2020 Yamaha XSR155 First Ride Review: Stock pa lang, Gwapo at Astig na!

Date posted on August 14, 2020
Share this

The Yamaha XSR155, is a modern retro styled motorcycle that was digitally launched by Yamaha Philippines (YMPH) last July 10.

Priced at P162,000, the “XS” refers to the legendary XS650 model which is a triumph of motorcycle ingenuity while the “R”  is for the racing DNA crafted into every corner of this machine. The XSR155 also reflects Yamaha’s Faster Sons philosophy that bridges the past to the present.

It compliments the other retro naked bike in Yamaha’s line up, the popular and much bigger XSR900.

It is designed primarily for the Asian markets like Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia. The XSR155 might also appear in Europe as a 125.

With the smaller and more affordable XSR155, YMPH can now address a much larger audience in the custom bike market. They see it as a perfect base bike for personalization.

In fact, their Genuine Parts department announced during the launch that they will offer bolt on accessories packages to turn your XSR into a cafe racer or a scrambler later on.

The Bike

The smallest XSR is powered by the same engine as the MT125 and R15 . The 155cc, liquid-cooled, four stroke, single cylinder, four-valve, SOHC engine produces a claimed 19.3 hp at 10,000 rpm and has a maximum torque of 14.7 NM at 8,500 rpm.

VVA engine & Delta Box frame.

Despite its retro styling, the XSR155 also has modern engine features like Variable Valve Actuation Technology (VVA), a 6-speed gearbox, and a slipper clutch. It also sports disc brakes both for the front and rear, and cast 17 inch alloy wheels.

It comes with the proven Delta Box Frame found on the MT125 and R15 that provide sporty handling and stable feel. The modern and stiffer inverted front fork is blacked out also to be consistent with the retro theme.

Round headlamp has an XSR logo inside, similar to the Ducati Scrambler and BMW RnineT
A small round tail lamp is a usual mod for customizers, the XSR’s LED is already standard

The classic looking round headlamp and tail lamp are infact modern LEDs.
The instrument display is also round in shape but is actually an advanced full LCD display with color-coded signals and digital meters.

Round all LCD intrument display is modern and looks good although glare during daylight can be a problem

Although it is made of plastic, the 10 liter fuel tank’s cover is very handsome with its metallic silver finish to mimic metal. You will not know that it is not metal unless you touch it. It’s well coordinated with the other silver metallic details that Yamaha calls “heritage parts” on the bike that make it look custom.

We particularly like the billet metal details around the fuel filler cap, the sculptured bar ends, the headlamp bracket and the brushed metal garnish at the sides under the seat. Even the foot controls are executed with quality material and design and not the usual black folded metal ones with rubber inserts.

Beautiful tank is actually a plastic cover, but nobody would notice
The fender is plastic as well, but like the tank cover, it is stunning in metal finish
This lovely side garnish is actually metal
This billet aluminum looking metal fuel cap surround is a something that will put a big smile on your face everytime you mount the XR155
This chuncky and well detailed metal headlamp bracket with hex bolts is very classy
Another small but very premium detail are these sculptured bar ends. Very nice!
The foot controls come with casted brackets and knurled alloy pegs

The classic looking light brown seat is not leather but is well made and detailed. The synthetic cloth material actually looks and feels better than the colored vinyl faux leather seats found in other retro bikes. It would be the last thing we would change if we will customize it just for quality and looks alone. Seat height is 810 mm.

This seat is actualy better looking than what you would find on a million peso German scrambler

The tires measures 110/70 at the front and 140/70 at the rear. They are clearly designed for form rather than function. The deep diamond thread pattern looks really good and really in keeping with the custom, scrambler, off-road character. It looks just as nice as full knobbies.

The tires were designed to look retro and “chunky”

The overall coordination of the different textures, colors and metal garnishes are well executed making the XSR155 look premium and more expensive that what you would you expect at this price.

