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Yamaha XSR300 rumoured | Manufacture News | News

The word in Japan is that Yamaha is to launch a retro-styled XSR300 parallel twin derived from the MT-03 for 2019.

Yamaha has already used its MT-09 triple and MT-07 twin as the building blocks for the more retro-looking XSR900 and XSR700. To do the same with the MT-03 – using the existing engine and chassis, but wrapping it in more traditional styling – would be a quick and easy way to extend the range in the increasingly popular neo-retro section of the market.

The XSR300 would be a direct rival to Honda’s new CB300R.

Sharing the same engine and chassis specs as the MT-03 means it will have the edge over the Honda in terms of performance. The 321cc Yamaha twin makes 30.9kW at 10,750rpm, where Honda’s 286cc single can muster only 23.1kW, albeit at a lower 8500rpm. On torque the two are closely matched; 27.5Nm at 7500rpm for the Honda, 29.6Nm at 9000rpm for the Yamaha.

While the Yamaha might have an edge on performance, the Honda’s chassis spec – on paper at least – looks a little stronger. The CB300R uses an upside-down fork and a radial-mount brake caliper, while the Yamaha uses conventional right-way-up fork and axial-mount brake.

Yamaha still has space for a couple more XRS models.

An XSR300 based on the styling of Yamaha’s XSR700 (above) will bring back fond memories of Yamaha’s popular RD350 model

A small XSR125 derived from the MT-125 would give new riders attracted by the neo-retro style craze something else to consider, while at the other end of the spectrum it’s certain that Yamaha is already thinking about a high-performance XSR1000 based on the MT-10. Stay tuned. 

By Ben Purvis