First, Yamaha teased the XSR700 with the Shinya Kimura “Faster Son” FZ-07 concept. Now it looks like they’re set to do the same with this Roland Sands “Faster Wasp” FZ-09 build for the upcoming XSR900.
When Yamaha released the first Faster Sons video, showing Shinya Kimura’s Faster Son concept, they hinted that it was to be the basis or inspiration at an upcoming version of the Yamaha FZ-07. So, it was no surprise when the Yamaha XSR700 was announced in Europe.
But, the Roland Sands “Faster Wasp” concept came with no such hinting or fan fare, and Roland has been known to do lots of custom bikes for various brands just to show how cool you can be if you have a staff of mechanics and metal workers and plenty of money to spend. The video for the Faster Wasp came with no such hinting, and I had no real reason to believe it would go any farther.
SOMETIMES I LOVE BEING WRONG.
Yamaha went on a shopping spree this week, purchasing the urls for xsr900.com, yamaha-xsr900.com, and yamahaxsr900.com as well as their .net/.us/.org derivatives.
They also released these official photos as well as this statement from Yamaha European Product Manager, Shun Miyazawa:
Roland did a fantastic job with this build. The Faster Wasp has given us a huge confidence and, as with Shinya Kimura’s concept, has again confirmed our direction and bike-building philosophy. We are working on future Faster Sons products and this concept is going to help us to accelerate bringing future products to the market.
With better pics on the bike, we can really get a better look at everything Roland did or changed on the bike. The tank, tail, intake scoops, radiator guard, and number plate are all hand fabricated custom pieces, and the timing cover, rear sets, rear brake reservoir, case guard, chain guard, and fuel cap are all RSD accessories that will likely make their way in some form onto the production bike.
I’m definitely curious to see what a production version of this bike will look and ride like. As we’ve talked about, I was pretty disappointed with the stock fueling and suspension of the bike, which often feel like they’re trying to kill you. I sort of wish the XSR700 looked more like this, and they left the 09’s torquey triple out of it - but I would love to be wrong again. You can read my review of the bike here, or about how to fix the suspension and the fueling. And no, the OEM fix still isn’t good enough.
My issue with the XSR700 are that the lines of the bike are still off, with most of them running at an upwards angle. This Faster Wasp nails it with the horizontal tank, speed block livery, and tail section.
This thing has Kenny Roberts all over it, but in more than just the yellow speed block livery. I’m looking at you, you delicious little front fender you. You are everything.
Here’s a little video of Roland and Miyazawa discussing the Faster Wasp:
Yamaha and the rest of the world are set to unveil their new models next week at EICMA. Anyone available to come over and set me up with an IV of coffee and to massage my fingers when they cramp up from typing? I’m gonna need it.