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Yamaha XSR900 wins design award

2016 Yamaha XSR900 award
Review and photos by James Pralija

Yamaha has scored its second prestigious Red Dot Design Best of the Best Award, this time for its XSR900. It was the only motorcycle company to score an award this year.

The annual Red Dot Award, considered the supreme design honour, is held in Essen, Germany where products from 54 countries are judged by 39 experts from around the world.

It is the fifth consecutive year that Yamaha has received a Red Dot honour, and the third product selected for the “Best of the Best” after the MT-07 motorcycle and JWX-2 assist-type electric power unit for wheelchairs received Yamaha Motor’s first “Best of the Best” awards in 2015.

Yamaha also won a Red Dot last year for the R1, along with BMW’s R nineT Scrambler and the revived Horex V6, while the bold, feet-first, belt-driven Ducati XDiavel S cruiser received a Best of the Best award.

Yamaha’s simple naked XSR900 was this year considered a “beauty” by the judges:

To overcome development constraints, the simple  design openly stresses material beauty and  quality instead of covering it, like the hand-buffed aluminium fuel tank cover — no XSR is the

same. Closer examination reveals painstaking attention to detail, like the design of the nuts and bolts, or the circle motif that creates a timeless appearance.

2016 Yamaha XSR900 award
XSR900 tank

Winners are permitted to display a prestigious Red Dot label on their product.

Read what we thought of the Yamaha XSR900 in our road test.

The XSR900 street scrambler costs $12,990 (plus on-road costs) and is powered by an 847cc liquid-cooled, triple with “gobs of torque with minimal vibration”, yet sings right up to its 11,000rpm red line.

We also thought the design of the bike “flows and everything makes sense”.

Other Red Dot winners this year include a “biobrush” toothbrush made from leftover wood from sustainable forestry and a “PuduBOT” robotic waiter that delivers food and interacts with diners using robotic facial gestures.