Yamaha is continuing its run of special editions, this time with the ‘Racer’ version of the XV950, better known as the Star Bolt in markets like the USA. Yamaha have been working closely with many of Europe’s top custom bike builders and the XV950 has in fact been inspired by the ‘El Ratón Asesino’ – a stunning café racer produced by legendary German custom builder Marcus Walz (pictured below).
Inside the new XV950 Racer the same engine is present with the 942cc air-cooled V-twin producing 52 hp at 5,500 rpm and 58.5ft.lb of torque at 3,000 rpm. But other than the engine, this bike has had many tweaks, especially in the ergonomics to make this a truly worthy special edition and not just a cosmetic only release.
The new XV950 Racer has a far more forward leaning riding position than the donor bike. This has been achieved by the use of forged aluminium 22.2mm diameter clip-on handlebars that are positioned 156mm further forward and 78mm lower than on the XV950/R models. Even the diamater of the bars has been reduced to enable slimer handlebar grips.
The clip-on handlebars are equipped with compact new switchgear and clutch/front brake levers that reinforce the sport-oriented feel, and the front brake’s master cylinder has also been reduced in size. The XV950 Racer also features newly developed rear-set footrests that are 150mm further to the rear and 29mm higher than those fitted to the XV950/R and the Racer’s slim new single seat is 75mm higher as well.
The front and rear suspension systems on the XV950 Racer have been modified as well. The 41mm forks offer 144mm travel, 9mm more than on the XV950/R models. The twin rear piggyback gas shocks have also been developed to suit the new Racer model, and give 116mm of rear wheel travel, 6mm greater than the XV950/R.
Colors available will be glacier blue or matte grey, with a release date of May this year. No word on pricing in Europe or whether the bike will be available in other markets. Stop teasing everybody else, Yamaha Europe.