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 Comparison review Yamaha XJ 900 Diversion bike

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Bernardo
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Bernardo

Number of posts : 260
Location : Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
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PostSubject: Comparison review Yamaha XJ 900 Diversion bike   Comparison review Yamaha XJ 900 Diversion bike I_icon_minitimeSat Feb 28, 2009 12:18 pm

This review was written to compliment the comprehensive review of my Silver Wing found here

https://www.silverwing600.com/silver-wing-accessories-modifications-f5/comprehensive-review-honda-fjs-600-abs-silver-wing-t144.htm

If you read these together, it should give you a good comparison of both machines and hopefully give you some food for thought if you are thinking of straying to the "Dark Side" and getting yourself a bike, or even better getting a bike aswell!


I bought the Diversion a few months after completing all the Mods to my S'wing..... The bike does indeed go much faster, but to be honest, this is probably the only thing it does better than the more versatile S'wing.



The Yamaha XJ 900S Diversion

Modifications: Handlebar risers, Givi tall windscreen, rear carrier rack and Givi monokey mounting plate

Is this a fair contest? Comparing a 95’ bike with an 03’ scoot? Besides which, the bike has twice the bhp, and a naturally aspirated 880cc engine as opposed to a 582cc fuel injected engine that didn’t come into mass production until 2001! Well for one thing that’s what I’ve got to make the comparison with! But I did a lot of research and have ridden a lot of other machines before and after I bought these two as vehicles to help me through my ”born again biker” midlife crisis! Besides it’s not really about power and statistics, but about usability and enjoyment. Therefore yes, I think it is a fair contest given that both the Diversion
and the S’Wing were designed for a similar purpose, albeit one is in the biking world, and the other is in the Scooter world. But are these two very different machines really worlds apart, or is it our culture and or prejudice that makes it seem this way?

