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Yamaha XSR700 Review

Yamaha XSR700 Review

Motorcycle Review by Wayne Vickers

This week we’re looking at the smaller of the two from Yamaha’s retro ‘Sport Heritage’ range. For the unfamiliar, the XSR lineup consists of the bigger brother XRS900 which runs the impressive 847cc triple shared with the MT-09 (which probably gets the most attention) – and the XSR700 as reviewed here which runs the equally impressive 655 cc parallel-twin also shared with the MT-07LA.

Learner legal but with great performance and style the XSR700 is a great package

And yep, it’s learner legal, but try not to think of it as just a ‘first bike’ to just ride for a bit and then trade in for something bigger and better like some of the other entry level offerings. There’s plenty to like about the smaller XSR and I could not only see it being a long term prospect kept well beyond the learning period for a lot of riders, its a quality bike in its own right. So, we’ll cover the obvious stuff first.

The whole driveline is shared with the MT-07LA which you can read more about here – and it’s terrific. Smooth delivery from idle with a generous helping of character from the 270-degree crank, its essentially vibe free, torquey and incredibly easy to use. As they say – if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it. And this definitely ain’t broke. Throttle feel and fueling are both spot on, the box is great, quick-shift isn’t needed here. Get it past 3 and a half grand and it pulls solidly. Highway cruising sits you at around 4 and a half which is right in the meat and potatoes for plenty of overtaking poke.

The engine was changed to suit Australian LAMS regulations with capacity reduced from 689 to 655cc
Trev demonstrates the wheelie prowess of an XSR700

It’ll lift the front happily from lower speeds when asked to and keep it up right through to fourth – it’s actually a surprisingly well balanced wheelie bike! And it’s a very proven package with truck loads of them on the roads all over the world. Today’s learners don’t know how good they’ve got it!Switchgear is all excellent Yamaha fare and both the clutch and brake operation is light and easily controlled. The brakes are well specced too for the package. Twin 282 mm wave discs up front and a 245 mm in the rear, both ends get ABS. Plenty of power without being intimidating on initial bite.

On top of that familiar driveline, they’ve added some really nice styling. Starting from the back for a change, the circular LED tail light is uniquely executed and really stands out – a stylish blend of old meets new. I like it. It’s quite different – and that in itself is no bad thing.

Yamaha XSR700

Moving forward from there, the seat has a nice old school shape with two different leather finishes and has the XSR700 ‘logo’ (which is featured in a few places) embossed into the back. The seat height is slightly higher than the MT-07LA by the way at 835 mm compared to 805 mm, but doesn’t feel tall at all.

2020 Yamaha XSR700

It has a 14-litre aluminium tank – the same capacity as the MT-07LA, which will see you comfortably past the 300 km range, with a red plastic strip bolted on top. I’m torn as to whether I like the exposed bolts if I’m honest. One minute I’m liking the bit of edginess it adds, the next minute I think it’s a bit of an afterthought. It doesn’t seem to look out of place though. This new for 2020 colour scheme is called ‘dynamic white’ by the way. A tasty nod to some of the old schemes from years gone by and to my eyes is a much nicer look than the outgoing scheme. The gold cast alloy wheels complete the vibe.

2020 Yamaha XSR700

Up onto the dash and I really, really like what they’ve done here. It’s as simple and nice a dash as I’ve seen for a retro styled bike. A round shape reflecting an old analogue dial, tacho around the outside, gear shift indicator on top, large speedo in the middle and fuel at the bottom. I’d personally like to see the rev numbers a little larger so you can pick them out more easily at speed, and a temp gauge using half of the fuel meter space, but it’s nicely done. I dig it – it completes the picture and helps to give the bike a real identity when riding.

2020 Yamaha XSR700

Moving further forward and there’s more nice touches of brushed aluminium around the classic shaped headlight. All in all I think the designers have done a nice job. The more I looked at it, the more there was to like. Same goes for the XSR900 for that matter. It’ll be interesting to see how the sales go this year compared to the MT-09.

