Yamaha gets retro with new XSR125

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Yamaha have practically perfected the art of building a brilliant new bike and then creating loads of stylish spin-offs.

They’ve done that with the MT-07 and MT-09 to great effect and now the XSR125 appears alongside its MT-125 and R125 in a similar show of sibling strength.

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Like its XSR700 twin cylinder and XSR900 triple brothers the single cylinder 125 version features a rounded tank, long flat seat and circular headlight to give it a bold and unique look that underlines its retro DNA.

The new XSR125 uses the same four-valve, liquid-cooled, Euro5-friendly engine as seen in the firm’s sporty R125 and MT-125 roadster. The 15bhp motor uses Yamaha’s Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) system and produces plenty of torque at lower engine speeds together with decent performance (for a 125) at higher speeds. 

Riding the 2021 Yamaha XSR125

The chassis is very similar to the R125 and MT-125 frame, with a steel 'diamond' frame and aluminium swingarm, plus upside down forks. While the XSR’s wheelbase is a whole 5mm shorter than the MT’s the 810mm seat height is identical.

A single disc at each end deals with the braking, backed by dual-channel ABS. The XSR also has lightweight 10-spoke alloy wheels and chunky block-pattern tyres.

Two official accessory kits will also be available. The Race kit includes a headlight cover front number board and side number plates, while the Urban Kit features a flyscreen, aluminium engine side cover, and radiator side cover. No prices have yet been set for these kits, but if specced at the time of ordering, they can be fitted by the dealer before collection.

The XSR comes in some striking colour choices; red or black or yellow and it’ll be £4450 (on the road) when it hits dealers in June; £350 cheaper than the R125 and £200 less than the MT-125. While no PCP deals have yet been set up for the XSR, expect monthly payments of about £55 after a £1000 deposit. With small-capacity machines already selling fast, this funky and functional new arrival should prove popular.

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Andy Calton

By Andy Calton

Content director, motorcycling, and Suzuki Katana rider