If you long for the days (or at least the aesthetics) of the legendary Yamaha RD500LC, but you’d prefer them to be paired with the features of a modern four-stroke machine, then UK-based shop Velocity Moto may have just the answer. They’re calling it the 2023 Yamaha XSR 900 GP, and the bike they unveiled on May 20, 2023, at Crescent Yamaha Verwood looks very much like the business.
Utilizing a stock 2023 Yamaha XSR900 as its base, the folks at Velocity Moto did more than merely reskinning the beast with new bodywork. Although the engine and chassis remain the same, they also lowered the handlebars and elongated the swingarm slightly for increased stability.
To avoid potential homologation issues, Velocity Moto designed the front headlight surround to mimic the old rounded square look of the original RD500—but bolt on right on top of the modern XSR900’s round headlight. The resulting look changes the aesthetic to fit the intended design yet retains the stock headlight underneath.
Velocity Moto specializes in a range of aftermarket parts, from suspension components by Öhlins and K-Tech to body kits for XSR900s. As of May 22, 2023, you can currently find a full bolt-on XSR900LC body kit from Velocity for £1522 (about $1,891), not including shipping. In the footer of the page, the company states that “we’re based in Surrey, just south of London UK but can deliver worldwide.”
The 2023 Yamaha XSR900 GP is the latest example that Velocity Moto plans to make available. According to UK-based Kar Design Koncepts (home of talented designer Kar Lee, whose work you may have admired even if you didn’t know it), the full bike will soon be available to order from some UK-based Yamaha dealers. Pricing has yet to be announced but is expected to be around £15,000 (about $18,632). A stock XSR900 currently starts at £10,610 (about $13,180) in the UK, for reference.
For those who would rather assemble their own XSR900 GP at home, Velocity also plans to sell unpainted body kits that you can buy and bolt onto your existing XSR900. If you’re interested in learning more about any permutation of the XSR900 GP from Velocity Moto, you can reach out to them via their website or social media channels.