Amazon is now offering some notable price drops on M-Audio MIDI keyboard controllers for Mac, PC, and more . First up, we have the M-Audio Oxygen 49 (MKV) down at $149 shipped. This one launched about a year ago at $179 and is now at a new Amazon all-time low at $30 off the going rate. This is also a rare price drop, the first time we have seen it on sale via Amazon, and the lowest we can find. It features 49 velocity-sensitive “full-size piano-style keys” alongside a pair of programmable banks of eight backlit velocity sensitive drum pads with note repeat (can also be used for clip launching). From there, the top panel carries eight assignable knobs and nine faders for “MIDI control of virtual synth parameters, effect plugins, DAW controls and more.” Head below for more details and the rest of today’s MIDI keyboard controller deals.
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Amazon now offers the in three styles. Normally fetching $329, today’s offer is the best price of the year at $80 off while beating our previous mention by $18. This is also the best since Black Friday where it went for $2 less. With a streamlined design that hardly looks like it is packing as much smart home prowess as you’ll find, Level Touch arrives with one of three sleek finishes. Alongside the traditional key hole, there’s also a wide range of ways to unlock including HomeKit and Siri, the companion app via Bluetooth, NFC-based keycards, and living up to its name, a touch capacitive exterior. In our hands-on review, we found that Level Touch was the “most versatile smart lock” on the market, despite looking like an ordinary deadbolt. Head below for more.
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From now through Memorial Day, Woot is offering some deep deals on a range of Ninja, Chefman, Brim, and Breville kitchen essentials from $10. One standout is the Ninja CM305 Hot and Iced 10-Cup Coffee Maker for $79.99 in refurbished condition. Shipping is free for Prime members but you’ll get hit with a $6 delivery fee otherwise. Regularly $160 in new condition at Target, today’s deal is 50% off the going rate, matching our previous mention, and the lowest price we can find. This model provides three brewing styles including “Classic, Rich, or Over Ice” with six cup size settings alongside the ability to dish up single-serve (no pods needed), a full carafe, or directly into your travel mug. Other features include a removable water reservoir for easy refills and a 24-hour delay timer. It is a versatile coffee maker that is now a whole lot less expensive with a 90-day Woot warranty. Head below for more kitchen essential deals.
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Halfway through the week, Nike is launching a new 40% off sale and discounting a selection of footwear in the process. Shipping is free across the board with a Nike+ membership, which is free to sign up for right here. Delivering fresh discounts across a wide range of shoes to have you ready to tackle spring workouts, there’s everything from Nike’s signature FlyKnit running shoes and basketball kicks to some more casual looks like the Air Force 1s to give your wardrobe a refresh. All sitting at the best prices of the year, our top picks are highlighted down below.
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In today’s best game deals, the LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is seeing a solid price drop at $46.49 shipped, we are also tracking the best price yet on the latest brick built adventure for PlayStation. Sony is now offering digital copies for PS4 and PS5 at $47.99 via PSN, down from the regular $60. It is still listed at $54.50 via in physical form. After just going hands-on with this one recently, its suffice to say just about anyone intersted in the LEGO games or the Star Wars universe will want to get this in their library. It delivers a galaxy-spanning adventure featuring events and locations from all nine saga films. Players can “seamlessly travel to any planet, in any order, at any time,” to experience podracing on Tatooine or dive into Rey’s adventures in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, plus much more. Head below for loads more Days of Play PlayStation game deals, and more.
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Amazon currently offers the when clipping the on-page coupon. Normally fetching $180, you’re looking at a return to the all-time low for one of the very first times at 15% off. Packed with three of the new medium lumen LED smart bulbs, this starter pack is centered around the Hue bridge for pairing everything with Siri, Alexa, and Assistant out of the box. The three lights all sport full color output at the equivalent of a 75W traditional bulb. Then a Hue Smart Button rounds out the package for family members who aren’t ready to fully adopt voice-enabled lights. Head below for more.
