HUMBLE GOAT OR SOMETHING MORE?

The year was 1985 and Yamaha had just released another dual sport motorcycle. The Yamaha XT225 Serow.  I wonder if they knew that this unassuming bike would become a favourite of many riders, even 35 years after it’s initial launch? In the 35 years since 1985, the Serow has been the motorcycle of choice for a number of great adventure riders. For die hard motorcycle adventure travel fans, you should know that the wife of Austin Vince, famed for the hugely successful Mondo Enduro, Lois Pryce, took her Yamaha Serow from Alaska, down the length of America and to the tip of South America in her equally famous book, Lois on the Loose. Aside from the A-list celebs, the Serow was also the choice of bike for Helen Lloyd, another accomplished rider for her book (and others) Iceland Serow Saga. On this page you shall find model history, resources, workshop manuals, parts and an ever growing archive of information.

FAQS AND POINTS OF INTEREST

This is a summary of the data found here. To date your Serow, check the last 2 digits of the frame number. Graphics as per the link are then a good start to finding your specific model code. Not that these have any practical use as the parts are the same apart from the pre- 1989 model.

5RKF-2007-USA
5RKG-2007-USA
5RKH-2007-Europe
5RKC-2006-USA
5RKD-2006-USA
5RKE-2006-Europe
5RK9-2005-USA
5RKA-2005-USA
5RKB-2005-Europe
5MP4-2004-Japan
5MP4-2004-Japan
5RK6-2004-USA
5RK7-2004-USA
5RK8-2004-Europe
5MP3-2003-Japan
5MP3-2003-Japan
5RK3-2003-USA
5RK4-2003-USA
5RK5-2003-Europe
4BEY-2002-USA
5MP2-2002-Japan
5RK1-2002-USA
5RK2-2002-Europe
4BEV-2001-USA
4BEW-2001-USA
4BEX-2001-Europe
4BEU-2000-Europe
5MP1-2000-Japan
XT225M-2000-USA
XT225MC-2000-USA
4BER-1999-Europe
XT225L-1999-USA
XT225LC-1999-USA
4BEM-1998-Europe
4JG6-1998-Japan
XT225K-1998-USA
XT225KC-1998-USA
4BEJ-1997-Europe
4JG5-1997-Japan
XT225J--1997-USA
XT225JC--1997-USA
4BEF--1996-Europe
4JG4--1996-Japan
4JG4-1996-Japan
XT225H--1996-USA
XT225HC--1996-USA
4BEC--1995-Europe
4JG3--1995-Japan
4JG2--1995-Japan
XT225G--1995-USA
XT225GC--1995-USA
4BE9--1994-Europe
XT225F--1994-USA
XT225FC--1994-USA
3RW5--1993-Japan
4BE6--1993-Europe
4JG1--1993-Japan
XT225E--1993-USA
XT225EC--1993-USA
3RW3--1992-Japan
4BE3--1992-Europe
XT225D--1992-USA
XT225DC--1992-USA
3RW2--1991-Japan
3RW1--1989-Japan
2LN0--1987-Japan
1RF0-1986-Japan

Fuel Tank: Here we can see that the fuel tank has some mounting differences between the years. Additionally, the air scoop is a slightly different shape. The tank on the left is later than the tank on the right.

The standard Yamaha XT225 Serow holds around 8.8 litres of fuel. This gives the XT225 a fairly small range of around 120 miles before hitting the reserve. There are two options for larger capacity tanks.

  • 16l - Clarke Tank. Available here.
  • 23l - Acerbis Tank. Available here.

I will talk more about the Acerbis Tank in a post within the Workshop section of this site.
The Clarke Tank is of mixed reviews. When BikesAndBackpacks had this tank, we found that it fitted fairly poorly for the money paid. We then purchased second hand 23l Acerbis tanks, rigged the brackets required and fitted to our own satisfaction. There are pros and cons with each tank which will be mentioned within a workshop post.

The older XT225s are in excess of 30 year old now and not getting any younger! This means that a number of them are quite tired. However, even later models still have a few issues that occur commonly on the Facebook groups and forums.

That issue is hard starting and carb issues.

Other issues:

  • Aged brittle wiring. Particularly around the front of the frame where movement occurs.
  • Cable choke is attached to the carb via a plastic piece. This is prone to cracking and can cause issues. Rebuild kits are available.
  • Accelerator pump (black plastic piece on the carb). The top of this is prone to cracking and may cause an adverse effect. Replacement available.
  • Regulator rectifier can malfunction. It is best to buy oem spares of all the electrical components when you see them for a good price.
  • Swingarm/shock condition. A lot of these bikes have been used and abused with little maintenance, the condition of the suspension should be reviewed.

OEM Serow decals are non existent. Replicas are available from websites such as Aliexpress. However, from our own personal experience, the cheap price is reflected with the cheap quality. By this we mean, poor adhesive and flimsy printed material.
Over the years that I have grown BikesAndBackpacks, I have put together templates for a number of variations of XT225s. I can now offer full replica decal kits for some Serow models. As well as a number of extra or individual stickers for your restoration.
Please click this link to read more about my XT225 Stickers.
Or click this link to see all my XT225 stickers.

We use 10W-40 semi synthetic motorcycle oil in all our Yamaha XT225 Serows. Purchase this oil here.

YAMAHA XT225 SEROW - MANUALS & RESOURCES

OWNERS MANUAL

DOWNLOAD

WORKSHOP MANUAL

DOWNLOAD

WIRING DIAGRAM

DOWNLOAD

KICKSTART INSTALLATION

DOWNLOAD

REBUILD – RESTORE – MAINTAIN

(Coming Soon) Seen as I myself am the owner of a 1989 3RW, I have dedicated it’s own section in this websites “Workshop” zone. There you will find a number of high quality walk through articles, step by step guides and videos of various maintenance, rebuild and restoration projects for the XT225 along with other bikes that I have a liking to, mainly Yamaha XTs. Follow the button below to check out what I am up to in the workshop.

MY YAMAHA XT225 SEROW

The Yamaha XT225 Serow 3RW was my first bike after passing my motorcycle test. Within 3 weeks I was on the ferry to norther Spain with it along with my Dad and his 4JG and his friend with a Brazilian import 225. There we spent two weeks having a great time in the Picos and Someido National Park. Two years later, after a number of UK trips, including 1100 miles in 5 days to Skye and back, we loaded up the Serows and headed to Swizterland, spending two weeks blasting up and down the Swiss Alps, before a short trip trail riding in the French Voges. You can read much more about my own Yamaha XT225 Serow, including it’s full restoration for it’s biggest trip yet here.

GALLERY