Yamaha continues to grow the XSR series, with the new XSR125 launched in Europe today. It’s a compact take on Yamaha’s Faster Sons formula, based on Yamaha’s high-tech 124cc single.
Yamaha already uses this liquid-cooled engine in the MT-125 naked bike and R125 sportbike. Although it’s small, it makes 15 hp at 10,000 rpm and 8.5 lb-ft of torque at 8,000 rpm. That means it fits into European beginner licensing laws, and also works nicely as a commuter in congested cities. It’s less attractive in North America, with longer distances to cover and fewer low-speed routes between towns, and a general distrust of small-cc bikes (alas!). So, far as we’ve heard, the XSR125 is not coming to Canada.
That’s unfortunate, as this is a rather tidy-looking little retro, and it would certainly suit Canada’s urban centres, at least. It shows how far the small-cc market has come. The engine comes with four-valve head and variable valve timing, letting it make decent output everywhere in the rev range (relatively speaking). The bike has an aluminum swingarm, too (the main frame is steel, though). The LCD gauge (combined speedo/tach/odometer/clock/fuel gauge) is affordable, yet attractive. LED lights come standard.
However, since the Honda CBR125 withered away in favour of the CBR250, no major OEM has brought a 125 street machine into Canada. It’s unlikely this tiny Yamaha will show up, although the KTM 200 Duke shows some manufacturers are still willing to consider the sub-250 market in Canada.