Yamaha recently unveiled the newest iteration of its celebrated ‘Faster Son’ design philosophy—the striking, completely redesigned 2022 Yamaha XSR900. Inspired by Yamaha’s legendary racing heritage, the new XSR900 represents a significant advancement in both performance and style, boasting an all-new chassis, more powerful 890cc engine, more advanced electronics package and a brilliant new look drawn from Yamaha’s classic 1980s-era Grand Prix racing machines.
“The new generation XSR900 borrows its high performance CP3 engine, chassis and electronics directly from Yamaha’s extensively updated 2021 MT-09 Hyper Naked to create the lightest, most agile, most performance-driven motorcycle in its class,” said Derek Brooks, Yamaha Motorcycle Product Line Manager. “But it’s the styling that really sets this new bike apart. As someone who’s very familiar with Yamaha’s racing history, it’s exciting to see the design team’s clear nod to the iconic race designs of our past, while incorporating so much tech and premium detailing. This new XSR really cuts to the heart of why we are passionate about motorcycles.”
The Faster Sons Design Philosophy
Yamaha’s Sport Heritage motorcycle models draw inspiration from the marque’s extensive experience spanning seven decades of design and manufacture of famous and iconic motorcycles. During this time, the world of motorcycling has continually evolved, yet the unique emotions and intense excitement of riding on two wheels have always stayed the same. The Faster Sons design philosophy fuses iconic style with modern technology to create enjoyable and exciting motorcycles that recall the past while featuring the performance of today.
Retro Influence, Modern Style
The bold, striking new look of the next generation Yamaha XSR900 is apparent from every angle. With the tank design, exposed aluminum frame and side silhouette drawing clear inspiration from iconic Yamaha race bikes of the 1980s, there is also an unmistakably modern design element underscoring the machine’s high-performance capabilities. Full LED lighting, a new full-color 3.5-inch TFT display and a host of premium touches including drilled fork caps, machined headlight stays, forged brake pedal, hidden passenger pegs, blacked-out levers, darkened brake reservoirs, bar-end mirrors, embossed aluminum rear underplate and aluminum XSR logo all combine to reflect modernity and a higher level of fit and finish.
As an additional nod to the XSR900’s sporting heritage, one available colorway is a modern take on the classic French Sonauto Yamaha race colors—the stunning blue, cyan and yellow combination famously campaigned by legendary French Grand Prix champion Christian Sarron, an important page from Yamaha’s rich racing history.
Finally, ergonomics of the new XSR900 are also improved for a more aggressive profile and new emphasis on the rider. A lowered head pipe position, unique subframe with lower seat height and a lengthened swingarm improve straight-line performance while maintaining the XSR900’s trademark sharp handling, situating the rider more within the bike for a greater sense of control and confidence.
New 890cc CP3 Engine: More Power, More Torque
Sharing the same specifications, individual components and fuel injection as Yamaha’s new 2021 MT-09, the XSR900’s larger capacity 890cc CP3 engine is more powerful with a stronger, more linear torque curve for outstanding acceleration. Nearly every major component, from pistons and connecting rods to the crankshaft, camshafts and crankcase, are redesigned and lightened for a reduced overall engine weight and a freer revving engine character. To handle increased torque levels, the Assist and Slipper (A&S) clutch is updated with new friction plates and a modified cam angle to reduce load on the clutch springs for a lighter feel at the lever.
While the previous generation XSR900 was fitted with a Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T), the new model takes the technology one step further with the addition of a YZF-R1-type Accelerator Position Sensor Grip (APSG). This is a full ride-by-wire system with a sensor in the twist grip to replicate varying degrees of resistance for a traditional throttle feel. The end result is a lively, torque-rich powerplant with the thrilling feel of direct connection between the throttle grip and the rear tire.