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Wednesday’s best iOS app deals and Mac software price drops are now live and ready to go down below. We also have a rare offer on the latest 13-inch M1 MacBook Air as well as the first price cut on the official Nike Pride Apple Watch Band alongside everything else in our dedicated Apple hub. As for the apps, today’s deals are headlined by titles like 60 Seconds! Reatomized, Knots 3D, Kenshō, Human Anatomy Atlas 2021, Theine, and more. Hit the jump for a complete look at today’s best Mac and iOS app deals.
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With less than a week until Memorial Day, Belkin is now getting in on the holiday savings by launching a new sitewide buy one get one 30% off sale. Covering just about all of its Apple chargers, Wemo smart home accessories, and other products, you can save 15% off your total when you buy two of Belkin’s releases. Just apply code MD30 at checkout, which will also score you free shipping on everything. Our top pick this time around is the new Boost Charge Pro 3-in-1 MagSafe Charging Pad at 127.49. Down from $150, this is only the second discount yet and a new low at $8 under our previous mention. Head below for all of the details and our other top picks in this year’s Belkin Memorial Day sale.
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Woot is now offering Amazon Prime members the JBL Live Free NC+ True Wireless Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Earbuds for $39.99 shipped. Regularly $150, they are currently on sale for $100 at where they have never dropped below $75. Today’s deal is matching our previous mention and the lowest price we can find. Delivering a $150 pair of wireless earbuds at up to 70% off, you’re scoring that “JBL Signature Sound” alongside active noise cancellation with TalkThru and Ambient Aware for “natural conversations and total awareness of your surroundings.” they also feature up to 21 hours of wireless playback alongside the Qi-compatible case as well as access to voice assistants (Google Assistant or Alexa) and playback control “with the tip of your finger.” More details below.
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Today only, as part of its ShellShocker Deals of the Day, Sunvalley Brands via Newegg is offering the RAVPower 10W/7.5W MagSafe Qi Charger with 18W USB-C PD Adapter for $7.99 shipped with the code CSZBNE14 at checkout. For comparison, you’d normally spend $11 for this bundle at Newegg and today’s deal marks a return to the typical sale that we see when this pair gets discounted. Designed to provide 7.5W of power to iPhones, and up to 10W for compatible Android smartphones, this charger is great to keep at your bedside or on your desk. It magnetically attaches to devices and ensures proper alignment, something that Qi pads of yesteryear couldn’t assist with. Plus, with the included 18W USB-C PD adapter, you’ll be getting everything in the box to get up and going as soon as it arrives.
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The official Nulaxy Amazon storefront (98% positive feedback in the last 12 months) is now offering its for Prime members or in orders over $25. Regularly $27, this is 21% off the going rate, matching the Amazon 2022 low, and the best we can find. Ready to perch your MacBook, laptop, or Chromebook up in style, it delivers a nearly branding-free aluminum build compatible with machines between 10 and 15.6 inches in size. It lifts your notebook 6 inches off the tabletop with small rubber pads to prevent scratching and sliding as well as some neat storage space for an external keyboard on the bottom there. Head below for additional details.
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Today only, as part of its DealZone, B&H offers the Lume Cube Panel Pro for $129.99 shipped. Down from $230, this is now sitting at the best price of the year following a $100 price cut. This is also the lowest we’ve seen since back over the holiday season in 2021. Bringing a customizable lighting panel into your photography setup, the Lume Cube Pro arrives with full color recreation on top of adjustable temperatures. Capable of dishing out 3000 to 5700K color temperatures, everything is controllable from the LCD panel on the back or companion smartphone app. Not to mention, a built-in battery keeps your setup entirely cable-free for up to 4 hours. Head below for more.
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Today, NZXT is announcing an all-new H7 series of mid-tower PC cases. The H7 lineup replaces the previous H710 and H710i with an all-new set of options, including the H7, H7 Flow, and H7 Elite. I recently rebuilt my main PC in the H7 Elite, and have quite a few thoughts on the incoming replacement for one of NZXT’s staples in its custom case lineup. There’s a lot to unpack about the new H7 series from NZXT, so let’s take a closer look.
