With its glorious '80s styling and its total sweetheart of an engine, the XSR900 is all the motorcycle most of us could ever want.

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired of cafe racers. Sure, they’ve got an iconic silhouette and usually make for a halfway decent ride, but it seems like every motorcycle manufacturer on the planet is leaning hard into this vintage style. I say it’s time to find a new altar at which to worship — something that looks beyond the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. And wouldn’t you know, Yamaha seems to agree.

Enter the 2022 Yamaha XSR900, a bike that takes its inspiration from the wild two-stroke grand prix racers of the early 1980s. It’s a good look, and more importantly, it’s a great ride.

The XSR900 is based on Yamaha’s excellent MT-09 naked bike. That means it shares most of the MT’s mechanical bits, including its absolutely stellar CP3 inline three-cylinder engine, which got a displacement bump last year, from 847cc to 890cc.

That bump in displacement gave the XSR900 an output of 117 horsepower and 69 pound-feet of torque, but even better, it made the engine incredibly tractable which, by extension, makes the XSR900 an incredibly easy bike to ride at low speeds. The engine’s power is routed through an excellent six-speed sequential transmission that offers delicate, precise shifts whether you’re using the included quickshifter or the light and easy-to-modulate clutch lever. That quickshifter works both up and down the gears, too.

One of the best parts of any triple-powered motorcycle is its soundtrack and the XSR900 doesn’t disappoint. The experience is — by necessity of Euro 5 emissions and sound requirements — dominated by induction howl, but that’s not a bad thing. Above 6,000 rpm you get a very naturally aspirated Porsche 911-like yowl that builds and builds until it’s downright maniacal. Thanks to a redesigned and simplified under-slung exhaust system, the exhaust sound isn’t unpleasant, either, but the XSR would absolutely benefit from an aftermarket setup if more noise is what you’re after.

The XSR900’s drivetrain may be identical to the MT-09’s, but there are some differences in the chassis. The biggest change comes in the form of an extended swingarm borrowed from the Tracer 9 GT sport touring motorcycle. The new swingarm is 2.3 inches longer than the MT’s, making for a bike that feels much more stable and relaxed in corners. The XSR900 also benefits from retuned suspension, which is dimensionally the same as the MT-09 (41-millimeter inverted KYB adjustable fork in front; adjustable KYB monoshock out back), but it’s stiffer, which also helps make for a more controlled ride. Yamaha equipped the XSR with Bridgestone’s excellent Battlax Hypersport S22 tires which, short of a full-on track day, will provide all the grip you could ask for on dry roads while still offering decent tread life.

The 3.5-inch TFT screen is a little small. Yamaha

The front brakes feature dual 298-millimeter discs and radially mounted 4-piston calipers. These are paired with a new radially mounted Brembo master cylinder for improved brake feel under hard deceleration. The rear brake is a single, 245-millimeter rotor with a single-piston caliper, and it gets a Brembo master cylinder of its own. Lean-sensitive antilock brakes are standard equipment.

Making that lean sensitivity possible is a six-axis inertial measurement unit borrowed from the Yamaha R1 superbike. It is arguably the most important upgrade of this XSR900 over previous generations because it makes features like wheelie control and lean-sensitive traction control possible, and dramatically increases the margin of safety for less experienced riders.

The XSR900’s electronics package is accessed through a 3.5-inch color TFT display which, while serviceable, is a little smaller than I’d like. The display can feel a little cramped for the amount of information it provides, and it can get a little washed out in direct sunlight. On the other hand, Yamaha’s simple and intuitive menu system makes configuring the bike’s settings a breeze.

A strong brake setup is a great thing to have. Yamaha

Features like four pre-programmed ride modes (1 being the most aggressive and 4 being a reduced power mode for rain, etc.) are adjustable while riding, while the user-adjustable manual mode can be accessed when the bike is stopped. The 2022 XSR features a ride-by-wire throttle, which is calibrated to be significantly smoother and less snatchy or jerky than previous versions. It also makes the bike’s standard cruise control possible, which is a nice feature to have, even if this isn’t a bike necessarily suited for longer trips.

Yamaha’s designers gave the XSR900 a more aggressive riding position than the MT-09 with higher footpegs, a lower seat and a longer reach to the slightly lower handlebars. The difference isn’t massive, but it is noticeable, making it a little easier to tuck in and cheat the wind at higher speeds. The new seat design makes you feel as though you’re sitting down in the bike, rather than on top of it, and while it doesn’t offer a great deal of room to move forward and back on longer rides, it’s still fairly comfortable.

