Yamaha’s next XSR could lean even further into its Grand Prix heritage

Yamaha apparently looking to further update its XSR range of retro un-faired bikes with a Grand Prix-inspired edition called the XSR GP.

2022 Yamaha XSR900

Yamaha’s XSR900 was updated for 2022 with a livery inspired by Christian Sarron-era of Yamaha’s Grand Prix history, but now the Iwata factory seems keen to go further down the Grand Prix nostalgia route. 

Ride Apart reports that Yamaha has requested of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) the trademark rights to the name “XSR GP.”

Yamaha has already released a special edition XSR in 2022, with the XSR125 Legacy being announced for a June release earlier this year. That bike offered a new black and gold paint job on the XSR125 which pointed backwards to Yamaha’s history. 

The XSR900 found a similar perspective when it was given a livery straight from the Sarron-era of intermediate class Grand Prix racing, and overall this fits into a current trend. 

Yamaha is not the only brand looking to the past for inspiration for its new bikes. The Honda Hawk 11, Triumph Speed Triple RR, and even the recently announced MV Agusta Testalarga have nostalgic aesthetics. 

And, perhaps this will be the direction Yamaha continues to take with an XSR GP. As Ride Apart notes, the lack of bodywork on an XSR900 means there is not a lot of space to incorporate a ‘throwback’ livery, so perhaps a faired version will be on its way. 

KTM's new race inspired livery for the 890 Duke GP, complete with the logos of their industry partners.

Alternatively, Yamaha could be going in a different direction. It would be strange, admittedly, but perhaps Yamaha is going to make an XSR with a paint job inspired by modern Grand Prix racing. On the MT-15, Yamaha put a Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP replica paint job in 2021, and KTM followed suit with its 890 Duke GP earlier this year, which features a Tech 3-esque design. 

Perhaps the XSR GP would also incorporate GP-derived technology, particularly in the electronics. How useful race-inspired electronics would be on a bike like an XSR is unclear, but it is not impossible, and also more likely than one being fitted with the engine from an R1M or carbon brakes. Perhaps the XSR GP will come with winglets, and, who knows, maybe even an on-the-fly ride-height adjuster. 

Ultimately, there are no technical details of what an XSR GP might look like, or what its specifications might be, so everything beyond the name at this point is total speculation. But, that does not mean it is not fun to think about.