2021 Yamaha XSR125Armani Moffatt
Yamaha has welcomed a new bouncing baby into their retro vibe XSR range, the XSR125, which now means anyone who wants modern-retro-classic, and only modern-retro-classic by Yamaha, has three levels to grow up to biking maturity.
Indeed, both the XSR 7 and 900 are good looking, popular machines . Yamaha will now be hoping their latest addition to the family will be as desired as its larger siblings are – but perhaps in far greater quantities. The new looks will hopefully snare many prospective beginner bikers, although by the same token, the younger crowd may prefer the more modernistic slant of the donor MT-125. Kids, eh?
In fact, much of the bike has the MT-125 to thank for its existence, given the now uber fashionable concept of platform sharing embraced by most manufacturers. Build something good, then reshape it for other tastes or purposes, or both – a successful endeavour for many nowadays. And it looks the part they’ve written for it, that Scrambler’esque form with a round headlamp and high’ish easy-reach bars hits all the right notes for a modern-retro-classic, or Neo Retro, if you prefer.
One good thing about the MT engine being used in XSR guise, is that it’ll actually sound proper especially if you end up increasing its aural presence. An MT-125 with an after-market can on sounds okay, but clashes a tad with the slick modern visage. Here it will sound bob on, almost period specific no less. Either way, exhaust gases exit from a 125cc one-pot, four-stroke engine that nearly makes a heady 15bhp at 10,000rpm. That’s quite a lot of revs for such a little single. It also pumps out around 11Nm of torque, which combined with the right gearing (which Yamaha have no doubt calculated and applied), means it should have some nippy shove around town given it weighs a (reasonably) paltry 140kg fully wet and features Yamaha’s variable valve actuation system to boost the boom.
Chassis-wise the forks are a little skinnier at 37mm rather than the MT’s 41mm items but the frame is basically the same. The front brake disc is also smaller at 267mm rather than 292mm. That part is perhaps a little odd, given the larger disc should provide more stopping power and it shouldn’t have been tricky to use the MT’s existing brake setup, but hey ho, it weighs a couple of kilos less than the MT overall, so there’s a bit of give and take. Elsewhere the rest of the dimensions are as the MT, except the XSR has a 5mm longer wheelbase and a different front tyre, a 110/70-17 as opposed to the MT’s 100/80-17.
Available in black, yellow and red, the XSR125 starts at £4,450 and hits Yamaha dealers in June. Should you wish to build your own ‘virtual’ XSR before heading to the dealer, then nab Yamaha’s ‘My Garage’ app and get playing!
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