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Road to Mugello with Bagnaia, Miller and Bastianini! 🏍️
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Custom cafe racers were all the rage when the Yamaha XSR900 debuted in 2015. If that wasn’t evident in the XSR’s classically shaped tank, single round headlight, and optional seat cowl, then the ‘70s-esque paint schemes certainly drove the point home. Try as it might, the XSR900’s cafe racer aspirations never quite gelled with the sloping lines of its twin-spar aluminum frame and stressed-member inline-Triple.
Trends evolve over time, though, and so has the XSR900. Updated for 2022, the neo-retro no longer aims to squeeze a square peg into a round hole. Yamaha instead starts its own trend, drawing from the brand’s rich racing history with ‘80s Grand Prix-inspired styling. A newly sculpted fuel cell, race-style side panels, and the squared-off passenger pad say as much, but the Sonauto Yamaha-era livery makes the loudest statement.
The Iwata factory matches that beauty with brawn and brains as well, featuring the same recently revised CP3 engine and 6-axis IMU that highlighted the updated 2021 MT-09. Contrary to common belief, the XSR is more than just a reskinned version of its Hyper Naked sibling. The retro roadster courts the cultured crowd with throwback threads, a tubular-steel subframe, a longer swingarm, and a Brembo radial front master cylinder. Here’s what we learned after bending the 2022 XSR900 through California’s curve-happy Highway 33 for nearly 200 miles of unfettered fun.
Yamaha’s lauded CP3 inline-Triple has always been a peach of a powerplant, but the company doesn’t rest on its laurels with the latest iteration. The larger 890cc displacement – up from 847cc – may headline the spec sheet, but Team Blue engineers did more than arm the Triple with 3mm of extra stroke. A new intake system, cylinder head, camshafts, and exhaust all contribute to the cause, and Yamaha claims 6% more torque (68.6 lb-ft at 7,000 rpm) and 11% better gas mileage (49 mpg) as a result.
In 1st and 2nd gears, throttle pick-up and roll-off still aren’t completely jolt-free, but they’re no longer lightswitch-abrupt either. By 3rd gear, the XSR fully irons out those wrinkles. The new quickshifter system aids riders in ascents to those heights too, delivering clutchless upshifts with a smooth yet positive engagement. Downshifts are no different, allowing riders to stomp down the gearbox with impunity. Whether you ride with a devil-may-care attitude or a neat character, the revised CP3 is happy to oblige.
Those adjustments may have improved the CP3’s road manners, but the torquey Triple remains as engaging as ever. Upon initial throttle crack, the rider is well aware of the power at their right wrist, and for good reason. One common complaint cast upon the previous-generation XSR900 was the snatchy throttle response. Yamaha largely smooths out those jerky mannerisms, but the Sport Heritage still possesses enough pizzaz to stir the soul.
That’s most evident with the newly updated ride modes. Yamaha drops the three-setting system (A, Standard, and B modes) of the past and sides with a simpler approach, offering four ride modes designated by number (1, 2, 3, and 4). Whether you’re cruising the boulevard or hunting apexes, the XSR instantly shifts personalities at the touch of a button.
Modes 1 through 3 pack the full punch, but each subsequent number eases the power delivery. Mode 4 not only curtails power but also provides the gentlest throttle response for soggy weather conditions. While Mode 1 unlocks the most direct power application, Mode 2 isn’t very far behind. At times, distinguishing the difference between the two settings was nearly imperceptible, but users will clearly recognize the differing powerbands among Modes 1, 3, and 4.
Fortunately, we enjoyed sunny weather while aboard the XSR, so we only taste-tested Modes 2 through 4 and mostly kept the roadster in the full power setting. Unless picking through congested urban areas or negotiating wet conditions, we expect most riders to leave the Yamaha in Mode 1 as well. The thrilling throttle response, meaty mid-range, and husky exhaust note are simply addicting and will keep owners coming back for more. The punchy Triple spreads the fun across the entire rev range too, with torque-rich tug down low and a spirited surge of power kicking in at 7,000 rpm.
