Vintage Style, Modern Tech: Yamaha “Retromod” from West Java…
The Yamaha WR155R is one of the most advanced small-displacement dual-sports currently in production. A smaller sibling to the WR250R, the bike features a 155cc four-stroke engine with liquid-cooling, fuel-injection, and VVA (Variable Valve Actuation) — a system that changes the cam profile at different speeds, optimizing power delivery throughout the rev range.
The engine, also used in the XSR155 street bike, makes 16.5 hp and 10.5 ft-lb of torque — solid numbers for such a small-displacement machine. The WR also features a 21/18″ wheelset, front / rear disc brakes, a six-speed transmission, and is said to hit 75 mph with ease. It isn’t the most affordable dual-sport in its class, but one of the best:
“Inspired by the bigger and more advanced dual-sport Yamaha WR250R, the WR155R offers beginner riders modest dirt bike performance without the speed and complexity of a much bigger machine.” –Wheel 2 Wheel
While today’s dirt bikes and dual-sports have certainly taken performance to new levels, many of us miss the style of their air-cooled ancestors — machines like the Yamaha XT, DT, and IT series.
Recently, we talked to Maulana Sandi of West Java’s Barokah Djaya Sukabumi — a workshop that specializes in vintage off-road, motocross, and enduro bikes. While the machine you see here may appear vintage at first glance, it’s actually a 2021 Yamaha WR155R built in collaboration with Yamaha Jabar — Yamaha’s official West Java division.
The concept was “Back to the 80s.” Maulana and crew sought to turn back the clock on a brand-new dual-sport, taking inspiration from the Yamaha XT500 and other “vinduros” of 70s and 80s. The result is what we’ve come to call a “retromod” — a modern bike with the style of a vintage machine. (In contrast to a restomod — a vintage bike with modern performance upgrades.)
The result is a bike that harks back to the iconic Yamaha XT500 of yesteryear, yet retains the modern performance and reliability of a 2021 model. Below, we talk to Maulana for the full story on the build and share more photos courtesy of photographer Yulian Abdul Sidiq (@_yulianass).
Yamaha WR155R Scrambler: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
Yamaha WR155R, 2021.
• Why was this bike built?
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
The concept was “Back to 80’s.”
• What custom work was done to the bike?
Mostly body work, including the tank, fenders, headlight, saddle, and more.
The engine and suspension are original manufacturer equipment.