Cult bike Yamaha XJ 900


Cult bike Yamaha XJ 900

Cult bike Yamaha XJ 900

From athlete to tourer

How comfortable it can be between all chairs was demonstrated by Yamaha with the far too late opponent of Honda’s 900 Bol d’Or, the Yamaha XJ 900.

The handlebar trim caused a stir on the premiere model.

At the end of the 1970s, Yamaha had finally established its four-stroke program with pain. The things lasted from one to four cylinders and, even better, made great profits. A breather would have been just right. But Mr. Honda had other plans, hammered the epoch-making CB 900 Bol d’Or and its 1100 big bike sister onto the market – and Yamaha was back in the shirt. After all, the wonderful XJ 650 collected points in the upper middle class from 1980 onwards, and two years later it was assisted by a 750 series named Seca, which was only successful in the USA. Then the liberation: five years after Honda, Yamaha launched the sporty Yamaha XJ 900 in 1983.

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Cult bike Yamaha XJ 900

Cult bike Yamaha XJ 900
From athlete to tourer

Successful career as a Kardantourer

As early as 1985, when Suzuki’s GSX-R 750 and Yamaha’s FZ 750 made their debut, the Yamaha XJ 900 was deregistered from the sports club. In the chain-despising travel group, however, word had got around how cultivated and elastic their four-cylinder runs, how undemanding and solidly they unwound tens of thousands of kilometers. Since the small fairing that was initially fixed to the handlebars clung to the frame, complaints about high-speed commuting have drastically decreased, and the price was also right. Yamaha recognized these signs, expanded the cladding to a half-shell, increased it – it works! – to 892 cc and nominally 98 hp as well as more torque in the medium speed range.

That fit, and so well that the undisguised variant offered in parallel almost went under. It was probably agreed that a Yamaha XJ 900 would be considered as practical as possible. A windbreak was an essential part of this, if only because of the highest possible motorway sections. Her crew comfortably rocking, economical, fast enough and rock solid, this Yamaha crept kilometer after kilometer out of the limelight and embarked on a successful career as a Kardantourer. That lasted until 1994. Eleven years of construction, no athlete in the world can do that.

Information about the Yamaha XJ 900

More conventional, yes, but worse than a BMW K 100? Many tourists said: no. They were right.

Technical specifications (Yamaha XJ 900 model 31A from 1983):

Air-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke dohc in-line engine, two valves per cylinder, 853 cm³, 71 kW (97 hp) at 9000 / min, 80 Nm at 7500 / min, five-speed gearbox, cardan drive, double loop frame made of tubular steel, weight with a full tank of 244 kg, tires front 110/90 x 18, rear 120/90 x 18, tank capacity 22 liters, top speed lying 211 km / h, 0-100 km / h in 4.0 sec.

Scene: With 14,240 units, the Yamaha XJ 900 is not only one of the really well-selling big bikes in Germany, but is also the best-selling XJ just ahead of the 650. It was not replaced by the XJ 900 Diversion until 1994, which took over the tried and tested engine. You can’t really appreciate more. It can still be found quite often, acceptable used ones are listed from around 1000 euros, good ones significantly more. While it is still in good hands at the Yamaha dealer in the workshop, the supply of spare parts is starting to cause concern – make sure you have a good exhaust when buying.

Info: If you want to dig deeper into the technology, we recommend the repair instructions from Bucheli Verlag (price: 39.90 euros). The XJ fan community disseminates a lot of tips and information on the subject at and

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