Power is nothing without control, and the XSR900’s redesigned chassis harnesses all that potency to perfection. Yamaha repurposes the same die-cast aluminum frame underlying the MT-09, but couples it to the extended swingarm found on the 2021 Tracer 9 GT sport-tourer. Measuring 59mm (2.3 inches) longer than the MT-09 unit, the in-frame-mounted swingarm optimizes rigidity and stability without sacrificing much agility. The XSR doesn’t just tip-in, it dives into corners with a predictable yet urgent steering rate.
Much of that nimble nature is a result of the updated fully adjustable 41mm KYB front end and preload- and rebound-adjustable rear shock. For 2022, Yamaha increased the fork’s spring rate by 7%, boosted compression damping by 31%, and reduced rebound damping by 27%. Similar preparations help out in the rear, with the monoshock benefiting from a 21% stiffer spring rate, 35% more compression damping, and an 11% decrease in rebound damping.
The benefits of the updated suspenders are most apparent at lean. The front wheel tracks true to the rider’s initial input, but easily adapts to mid-turn steering adjustments. The fork also withstands heavy braking with aplomb but remains compliant at high lean angles. Even when cranked over on its side, mid-corner dips and undulations couldn’t compromise the XSR900’s composure. The direct and precise maneuvering also paid off in the S-curves, with the neo-retro flopping side-to-side seamlessly.
If there are any nits to pick with the XSR900’s ultra-capable chassis, it lies in the new Brembo front brake master cylinder. The upgraded component is still leagues above the previous-generation XSR’s axial-mounted unit, but the brake lever doesn’t quite deliver on the feel we’ve come to expect from the prestigious Italian brand. It provides more than enough clamping force and speed-shedding potential, but vague feedback at the lever doesn’t match the quality of Brembo’s top-tier models.
Following the initial grab, the lever’s throw becomes more vague. That stunted rate of travel makes judging exactly how much braking force to apply more challenging as speeds climb. Many riders will be more than happy with the new Brembo unit, but those dropping anchor into a tight, technical turn will also find that quality somewhat limiting . Aside from that minor niggle, however, the XSR900’s overhauled chassis largely lives up to its new GP-drawn cosmetics.
Of Man And Machine
That sporty styling extends to the new riding position as well. Compared to the outgoing XSR900, the new seat sinks the rider 22mm (0.9 inch) lower into the bike and 5mm (0.2 inch) further forward. Similarly, the handlebar grips shift 14mm (0.6 inch) fore and 35mm (1.4 inches) down for a more aggressive stance. The footpegs also drop by 7mm (0.3 inch) and nudge aft by 2mm (0.1 inch). In the cockpit, the new rider triangle feels sporty but never approaches uncomfortable. The generous tank cutouts accommodate riders well over 6-feet tall, and the rider’s upper body only slightly looms over the tank.
After hours in the saddle, I was as limber and spry as the moment I threw a leg over the XSR900’s seat. Those looking for a more committed posture can also rotate the handlebar clamps 180 degrees for 9mm (0.4 inch) of extra forward play and 4mm (0.2 inch) of rise. Adjustable footpegs should keep boot sliders from dragging with 14mm (0.6 inch) of lift and 4mm (0.2 inch) of rearward placement. We only tested ergonomics in stock form, but the adaptable touchpoints certainly position the XSR as a viable part-time track bike.
The new R1-derived electronics package supports that bid for track time with lean-sensitive traction control, slide control, lift (wheelie) control, and cornering ABS. The 6-axis IMU-based system automatically syncs slide and lift control to the selected traction-control setting (Modes 1 and 2), but users can customize the experience with the Manual Mode or turn off the rider aids altogether. Sticking to the streets, we kept the XSR900’s traction control in Mode 2 the majority of the day. Even when pushing the pace, we never tested the outer limits of the Bridgestone Battlax S22 tires to engage the traction-control system in the most sensitive setting. Still, it’s always reassuring to know that you have those safety nets, and Yamaha allows riders to fully personalize the experience via a new TFT dash.
