2020 Yamaha XSR900

A sporty, three-cylinder, retro-around-the-edges streetbike.

Yamaha XSR900 front right
2020 Yamaha XSR900Yamaha

Motorcyclists can be a nostalgic bunch. Which is why dealer showroom floors are flooded with bikes that are dead ringers for those of yesteryear. A taste for classic aesthetics, however, doesn’t have to veer toward a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past. Take the 2020 Yamaha XSR900: If it fell from the heavens in the mid-1960s, this three-cylinder machine would have looked unusual, sure, but still recognizable as a motorcycle. In 2020, the “neo-retro” style—as Yamaha calls it—doesn’t try to be anything other than just plain cool, especially in its new mid-1980s RZ350-esque Radical White/Rapid Red paint scheme.

Described by one editor as “fun in nearly all riding situations,” the XSR900 is based on the MT-09, so it borrows that bike’s 847cc crossplane triple and aluminum frame. The inverted fork and shock are adjustable, antilock brakes are standard, and electronic rider aids include D-Mode selectable throttle response and two levels of traction-control intervention, plus “off.” Retailing for a buck less than $9,500, the XSR900 is only $1K pricier than an XSR700. For that money, you get another cylinder, additional performance, higher-spec componentry, and more sophisticated technology.

Yamaha XSR900 right side
2020 Yamaha XSR900Yamaha

Cycle World’s Annual Ten Best Bikes

Following Ten Best victories for the Yamaha FZ-09 in 2014 and ’15, it’s no surprise that the retro-style XSR900 found its way onto Cycle World’s respected list in 2016, topping the Best Middleweight Streetbike category. The three-cylinder XSR won the hearts of editors for its versatility, performance, and affordability.

2020 Yamaha XSR900 Reviews, Comparisons, And Competition

Yamaha XSR900 left rear
2020 Yamaha XSR900Yamaha

Manufacturer Claimed Specifications

Price $9,499
Engine Liquid-cooled, DOHC, three-cylinder
Displacement 847cc
Bore x Stroke 78.0mm x 59.1mm
Horsepower N/A
Torque N/A
Transmission 6-speed
Final Drive Chain
Seat Height 32.7 in.
Rake 25.0°
Trail 4.1 in.
Front Suspension 41mm preload and rebound adjustable; 5.4-in. travel
Rear Suspension Preload and rebound adjustable; 5.1-in. travel
Front Tire 120/70-17
Rear Tire 180/55-55
Wheelbase 56.7 in.
Fuel Capacity 3.7 gal.
Claimed Wet Weight 430 lb.

Cycle World Tested Specifications

Seat Height 32.6 in.
Dry Weight 409 lb.
Rear-Wheel Horsepower 102.8 hp @ 9,980 rpm
Rear-Wheel Torque 59.4 lb.-ft. @ 8,460 rpm
0–60 mph 3.0 sec.
1/4-mile 11.07 sec. @ 122.33 mph
Braking 30–0 mph 34.0 ft.
Braking 60–0 mph 128.0 ft.