Yamaha continues to develop its neo-retro motorcycle series, with the new XSR125 launched overseas. Alas, at this point, it’s only for Europe.
The XSR125 is based around a liquid-cooled four-valve single-cylinder engine, with Yamaha’s Variable Valve Actuation (VVA). This variable valve timing system improves low-end tractability, while still allowing high-end revs. The engine is rated for 15 horsepower at the crank, at 10,000 rpm. Max torque output is 8.5 pound-feet at 8,000 rpm.
Decent numbers for a 125, for sure, and this is a fairly trustworthy platform; Yamaha uses the same engine in the MT-125 and R125. All these bikes are aimed at sensible commuting in tight-packed cities, or at learner riders (in the UK and EU, beginners typically start on a restricted licence).
The bike’s chassis is very similar to those other Yamaha 125 models, although there are some differences. The XSR has standard 37 mm telescopic forks, while the sporty MT-125 and R125 have USD forks. It still has a steel frame and alu swinger, though, and 17-inch wheels front and rear. Those other 125 models also come with sporty rubber, while the XSR has the knobbly scrambleresque tires that everyone wants to put on neo-retros these days.
As for styling—the XSR follows its big brothers, the XSR900 and XSR700 with what’s supposed to be throwback bodywork and paint. Does it work? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder … however, the tidy 125 chassis means there’s little extraneous plastic bolted to the bike.
There’s LED lighting front and rear, and a single LCD gauge with tach and speedo displays, as well as gear indicator, fuel gauge and odometer.
The XSR125 has official Yamaha Race and Urban accessory kits available. The Race kit gives you tracker-style bodywork, the Urban kit gives you a small flyscreen and aluminum covers for engine and radiator. Other options include rubber kneepads and for that cafe racer look, as well as an Akrapovic exhaust and other retro- or racer-style bits.
Overseas pricing depends on country-by-country situations; for the sake of reference, the XSR125 will cost £4450 out-the-door and on the road in the UK, which works out to about $6,300 US. No doubt the price would actually be lower in the States, if it ever showed up in North America—but at this point, we’ve heard no suggestion that will happen.