1976 – 2014, the history of 3-cylinder Yamaha XS 750 A and 850 to the MT-09

While we test in this very moment, the Yamaha MT-09 equipped with a three-cylinder engine in line, we invite you to make a brief return to the past. Already in the 70s, Yamaha engine used this architecture on the XS 750 and 850. Sequence memory!

Yamaha XS 750

Yamaha XS 750 Bikes Pictures

If the resurrection of the three-cylinder Triumph has a lot since the early 90s, other manufacturers have used this engine architecture in the past. This is the case of Yamaha, which in 1976 unveiled in Japan 750 XS. A road in the spirit of the time, heralded as comfortable and versatile than some competitors (including Honda CB 750 Four aging), but differs from mass production by engine type three-cylinder in-line. Air-cooled and equipped with Mikuni, this engine was renowned for its value and its high torque transmission shaft and universal joint. Yamaha was so very attentive to the needs of the U.S. market, for which the 750 XS is also declined custom version, XS Special (such as XS 650 elsewhere).

Yamaha XS 750

Yamaha XS 750 Bikes Photos

3-cylinder for Touring

In 1980, Yamaha opts for an increase in the capacity of the XS “Triple”, which gives way to the XS 850. The actual displacement of 750 cm3 then climbs to 826 cm3 and the general philosophy of the bike changes. The XS 850 (type G or SG or LG) still wants more oriented “touring” with a thick saddle, handlebar to handlebar reworked to meet the bust, side brackets for luggage storage, and a line of Exhaust type 3 2 less sporty than the first exhaust line 3 in 1 of the first 750 XS. The Yamaha XS 850 was positioned as a competitor to traditional road market at the time, and the magazines often compared to BMW or Moto Guzzi. Another time, certainly.

Yamaha XS 750

Yamaha XS 750 Bikes Images

37 Years Separate the 750 XS MT-09

In 37 years, many things have changed: the technology of course, but also the market, the profile of motorcyclists how to ride with a sometimes purely recreational orientation of its two-wheelers, a greater presence of women on bikes, pollution, consumption of motors. Born of the new requirements, the Yamaha MT-09 shares with the XS 850 the same type of engine architecture. But there the comparison ends, as for the rest, the Japanese novelty is a motorcycle of his time, including taking 10 liters less fuel in the tank and gaining some 70 pounds on the scale!

Return to three-cylinder engine is nevertheless an important milestone for Yamaha legitimate historical but also dynamic point of view, since the evolution of our society justifies increasing the return to engines may be less efficient in gross value but certainly more effective and enjoyable everyday. A specification, that promises to respect the letter of the MT-09 … we will confirm (or not) in the next few hours on the station. Stay tuned.

850 XS vs MT-09, Technical Comparison of 3-Cylinder Yamaha

Yamaha XS 750

Yamaha XS 750 Nice Bikes Pictures

Yamaha XS 850 (1980):

Engine: 3-cylinder, 826 cm3, air-cooled, 3 carbs, 2 valves per cylinder, and cardan shaft drive, 5 speed

Power 77 hp at 8500 rev / min, 7.1 kgm torque at 7500 r / min

Chassis: frame and swingarm steel spoke wheels (19-inch front, 18-inch rear), three brake discs

Template: 1470 mm wheelbase, caster angle 27 °, 258 kg fully fueled, 24 liter tank

Yamaha XS 750

Yamaha XS 750 Nice Bikes Photos

Yamaha MT-09 (2014):

Engine: 3-cylinder, 847 cm3, water cooled, electronic fuel injection, four valves per cylinder, chain drive, 6 speed

Power 106.2 hp at 10,000 rpm / min, 8.5 kgm torque at 8500 r / min

Chassis: frame and aluminum swingarm, spoked wheels (17-inch front / rear), three brake discs, ABS optional

Template: 1440 mm wheelbase, caster angle 25 °, 188 kg fully fueled, 14 liter tank

Yamaha XS 750

Yamaha XS 750 Nice Bikes Images

The Three-Cylinder Engine in the Other Motorcycle Manufacturers

Many manufacturers have relied on the three-cylinder architecture for declining a tempting offer. Include a few references, that have marked their time as the BMW K75, the flat engine proved indestructible, the Laverda 1000 SFC whose song bewitched fans, Kawasaki 350 S2 500 750 H1 and H2, whose engines three-cylinder two-stroke require considerable expertise, Suzuki GT (380-750), with a special mention for the 750 cm3 with a liquid cooling, the pretty French Motobecane 350, the inevitable Triumph Trident, X75 or BSA Rocket 3.

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