XSR900 Abarth edi­tion

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Richard New­land DEPUTY ED­I­TOR

Among all the stun­ning new ma­chin­ery at this year’s Milan show, one stood out with the same level of crazy ex­cite­ment as Honda’s Africa Twin con­cept from two years ago – and it’s this in­sane look­ing T7 con­cept. Set to be the re­place­ment for the XT660 Ténéré, this MT07-en­gined Dakar-style weapon is brim­ming with ag­gres­sion, while promis­ing a level of ac­ces­si­bil­ity not nor­mally found on ad­ven­ture bikes. We can’t wait to see the real deal...

Yamaha have been one of the most prolific em­brac­ers of the retro scene, and also one of the most in­no­va­tive at tak­ing their bud­get-fo­cused MT range and jazz­ing it up to ap­peal to new au­di­ences.

Last year’s XSR900 took the MT-09 to a whole new level of at­trac­tive­ness, and now the firm have moved the game on again with this half-faired car­bon­rich ver­sion called the XSR900 Abarth.

Cre­ated in as­so­ci­a­tion with the car tun­ing leg­ends, the bike has come about thanks to Abarth’s links with Yamaha’s Mo­togp team, which in it­self doubt­less spawned from the ear­lier as­so­ci­a­tion with par­ent firm Fiat.

As the name sug­gests, this is a mod­i­fied ver­sion of the XSR900, but the changes should add up to a very dif­fer­ent ride. The drop bars are key to much of the aes­thetic, and re­sul­tant change in rid­ing po­si­tion, and while they start the café racer trans­for­ma­tion, it’s the car­bon nose cowl, seat unit and front fen­der that fin­ish it off. They’re joined by a suede seat, and a bat­tle­ship grey paintjob high­lighted with red speed­block and Abarth lo­gos.

Nestling be­neath the styling changes is a lovely full ti­ta­nium Akrapovic sys­tem, cul­mi­nat­ing in a stacked end-can that’s rather rem­i­nis­cent of Du­cati’s 959 Pani­gale. And be­ing an XSR900 it boasts trac­tion con­trol, ABS, and the firm’s As­sist & Slip­per clutch – all of which turn this into a bike as well suited to the daily grind as it is to the week­end scratch.

Pro­duc­tion is lim­ited to just 695 units, and on the side of each bike is a num­bered plaque. Those rid­ers who want to be among the first to own the new Abarth need to set a re­minder for 1pm on Jan­uary 17, 2017 – when Yamaha’s ded­i­cated on­line reg­is­tra­tion sys­tem goes live. The first 95 cus­tomers to reg­is­ter their or­der at will be in­vited to join an ex­clu­sive VIP Abarth Ex­pe­ri­ence. Af­ter the first 95 on­line reg­is­tra­tions have been con­firmed, the re­main­ing 600 will be made avail­able through deal­ers from April 2017.

How ‘right’ does this look? Pure Dakar, mixed with MT-07 ac­ces­si­bil­ity


THE FACTS O 113bhp O 196kg (est) O Seat height 830mm (est)

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