2020 Yamaha XSR155 First Ride Review: Stock pa lang, Gwapo at Astig na!
Date posted on August 14, 2020
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 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 hpat 10,000 rpm and has a maximum torque of 14.7 NM at 8,500 rpm.
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.
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.
Although it is made of plastic, the 10 liter fueltank’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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.