2016 Yamaha XSR900 is Modern Retro Fun

As expected, Yamaha has officially unveiled their brand new XSR900, an MT-09/FZ-09 based retro styled street bike that pays homage to the XSR650 of yesteryear. Looking very similar to the just released XSR700, it doesn’t reinvent the wheel but should appeal to a lot of people out there wanting something that looks classical yet has a modern motor underneath.

The XSR900 keeps plastics down to a minimum, with the 14 litre fuel tank being what draws your eyes at first. There’s also the gorgeous looking split level sitched seat which is accompanied by front and rear aluminium fenders, aluminium side covers and aluminium headlight stay. Again, we would have liked Yamaha to try and hide the radiator a bit better, but given the price the XSR900 is likely to go for, these sacrifices have to be made for value.

The 850cc inline triple remains unchanged from the MT-09 and also includes three traction control modes, assist and slipper clutch and of course, ABS brakes. Unfortunately, it looks like the front end suspension has carried straight over from the MT-09, which means this is a bike that still has a chassis that’s not quite up to speed with the engine.

The TCS is fully adjustable with three performance modes depending on the road conditions. Riders can opt for minimal or maximal intervention and can also switch the system off completely when appropriate to do so. Expect there to be a vast sum of aftermarket accessories available too as part of Yamaha’s Yard Built campaign. The XSR900 has been confirmed for release in the US, Australia and Europe.


Is Yamaha Going to Release an XSR900?

Yamaha’s MT-07 retro based bike, the XSR700 is only just hitting showrooms in Europe but it Yamaha seems so sure of its success that a MT-09 based retro bike is also in the works. Carrying on from the ‘Faster Sons’ theme that saw Japanese custom builder Shinya Kimura create his precursor to the XSR700, Yamaha is this time teaming up with Roland Sands Design.

The video shows a bike with flat tracker influences but like Shinya Kimura’s effort, the final release will probably be a lot tamer for the broader market. Let’s hope in addition to a shiny retro look, Yamaha finally upgrade the front suspension to better accompany the brilliant engine housed in the MT-09. Full press release below:

Yamaha’s Sport Heritage evolution keeps moving ahead of the pack through 2015 and is about to arrive now at an exciting new chapter. Leading the market by offering easy to customize factory motorcycles takes constant innovation and collaboration with the brightest in the industry and beyond.

First came the question, what role can we take to offer more diversity and innovation? The answer was ‘Faster Sons’, a natural evolution of our Sport Heritage bike building philosophy. ‘Faster Sons’ tips its hat in respect to the bikes that came before, whilst also showing pride in the faster sons of today and tomorrow, because above all, we love to ride.

‘Faster Sons’ became a reality through a unique collaboration this year with master builder Shinya Kimura. Together we made our mantra real with the stunning ‘Faster Son’, a real world concept machine that perfectly blended everything great about our motorcycle heritage combined with the latest technology we have to offer.

As the ‘Faster Sons’ story grows and gathers speed we now reach the next level. Taking inspiration again from our unrivalled heritage, we went looking for more speed, more power and more fun. We found what we needed in our racing history books, combined it with our latest technology and found a new collaborator to write a new chapter with.

Get ready because on Monday 16th November at 21:00hrs CET Yamaha’s Faster Son will get faster…




What is Yamaha’s Big Secret Being Revealed on 1 September?

The guys and girls at Yamaha don’t seem to be taking a rest at the moment, with the tuning fork brand releasing new motorcycle after new motorcycle over the past few years. And come September 1 they’re set to release another major new product – but unfortunately for motorcycle aficionados, this release may have twice the usual amount of wheels.

Come next month, it looks like Yamaha will be releasing a new high performance UTV/ATV. Polaris Industries has heavily invested in this segment and with great success – though the Polaris RZR range hasn’t got the best reputation for reliability at this point in time. Regardless, sales of the RZR range have been a big money maker and Yamaha wants a piece of the pie.

So what interest is this to motorcycle riders? Well, from the videos shown so far of the machine, it appears to use an inline three cylinder engine. Could it be the motor from the FZ-09/MT-09? It may, but the problem with using this engine is that Yamaha would then have to design an automatic transmission to go alongside it as is general preference for these machines.

