Onboard the Yamaha SDR200 - Urban Ride

Watching this video of this beautiful Yamaha SDR200 gets you thinking. What the hell is wrong with today's motorcycle industry? We want more bikes like this!

Some spec:

  • Weight - 115kg wet
  • Engine -  2 stroke 200cc pushing out about 35 hp also used in the Yamaha DT200R
  • Trellis frame designed for sharp cornering
  • Produced between 1986 and 1987!


Yamaha SDR200
Yamaha SDR200



Yamaha SDR200 engine
Yamaha SDR200 engine



Yamaha SDR200
Yamaha SDR200



Yamaha SDR200
Yamaha SDR200





What is it like to ride? Let's hear what Tanshanomi's snap judgements how to say about it:


It only puts out 34 horsepower, but with a powerband that's remarkably manageable for a small two-stroke and only a skosh over 250 lbs of bike to pull around, a hard-accelerating SDR is a very addictive endorphin rush.



Under perfect conditions, after the proper physical discipline is developed and the limits of the tiny chassis are clearly understood, the SDR's handling is theoretically phenomenal. In the real world, not so much. The rear shock is substandard, the steering is downright hyperkinetic, and the ultra-short, 9-inch-wide chassis is easily upset by road irregularities and even abrupt shifts in riding position. Fortunately, the brakes (identical to the TZR250 of the same era) are serious enough to effectively haul you back down from unadvised romps through the gears.




The SDR combines many of the desirable elements of the SRX-6 with a stunning, chromed trellis frame and an almost severe minimalism. Unique, upscale touches like the cast-aluminum airbox are surprising. The inelegant, knotted-up exhaust header is the only visual misstep, costing the bike half a point.



A small, high-strung, two-stroke single that's constantly driven near redline is never going to tolerate lackadaisical maintenance like a big, loping four-stroke. But the SDR was built using seriously good components and they've stood up to abuse remarkably well.



The SDR is a 2-wheeled go-kart. It's too small, too uncomfortable and too twitchy for normal transport. My mandatory two points off for non-US-market bikes drops its category score to a big, fat goose-egg.



The SDR200 is a rarity: a small-bore bike with uncommon beauty and performance that commands respect of any rider who boards it.



The SDR200 is a very potent recreational drug with no medicinal value.


Also check out the Yamaha SDR200 Facebook fanpage for more SDRs.




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