Video: Stylewise, the XSR155 is in the same league as the more expensive European retrobikes.

There is no denying that the XSR155 is a mainly cosmetic makeover of a great platform and its main selling point is the classic styling.

But is it not the real purpose of retro bikes?

For the complete motorcycle specifications click here.

The Ride

Before we get into our individual ride feedbacks, we like to emphasize to our readers that when buying a new bike rider fit is important.

Make sure before you test ride, to check the handle bar position, the control lever position and the clutch point engagement. You can always adjust these easily to suit your style and physique to make riding it more comfortable and then you will be able to enjoy the bike more.

Philip Bonza

“Wow! Busog na busog ang mata ko, ang ganda at panalong panalo! Yung looks nya is the XSR na makikita mo sin sa 900 version. Detalyadong detalyado ang lahat ng parts, kaya ko nasabing busog kung ano makikita mo detalye sa XSR900 same thing na makikita mo sa XSR155. Gustong-gusto ko yung style nya! Eto yung tunay na baby brother!

Yung porma ng round headlight at round tail lamp ang ganda! Even the speedometer panel na round din at digital talagang modern classic ang itsura nya. Then, yung detalye ng headlight bracket na ang finish pa nya is brushed aluminum ang ganda! Lalo na ‘yung saddle na brown color, talagang yun yung isa sa nagpalabas ng porma ng XSR bukod sa tangke na aluminum din ang finish ang ganda talaga!
Pagdating naman sa performance para sa akin sakto ang 150 power para sa model na ‘to. Hindi siya sports bike kaya hindi mo siya hahanapan ng ganong power pero enough power siya para sa ganitong style. Kaya modern classic, modern ang performance, modern ang ibang features pero nandon pa rin ang pagiging classic. Hindi naiwan ang performance sa classic level lang, nandon pa rin siya sa modern level.

And, then sa suspension, ok, balanse ang front and rear para sa weight ko. Ang preno ganon din, front and rear brakes are fine with me.
Sa height ko na 5’11, sakto lang para sa akin. Yung rider na smaller than a typical Filipino rider medyo mataas sa kanila. Sa ergonomics, medyo hindi ako komportable pagdating sa handle bar. So yun lang naman, nothing na malaking negative. Kung ako magkakaron nito, minor modifications lang. Siguro handle bar o ano pang detail things o accessories na para masabi kong akin talaga etong motor pero everything else panalo at busog na mga mata ko at masaya ako sa performance. Para sa price nito ay magbibigay ako ng 5 points para sa XSR155.”

Al Camba

“Styling wise, I think even if its small XSR version, kumpleto yung details of the XSR character. From the headlamp to the brushed aluminum details, very impressive kasi you’re buying this bike mainly for its looks. There’s so many details that you wouldn’t normally find on bikes at this price level. Even the metal bar ends is highly detailed, the head lamp, brackets and seat bracket garnish. The tank and front fender that are actually plastic, made to look like metal. The overall coordination of the different textures, colors and metal garnishes are well executed making the XSR155 look premium and expensive that what you would expect fir a motorcycle at this price level.
Kapag itinabi ko siya sa ibang modern retro bikes that are way more expensive, hindi mo iisipin na ganon kalaki ang price difference nila. Kung ako tatanungin mo, if wala kang time, or skill o pera na pang-modify ng isang bike, Ok na rin ito as it is! Very minimal na lang ang papalitan ko like  a more comfortable handle bar and upgrade to LED turn indicators. Other than that wala na ako masyadong gagalawin, I won’t do anything too radical to it. As it is it’s already very good bike!”
In terms of the ride, the engine is the same engine as the R15 and the upcoming dual sport of Yamaha. In terms of  long term reliability, service support and parts availability safe ka dito sa XSR kasi the engine is used in other models. It’s very smooth! Normally kapag retro bike they expect na relax ang engine – high torque, when you ride. This one medyo iba, you have to rev up to a high rpm kasi it’s based on the R15 engine. You have to ride it in a sporting manner. Huwag ka maaawa sa makina kung lagi kang high rpm dahil normal lang ito.

