The Yamaha XV950’s role in life is two-fold, says Andy Davidson in Motorcycle News. On the one hand, it aims to take on Harley Davidson, particularly to rival its Sportster model. To that end, Yamaha has used a tweaked version of the V-twin 942cc motor from its Midnight Star bike, which “provides more torque than power for inner-city riding and a more responsive ride”. On the other hand, it has ‘bobber’ (custom-made-motorcycle) aspirations: “it has a minimalist, less-is-more style… onto which Yamaha hopes it can tempt customers to spend big on a special range of accessories and aftermarket goodies”.
The idea is to produce a bike that can easily be customised, says Roland Brown in The Daily Telegraph, to attract younger riders who “like the modern custom style but lack the technical ability to fashion a one-off machine themselves”.
It’s a “plausible idea” and the result is an enjoyable, reasonably practical and relatively inexpensive alternative to the real thing”. The bike is also fun and engaging to ride, and the handling is good by the standards of its class. In all, this is a “simple, easy-riding cruiser, with respectable all-round performance”. It’s a “decent-looking modern take on the bobber theme”, agrees Visordown.com.
Engine: 942cc, four-stroke, V-twin
Power: 51bhp at 5,500rpm
Torque: 59lb ft at 3,000rpm
Top speed: 110mph (estimated)
Range: 100 miles at 45mpg (estimated)