One of the coolest things about today’s crop of neo-retro machines is the fact that they’re perfect blank canvases for customization. Yamaha’s XSR series is the perfect example of this, as the model range pays tribute to the brand’s iconic XS series, all while packing modern tech and firepower.

Yamaha leans into this full force with its latest creation, the XSR900 GP. On its own, the bike pays tribute to the brand’s glory days in the world of racing, mimicking the styling of the YZR500.

Yamaha’s latest “Yard Built” series makes use of the XSR900 GP as a platform for a retro-inspired racer wearing the colors of 13-time 500cc winner Randy Mamola, and his 1987 YZR500.

Yamaha’s XSR900 GP Mamola Is Retro Racer Perfection

Yamaha Motor Europe recently showcased this build in a video posted on its official YouTube channel. And while Yamaha describes it as a “yard-built” creation, it’s clear to see that it’s anything but.

The video shows nothing short of professional craftsmanship in what looks like a dedicated facility for building custom two-wheelers. An artist’s impression of the finished product is shown, followed by technicians carefully assembling the bike’s bodywork and putting together the Mamola-inspired livery.

Yamaha’s Faster Sons branding figures prominently on the bike’s livery, taking the place of the Lucky Strike logo in Mamola’s original bike. The Faster Sons branding has been associated with the XSR model range pretty much from the very beginning, and according to Yamaha, pays tribute to the brand’s rich racing heritage, all while focusing on technology and performance geared towards the future.

Yamaha’s XSR900 GP Mamola Is Retro Racer Perfection
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And it’s true, among the crop of retro-modern roadsters, the XSR900 stands as one of the most performance-oriented in its class.

The Yamaha XSR900 GP replica looks every bit the modern-day interpretation of Mamola’s iconic racer—even more so than if Yamaha opted to use the more race-focused YZF-R1. It’s a fitting tribute, too. One which, in my opinion at least, was extremely well executed, and shows us just how versatile and customizable the XSR900 can be.

And yet, Yamaha still won't sell the GP here. Lame, Yamaha. 

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