In its standard form, the Diversion
only has an upper fairing, but on mine the previous owner had fitted an after market set of lowers. I ended up adapting the lowers a little because when wearing my armoured mesh trousers my knees kept on knocking against them. Also the stock windshield was a little low, so I replaced it with a taller Givi one. This has made quite a good difference, especially at higher speeds (over 70mph). I also had to fit “bar risers” as the handlebars were a little too low for comfort. However the seat is very comfortable, even more so than S’wing in fact, being a little bit softer…. No need for sculpting this one! But it is also much smaller, nearly a foot shorter and 3 inches narrower than the S’Wing seat! Thus your pillion passenger if you carry one is gonna be up quite close and personal… (OK not always a bad thing, dependant of course on your pillion!) However, even with the adapted fairing and bar risers, the riding position which is on the “tourer” side of “sports tourer” means leaning forward a tad and having a little stress on the wrists, and also the back and shoulders. Also, because of the foot controls, you don’t have a choice as to where to put your feet as you do on the S’Wing. As to the weather protection, the fairing does help there, but is just not in the same league as the S’Wing, with your feet stuck out a little in the slipstream, though you can move your feet back a little onto the pegs and tuck them in a little behind the fairing. I have to wear calf length bike boots to stay warm on the bike, but ankle boots are OK on the scoot, even in the winter. Finally, getting on and off the bike means swinging your leg over, a small consideration I know, but not as easy as the Scoot with the step through. So overall, although comfortable, the Diversion is not in the same league as the S’Wing which is much better. As to keeping the bike clean, even with the fairing it collects more dirt in the difficult to clean places around the engine, and it is a more difficult and a lengthier process to clean than the scoot with its all its protective Tupperware. As for luggage capacity, hmmm…. well that depends upon whether or not you are happy to ride with a rucksack or not. If you do, then you do have some luggage capacity, equal in fact to the size of your rucksack…. If not then there is no luggage capacity, other than enough for a very small bag under the seat! OK you can fit panniers, but they will stick out beyond the fairing and reduce your fuel economy, and increase the risk of weave at high speeds. Plus they make the bike wider, and less easy to maneuver through traffic, and so less easy to filter to the front of traffic queues and getting through those narrow gaps between lines of stationary traffic on those commuter type journeys. There is a rear carrier rack mind (also fitted by the previous owner) and I fitted a Givi top plate to it so I can interchange my Givi top box between the bike and the scoot. I also got a magnetic tank bag to fit on the tank quite easily, though at best it doesn’t have the same capacity as a good top box. On the subject of petrol tank, the bike does score over the scoot, with a tank half as big again at 24 litres….! With an average mpg similar to the scoot around 50mpg this makes for a better range, potentially over 200 miles… However, it’s arguable that I’d want to, or be able to spend enough time in the saddle to go that distance in one sitting! Another issue is that the tank is much higher up on an already heavy bike. It is much more top heavy than the scoot, and already more difficult to paddle about at slow speeds, or when pushing the bike around or on and off the centre stand. If you happen park on a downhill slope, you’ll feel a bit humbled as you and huff and puff to back it up. By contrast the under the same circumstances the scoot is much easier to handle, and you don’t feel such a fool for your thoughtless parking in the first place!
Thanks to the manual clutch, the bike affords much better control, than the scoot especially at a walking pace, even if it does have a higher centre of gravity. However, once you are rolling, the bike is like a fish to water. It’s solid and holds the road well. It is also much less prone to white lining (squirming going over raised road markings) then the scoot. This however could be down to better tyres I suppose, the Diversion
has Metzelers. In terms of handling, the Diversion is more on the touring side of a sports tourer, but is IMHO more solid, predictable, and capable than the S’Wing. For example, when going through twisties that would have the S’Wings’s suspension doing overtime, the Diversion remains unfussed and relaxed. On that note it also is much better at soaking up those nasty bumps and potholes that on the S’Wing feel quite harsh and uncomfortable. As to going through corners any quicker, when I noted the speeds at which I went through the same corners on the bike and the scoot, they were the same. In other words, I would tend to go at the same speed over the same ground on the bike as I would the scoot. This surprised me as on the bike, it felt faster, and at first I wasn’t sure why this was. So after several runs I finally concluded that it was due to the excellent weather protection afforded by the scoot. For example at 60 mph on the scoot there’s a wee breeze noticeable over the top of the fairing, and if it’s cold, you might notice it on your hands. With the same conditions on the bike, the “breeze” is more noticeable, and you can feel it tugging a little at your trouser legs, your feet, sleeves, and helmet… So it “feels” more exhilarating. Given that you also have a lot more power at your disposal, its easy to buy into the exhilarating feel, peg it down a few gears, and whack open the throttle…. Oh yeah, now that feels really exhilarating! Providing you are using the gears correctly, the gear box takes the power on offer and puts it to the best possible use until you reach the top of the useable rev, range, then you just roll off the throttle briefly and never mind the clutch just flip it up a cog, and whack open the throttle again, and the revs are right back in the power band where they can best be put to use. Not forgetting the Diversion also has twice the bhp of the S’Wing, which in contrast has to make do without a the riders choice of gears, relying instead on a slipping, and power sapping clutch, and a CVT drive train that squeezes a Kevlar belt between 2 sets of big plates…. Furthermore the scoot loses at least 25% of the power from the engine by the time it gets to the rear wheel. I’m not sure what the power loss is with the bike’s shaft drive, but by stark contrast I understand it’s nearer 5% loss. The issue for me however that ultimately justified my need to get a bike is to do with the acceleration. The scoot with its CVT under heavy acceleration passes through its power band just once…. The bike by comparison has five gears, and thus under hard acceleration and good use of the gear box has the advantage of five attempts to keep the bike running at peak power before you reach the end of the useable rev range. The bike gets five bites of the cherry so’s to speak as opposed to the scoots one. By this time however the bike will be doing about 120 mph and is still accelerating. By comparison the scoot will be reaching about 100mph, with another 5mph to go before it finally tops out. However, for me the most important difference between the bike and the scoot under acceleration, is that when the scoot begins to run out of steam, the bike is reaching its sweet spot in the power band, so rather than the power tailing off, it starts to pull even more…. Then to stay with that splendid feeling of brute acceleration, you just have to change gear, and you are back at that sweet spot. And as I’ve already noted, there’s five bites at that cherry. This brings me onto what for me is perhaps the best characteristic of the Diversrion, namely its large amount of torque, 65ft/lbs. It’s good enough to enable the bike to potter along in top gear at 25mph, and still able accelerate easily without down changing. Ironically, this is a rather scooter-like characteristic! Note that if you were to run the Diversion and the S’Wing side by side, with the Diversion in top gear, then accelerate as fast as possible, the S’Wing would leave the Diversion standing….. However, with the bike in the correct gear, and using the gear box appropriately it would be the other way round. As a rough estimate I would think that at 70mph, the Diversion in top gear would match the S’Wing for acceleration, and after about 80mph would pull ahead.

OK, enough writing, time for a verdict! Do I really need to make one? After reading that lot, hopefully you will have enough info to come to your own conclusion….


Comparison review Yamaha XJ 900 Diversion bike IMG_5894
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JeffR
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JeffR

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PostSubject: Re: Comparison review Yamaha XJ 900 Diversion bike   Comparison review Yamaha XJ 900 Diversion bike I_icon_minitimeSat Feb 28, 2009 1:26 pm

Hey Bernardo,

That's a nice write-up, thanks. I like the looks of the Yamaha and it does look more stream-lined than the SWing. But when I compare the front of the Silver Wing to the front of the Burgman 650 I do like the SWing a bit better. Since we can "filter" in between cars in California the SWing does a bit better since it is slimmer. I'm not trying to start an arguement if there are any B650 riders that visit, but just saying the SWing is a bit slimmer.

I may get a m/c one day but I really don't miss changing gears since I did that for over 25 years. But I will always have my SWing. I'm hoping one day they come out with a SWing with larger tires, a bit more power, and better mpg's.

