XSR’s up the mountain

Fans of Yamaha’s XSR700 and 900 recently came together for a cool ride and get-together in Queensland.


Yamaha tells us all about it:


Yamaha twins and triples summit Tamborine Mountain

A stunning Autumn morning in one of Brisbane’s leafier suburbs saw 39 XSR’s gather for the second annual Queensland XSR Owner’s Ride.

The meeting point was Brisbane’s hugely popular Fonzie Abbott coffee roastery where the local brew was served to heighten the senses for an epic ride.

After a quick briefing from ride co-ordinator Jock Houston from Kelpi Custom Moto, it was onto the city’s motorway to get the hell out of Dodge and find some notoriously twisty roads to lap up.

The group met another six XSRs and their owners en route to bolster total attendees to 45, then headed to one of the most picturesque locations on the Gold Coast – Mount Tamborine.

Once the group shot had been captured on top of the mountain, riders headed south and along much less crowded roads meandering through countryside that looked like it was prepped for a travel documentary. By now a few sub groups had formed where everyone was enjoying themselves in the tighter and more challenging twisties that lead across the Queensland border and into Murwillumbah, NSW.

It was now time to top up those CP2 and 3 engines before heading back across the border and grabbing lunch at Iron & Resin Garage in Currumbin, where juicy burgers hit the hunger spot. Plenty of bench racing ensued covering the epic moves made throughout the day and who had the best looking bike.

As Jock noted, Yamaha’s XSR appeals to both genders: “We had five women join us for the ride which was great! There’s no reason why the XSR range needs to be male only, so it’s good to have more women than we’ve previously seen out on rides with us,” says Jock. “And it’s safe to say we got the full spectrum. We had a girl on a 700 who’d just passed her test and had never ridden highways, group rides or twisties before. In contrast, we had one of the organisers of On2Crew who hosts fairly spirited night rides on her XSR900, and Yolande who’s managed to do more than 40,000kms on her 700 in under two years,” continues Houston.

Prizes were awarded in Currumbin before the group headed for home. Thanks to Kelpi Custom Moto for organising a fun day. If you’d like to hear about similar future events, be sure to join the Yamaha XSR 700 / 900 Australia Facebook group.

Roll on 2024!


XSR Owners Ride? Tell us more!

Jock Houston explains more about Australia’s tightknit XSR community

Who is the ride leader?

The ride leader is Drew Mansini. He and I we run the Australian XSR forum and have built a couple of bikes together over the years. He’s also the engineering mind behind the XSR700 Desert Sled; a dirt bike conversion on these bikes that ends up with similar specs to the T7 but 20kg lighter. I’m lucky to call him a friend, and he’s been a part of most of my favourite rides on the XSR.

How popular is the XSR Ride?

We left Fonzie Abbott with 39 XSR’s and picked up a further six at the two regroup locations. To put this into perspective, the first group XSR ride in Brisbane was 10 riders, then 15 on the second, so to get that many riders of the same niche bike together is massive… it definitely made for a slow start whilst we went up Tamborine. But once the ride had filtered into faster and slower groups we managed to pick the pace up to become a bit more lively for everyone. We did have a Ducati V4 Panigale join us for that leg, and I have zero sympathy for his wrists after that snail trail up the first mountain!

Who won which prizes?

Will Yeti won the Kelpi prize pack of a Fielder Oilskin Jacket and Gripper gloves, and Paul Ingram won the Yamaha $500 parts prize pack. Both blokes ride early gen XSR700s that they’ve modified. We’ve also decided to give Trent Challenger a set of new mirrors for his bike, as he had close to 14 hours of travel back and forth from St George to be with us, and that sort of commitment should always be rewarded! For the first two prizes we handed out raffle tickets and drew the winners at Iron & Resin after the ride.


Anything to add?

These rides currently happen about once a year in Brisbane and Sydney at the moment, but we’re always looking for new ways to bring the XSR community closer together around Australia. It’s the community that supported me when I first started Kelpi Custom Moto, and I want to keep supporting it as much as I can. Big thanks to Yamaha for coming on board and supporting local community run events like ours, we’ve made some great memories and I’m sure there will be even better things to come down the track!

The spectrum gets wider every time we host one of these with wilder custom builds, from cafe racers, scramblers, vintage replicas, flat trackers and more. One day I’d love to see one of these events double as a custom bike competition where people can have their builds voted on by local XSR riders in the scene, or maybe even build something custom that’s direction is democratically decided by the owners of these bikes in Australia.

There are very few motorcycles you can buy now that can be modified easily into a track bike, a dirt bike or a custom road bike – and that’s the biggest reason we love the XSRs and work with them almost daily.

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