Get that RD vibe: Velocity Moto kit turns the XSR into an RD500 lookalike

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Fancy a Yamaha RD500LC for £1700? Well not quite, but Velocity Moto are set to release a kit for the Yamaha XSR900 that will transform the bike into the 80s icon (kind of).

Unveiled at the Bike Shed Show at Tobacco Dock in London, the beautifully designed kit was fitted to a 2022 XSR900 retro bike and finished in the iconic red, white and black racing livery with their new XRS900GP decal on the tail.

The first iteration of the RD, an abbreviation of Racing Developed, was released in 1984 and featured a liquid-cooled, 499cc, two-stroke, 50-degree V4.

Velocity Moto's Yamaha XSR900 conversion kit

Fast forward almost four decades and the donor naked XSR features an 890cc triple, different exhaust routing and very different dimensions, so to create a kit with the essence of the original is some feat.

The bike uses the standard seat pad but with a new base and a single seat cover to give it that RD look. Whereas the original tail moulding would have had a couple of pipes exiting, it now incorporates the taillights. The X on the tail’s decal has been designed with the original in mind with the X formed from two Vs mirroring each other.

At the front of the formerly naked triple is an added front fairing bracket which also holds the standard headlight. The side fairings have been designed from scratch and attach onto new brackets.

Velocity Moto fairing kit detail

Veloctity Moto have quite literally been able to put a round peg into a square hole, keeping the original round headlamp but creating an illusion of sorts with a graphic surround that, unless forensically examined, looks like the RD’s rectangular light.

Jeff Turner, Marketing Manager for Yamaha UK, was impressed, saying: “I think the real genius of the bike is the dimensions. The RD500 fairing was pretty narrow and they have picked up on that and of course the bike itself, a three-cylinder four-stroke, is wider than the old RD500LC, so the way they have managed to make it feel narrow like an old RD is really clever.”

Velocity Moto Yamaha RD500LC kit in detail

  • Round peg: The round headlight, on a newly created bracket, is retained, in part to keep the cost of the kit down and uses a graphic on the surround to appear rectangular like the original.
  • Rear guard: The 1984 RD had two pipes exiting the tail. The kit maintains the shape of the original but now comprises of just the rear taillights.
  • V-X power: While the donor bikes feature a 890cc triple the original RD ran a 499cc V4, proudly displaying its V prowess on the tail decal with YPVS. The XSR decal nods to this provenance.
  • Another dimension: Space has been left around the front light and dash just like the original while the dimension and proportion of the kit, from many angles mirrors that of the RD.
  • It’s your call: The kit can be ordered through all Yamaha UK dealers, bought, painted and fitted by Velocity Moto or sent out to the customer directly to add their own bespoke twist to this classic.