2020 Yamaha XSR900 Review

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By Justin Mastine-Frost

[Our Canadian MO compatriot, Justin Mastine-Frost, gives us his perspective on the Yamaha XSR900. Since he can’t shoot photos and ride simultaneously, we’re providing the photos from our Yamaha XSR900 Corral shootout. – EB]

Getting some ride time with the Yamaha XSR900 took a fair bit of planning, between some personal scheduling issues and internal delays in getting the bike from Yamaha Canada, and by the point everything came together my eagerness to get out and ride the ‘neo-retro’ naked was at its peak. We first ran a review of the bike back in 2016, and it seemed that just about everyone I spoke to gave the mean middleweight reasonably high praise. I’d already taken a shine to the current MT-07, and at a conceptual level the XSR ticked all the boxes to be a new personal favorite – modern running gear, retro styling, upright posture, a torquey powerplant, and sharp suspension tuning. The challenge with expectation is always the same. So, the question is, did it live up to the hype (and where did Yamaha make improvements over its 2016 sibling)?

You’ll note a color scheme difference between the bike we rode and the 2020 offering – the sole update came in the form of a slightly altered paint scheme. While the ’19 models were available in grey and red, fitted with black wheels and a black front fender, Yamaha has shifted to another retro-themed combo of white and red, adding a red front fender and contrasting gold wheels.

The Looks

Looking at the XSR, I’m really on the fence as to whether or not the XSR900 has aged well (or will) since its launch in 2016. The whole retro-cafe bike scene is still booming, though the market seems to be pushing in the direction of scramblers. …read more

Source:: 2020 Yamaha XSR900 Review


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