THE WORLD’S MADDEST MT-07
XSR900 Abarth edition
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 www.xsr900-abarth.eu 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)