YAMAHA MIGHT PROMOTE THE RUMOURED MT-03- /YZF-R3-BASED SPORT RETRO, THE XSR300, AS A SUCCESSOR OF THE LEGENDARY RD350.
Most of the Indian motoring enthusiasts have heard about the Yamaha RD350 (Race Developed Series) which was launched in the country by Rajdoot in 1983. The bike was discontinued in 1989 following a detuning in 1985, however, it still has a great value in the used market due to its cult following. Now according to a Japanese motorcycle magazine, YoungMachine, the Japanese auto major is planning to recreate the legacy of this motorcycle with an all new product which might be called the XSR300. For those who don't know about the XSR, it is a sport heritage motorcycle brand from Yamaha that currently offers the XSR900 and the XSR700 models, both of which are not available in the Indian market. However, the popularity and demand of the RD350 in the country could coerce Yamaha to introduce the XSR300 in India.
Said to be a retro iteration of the existing MT-03 or the YZF-R3, the XSR300 will get colour schemes inspired by the Yamaha RD350, while its classic styling will be inspired by the bigger XSR900. The entire chassis including the power mill will be borrowed from the MT-03 and the bike is speculated be introduced in two trims for different markets, the XSR300 and the XSR250, like its siblings. Now, we can expect the bigger one for the Indian market, which will be powered by a 321cc parallel-twin engine, delivering 42PS and 29.6Nm.
If we talk about the performance of the Yamaha RD350, it was powered by a 347cc two-stroke, air-cooled, parallel-twin engine that was developing 39.5PS in its original Japan-spec model, which is quite close to that of the modern 321cc four-stroke, liquid-cooled parallel-twin. However, the bike in India was available in two versions: first the HT (High Torque) trim with 31PS, replaced by LT (Low Torque) model with 27.2PS. These changes were adopted to make the bike more fuel efficient and cost effective. Moreover, the front disc brake was also replaced by an 180mm drum brake unit. The performance of the original Japanese model was also quite comparable to the MT-03 or the YZF-R3, with a capability of doing the 0-60kmph sprint in under 4 seconds and a top speed of 169kmph.
Bolted on the MT-03-derived diamond frame, the XSR300 will also retain the same KYB suspension set-up, including telescopic front forks and a rear monoshock. The wheels, tyres and disc brakes of the bike will be retained from its naked sport sibling along with the stubby exhaust muffler. Obviously, the seating geometry will be tweaked a bit, but it will be designed for an ergonomic riding position for sure.
This is all we have to tell about the rumoured successor of the RD350, however, more information is expected soon.