Thus, it would make much more sense for Yamaha to use an existing engine and transmission combo that wouldn’t require further development. Because of that, Yamaha will probably be using a three cylinder engine that has been employed in its snowmobile range for quite some time. It’s currently used in its flagship SRViper R-TX sport snowmobile which also has a continuously variable transmission.


2015 Yamaha MT-09 Sport Tracker Review

When Yamaha released the MT-09 (FZ-09 in the USA) in 2013 it really set the cat among the pigeons. It was a light, powerful and competitively priced machine that was powered by a brilliant inline triple engine. Ultimately it was somewhat flawed though with poor fueling and marshmallowy front suspension. Thankfully the special edition MT-09 Sport Tracker is the motorcycle the original MT-09 should have been.

The visual changes to the MT-09 Sport Tracker don’t consist of too many parts but they really do change the appearance of it from the original. While Yamaha describes its looks as being “scrambler-inspired”, it looks like a cross between a dirt bike and a flat tracker with its front and side number plates and flat seat. Additional changes include a shortened front fender (with aluminium stays) and pads on the side of the tank. To our eyes, it looks somewhat awkward and doesn’t completely work together as a whole.

The quality of the finish certainly can’t be frowned upon though. The seat is a highlight with your derriere treated to a two-tone scheme featuring a brown leather top with black Alcantara-look sides. The frame and bodywork is also treated to a really high quality  matte finish which makes the bike look much more expensive than it actually is. Our unit was fitted with the aftermarket high slung Akropovic system which definitely works better visually than the standard under slung exhaust does.

What hasn’t changed with this special edition is the 847cc inline triple and thank goodness for that. This engine is still one of the best units available today and the fact you can ride a motorcycle for such a bargain price that has this engine is fantastic. But unlike before, that power can be so much better applied due to the fact that throttle response is no longer jerky – no need to fear you’re going to accidentally power into cliff face due to the previously erratic fueling.

The front suspension is shared between the standard MT-09, but for some reason it doesn’t come across nearly as poorly from what we can remember. Part of that we think is the slightly modified ergonomics for the MT-09 Street Tracker. The flatter seat and wider pegs transforms the seating position ever so slightly – just enough to provide better feel as to what’s happening up front and better control of it too.

Perhaps it’s all in our heads but regardless, the Sport Tracker feels a whole lot more composed than its donor bike.

As already mentioned, we rode the MT-09 Sport Tracker that included the optional high slung Akropoic exhaust. It does sound great but it is loud. Loud enough that on long rides, the sound of it began to really fatigue us. It does emit a glorious note that begs you to blip the throttle on downshifts, but we’d recommend wearing earplugs on longer stints. Give your neighbors plenty of flowers and chocolates to smooth things over as well.

Otherwise, the Yamaha MT-09 Sport Tracker remains true to the original. It’s fast, it’s brash, it’s an absolute blast to ride. This was already a bit of a hooligan machine and now its looks match its attitude.

The Sport Tracker is officially only available in Europe and costs £7,899.00 in the UK. For those in Australia and North America, dealerships can build you a Sport Tracker using Yamaha’s aftermarket accessories – which also means you can convert your existing MT-09 into a Sport Tracker if you so desire.

2016 Yamaha FZ-07 Tracer Spotted Testing

It seems almost that every week brings a potential new Yamaha motorcycle. Ever since the release of the Yamaha FZ-09 (MT-09), more and more derivatives have joined the ranks, including the FZ-07 and FZ-09 Tracer. Now, a sister to the Tracer has been spotted testing, the FZ-07 Tracer.

The appearance of an FZ-07 Tracer undergoing testing really shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise as Yamaha has made it clear it intends to exploit the full potential of their new chassis’ and engines. The bigger FZ-09 Tracer has only been available for a few months and has already been a great success.

From the photos, we can see that The FZ-07 Tracer gets a new front fairing, a new and higher mounted seat and touring windscreen. What will remain the same is the engine, frame and wheels. The front forks appear identical too although it’s difficult to really tell from the photos. We’d hope that the forks were extended in keeping with the ‘adventure’ theme.

The bike pictured testing appears however to have a new swingarm. It’s hard to see the impact on the bike but potentially it may change the wheelbase. Handlebars also look like they’re positioned higher to give the rider a more upright stance. Luggage is obviously an accessory that will be available at launch.