Gone is the previous generation’s round LCD display, and the new 3.5-inch TFT makes that dash look like a relic of the past. Yamaha doesn’t go overboard with the graphics or multi-folder menu systems, though. Featuring a bar-type tachometer at the top of the layout, and with the numerical speed readout and gear indicator displayed in large font, users can quickly gather critical data at a glance. On the other hand, the limited screen size renders the drive mode, traction-control setting, time, fuel gauge, and tripmeters nearly illegible at speed. At a stop, all the data is easy to read, but many riders would welcome a larger display.
Additionally, navigating the system isn’t intuitive or self-explanatory. With the menu scroll wheel at the right handgrip, the user will need to stretch to the controls without chopping the throttle when in motion. Once inside the submenus, the spartan user interface is easy to navigate despite the scroll wheel occasionally confusing inward presses for upward rolls. While the setting menu prioritizes simplicity, the same can’t be said for the drive mode/traction-control system switches.
Located at the left handgrip, the Mode button force users to toggle between the drive mode and traction control panes before adjusting each setting with separate up/down switches. Of course, centralizing the scroll wheel and separate-function buttons on the left switchgear would have been the most user-friendly option, but with the cruise-control module taking up a large portion of the left controls, we understand Yamaha’s decision. Yes, the retro roadster has cruise control, and it works like a charm. Increasing or decreasing speed takes the system a second to apply the change, but it’s great to see such a comfort-oriented feature on a Grand Prix-influenced bike.
Dawn of a New(er) Era
Most motorcycle enthusiasts mistakenly categorized the XSR900 as a vintage-clad MT-09. Yamaha hopes to dispel those beliefs with the 2022 model. The XSR and MT may share the same 890cc CP3 Triple, die-cast aluminum frame, and R1-derived electronics system, but like fraternal twins, they also possess their own identities. If the 2022 XSR900’s outward appearance doesn’t provide enough contrast, the stiffer suspension, longer wheelbase, and Brembo radial master cylinder should convince the masses.
The new Sonauto Yamaha-informed design takes the XSR900 in a new direction, but Yamaha believes the model will remain a suitable canvas for customizers. The brand bolted on a tubular-steel subframe for that very reason, and we can’t wait to see what builders do with the new platform.
Trends come and go, but with equal measures of form and function, the 2022 Yamaha XSR900 has all the elements of a classic in the making.
Base Price: $9,999
Price as Tested: $9,999
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, DOHC, inline-Triple w/ 4 valves/cyl.
Bore x Stroke: 78.0 x 62.1mm
Torque: 68.6 lb-ft at 7,000 rpm (at the crank)
Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated slip/assist clutch
Final Drive: Chain
Wheelbase: 58.9 in.
Rake/Trail: 25.0 degrees/4.3 in.
Seat Height: 31.9 in.
Wet Weight: 425 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 3.7 gal.
Fuel Consumption: 49 mpg (claimed)
Google is now rolling out a broad core update named the May 2022 core update, Danny Sullivan of Google announced. This is the first broad core update announced by Google this year.
The previous core update was the November 2021 core update, over 6 months ago.
The announcement. Google said “today, we’re releasing our May 2022 core update. It will take about 1-2 weeks to fully roll out.”
“Core updates are changes we make to improve Search overall and keep pace with the changing nature of the web. While nothing in a core update is specific to any particular site, these updates may produce some noticeable changes to how sites perform, which we’ve noted in previous guidance on what site owners should know about core updates,” Google added.
Any volatility prior to today is likely unrelated to those rumors. Maybe, just maybe, Google was testing this core update?
Rollout started this morning. Google started this broad core update rollout at about 11:30 a.m. ET. And Google will update us when this update is done rolling out.
Previous core updates. The most recent previous core update was the November 2021 core update and prior to that was the July 2021 core update and before that it was the June 2021 core update and that update was slow to roll out but a big one.
