Yamaha has added another machine to its sport heritage lineup, with help from Roland Sands.
A few days back, photos of an FZ-09 tweaked by Roland Sands were floating around the web. Surely, the enthusiasts stated, this had to be a new retro naked bike from Yamaha? It seems that, for better or worse, they’re right.
The good side is, the world can always use another good naked bike, and Yamaha’s three-cylinder platform has already developed a strong reputation, complaints about EFI hiccups aside. This version is built around the same basic chassis and motor as the original machine. It has three-stage traction control and ABS. The engine has a slipper clutch.
The KYB front forks (41 mm) are adjustable for preload and rebound damping, same as the rear shock (also from KYB). Weight is 195 kg, but we’re not sure if that’s curb weight.
The machine’s round headlight, gauges, and bumblebee paint is aimed at recapturing the glory days of Yamaha performance, specifically the flat track heroics of Kenny Roberts, tuner Shell Thuet, etc, and to appeal to lovers of vintage machinery, especially with the initials “XS” in its name.
Does it really work, though? That’s a question to be answered on salesroom floors, since beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It’s certainly much more aesthetically appealing than the anime-styled nakeds we’ve seen come from Japan in recent years.
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