and 62.1 mm stroke boosts displacement to 889 cc, up from 847 cc. This isn’t quite as oversquare as it could have been, but it rocks an 11.5-to-1 compression ratio that will have you considering top-octane road champagne come fill-up time.
The 12-valve head – that’s four per bore – relies on dual over-head cams to time the poppets. Plus, the whole mill comes wrapped in a water jacket for reduced apparent heat wash at stops, more stable operating temps, and reduced mechanical noises from the cases.
Yamaha’s own Chip-Controlled Throttle takes its cues from a new RbW setup that borrows from the R1 program and delivers a natural resistance to roll-ons and tendency to return to the throttle-closed position, just like a mechanical throttle feels.
A slip-and-assist clutch makes the connection to the six-speed transmission for yet another layer of safety gear with a tough chain-type final drive. The final drive ratio in top gear turns out a top speed somewhere around 150 mph.
There’s one more bit of fandanglery to be found in the transmission – namely the now-stock Quick Shift System that allows you to bang your way both up and down the range without ever touching the clutch or even rolling off the throttle.
|Engine:||890 cc liquid-cooled DOHC inline 3-cylinder 4-stroke; 12 valves|
|Bore x Stroke:||78.0 mm x 62.1 mm|
|Fuel Delivery:||Yamaha Fuel Injection with YCC-T|
|Ignition:||TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition|
|Transmission:||6-speed; multiplate assist-and-slipper wet clutch|
2022 Yamaha XSR900 Price
<quote|title=The base-model 2022 XSR900 rolls for $10k MSRP.
The base-model 2022 XSR900 rolls for $9,999 MSRP. You can score it in Legend Blue over generous blackout treatment, gold stems, and gold hoops, but if you’d rather go over fully to the Dark Side, the Raven model may be for you. Both packages are scheduled for a U.S. release in April of ’22.
2022 Yamaha XSR900 Competitors
Historical influence aside, the new XSR900 has plenty of competition from the domestic naked-sportbike/roadster sector, so instead, I went to British giant Triumph for its Street Triple R model to see how it stacks up against Japanese excellence.
Triumph Street Triple R
Lookswise, Trumpet colored inside the lines with its essential little roadster and hit many of the same high points, albeit with more contemporary overtones, and its own DNA that gives it that “Brit” look. Triumph rocks the full trifecta of suspension tweaks at both ends for a slight ride-quality control advantage, but cedes the advantage in the brakes with vanilla ABS against the sophisticated anchors Yamaha brings to the table.
The Street Triple falls behind again in the displacement column with only 765 cc against the 889 cc mill in the Yammie, though power output is similar at 116 horsepower and 57 pound-feet of torque against 117/68.5. Sure, that’s a pretty good power return, so I’m comfortable in saying the Brit Triple punches well above its weight.
At the checkout, things start looking better for the XSR900 against the $10,800 Triumph sticker, but I have to admit that it’s a slim margin indeed at this price point which is unlikely to buy Yamaha much business against this particular Brit. The electronics suite on the XSR900 is far more likely to influence a buyer, methinks.
Read our full review of the Triumph Street Triple R.
“Gotta’ say I’m digging the look. It’s just different enough to stand out without looking out of place around other similar machines. But for me, the electronics are the main selling point, and while many may find that 80 mph limit to be, well, rather limiting, I’m okay with it. I seem to find myself riding as fast as a bike will go, so for me, being governed down to a reasonable speed is a good thing.”
My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “Folks familiar with Yamaha’s racing history will appreciate the Legend Blue colorway. The blue/cyan/yellow livery is a nod to the classic French Sonauto Yamaha race colors and the legendary French Grand Prix champion Christian Sarron who was a force to be reckoned with on the Sonauto-Yamaha team in the 1980s. An all-new chassis and more advanced electronics suite add to the modern wizardry of the XSR900. Combine that with the updated 890cc inline-triple borrowed from the latest MT-09 and Tracer 9 GT and you have a really nice performance-oriented ride.”
2022 Yamaha XSR900 Specifications
Engine & Drivetrain: Engine: 890 cc liquid-cooled DOHC inline 3-cylinder 4-stroke; 12 valves Bore x Stroke: 78.0 mm x 62.1 mm Compression Ratio: 11.5:1 Fuel Delivery: Yamaha Fuel Injection with YCC-T Ignition: TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition Transmission: 6-speed; multiplate assist-and-slipper wet clutch Final Drive: Chain Chassis: Suspension, Front/ Travel: 41mm inverted fork, adjustable preload, compression and rebound/ 5.1 in Suspension, Rear/ Travel: Single shock, adjustable preload and rebound damping/ 5.4 in Rake (Caster Angle): 25.0° Trail: 4.3 in Brakes, Front: 298 mm dual hydraulic discs; ABS Brakes, Rear: 245 mm single hydraulic disc; ABS Tire, Front: 120/70ZR17 Bridgestone® Battlax Hypersport S22 Tire, Rear: 180/55ZR17 Bridgestone® Battlax Hypersport S22 Dimensions & Capacities: L x W x H: 84.8 in x 33.9 in x 45.5 in Seat Height: 31.9 in Wheelbase: 58.9 in Maximum Ground Clearance: 5.5 in Wet Weight: 425 lb Fuel Capacity: 3.7 gal Fuel Economy: 49 mpg Details: Warranty: 1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty) Colors: Legend Blue, Raven Price: $9,999
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