Yes, if you strip it down. Otherwise, is a retro-racer-modern-naked. Or sort of. There is a name we have to mention before talking about the design: Roland Sands – one of the best when it comes to custom motorcycles. The California-based custom builder was involved in the design process and in the “Faster Sons” theme, alongside Kenny Roberts, a legendary name in the 70s racing scene.
The headlight, the tail lights, the seat, the handlebar, the exhaust and the fuel tank are the main elements that transformed the MT-09 into XSR 900. They all look retro and share the same design line with the rest “Sport Heritage” Yamaha family – especially with XSR 700, which is based on MT-07.
The modern part in the retro-modern design theme can be also seen when you look at the specs: traction control, ABS, adjustable suspension are not retro elements.
Yamaha XSR 900 looks different than other “retro-oriented” competitors, coming with a more aggressive, not so retro and complicated design theme, so it would be interesting to see the next year’s sales figures: it could be a kind of “love it or hate it” motorcycle.