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New era - but Yamaha at heart

2013-07-05 13:04

BRINGING BACK OLD-SCHOOL: Yamaha is bringing two new bikes to the market with the launch of the XV950 and XV950R (above) later in 2013.Image: Yamaha

LONDON, England - It's been a busy year for Yamaha. The company has unveiled several models already but has now paved the way with two performance bikes inspired by the past, yet designed for the future - the XV950 and XV950R.

Riders have long been customising Yamaha bikes for classic styling. Inspired by the bikes of the 1970's and 1980's, traditional Japanese quality engineering has always been used as a foundation to build a whole new style of motorcycle.


Yamaha SA the XV boppers are known locally as 'Bolts' and whether the new models will make its way here is still "under consideration and dependent on pricing" - but we'll tell you about it anyway. Bikemakers should realise that stories such as this help them to move metal, but they're helluva old-fashioned.

The iconic bikemaker says the XV950 and XV950R are ‘bobbers’ that encapsulate the character and personality of those original back-street creations in a neo-retro Japanese look. Yamaha says the XV950 provides a perfect entry into the world of customisation while the XV950R injects a further element of sporting ability with twin ‘piggy-back’ shock-absorbers, a buckskin-look seat cover and a painted tank stripe.

A 942cc air-cooled V-twin rides in a steel double cradle and has a low, compact and stylish seat. The very latest technology anti-lock brakes (R version), advanced 3D fuel-injection mapping and diode lights is used with flat-line styling.

The air-cooled 60-degree V-twin engine makes 80Nm at 3000rpm thanks to its quad-valve SOHC design with a compact pentroof combustion chamber. The V-twin’s cylinders have ceramic composite plating while the piston is forged aluminium. A new rubber damper is in the clutch, helping to reduce rider fatigue during frequent use.


Despite having a 15% smaller 2.3-litre capacity compared to the XVS950S, the XV950's air-cleaner, flow analysis and road-test evaluations show more torque. There’s a new intake layout with specific fuel-injection settings. New 3D maps for the ignition timing and fuel injection have been developed with the aim of increasing the engine’s acceleration in the mid- and low-speed ranges.

A 2-into-1 exhaust layout on the right of the motor emphasises the compact form, creating a tightly unit with a short silencer. The use of glass wool within the silencer produces a clear and crisp exhaust note unique to the XV950.

A short wheelbase (1570mm) provides a light and agile ride; 41mm forks complement the traditional look of the twin shock-absorbers. To keep the bobber look, the XV950 models have new 12-spoked wheels wrapped in 100/90-19 front and 150/80-16 rear tyres.

The brake discs have a wave design on a floating rotor with the front and rear running a 298mm diameter disc.

Styling includes a single round headlight, jewellery-look round diode tail light, stainless-steel highlights and cut-down steel fenders with a 12.2-litre teardrop fuel tank. There’s a round LCD speedometer, a sculpted rider’s seat (leather-like cover on the XV950R) and a 690mm seat height.

A full range of accessories is available to enhance the ‘performance bobber’ with items such as an Akrapovic slip-on exhaust, mini-fairing, stiletto seat, stainless-steel brake lines and a performance air-cleaner cover. For those who want to create a more ‘vintage bobber’, there are with spoked wheels, a spring seat and fork cover.

The XV950R comes in grey or camo green with tank graphics, the XV950 in white or black.

The XV950 and XV950 will be on sale in the UK from September with an equivalent price tag of R108 300 and R112 800 respectively.

Read more on:    yamaha  |  bikes

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