But that was a good review. Do you know what times you get in the 0-60 mph tests with both? I get right at 6.0-6.2 seconds using a stopwatch. I only have the J. Costa though. Thanks again.
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Bernardo
Super Scooter Rider
Super Scooter Rider
Bernardo

Number of posts : 260
Location : Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
Points : 4658
Registration date : 2008-12-25

Comparison review Yamaha XJ 900 Diversion bike Empty
PostSubject: 0-60mph Modified S'wing, and dyno graph   Comparison review Yamaha XJ 900 Diversion bike I_icon_minitimeSat Feb 28, 2009 2:04 pm

JeffR wrote:
Hey Bernardo,

That's a nice write-up, thanks. I like the looks of the Yamaha and it does look more stream-lined than the SWing. But when I compare the front of the Silver Wing to the front of the Burgman 650 I do like the SWing a bit better. Since we can "filter" in between cars in California the SWing does a bit better since it is slimmer. I'm not trying to start an arguement if there are any B650 riders that visit, but just saying the SWing is a bit slimmer.

I may get a m/c one day but I really don't miss changing gears since I did that for over 25 years. But I will always have my SWing. I'm hoping one day they come out with a SWing with larger tires, a bit more power, and better mpg's.

But that was a good review. Do you know what times you get in the 0-60 mph tests with both? I get right at 6.0-6.2 seconds using a stopwatch. I only have the J. Costa though. Thanks again.

Hi JeffR,

Thanks for that.

Don't forget on the burger you can fold the wing mirrors if for filtering with just the flick of a switch!

It was difficult trying to time the 0-60, but based on my short movie clip the 0-60 is just under 6 seconds from the moment the scoot begins to move. :D

https://s410.photobucket.com/albums/pp188/willbernardo/?action=view¤t=ModSilverWingStandStart.flv

The power commander you notice more for the smooth power delivery and fuel economy. So the sooner you get one, the more you are going to benefit! Below is a link to the dyno graph.....

https://2img.net/h/i410.photobucket.com/albums/pp188/willbernardo/SwingCustomMap-2.jpg


I am having difficulty with some of my hypertext links so if these don't work, it's a cut and paste job to get them!


Last edited by Bernardo on Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:22 pm; edited 5 times in total (Reason for editing : problems with the hypertext links)
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Bernardo
Super Scooter Rider
Super Scooter Rider
Bernardo

Number of posts : 260
Location : Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
Points : 4658
Registration date : 2008-12-25

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PostSubject: "On bike video"   Comparison review Yamaha XJ 900 Diversion bike I_icon_minitimeTue Mar 10, 2009 10:04 am

I've just had my bike serviced, tuned, a stainless steel exhaust fitted, and a new tall screen also fitted. The weather was fine, I had a few hours to kill before turning back into dad mode and picking up the kids from school.... So I set about mounting my camera on my bike, and rode the same stretch as I did on my Wing.... I had to use my lightweight panasonic lumix as the canon (better for movies) was too heavy and kept tipping up under hard accleration.

https://s410.photobucket.com/albums/pp188/willbernardo/?action=view¤t=Tripodshort.flv

Alas there was quite a bit of traffic so only managed to film the first half of that little back road trip, up to the hump back bridge... After that the video was a tad boring, so I left it out....

https://s410.photobucket.com/albums/pp188/willbernardo/?action=view&current=Backroadshort.flv

OK so bearing in mind I don't normally ride like this.....! To ride like this on a regular basis on these roads would be kinda dumb, plus I'd be better practicing on a race track as I wasn't pushing the bike perhaps as much as I could... But I sure was scaring myself enough as it was just riding like as above... And furthermore, hell this isn't the reason I bought the bike... I was never into boy racer stuff, but it is good every now and again to experience the more brutal acceleration and adrenalin rush of a bike... So the purpose of the video was to continue with the theme of this thread and make a comparison with the S'wing.... So first impressions compared to the Wing on the same route..... The bike felt much heavier (well it is 239Kgs) and not as easy to throw the weight around.... But the power was much more brutal, and always there where you wanted it providing you were in the right gear of course .... Thus you can make much better use of the engine braking, plus the brakes on the bike are better... If you have got the bottle you can I suppose lean the bike a bit further.... Though to be honest the S'wing leans far enough for most I would think.. The bike also feels much sportier..... However, riding it as in the video, fun as it was felt a bit like overkill.

Starting off and balancing the power on the clutch is an art I guess..... I did several runs. (haven't uploaded these as my broadband is down at the moment) The best I managed was a tad over 5 seconds.... Although frankly it felt wrong and like a kind of abuse to be revving like mad and slipping the clutch... By contrast the scoot is much easier on the quick standing starts, and based on my efforts today is less than a second behind the 90 bhp bike on a standing start to 60mph.

Although the bike felt, and is much faster, the scoot is not gonna be that far behind.... :D Plus on the scoot you don't have to sorry about shifting gears and or slipping the clutch when you pull away....

In summary I had expected the bike to be much faster than the scoot... It certainly feels that way.... But in practice the scoot isn't really that far behind.... It's more comfortable, and easy to ride, but even souped up still lacks that brute power even when compared to a bike which by todays standards is well a middle of the road heavy lump! But unless you are travelling well in excess of three figure speeds, the scoot is never gonna be far behind.

Both are fun, and appealling and do a good job in their own way, so it depends really on what you want..... cheers


Last edited by Bernardo on Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:21 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : problems with hypertext links)
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