New CF Die-Cast Aluminum Frame: Lighter, Stronger, Sharper
A key feature on the new XSR900 is the all-new compact, lightweight aluminum frame. Yamaha’s Controlled Filling (CF) die-cast technology makes it possible to produce complex frame structures lighter and stronger than conventional casting methods. Featuring the thinnest sections ever for a Yamaha die-cast frame at just 1.7 mm, overall weight is reduced while the balance of longitudinal, lateral and torsional rigidity has been refined, enhancing straight-line stability and transmitting excellent feedback to the rider. Additionally, the lower head pipe position helps load the front for increased feel when cornering, providing the new XSR900 with an agile, responsive handling character.
Yamaha Exclusive Lightweight Spinforged Wheels
Through Yamaha’s exclusive new spin forging process, the sporty 10-spoke aluminum wheels on the new XSR900 enhance looks while significantly reducing unsprung weight. The result is improved suspension action and decreased moment of inertia for a more responsive feel, especially during cornering and braking.
High-Spec Brakes & Suspension
High quality components include a new Brembo radial front master cylinder for better feel at the lever. Additionally, a new front brake lever eases adjustability and improves looks. All-new suspension features an upgraded fully adjustable 41mm KYB inverted front fork, now shorter and lower profile due to the new head pipe position. It’s paired with an updated adjustable KYB rear shock, forward inclined and virtually hidden from sight, further enhancing the new model’s clean, aggressive side profile.
Six-Axis IMU Brings Modern Tech to the Sport Heritage Lineup
Taking the 2022 XSR900 to a new level of technological advancement is the same state-of-the-art Yamaha six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) employed in the new MT-09. The new IMU has evolved into a smaller and lighter unit, featuring two sensors that measure three-axis angular velocity (pitch, roll and yaw) and three-axis acceleration (forward/backward, up/down and left/right). Data is transmitted to the ECU which controls an expanded suite of rider aids, including a lean sensitive Traction Control System, Slide Control System (SCS), front wheel Lift Control System (LIF) and Brake Control (BC) System. Each can be adjusted for different levels of intervention or turned off completely depending on rider preference.
- Lean Sensitive Traction Control System Using the six-axis IMU data in conjunction with relative front and rear wheel speed data, the new lean sensitive Traction Control System adjusts the degree of intervention to correspond with the bike’s lean angle. A total of three intervention levels are available.
- Slide Control System (SCS) When IMU sensors detect the rear wheel is beginning to slide sideways, the ECU intervenes by reducing drive to the rear wheel until the chassis is stabilized. A total of three intervention levels are available.
- Lift Control System (LIF) To prevent front wheel lift during quick starts or hard acceleration, when IMU sensors detect front wheel lift the ECU adjusts drive power until the motorcycle is stabilized.
- Brake Control System (BC) The Brake Control (BC) System independently controls and moderates front and rear brake pressure to prevent accidental wheel lock ups. The rider can select one of two ABS braking modes: BC1 Mode is a standard ABS-active mode for straight-line braking conditions which does not incorporate lean angle. BC2 Mode uses IMU data to determine lean angle and changes the ABS sensitivity as lean angle increases.
Tuned Triple Soundtrack
Yamaha engineers have carefully considered both intake and exhaust sound in developing the new XSR900, seeking to emphasize and enhance the unique soundtrack of the crossplane triple-cylinder powerplant. The airbox is completely redesigned, incorporating differing cross section and length air ducts tuned so induction noises resonate harmoniously at varying wavelengths. Two functional air intake vents located on either side of the fuel tank further boost the mid- and high-rpm induction sound traveling to the rider for a greater sense of acceleration. Likewise, a new 1.5-chambered exhaust features a left-right symmetrical tailpipe arrangement that directs sound pressure to both sides of the machine, adding to the feel of torque when opening the throttle. The low-slung exhaust design also centralizes mass and is significantly lighter than the previous generation.
Up & Down Quick Shift System Now Standard
The XSR900’s Quick Shift System (QSS) is now fitted as original equipment on the 2022 XSR900. By enabling quick, clutchless shifting both up and down the gear box, this system makes full-on acceleration more exciting, downshifting faster and smoother, with less chassis disruption when changing gears.
Cruise Control Now Standard
Another feature now fitted as original equipment on the new XSR900 is Cruise Control. The easily programmable system reduces rider fatigue, making longer journeys and highway riding more enjoyable.