Driving report Yamaha XVS 950 A Midnight Star
Yamaha once played a leading role in comfortable locomotion with the XV 535. The Cruiser XVS 950 A should make the three tuning forks sound again.
Cruisers are on the rise not only in the USA, but also in Europe. Since 2004, more and more motorcyclists have taken a liking to chrome and deep benches, flowing lines and tastefully presented V-engines.
Today, high handlebars are just as passé as instruments in chrome pots and wire-spoke wheels. Yamaha’s new cruiser stands long and low on its eight-spoke cast rims, an 18-inch model with low-profile Dunlop tires specially developed for the XVS 950 A turns in the massive fork, right? the driven copy ?? Bridgestone. The 17-liter tank extends wide and flat in front of the sweeping bench seat, crowned by a central instrument; the ignition lock sits heavily nostalgic in a small console above the headlight. The appearance of the Midnight Star is consistent, a successful balance of mass and dynamics, chrome and visible mechanics. In the center of this ensemble awaits a newly developed, air-cooled V2 with 942 cubic centimeters of displacement ?? this is entry-level today.
The XVS leans long and low on its side stand.
And what a. Weighing 278 kilograms, but anything but leaden. As soon as you reach for the extra wide handlebars pulled far back, you can feel that this motorcycle wants to make things easy for its rider. It drops into the 675 millimeter low saddle and registers: everything fits here. Handlebar grips, running boards and seat result in a completely relaxed posture that is slightly inclined forwards. Press the start button and the injector roars gently to itself. The first of five gears slips into position as soft as butter, and your ears fall for the charm of the XVS in the first few meters. Rough snorkeling from the three-liter airbox, dry shooting from the two-in-one pipe, untroubled by mechanical chirping and rattling: this is what a cruiser should sound like. The ?? sound engineering ?? the developers paid a lot of attention: the intake air routing, uneven firing order of the 60-degree V2, no balancer shaft, valve actuation via roller rocker arms, careful exhaust design and a low-noise toothed belt as final drive are just a few of the elements that make the clear, dark tone of the Yamaha shape.
The slim muffler releases dry shooting, mechanical noises are consistently suppressed.
The concert sounds different and always good at every speed, every throttle position. You can not only hear that this unit is alive, you can also feel it in the running boards when you rev up the engine. Because the V2 is optimized for torque, one likes to leave the upper half of the rev range again in order to continue to bathe in gently vibrating thrust and melodious sound.
The comfortable XVS is not averse to touring. Disc, case and sissy bar are available from Yamaha as an extra.
The XVS is unexpectedly agile when in motion. She is not familiar with typical cruiser problems such as the tendency to stagger at low speed, unwilling to turn in and unexpected collapsing into the curve. The Yamaha can be steered neutrally, willingly and precisely, and it swings easily through curves. It only possesses the viciousness of touching down early with the running boards in a pronounced form; Fortunately, the footrests fold up. You have to accept that there is no feedback from the far front wheel and that the protruding handlebars require very long arms when turning. The clutch and brakes work without any effort, the controllability and deceleration performance of the two discs are excellent, only ABS does not exist.
The fact that speed was not in the specifications of the XVS is proven by the maximum output of 54 hp and the Vmax of 155 km / h. But if you want to enjoy carefree motorcycling without pressure to perform, you will appreciate the sound and the calm casualness of the Yamaha.
Technical data Yamaha XVS 950 A Midnight Star
Air-cooled two-cylinder, four-stroke, 60-degree V-engine, one overhead camshaft, four valves per cylinder, roller rocker arm, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 35 mm, regulated catalytic converter, 460 W alternator, 12 V / 11 Ah battery, mechanically operated Single-disc dry clutch, five-speed gearbox, toothed belt.
Bore x stroke 85.0 x 83.0 mm
Displacement 942 cm³
Rated output 39.4 kW (54 hp) at 6000 rpm
Max. Torque 76.8 Nm at 3000 rpm
Double loop frame made of steel, telescopic fork, Ø 41 mm, two-arm swing arm made of steel, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base, front disc brake, Ø 320 mm, double-piston floating caliper, rear disc brake, Ø 298 mm, single-piston floating caliper.
Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 18; 4.50 x 16
Tires 130 / 70-18; 170 / 70-16
Dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1685 mm, spring travel f / h 135/110 mm, seat height 675 mm, weight with a full tank of 278 kg, payload 210 kg, tank capacity 17 liters.
Two year guarantee
Price not specified
Motor with a lot of torque and great sound
Sitting position relaxed and comfortable
Suspension responds fine
Steering properties neutral and docile
Easy to handle for a cruiser
Running boards touch down very early
Handlebars bulky when turning
Front wheel gives little feedback
Top speed limited
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