Before that, we had the December 2020 core update, which was very big, bigger than the May 2020 core update, and that update was also big and broad and took a couple of weeks to fully roll out. Before that was the January 2020 core update, we had some analysis on that update over here.
The one prior to that was the September 2019 core update. That update felt weaker to many SEOs and webmasters, as many said it didn’t have as big of an impact as previous core updates. You can read more about past Google updates here.
What to do if you are hit. Google has given advice on what to consider if you are negatively impacted by a core update in the past. There aren’t specific actions to take to recover, and in fact, a negative rankings impact may not signal anything is wrong with your pages.
However, Google has offered a list of questions to consider if your site is hit by a core update. Google did say you can see a bit of a recovery between core updates but the biggest change you would see would be after another core update.
Why we care. Whenever Google updates its search ranking algorithms, it means that your site can do better or worse in the search results. Knowing when Google makes these updates gives us something to point to in order to understand if it was something you changed on your website or something Google changed with its ranking algorithm. Today, we know Google will be releasing a core ranking update, so keep an eye on your analytics and rankings over the next couple of weeks.
Google confirms a broad core algorithm update, called the May 2022 core update, is rolling out today.
The post Google Launching May 2022 Broad Core Algorithm Update appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
Some of us were a bit surprised when Yamaha’s newly overhauled 2021 MT-09 snagged first place in last summer’s 900cc(ish) Naked Bike Comparison, against such more-expensive heavy hitters as the new Ducati Monster and KTM Duke 890. And all of us were a little surprised when the XSR900 defeated Indian FTRs 1200 and 1200S, and the now-defunct Monster 1200S, in an only slightly unfair 2019 comparo. (Slightly unfair because our test route was really nothing but tight, twisty roads.) Now, the 2022 XSR900 is newly overhauled just as last year’s MT-09 was, using all the same parts from the waist down, including the new super-sized 890 cc version of that most excellent CP3 three-cylinder and all its electronic controls.2022 Yamaha XSR900
Editor Score: 90.0%
From the waist up, as even a rudimentary eyeballing reveals, things are completely different. What’s going on, says Yamaha, is an homage to its iconic old GP racers of the ‘80s, the blue one here in particular representing “a modern take on the classic French Sonauto Yamaha race colors — the stunning blue, cyan and yellow combination famously campaigned by legendary French Grand Prix champion Christian Sarron.”
You can see it in the big, flat-top 3.7 gas tank (the rear chunk is steel), in the little gap between tank and seat, in the Dzus fasteners that hold the sidepanels on and the tucked-under taillight. But mostly that ‘80s GP connection is trying to be conveyed by the shape of the seat, the rear section of it in particular. Nobody at Yamaha USA claims to know why there’s not a plastic cover to match the tank either already on the bike or at least in the accessories catalog?
Homage or not, it only makes sense to offer a more classically styled, round-headlight version of the CP3 for the crowd who don’t like the MT’s more contemporary styling.
1984 250cc GP Champion Christian Sarron and his old 500 GP bestie, sans fairing, is what Yamaha was going for.
The racy connection of the new XSR also takes the form of firmer suspension settings and more aggressive ergonomics than sistership MT-09. Compared to the MT, your grips are 14mm forward and 35mm lower, while your rear end is moved back a bit and 22mm lower (on a 22 mm lower seat); your feet are in just about the same natural place. The bars and the pegs are a little bit adjustable.
That 0.8-inch lower seat sits upon a new steel subframe (better for customization than aluminum), which rides upon a new swingarm that’s 59mm longer than the MT’s unit. Though MT and XSR both have the same rake and trail numbers, 25 degrees and 4.3 inches, the XSR wheelbase is 2.6 in. longer.
Add all that up, and what you’ve got is a longer, lower, firmer-sprung motorcycle: Think of the MT-09 more as an urban “streetfighter,” and the XSR as a more serious backroad sportbike. Yamaha says it’s “the highest performing platform ever for a Yamaha sport heritage machine.”