Nagka-problema lang ako sa handle bar, medyo hindi comfortable ang bend. Medyo naremedyuhan ng konti, we rotated the control levers but still not enough. Comfortable siya kapag naka tucked down position ka, but once you sit up, medyo pinched and wrists mo. Madali ang solution, just change the bars or you can rotate it to the best possible position.

Another issue for me was the digital instrument which was hard to read under strong daylight conditions. Medyo malakas ang reflection at glare. A little more contrast on the display setting or a small hood above the panel might help.

Other than those two wala na ako masabing negstive pa, even the tires looks retronice! I believe sa thread pattern, aesthetic yung priority rather than performance but it performs well naman sa dry conditions.”
Suspension is ok for me on normal  road rides. The seat height is just right for me and I’m almost 5’7 , but it’s not as low as other standard bikes. Siguro kung 5’3 or 5’2 ka medyo mag tip- toe ka  but it’s already the lowest seat height that is available for an XSR model. Kung dream bike mo ang XSR900 at medyo hindi mo abot yon, dito there’s a chance na maging comfortable ka.

In terms of the looks for the price panalong-panalo! For 162,000 pesos you have a bike na hindi mukhang cheap talaga at hindi mo na kailangan upgrade. Pogi talaga!”

Jake Swann

“It rides as well as it looks! It’s a 155cc so you can really expect a lot of power, and the power is linear. You need to get the engine revved up in order to get that power. It’s got an upside down fork which is pretty flashy. A lot of people say, I’d like upside down fork but they don’t understand what it does. Now, of course being an upside down fork it has less thinner sections of the fork. Therefore the fork doesn’t flex much when you turn the bike. Now, the drawback about an upside down fork it is reduces it’s turning radius. The strange things about this bike is that the turning radius is wonderful. It can turn inside a lane and half. And, I was able to do that, all you got to do is press on the hand grip left and right side, drag the rear brake and you’ll make the turn.”
“Speed is linear and throttle is fine I only have one problem with the clutch on how far you have to let the clutch out before the power would engage to the rear wheel but after adjusting it (which is basically just threading in the adjuster by the hand almost all the way) the clutch travel was fine.
“You’re sitting lower and closer to the tank which puts you a good riding position for sporty riding.

The seat’s pretty wide which gave me the feel of a big bike because a lot of the bigger bike has wider seats and this one had a wider seat. For a person with wide rear end like me, well it was pretty comfortable. I maybe curious how it would be like on a really long ride.”

Final Words

Yamaha Philippines said that the XSR155’s market is small or a “niche”. We think otherwise because of the how good looking and practical it is. The motorcycle presents itself as beautuful and  easy to ride upgrade option from underbones or scooters.

We think it will also appeal to more riders who are not neccesary into the customization or “builds” culture.

It will appeal to those who do not want the race replica looks or uncomfortable sports riding position of the R15 nor the aggressive and super modern style and character of the MT15 naked.

The XSR155 will be for riders with a  more mature, conservative and elegant taste. It is a capable and comfortable daily commuter with sophisticated character and style.

A rider who enjoys cleaning his own bike regularly to appreciates its lovely details. Somebody who will always park the bike, walk away and take another look back to his pride an joy to admire its beauty.

A pride and joy to own and admire

The very minor issues of the handlebar and instrument glare far outweigh all the good qualities of it’s looks and performance.

You will not find a low tech aircooled engine, a conventional fork, bulb lamps or wire wheels in the XSR. This is a modern retro styled bike with new parts and technology like the more premoum Ducati Scrambler or BMW RnineT. Definitely, the XSR155 is greater than the individual parts.

As it is, you don’t really have to do anything major to make it a great bike.

Stock pa lang panalo ka na!