2020 Yamaha XSR700

On the road it’s always going to be a very similar thing to the MT-07LA which again is no bad thing. Seating position is quite comfortable – reach to the bars is easy and relaxed. The seat is nice and narrow and leg over is easy. Lots of room to move your body around – slipping from urban cruiser mode to a more sporty ride position to carve some corners is a doddle. It feels light (186kg wet) and quite agile with its short wheelbase of 1405 mm. That translates to a nimble, easily maneuverable ride in traffic and perfect for both someone learning their way around riding, and someone more experienced who can take a little more advantage of it.

2020 Yamaha XSR700

Suspension-wise I found nothing to complain about with the front, but I did feel the rear pogo-ing probably more on this than the MT-07LA. Could do with some more damping for mine, but unfortunately unlike the MT-07LA it’s not adjustable. It’s most noticeable on repeated bumps – especially mid corner where it upsets things a little if you’re pressing on and the bike will sit up more than I’d like. But I’m probably a fussy bastard who’s been spoilt. A learner will probably not find this a limitation and an experienced rider who wants to push harder will probably be looking at the bigger XSR anyway.

I didn’t find myself pushing it hard that often though to be honest, possibly because I wasn’t 100 per cent happy with the handling. Instead I found more its its sweet spot as somewhat more of a little retro hooligan tool. Maybe that was just the mood I’m in at the moment… It’s perfectly happy to cruise about and would make a fine commuter. It’s an absolutely ripping low speed wheelie bike..

Where does that leave us then? Well, it’s a competitive little segment now I guess, the naked learner approved light-middleweights. I’m not convinced there’s much out there that’ll top this. I’d probably buy the XSR over the MT-07LA just for the styling. And then maybe look to get the shock modified or bung in an aftermarket unit as you started to push the limits a bit harder if you were that way inclined.

Yamaha XSR700 Summary

Why I like it

  • Lovely silky smooth proven drivetrain
  • Learner legal! But definitely not just for learners.
  • Solid torque from low down. Loves a wheelie 🙂
  • Nice retro styling and finish overall

I’d like it more if

  • Exhaust note could be a little more aggressive
  • Could do with a better rear shock
2020 Yamaha XSR700
2020 Yamaha XSR700 Specifications
Engine 655cc Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valve, 2-cylinder
Bore x Stroke 78.0 x 68.6
Compression Ratio 11.0 : 1
Claimed Power 38.3 kW (51 hp) at 8000 rpm
Claimed Torque 57.5 Nm at 4000 rpm
Induction EFI
Gears Constant mesh 6-speed
Clutch Wet, non quick-shift
Frame Steel Diamond
Forks 41mm telescopic fork, 130mm travel front
Shock Swingarm (link), 130mm travel
Tyres 120/70 ZR17 (F) / 180/55 ZR17 (R)
Front Brakes Hydraulic dual discs, 282mm – ABS
Rear Brake Hydraulic single disc, 245mm – ABS
Electronics ABS
Instrumentation LCD
Wet Weight 186 kg
Seat Height 835 mm
Ground Clearance 140 mm
Wheelbase 1405 mm
Rake / Trail 24.5-degrees / 90 mm
Fuel Capacity 14 L
Warranty 24 months unlimited kilometres
Available Now
Price $12,899 ride away
Wheels Waves Atmos Ride
Yamaha Yard Built XSR700 Customs

Source: MCNews.com.au

Stylish learner legal retro twin from Yamaha gets new look

2020 Yamaha XSR700

2020 Yamaha XSR700

Yamaha dealers are now taking deliveries of the learner legal 2020 Yamaha XSR700 in an eye-catching new Dynamic White colour scheme.

2020 Yamaha XSR700

Designed to reflect iconic models from Yamaha’s 65-year heritage, the XSR700 is a popular model in Yamaha’s ‘Sport Heritage’ range and is certainly one of the most attractive learner legal motorcycles on the market.

