The retro 2022 Yamaha XSR900 gives a doff of the cap to Grand Prix Legend, Christian Sarron.
You certainly can’t fault Yamaha for giving its past racers some kudos. The first XSR900 gave a firm nod to King Kenny Roberts with the yellow and black “Speedblock” color scheme, and now it’s the turn of French legend Christian Sarron, who raced the iconic Sanauto Gauloises Yamaha 500 against Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey and Wayne Gardner in the 1980s.
The new XSR900’s Legend Blue color scheme is the first thing you’ll notice about the new XSR. The second is this is basically an MT-09 in drag — a good thing indeed. That model was totally overhauled for 2021, and now it’s the XSR’s turn to get the goodies. That means the new 890 cc inline-triple motor, new chassis and full electronics suite that includes traction, slide, wheelie and brake control, plus cruise control and up and down quick shifter, comes standard in XSR.
Full LED lighting abounds, with a full color 3.5-inch TFT display letting you know all the vitals. A nice touch, among many, is the hidden passenger footpegs that swing up under the seat to give a single-seat look when you’re riding alone.
Yamaha’s fitted lighter 10-spoke wheels that reduce unsprung weight for better turning, cornering and braking performance, while the suspension is taken care of by a fully adjustable 41 mm KYB fork up front and a KYB shock at the back.
The good news is, Yamaha will be bringing the XSR to market in April of 2022 for an MSRP of $9999, which is banging value. You can have the black and red Raven colors (which I suspect my Editor, Black Moses will be going for), but I’m firmly on the Legend Blue color scheme — I always wanted to be a 1980s 500cc Grand Prix racer.
Yamaha’s also given its junior XSR700 a quick once over, but it’s basically the same as before. The dash has been repositioned for better visibility, there’s a new set of switch blocks and the brake discs are now larger 298 mm units. The 2022 XSR700 is offered in Raven and will begin arriving in dealerships this December for $8,799 MSRP.