The Yamaha RD350 was a rather popular sporty street bike produced in the 1980s, with its distinguishing feature being its sonorous two-stroke parallel-twin engine. In September 2018, Velocity Moto, a UK-based workshop that's been in the custom scene for decades, introduced a kit for the XSR900 paying tribute to the RD350 LC. At a glance, Velocity Moto's retro-inspired kit breathes sophisticated character to the XSR900's otherwise rowdy nature.
All that being said, XSR700 owners can now transform their bikes to look like the RD350, too. Hag Hughes, an RD enthusiast and founder of Velocity Moto, was thrilled by the initial kit's tremendous popularity on a global scale and decided to develop a similar version for the XSR700. The most recent Velocity Moto model is the same as the last iteration of the Yamaha RD 350 LC, with the addition of the initials YPVS on the tail section.
The kit is composed of essentially entirely new bodywork that transforms the neo-retro naked bikes into semi-faired lookalikes of the iconic RD350. It includes a grab bar, taillights, a new tail section, a belly pan, side covers, and all required brackets and hardware. Regarding cost, the kit for the XSR700 is offered unpainted for £1,200. The XSR900 kit, on the other hand, retails for £1,700 GBP. Additionally, Velocity Moto can paint them to match the liveries of the RD350 for £1,100.
In a story by German motorcycling publication Motorrad Online, the process was described as straightforward, but time-consuming, according to Hag Hughes. This could take up to twelve hours to put together, depending on the version. The current Yamaha XSR700 and XSR900 appear extremely authentic, much like the eighties two-stroke classic RD350 LC, thanks to the retro-modern kits from Velocity Moto, but devotees will have to do without the modern two-stroke sound owing to current emission standards.
For Those Who Bleed Blue:
Sources: Velocity Moto, Motorrad Online, Motorcycle UK