2020 Yamaha XSR700

Styling cues include an aluminium fuel tank, front and rear aluminium fenders, two-texture leather seat, vintage-style headlight and taillight, circular instrumentation and brushed aluminium around the front fender, radiator and headlight.

2020 Yamaha XSR700

Just like Yamaha’s top-selling MT-07LA, the learner approved XSR700 is unique to the Australian market; built by the factory to meet Australian Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme (LAMS) guidelines.

655 cc mill especially designed for the Australian LAMS market

Heritage by nature but modern by design. Power is provided by a 655cc twin-cylinder engine, mounted in a lightweight and slim steel trellis frame with the engine as a stressed member. A 270-degree engine crank provides rich and linear torque delivery right across the rev range.

2020 Yamaha XSR700

The XSR700 is tuned to just slide under the llearner power restrictions but delivers great torque that is sure to continue to excite long after the L-plates are ditched.

2020 Yamaha XSR700

Model specifications of the 2020 model are unchanged from the 2019 XSR700 and ride away pricing is $12,899 including GST.

2020 Yamaha XSR700

2020 Yamaha XSR700 Specifications

  • Engine – 655 cc parallel twin, DOHC, 4-valve
  • Bore x Stroke – 78 x 68.6 mm
  • Compression Ratio – 11.01:1
  • Induction – EFI
  • Gearbox – Six speed
  • Fuel Capacity – 14 litres
  • Front Suspension – Forks, 130 mm travel
  • Rear Suspension – Monoshock, 130 mm travel
  • Brakes – 282 mm twin disc (F), 245 mm disc (R)
  • Tyres – 120/70-17 (F), 180/55-17 (R)
  • L x W x H – 2075 x 820 x 1130 mm
  • Wheelbase – 1405 mm
  • Seat Height – 835 mm
  • Ground Clearance – 140 mm
  • Wet Weight – 186 kg
  • Warranty – 24 months
  • Price – $12,899 ride away
2020 Yamaha XSR700
2020 Yamaha XSR700
2020 Yamaha XSR700
2020 Yamaha XSR700
2020 Yamaha XSR700
2020 Yamaha XSR700

Source: MCNews.com.au

Yamaha recall bikes over missing sticker

Yamaha Motor Australia has recalled 1193 MT-07 and XSR700 models for a missing exhaust noise compliance sticker. 

The official notice issued through the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says correct Stationary Noise Data labels were not fitted to these motorcycles in production.

It is a requirement of the Australian Design Rule ADR 83 for the sticker to be attached to each motorcycle.

Riders risk being fined by police for non-compliance.

Obviously, you could successfully fight such a fine, but it would be an inconvenience.

Easy fix

Owners have been advised to “immediately contact their local Yamaha Dealer and arrange to have the label attached at no charge”.

In the meantime, we suggest you keep a copy of this article on hand to show to police if they intend to issue a notice.

Click here to see a complete list of vehicle identification numbers for the 1193 affected bikes. 

Consumers can find their nearest authorised Yamaha dealership by clicking here.

The MT-907 and XSR700 were also recalled last year for loose chain protector bolts.

Yamaha XSR700 missing sticker
Yamaha XSR700

Missing stickers

It is not the first time motorcycles have been recalled for a missing noise sticker.

In 2016, Braaap motorcycles were recalled over the sticker issue and last year several Triumph models were recalled for the missing noise sticker.

Even though manufacturers and importers contact owners when a recall is issued, the bike may have been sold privately to a rider unknown to the company.

Therefore, Motorbike Writer publishes all motorcycle recalls as a service to all riders.

If you believe there is an endemic problem with your bike that should be recalled, contact the ACCC on 1300 302 502.

To check whether your motorcycle has been recalled, click on these sites:

• Australia


• New Zealand

• Canada

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com