First ride: Velocity-Moto 900LC

Elsie reborn: Velocity-Moto gives Yamaha’s XSR900 the look of an icon

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Velocity-Moto's Hag Hughes was a paddock-jacketed hooligan back when the Yamaha RD350LC was king. He rode, raced and modified them and now three decades later, this 900LC is his homage to the iconic two-stroke.

The Yamaha XSR900-based machine is available as a complete face-lifted bike and comes with a choice of LC look-a-like paintjobs. Body kits (£1552) will be available separately in the future for XSR900 owners, as well as suspension, power and carbon upgrades.

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Engine, chassis and even the tank remain standard, but the trackday bike builders have produced a replica YPVS nose cone and LC tail unit, together with seat, grab rail, side panels, clock surround and HID headlight all designed to ape the 80s original.

Hughes explains: "I ended up with too many injuries to ride sportsbikes and wanted something with the excitement of an R1 or Blade. The Yamaha MT-09 grabbed me - it was fun, but I didn’t like the looks. The handling and fuelling was horrendous, too, but I saw the potential to do an LC body kit for it

"I chose the XSR over the MT-09 because it’s closer to where the LC is to start with. It has round headlights, clock and the shape of the tank looks so similar to the LC, I’m amazed Yamaha haven’t made anything of it themselves.

"The trickiest part was to remodel the seat to give it the right look, creating the rear light and number plate mounts and all the bodywork moulds. Very few parts have been cut, so it would be easy to return it to standard.

"I’ve parked it next to an LC and it looks low, spindly and old fashioned, but surprisingly similar. The new bike’s subframe is higher, which is more how you wanted your LC to look."

Riding this fully modified 900LC feels just like being on an XSR, but a glance down reveals those LC-esque twin clocks (TomTom to the left, standard display right) and a surprisingly effective Powervalve screen.

Revised fuelling map, Ohlins rear shock and cartridge kit brings the best out of the lightweight chassis and the superb three-cylinder motor. It’ll never please the two-stroke purists, but the 900LC has twice the power of the 350, pulls even easier wheelies and would leave it for dead around corners.

It’s easy to forget what you’re riding until you clock yourself in a shop window where the rose-tinted vision looking back at you evokes so many youthful memories…and you can’t help but smile.

For more information, contact: www.velocity-moto.com  

VELOCITY-MOTO 900LC HIGHLIGHTS

  • RD350LC inspired body kit
  • Iconic paint and graphics
  • Stock XSR900 engine and chassis
  • Performance kits available
  • Basic kitted 900LC £10,352

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Michael Neeves

By Michael Neeves

MCN Chief Road Tester, club racer, airmiles millionaire.