It’s probably still very early days for testing of the Yamaha MT-07, so we wouldn’t expect a release until mid to late next year.

Source: Moto.it


2016 Yamaha FZ-09 and 2016 Yamaha FZ-07 Updates

Normally we wouldn’t bother reporting on such minor model updates but we’ll make an exception in the case of Yamaha’s brilliant FZ-09 and FZ-07 pairing (known as MT-09 and MT-07 respectively outside of Northern America). The bikes remain pretty much unchanged from when they were released, which is both good and bad.

Good in that for the most part, they’re nearly perfect machines. The jerky throttle issue that plagued the FZ-09 when it was originally released is now rectified, though the underwhelming front end suspension remains as is. It does retain the absolutely brilliant 847cc in-line 3-cylinder engine that makes it such an absolute joy to ride. New color schemes include Raven ($8,190) and Impact Blue ($8,190).

The FZ-07 also returns as is but with new color schemes too which includes the aforementioned Raven ($6,990) and in our opinion, the brilliant looking Matte Silver ($6,990). Unfortunately, both the FZ-09 and FZ-07 remain without even the option of ABS brakes in the USA. We’re beginning to think that someone at Yamaha USA has a religious opposition to ABS, with these two machines and the R3 all lacking the feature which is either an option or standard elsewhere in the world.

No doubt these updated color schemes will make their way into other markets as well. Our sources indicated that a non LAMS version of the MT-07 will make its way to Australia next year and that ABS will be made available on both it and the MT-09 for the 2016 model refresh too.


Yamaha FZ-09 ECU Flash Now Available – Jerky Throttle Begone!

An official Yamaha FZ-09 ECU flash is now available. The Yamaha FZ-09 (known as the MT-09 in some markets) was a breath of fresh air in the motorcycle industry for 2014. Not only did it feature a brand new and brilliant 850cc triple, but it was widely regarded as fun, playful and fast. It was also extremely good value, perhaps the best value bike going at the moment at only $7,990. But it wasn’t perfect and in fact many potential buyers actually decided against purchase due to some awful fueling issues at speeds of around 18 to 37 mph in first or second gear. That fueling issue translated into a jerky application of power from the bike, not something you want when the Yamaha FZ-09’s front suspension wasn’t exactly great either.

An aftermarket ECU flash has been available for a while now from various sources, but that’s an additional cash outlay for something that should work out the box. Thankfully, Yamaha has announced that an official ECU flash is now available for free at your local Yamaha dealer. The announcement is as follows:

Beginning with the 2015 model year, the YCC-T program (mapping) in the ECU has been modified to better compensate for throttle sensitivity and component production tolerances. This revised ECU can also be used to reprogram 2014 units exhibiting this condition without altering emissions compliance.

We’ve contacted dealership in both the United States and Australia who have confirmed the new mappings for the Yamaha FZ-09 ECU flash are now available. So for those who had previously considered the Yamaha FZ-09, perhaps now is time for another look.

Sports-Tourer Version of the FZ-09, the Yamaha FJ-09

It has now all but confirmed that Yamaha will announce a sports-tourer version of it’s highly acclaimed Yamaha FZ-09 (known as the MT-09 in some parts of the world) later in the year, to be called the Yamaha FJ-09. While it has its flaws (most notably a poorly sorted front end), the FZ-09 has been very successful due to it’s cracker of an engine and extremely keen pricing. It makes perfect sense therefore to put a new set of clothes on it and release a related version.

CAD renderings of the Yamaha FJ-09 were leaked on the internet earlier this month by Indonesian website TMCblog and this week, Australian magazine AMCN confirmed that it will go sale in Australia for around $13,000 AUD ($12,100 USD). As the pictures show, the basics of the bike remain completely unchanged. The engine will remain the same 849cc triple as the FZ-09 and it’s unlikely that it will be retuned in anyway. Similarly, brakes, wheels and even the suspension (unfortunately) will be identical.  Like the FZ-09, Yamaha’s goal is to keep this machine as affordable as possible, so any changes that can be avoided will save on costs.

Weight will go up due to the addition of some fairings and expect the fuel tank capacity to be increased given the Yamaha FZ-09 only has enough room for 3.7 gallons of fuel. The riding position also looks slightly elevated. Like so many other bikes, the official announcement will be made at this years INTERMOT in October.