It fell to yours truly to, once again, ride the Pacific Surfliner to Ventura, there to hop onto a brand-new XSR the next morning for another assault on one of California’s finest fast curvy roads, Highway 33, over the Topatopa Mountains. (I never knew they were called that until I was quaffing a Topa Topa Chief Peak IPA later that evening.)
Now, we’ve got all the IMU-assisted electronics just like the new MT last year, with four ride modes, a full ride-by-wire throttle, and up/down quickshifter as standard equippage. It’s 22mm easier to swing your leg over the seat, the ergos only feel a smidge racier at first sit, the exhaust bark is subdued but definitely eager, and all systems are go.
It was chilly/drizzly in that morning coastal fog, and you wonder why a Christian Sarron-inspired mini-fairing isn’t part of the package? On the bumps, you can sense that our fork springs (in the same 41mm KYB unit as the MT) are 7% stiffer than the MT ones, and that our KYB shock’s rear spring is 21% stiffer: That’s to deal with the increased leverage of the 2.3-inch longer swingarm.
On smooth pavement, which is what Highway 33 is with its recent repave, it’s delicious – a smooth-rolling low-flying stable thing that’s neither light nor heavy-steering, but right in the sweet spot. Those new golden “spinforged” wheels look way too nice to be on a $9,999 motorcycle, and Yamaha says they reduce rotational mass by 11% (24.7 ounces lighter per wheelset). Bridgestone S22 tires are, likewise, not shabby. There’s no steering damper, and the bike feels like it never needs one, feeding back nicely planted messages from both ends.
Though suspension travel is the same as the MT, there’s less fore/aft pitching thanks to the stiffer springs, increased compression damping, and reduced rebound damping at both ends; it’s a vicious circle that has you twisting the throttle harder and squeezing the brakes more as you wind in and out of the corners, wondering how much is your amazing raw talent and how much is the bike’s IMU?
Now at a full 890cc following its 3mm stroke job, the Yamaha Triple is one of the finest engines on the road, mainly because its torque-rich yet revvable nature means it does its best work below 120 mph or so – a speed it’s easy enough to achieve on some of Hiway 33’s straights. If you need more than that, have a look at the MT-10. And please confine yourself to track days.
The MT-09 we dynoed last year made 106 horses at 9900 rpm, and 63 lb-ft torque at 7000. Our scales had that same MT at 416 pounds with 3.7 gallons of fuel; Yamaha says the XSR is 8 lbs heavier. Which is still nice and light.
Criticize if you must, but I think the new Controlled Fill aluminum frame is way more graceful than the outgoing one, and the 890 cc engine it houses has reached peak Triple.
Anyhow, the same quickshifter the MT got last year has found a home on the XSR, which already had a great gearbox, and now, it’s even easier to bip up and down through it, sometimes accompanied by a nice little backfire yelp on the overrun to complement the Triple’s excellent exhaust music on the way up the digital tachometer. Blipping and brapping between 2nd, 3rd, and 4th reels in Hiway 33’s best sections just right, at speeds that fit the bike’s lean-into it ergos perfectly on a warm day. When you do need the clutch, the lever is nice and light, and its slip function makes those smooth downshifts even smoother.
Just like the MT, you’ve got four easily selected Drive modes, 1 being sharpest and 4 reducing power (rain mode). I only used 1 and 2, where power take-up is nice, smooth and linear.
A 3.5-in TFT display is just about the right size on a bike like this. If you want directions and Bluetooth, you’re on your own. Come to think of it, there’s no USB port either. We’re stripped down.
There’re plenty of other adjustments in the 3.5-in TFT display also, including BC brake control (you can swap between ABS and lean-sensitive ABS for some reason), QS (turn the quickshifter Off, or just off in either the up or down direction)… There’s also wheelie control, traction control, and slide control – all stuff lifted from the R1. People who are good at wheelies, were good at wheelies on the XSR.
Your new Brembo radial master cylinder gives better feel at the ABS engagement point, says Yamaha. I never squeezed it that hard, but the bike’s got plenty of power and feel for me. This is also Yamaha’s first use of bar-end mirrors, which are nice but a bit wide in tight confines.
