This week there was much talk about an RD350 successor by the name of XSR300. The news was first released by Japanese magazine ‘Young machine’ along with a picture (/render) of the bike. The XSR300 will be the smallest of the XSR brand and has a modern-retro design and a powerful 42bhp parallel twin cylinder mill, sourced from the manufacturer’s YZF-R3. This is all well and good but can we really call the bike the next RD350 ?
Here are 3 main reasons why the XSR300 is not an RD350 Successor
Definition- XSR vs RD
How we define the XSR300 and RD350 are very different. The RD350 is a 2–Stroke pocket rocket build almost entirely with speed in mind. The XSR300 on the other hand is a modern retro classic motorcycle trying to replicate the glory of a bygone era. While the RD with its originality has been culminated to a sort of legendary status across the world, the XSR like most bikes in today’s age is a period motorcycle build with specific years in mind.
If launched even Yamaha is unlikely to push XSR300 as an RD350 successor. That said it is easy to argue that the bike has an evolutionary upgrade of design from the RD350 and its parallel twin cylinder mill (though 4-stroke) helps to further solidify this claim.
Two strokes are a thing of the past and thus the 349cc, parallel twin, air-cooled engine on the RD350 cannot be replicated on any modern day motorcycle. Though I’m not a 2–stroke fanatic it is easy to see why people love them. The Yamaha XSR300 will come with a more powerful ‘R3’ sourced 320cc mill whose parallel twin configuration is the only comparable factor to RD’s engine.
When we heard ‘Young Machine’ we decided to take some time before writing anything serious. To put it nicely, they are not really the most reliable source in Asia. If you check out these images (renders) of the GSX-R250 and GSX-R1000R they released in 2015, you will know what I mean. This is not their first or last wrong speculation either.
So there may never have been an XSR300 much less a RD350 Successor in the first place. Further, it is only the Indian automotive news sites (as far as I know) that have made a link between the two bikes.
So why were there even talks of an RD350 successor instead of a XSR300? It’s simple; a new RD350 model is an excellent clickbait. When someone says Yamaha will launch a new RD350 it will get far more traction than one of the numerous 300/250cc Japanese motorcycles said to be in pipeline. It is also a good way to promote their Facebook page especially with the number of shares that you are bound to get. Then again, I’m writing this article to get as many views and shares as possible so who am I to judge.
You can agree/disagree with me on the comment section below.