Drop bars, high pegs… gain with no pain
The café racerisation of the Yamaha XSR900 was greeted with a certain amount of scepticism by other members of the MCN team. Many didn’t seem to care how much better it looked with the seat hump, dropped bars and rearsets – they seemed intent on pointing out such mundanities as comfort and other irrelevancies. But they would not be silenced by my shrugging of the shoulders and assertions that it ‘wasn’t too bad once you got used to it’.
There was only way these haters were going to go away – if I actually rode it a long way and then came back
as fresh as a daisy. And so I set off for the annual MCN Awards ceremony with the intention of riding 120 miles to Surrey in one hit, then adding another 50 miles as part of a rideout before getting on board the following morning for the ride home. This would be a 400-mile trip and would surely make or break my defence of the XSR.
I set off trying to keep weight off my wrists as I’m now canted forward. And it was fine. Tank range was a bigger issue than the riding position.
During the industry rideout my rear brake light stuck on and Yamaha’s top UK man came to the rescue. The spring had been turned a bit too harshly when fitting the rearsets and a little work with a screwdriver soon sorted this out.
By the end of the trip, I was aching, but I think I would have been on any bike. You learn to sit back on your haunches a bit to keep weight off the wrists and that takes its toll, but my back didn’t hurt.
And anyway, it’s not a bike I’d buy for long tours. It looks a lot better for the changes I’ve made and it’s comfortable enough. No regrets!
‘By the end of the trip, I was aching, but I think I would have been on any bike’
Did anybody mention a donkey?
Fuel range tests require four litres of safety net strapped on the back
‘When it reaches zero it still has some in reserve in case of emergency, which is a common-sense approach’
No Andy, Beaulieu won’t let you swap for that comfy-looking classic MG