Ever since the Triumph Street Twin, which is now known as Speed Twin 900 from the 2023 model onwards, came to India, the craze for retro roadsters started building up in the country. While many motorcycle brands started offering neo-retro roadsters in the sub-500cc category, the Triumph Speed Twin 900 is still one of the lone warriors in the premium middleweight roadster category in India.
However, we believe that there is one such premium middleweight roadster which has an equal amount of recognition in the global markets and a decent fanbase in India – the Yamaha XSR 900. While the XSR 900 is yet to arrive on Indian shores, it can be a perfect alternative to the Speed Twin 900. But is it as charming as the Speed Twin 900 for old-school roadster lovers? We have compared both the motorcycles head-on to find the answer:
Triumph has priced the new Speed Twin 900 at a starting price of Rs 8.48 lakh. On the other hand, the Yamaha XSR 900 is not available officially in India. However, the motorcycle is priced at around $10,000, which roughly translates to Rs 8.00 lakh. Though if it comes to India, it might arrive as a pricier motorcycle over the Speed Twin 900.
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Engine and Chassis
When it comes to pure mechanical specifications, the Triumph Speed Twin 900 is no match to the Yamaha XSR 900, with the latter having a bigger and more powerful engine, more modern suspension, better brakes and wider tyres. While the Speed Twin 900 gets an 8-valve, parallel-twin, 900cc engine producing 65 PS of power and 80 Nm of torque, the 12-valve, inline-three, 900cc engine of the XSR 900 produces much more power and torque outputs at 114 PS and 87.5 Nm respectively. The engines of both the motorcycles are liquid-cooled and are paired to a 6-speed manual gearbox.
Compared to the old-school 41mm forks at the front and dual-sided coil springs at the rear of the Speed Twin 900, the XSR 900 gets 41mm inverted forks at the front and mono-shock at the rear, both of which are fully adjustable. Also, compared to the 100/90-18 front and 150/70 R17 rear tyres of the Speed Twin 900, the XSR 900 gets much wider 120/70 ZR17 front and 180/55 ZR17 rear tyres. Even the brake combination of the XSR 900 – dual 298mm front discs and single 245mm rear disc – are better than those of the Speed Twin, which gets a single 310mm front disc and single 255m rear disc.
|Specifications||Triumph Speed Twin 900||Yamaha XSR 900|
|Engine||Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, 8-valve, parallel-twin, 900cc||Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, 12-valve, inline-three, 890cc|
|Power||65 PS @ 7,500 rpm||114 PS @ 10,000 rpm|
|Torque||80 Nm @ 3,800 rpm||87.5 Nm @ 8,500 rpm|
|Front suspension||41mm telescopic||41mm inverted telescopic with adjustable preload, compression and rebound|
|Rear suspension||Twin hydraulic coil springs with preload adjustment, and rectangular swingarm||Mono-shock with adjustable preload and rebound damping, and aluminium swingarm|
|Front tyre||100/90-18||120/70 ZR17|
|Rear tyre||150/70 R17||180/55 ZR17|
|Front brake||Single 310 mm disc with 4-piston calipers||Dual 298 mm discs with 4-piston calipers|
|Rear brake||Single 255 mm disc with 2-piston calipers||Single 245 mm disc with 2-piston calipers|
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Dimensionally, the Triumph Speed Twin 900 is a smaller motorcycle compared to the Yamaha XSR 900, as the latter is longer, wider and taller than the Speed Twin 900. The seat height and the fuel tank capacity of the XSR 900 are also more than those of the Speed Twin 900. And despite all the attributes, which make the XSR 900 a bigger motorcycle, it still weighs almost 5 kgs lesser than the Speed Twin 900, which makes it a more agile motorcycle to ride.
|Dimensions||Triumph Speed Twin 900||Yamaha XSR 900|
|Length||2090 mm||2155 mm|
|Width||785 mm||860 mm|
|Height||1114 mm||1155 mm|
|Wheelbase||1450 mm||1495 mm|
|Kerb weight||198 kg||193 kg|
|Seat height||765 mm||810 mm|
|Fuel tank capacity||12 litres||14 litres|
Design and Features
The Triumph Speed Twin and Yamaha XSR 900 both cater to the buyers who love their motorcycles to look old-school and have an essence of retro motorcycles from the past. But when you compare these two motorcycles side by side, it is the Speed Twin 900 which has a more old-school visual appeal.
The Triumph Speed Twin 900 has a classic rounded theme for the headlamp, tail lamp and turn indicators, all of which are halogen units that make it look old-school. Even the fuel tank has a classic rounded shape, with the side cowls below the rider’s seat having rounded edges. The motorcycle, like many retro roadsters, misses out on rear side body panels below the pillion seat, but it gets a single-pod analogue instrument console with a small LCD for odometer, trip meters, fuel gauge and gear indicator. However, all’s not old-school in the Speed Twin 900, as it gets a black theme for the powertrain and alloy wheels.
Compared to the Triumph Speed Twin 900, the Yamaha XSR 900 looks more modern with its rounded headlamp, inverted U-shaped tail lamps and sleek turn indicators at the front and rear being all-LED units. Other design elements like a muscular fuel tank with nicely-carved knee recesses, exposed aluminium frame and aluminium rear swingarm, clamped rear fender, underbody exhaust pipe and golden finish for the front forks and alloy wheels also make it look more modern than the Speed Twin 900. Compared to the single-pod instrument console, the XSR 900 gets a much flashier reverse LCD instrument console, which feels much more comprehensive with additional information like a tachometer. However, the rounded headlamp and thick padding for the pillion seat remind you of the retro roadsters of Yamaha from the ‘80s.
With a more powerful engine and advanced suspension, brakes and feature set list, it is clear that the Yamaha XSR 900 is technically a more-sorted motorcycle compared to the Triumph Speed Twin 900. However, for a majority of potential buyers of retro roadsters, what matters the most is the aspect of simplicity in the design and mechanical setup, and it is where the Speed Twin 900 outshines the XSR 900, and that too at a significantly lower price point.