The Yamaha XSR900 Abarth is a three cylinder street bike with a distinct retro styling. The bike is a limited edition bike. Yamaha will produce only 695 bikes of this particular kind. From them, only 100 are available in the United Kingdom.
The Abarth brand has a number of features over any standard XSR900. The nose cone is of carbon fibre. The latter is taken from Yamaha’s another bike-XJR1300 Racer. There are low ace bars, carbon front hugger and also an “afterburner” like styled seat cover. The seat is of suede accessory with distinct red stitching. Other features include Akrapovic cans, a tail tidy and a plaque containing numbers on fuse box cover. The paint scheme is a red and one-off grey with the Abarth scorpion logos drawn on the bike’s tail, fuel tank and on the front mudguard.
It is clear that all these are simply cosmetic changes. There were a few ergonomic changes as well. The Abarth’s engine does all the things the XSR900’s engine does. The 115bp is made by 847ccinline triple engine at 10,000rpm. It blends a silky and an incredibly smoothness with stunning power delivery. The engine is a brilliant one and begs the rider to be naughty, and to get out of the conservative safe zone.
The handlebars of the Abarth are simply inverted cow horns. The ace bars are spun around in clamps so that they sit low and below the tank line. It compels the rider to spread his or her hands and the arms much wider than other bikes. The handlebar’s top rail swoops down from yoke clamps, similar to cafe racer bikes.
The riding experience is an exhilarating one. The rider must slide forward the starter switch and poke triple- resulting in 847cc inline and three cylinder engine spinning up with a swoosh. There is an attractive free-revving vigor. The mechanism is slick and creamy. Yamaha has named the motor as a CP3. The short form denotes “cross plane three”. The XSR motor runs the 120 degree crank. It is same as cross plane inline four. The engine produced inertial torque is in complete harmony with the combustion torque. This is Yamaha’s theory of a better throttle to the rear wheel connection. The mechanism helped Lorenzo and Rossi to multiple MotoGP wins. The XSR motor, similar to the Triumph engines, the crankpin angles are spaced equally (3 x120 = 360 degrees). Put it that way, it is equal to cross plane inline four (as 4 x90 = 360 degrees).
The inline triple scores over the inline fours with its smoothness, the 120 degree triple is always in perfect balance. The high pitched and nasty secondary vibration of the inline fours which makes the rider’s toes and fingers go numb is absent. The only complication which exists is the rocking vibration affecting the crank bearings. Yamaha has compensated for this with a balancer shaft. The bike has a superb gearbox and the clutch is delightfully lightweight. Acceleration is fast, and extreme riding position is logical as the wind lifts the rider’s torso and weight is taken off the wrists.