That lowered seat also has the benefit of making the XSR more accessible for more riders. The bike has a seat height of 31.9 inches, which is 0.6 inches lower than the MT-09. It’s not exactly cruiser low, but it does mean that shorter riders should have less of an issue getting their feet on the ground at a stop. Adding to that sense of confidence at low speeds is the XSR’s pleasantly low wet weight of 425 pounds, which includes a 3.7-gallon tank full of fuel.

The 31.9-inch seat height makes this bike great for shorter riders. Yamaha

Despite its generous fuel capacity, the XSR900 manages to appear fairly svelte. It’s an incredibly handsome motorcycle, with its fully vinyl-covered tail section and nearly invisible taillight, as well as its hidden passenger pegs. The Legend Blue and gold color scheme is stunning, especially in bright sunlight. There’s a black colorway available, too, but trust me, you don’t want that. It’s boring. Don’t be boring. The whole aesthetic of the bike does a great job of paying homage to one of the greatest eras of motorcycle racing while also looking like a modern motorcycle, and that’s no small feat.

The XSR900 is an incredible machine that stands a good chance of being all the motorcycle that most people, even very experienced riders, will ever need. It’s fast, comfortable, easy to ride and packed with modern safety technology. It looks amazing, and the best part is that it’s not going to break the bank with its very reasonable $9,999 starting price. Look for it in dealerships now.

Keyword: 2022 Yamaha XSR900 Review: The Cafe Is Closed

TECH'S NEWS RELATED

Dominant Smith Conquers Salem

SALEM, Ind. — Sammy Smith turned in another dominant performance in winning Saturday’s Herr’s Snacks 200 at Salem Speedway. Smith led every lap to claim his eighth victory between the ARCA Menards Series and ARCA Menards Series East this season. Despite having never seen Salem prior to the weekend, ...

View more: Dominant Smith Conquers Salem

Ford patented an external airbag system

Ford has filed a patent application for an external airbag that would deploy from behind a vehicle’s grille during collisions. Filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Mar. 1, 2021, and published Sept. 1, the application describes an airbag system similar to the ones already ...

View more: Ford patented an external airbag system

Feger Wires The Field At Sycamore

MAPLE PARK, Ill. — Leading up to Saturday night at Sycamore Speedway, Jason Feger remained winless in Lucas Oil MLRA action, but all of that changed with a single move in the weekend finale of the Harvest Hustle. Feger wired the field for his first MLRA win, earning him ...

View more: Feger Wires The Field At Sycamore

Pixel 7 will make me ditch my iPhone — on one condition

There’s only one reason why I’ll consider getting the Google Pixel 7

View more: Pixel 7 will make me ditch my iPhone — on one condition

Tata Tiago EV- Countries Most Affordable Electric Vehicle

Tata Tiago EV- Exterior Design Tata Tiago EV- Interior/ Features Tata Tiago EV- Battery Packs/ Range Tata Tiago EV- Pricing Tata Motors has introduced the Tiago EV, the company’s third electric vehicle. The electric hatchback is the most affordable electric vehicle in the country, with introductory prices for the ...

View more: Tata Tiago EV- Countries Most Affordable Electric Vehicle

5 Best Garage Heaters Under $200, According to CNET

5 best garage heaters under $200 from CNET To heat or not to heat A heated garage makes it easier to regulate your home’s temperature There are plenty of excellent reasons to keep your garage warm, especially during colder months. Not only is an ice-cold garage unpleasant to enter, ...

View more: 5 Best Garage Heaters Under $200, According to CNET

The U.S. Is Behind on Mobile Payments, But We’re Catching Up

Mobile Payments in the U.S. Credit Card Society The Current State Chicken or the Egg Apple Using a phone or watch to pay at a terminal is not new. iPhones and Android devices have both been able to do it for a long time. So why is the U.S. ...

View more: The U.S. Is Behind on Mobile Payments, But We’re Catching Up

Screen Time - October 2022

A new month is here, and with that being the case, we have an array of movies and series to keep an eye out for.

View more: Screen Time - October 2022

Cummins Completes USAC Sweep

MySejahtera introduces new digital blood donor card feature

Prodrive Hunter: Chasing Victory On & Off-Road

3 Cheap 2022 Kia Rio Alternatives Under $20,000

Google Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro Key Specifications Leaked Ahead of Launch; Chipset, Camera Details Revealed

F1 delays Singapore GP start amid torrential rain

Meyer Shank Acura Rules Atlanta

5 Things Honda improved on its 2022 Africa Twin

80,000 km with a Ford Endeavour: 8th service update & issues faced

3 Advantages the 2023 Buick Envision Has Over the Nissan Murano

I Don’t Know Who Any of These People Are, and It’s Great

Vote: Pick your favourite from Anything But The Car Sunday

OTHER TECH NEWS

;