Youngtimer test: Yamaha XJ 900 N


Youngtimer test: Yamaha XJ 900 N

Youngtimer test: Yamaha XJ 900 N

The exclusive Germany tourer

Yamaha pulled out the XJ 900 F for Germany only and presented a bike for touring riders who want to feel the real wind.

Today, when motorcycles in disguise get rid of their plastic clothes, it’s not very aesthetic: cooling hoses here, smooth engine housings there, everything with the sex appeal of fine rib underwear. When the XJ 900 F was shone exclusively for Germany in 1985, the air crackled – what a beauty it emerged from under the panels! But wait a minute, isn’t the XJ the epitome of the uncomplicated touring bike? After all, it was primarily with its suitability for everyday use and comfort that it was popular with buyers and less because of its appearance. Presumably reasons why the disguised variant was ultimately preferred – only a year later it disappeared XJ 900 N from the market again. She is just as good at it as her sisters. Your large bench offers plenty of space for two, and the upright position behind the tubular handlebar is comfortable. Elasticity is the keyword for the two-valve four-cylinder: Especially shift-lazy people are happy when the XJ engine hums to itself at 1500 rpm at 40 things in the last gear.

It’s a shame, because the five-speed box can be shifted easily and precisely, and the transmission is perfectly stepped. Those with sporting ambitions keep an eye out for other motorcycles – both the spring struts and the telescopic fork of the XJ are too soft for a committed ride. The chassis becomes restless on bad roads and the Yamaha reacts sensitively to longitudinal grooves. Your brake system is adapted to the strolling design and only delivers an acceptable effect when the lever is pulled hard. Those who take it leisurely can push the consumption below 5 liters, with the impetuous Autobahn bolt more than twice as much rushes through the carburettors. At such a high speed there is no time to enjoy the landscape. Or the XJ itself, which crackles its ribbed engine during the coffee break. Very exclusive, just for you.

Short judgment


As early as 1985, Yamaha succeeded in creating a cardan drive with extremely exemplary load change behavior.


  • Decent brakes
  • Suitable for pillion
  • Well-stepped and easily and precisely shiftable gear
  • Comfortable accommodation
  • Elastic, powerful motor
  • Smooth cardan drive


  • Fork too soft
  • Tends to shuttle at high speed
  • Bad cold start behavior
  • Mufflers susceptible to rust

Technical specifications


The air-cooled four-cylinder unfolds its power evenly without any hang-ups or leaps in performance.

engine Four-cylinder four-stroke / in-line
Displacement 891 cc
Power transmission Five-speed gearbox / cardan
power 72 kW (98 PS) at 9000 rpm
Max. Torque 81 Nm at 7000 rpm
Front brake Double disc (Ø 267 mm)
rear brake Disc (Ø 267 mm)
Front tires 100/90 V 18
Rear tire 120/90 V 18
Suspension travel front / rear 148/100 mm
Tank capacity 22 liters, normal
Maintenance intervals 6000 km
price 5255 euros

The measured values:
Top speed 201 km / h
acceleration 0-100 km / h 4.2 sec
Draft 60−140 km / h 10.0 sec
Weight full tank 242 kg
Payload 194 kg
consumption Country road 6.5 l / 100 km



Comfortable and traveling without the annoying disguise is the determination of the beautiful Yamaha. Unfortunately, used ones are difficult to find.

In the city:
The former big bike gives a good performance even in crowded city centers. Thanks to the narrow tires and wide handlebars, the Yamaha scurries lightly through the city, and from the comfortable saddle you can easily keep track of things. Narrow passages are no problem with the slim engine.

On the country road:
The home of all naked bikes is also a lot of fun with the XJ 900. With the right tires (Bridgestone BT-45), it turns safely and boldly around the corner. The comfortably tuned chassis does not like poor road surface and high speed. On the other hand, getting the pilot relaxed from A to B does.

On the highway:
Buy a naked XJ and then hit the track? Of course, the N version does not offer the draft shield of the F models. Your straight-line stability is okay, even at 200 km / h, it stays in the lane pretty stubbornly. Longitudinal grooves, on the other hand, require concentration, and consumption a thick wallet.


Category engine:
The four-cylinder is powerful and wonderfully elastic, and its gearbox is exemplary. High speed goes hand in hand with high consumption.
4 out of 5 stars

Category chassis:
The chassis effectively keeps road-related irregularities away from the driver. Pilots in a hurry are bothered by the setting that is too soft for them.
3 out of 5 stars

Brakes category:
The performance of the delay system is basically okay. By today’s standards, however, it requires a lot of hand strength.
3 out of 5 stars

Category Equipment:
The main stand, massive bracket for the pillion passenger and cardan stand on the credit side. Okay for a naked bike, but not for a tourer.
2 out of 5 stars

Category comfort:
The soft suspension makes even bad roads bearable, and the relaxed, upright sitting position on the comfortable bench is worthy of touring.
4 out of 5 stars

Category suitability for beginners:
Except for its high weight, nothing speaks against the XJ 900. Its design prohibits excessively risky driving style and suits those who like to travel.
4 out of 5 stars

The XJ 900 family


The handlebar-mounted fairing on the first model was partly responsible for the unstable straight-line stability of the XJ 900.

The original version rolled off the production line in 1983 with a 97 hp 853 cc engine, handlebar cover and anti-dive for 9458 marks. In 1984 it received a frame-mounted half-shell, an engine spoiler and a combined handlebar / ignition lock. The XJ 900 N came in 1985 exclusively for Germany without fairing and anti-dive, N and F versions received an improved engine (891 cm3, 98 hp). 1986 Discontinuation of the XJ 900 N, F model now without anti-dive and reservoirs for the shock absorbers. The 1987 model year got the better braking system of the XJ 600. 1991 Reduction to 91 HP due to noise regulations. Completely new model XJ 900 S Diversion in 1994, 272 kilograms, engine with 892 cc and 90 hp. Chassis with new tuning, fork with adjustable spring base from 1996, price: 15,620 marks. 1997: new seat, hazard warning lights and fork protectors. Due to the strong yen, the price rose sharply to 9101 euros in 2001; Engine now with 902 cm3. 2004 End of the model due to new emission regulations, sales for 9,105 euros.

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