Yamaha’s Sport Heritage range combines the emotion-evoking design of some of the most iconic motorcycles in the brand’s history and combines this with the very latest high performance chassis and engine technology, paying homage to the racing machines that have shaped Yamaha’s past without compromising modern day performance.
For 2023, this nod to Yamaha’s illustrious racing history goes even further. Following the unveiling of the XSR900 RACER accessories and the 1980s Grand Prix-inspired CafeRacersofInstagram Yard Built for Good special earlier this year, the XSR900 DB40 Prototype has broken cover for the first time at the iconic Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Riding up the prestigious Goodwood Hill on each of the festival’s four days, the XSR900 DB40 Prototype represents a blend of Yamaha’s rich racing history and cutting edge modern technology in line with the Sport Heritage mantra.
Former YZR500 Grand Prix racer Niall Mackenzie, who rode for Marlboro Yamaha in 1989 before three further years on Yamaha machinery in the early nineties, will take to the hill on the XSR900 DB40 Prototype on Thursday and Friday before a selection of journalists and VIPs take the machine to the hill on the weekend.
In the 1980s, Yamaha pioneered a new wave of technological advancement in motorcycle engineering by introducing the Deltabox chassis in their Grand Prix race machines.
This technology would soon filter down to road bikes, and now, 40 years on, the Deltabox style design remains at the heart of many Yamaha motorcycles.
Based on the XSR900, the XSR900 DB40 Prototype – named to celebrate 40 years of the Deltabox chassis – is powered by the award-winning 890cc ‘CP3’ triple-cylinder engine, housed in the very latest version of the Deltabox style frame.
The name ‘Deltabox’ comes from the amalgamation of the word ‘Delta’, the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet, represented by a triangle and the word ‘box’.
From a side view, the Deltabox is formed of a triangle linking the head pipe to the swingarm pivot while the cross-section is box-shaped. This relationship between the steering head and the pivot point offers outstanding rigidity and feedback where a rider will need it most. The cross-shaped box section allows for a greater surface area while providing lighter weight and a higher level of rigidity.
Yamaha debuted the Deltabox chassis in their 1982 YZR500 OW61 Grand Prix machine, while the frame’s first appearance in a production racer came just three years later, the TZR250, bringing the characteristics of the YZR factory race machinery to the road. The Deltabox has since become synonymous with Yamaha’s Supersport models, including the revolutionary R1 launched 25 years ago this year.
The XSR900 DB40 Prototype is the latest model based on the XSR900 platform to pay homage to Yamaha’s racing identity. Last month, custom house caferacersofinstagram unveiled their first Yard Built for Good project at the Bike Shed Motorcycle Club Show, a customised XSR900 harking back to Yamaha’s Grand Prix racers of the 80s and 90s.
This followed the unveiling of a range of Yamaha Genuine Accessories which transformed the standard XSR900 into a RACER with a café racer style mini fairing and race-styled single seat cover. This XSR900 RACER made its debut at the Bike Shed Motorcycle Show before legendary French Grand Prix racer Christian Sarron took to the famous Wheels and Waves Punk’s Peak race in June.