Find out how to read error codes on your Yamaha XS900, MT-09, or FJ-09 so you can save a fortune doing your own repairs and not having to go to the dealership!
The Yamaha family of three cylinder 900s (actually 847cc) motorcycles share a lot in common. Being modern motorcycles, they have computer systems which can show error codes. Luckily, they also all come with a diagnostics port that you can plug into, so you can check error codes on your Yamaha XSR900 / MT09 / FJ-09 yourself, without having to break your piggy bank. Let’s go over what you’ll need and how to do it.
UPDATE: It also looks like this will work on many other Yamaha motorcycles including checking error codes on the Yamaha R6.
What you’ll need to read error codes on your Yamaha:
There are two things you need to be able to check your Yamaha for error codes yourself, without any special dealer tools. You might already own one of them, or have a friend who does.
- OBDII reader / scanner: OBDII readers have been the standard error code readers in all automobiles sold in the United States since 1996. That means that they’re great to have, and if you’re handy with your car you might already have one. If not, you should get one. I’ve been using the same basic $20 OBDII scanner in my cars for over 8 years.
- Yamaha 4 pin OBD Diagnostic CANBUS to OBDII Adapter: This is the missing piece for those of us who already have OBDII scanners that we’ve never known how to connect to our motorcycles. Many Yamaha motorcycles, including the XSR900, FJ-09, and MT-09 have a 4 pin diagnostic OBD connector, and this $22 adapter converts from Yamaha’s 4 pin plug to the standard OBDII plug format.
Odds are, you or someone you know already owns an OBDII scanner. Since they’ve been the standard for over twenty years, they’re really common. The adapter might be harder to come by, but for $22 it’s a small price to pay to read your motorcycle.
How to read error codes on your Yamaha motorcycle
Now that you have an OBDII scanner and your Yamaha 4 pin to OBDII adapter, you’re ready to start scanning for error codes on your Yamaha XSR900/MT-09/FJ-09, R6 and other Yamaha motorcycles. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1 – Locate the Yamaha Diagnostic Connector
The Diagnostic Connector is a 4 pin plug coming out of your Yamaha motorcycle. Yamaha usually hides the Diagnostic Connector underneath the seat.
Here’s the diagram from the Yamaha XSR900 service manual – Part #1 in the diagram:
Step 2 – Plug the adapter into the Diagnostic Connector
Grab the adapter mentioned above and plug it into the Diagnostic Adapter. Here’s what that looks like in a Yamaha R6 – the diagnostic adapter is circled in green:
Step 3 – Plug the adapter into your OBDII reader/scanner
Plug the other end of the adapter in your OBDIII reader/scanner. When you turn your key to the the ON position on your Yamaha motorcycle, the scanner should come to life, then you can follow the on screen instructions to scan for error codes. If you find an error code, simply enter the code on Google to find out what it means.
With an investment of about $40 or less, it’s easy to find out what (if anything) is ailing your bike by scanning your Yamaha motorcycle for error codes. I have a similar system in place for my Harley-Davidson Night Rod, the Motorscan Smartphone Diagnostic Tool for Harley-Davidson Motorcycles. The tool for my Harley costs about 5x more money, but also comes with it’s own app to give you more visual data than a basic OBDII reader does:
There are plenty of similar tools for your Yamaha too, in fact, you can get something similar that connects to your phone via Bluetooth for as little as $26 that might be worth checking out. I haven’t tested it on a motorcycle though, so if you try it, leave me a comment in the comments section down below and let me know if it works for you!
PS: Thanks to Steve from the XSR 900 Yamaha Owners Group on Facebook for his assistance with some of the information on this page!