At the end of the road, it’s pretty much just as Yamaha claims: It feels like on a fast road like 33, or a racetrack, the longer, lower, stiffer XSR would ease away from an equal rider on an MT (and plenty of riders on anything). Then again, on tight, bumpy backroads, the softer, shorter-wheelbased, more ergonomically upright MT could probably turn the tables.
After lunch, we did turn the rear preload ramp up a notch and increased rebound a click, and the XSR was turning even sharper and feelier.
And on the morning after my ride up the 33, it was time to ride the XSR 110 miles home down the freeway. It was chilly and foggy again along the coast, and again, I dreamed of a nice little fairing, but by the time I got to The Valley it was hot and I was glad not to have one. By the time I got home, 96 minutes later, I was also dreaming of the MT-09’s plush, wide seat. As befits its sportier status, the XSR gets a pad that’s narrower, thinner, and square of edge.
It didn’t help that I didn’t take the time to return the shock preload to its standard, softer position rolling through Ventura’s bumpy surface streets and over a few sections of aptly named Superslab, where the bike drove home in a fundamental way how serious Yamaha is in calling it the highest performing platform ever for a Yamaha sport heritage machine. You can have sporty and you can have plush, but on a sub-$10k motorcycle it’s tough to have both.
What made the sporty ride completely bearable, though, was the cruise control button on the left switchgear. Whenever there’s a gap in traffic, switching that baby on makes it easy to give your right side a break. And when the cars are flowing at a decent speed, it makes it easier to flow along with them instead of acting like Rich Strike trying to bite the other horses even after he’d already won the Kentucky Derby. Just chill.
Five-thousand rpm gets you 75 mph in sixth gear and a bit of tingle in the handlebars. Dialing it up to 80-ish smoothed my XSR out nicely, and that slight forward cant compared to the MT has you pretty neutral in the windblast, too.
You can lock the fork either full left or full right, a thing I don’t remember seeing before, but that’s kind of thoughtful for some reason I can’t quite put my finger on. We’ve got all LED lighting, including the skinny turn signals and tucked-under the tail taillight. The aluminum tray under the tail section is nice. So are the forged aluminum foot controls and swing-out passenger pegs.
It’s the design philosophy behind Yamaha’s “Sports Heritage” line, showing respect for its rich racing heritage while using stripped-down design, high technology, and modern electronics to keep things future-focussed. Meanwhile, on the Dark Side of Japan, there’s the MT-09. The XSR is a bit racier, the MT’s a bit more playful. They’re both maybe the most fun you can have on a sub-$10k motorcycle in the real world, in addition to being practical transportation. Kind of depends on where you ride and how fast. And speaking of Faster Sons, might we just close with, Go Fabio!
|2022 Yamaha XSR900 Specifications|
|Engine Type||890cc liquid-cooled inline-three cylinder, DOHC, four valves per cylinder|
|Bore and Stroke||78.0mm x 62.1mm|
|Horsepower||105.8 @ 9900 rpm (rear-wheel dyno, 2021 MT-09)|
|Torque||62.8 lb-ft @ 7000 rpm (rear-wheel dyno, 2021 MT-09)|
|Transmission||6-speed; slip-assist clutch; up/down quickshifter|
|Front Suspension||41mm inverted KYB fork; adjustable for spring preload, rebound damping, compression damping, 5.1-inch travel|
|Rear Suspension||Single shock; adjustable for spring preload and rebound damping, 5.4-in travel|
|Front Brake||Two 298mm discs, radial-mount four-piston calipers, lean-sensitive ABS|
|Rear Brake||245mm disc, lean-sensitive ABS|
|Rake/Trail||25 deg/4.3 in.|
|Seat Height||31.9 in.|
|Curb Weight (Claimed)||425 lbs.|
|Fuel Capacity||3.7 gal.|
|Colors||Legend Blue, Raven Black|
|Warranty||One year limited warranty|
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