Motorcycles

XSR700: Yamaha embraces the neo-retro craze with “modern classic” MT-07 makeover

XSR700: Yamaha embraces the ne...
The Yamaha XSR700 is the first model inspired by the Yard Built custom series to go into mass production
The Yamaha XSR700 is the first model inspired by the Yard Built custom series to go into mass production
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The Yamaha XSR700 is the first model inspired by the Yard Built custom series to go into mass production
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The Yamaha XSR700 is the first model inspired by the Yard Built custom series to go into mass production
The Faster Sons custom by Shinya Kimura inspired the Yamaha XSR700
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The Faster Sons custom by Shinya Kimura inspired the Yamaha XSR700
The Yamaha XSR700 has an vintage shaped 14 lt (3,7 gl) aluminum fuel tank
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The Yamaha XSR700 has an vintage shaped 14 lt (3,7 gl) aluminum fuel tank
The engine on the Yamaha XSR700 comes from the MT-07 (FZ-07) completely unchanged
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The engine on the Yamaha XSR700 comes from the MT-07 (FZ-07) completely unchanged
The Yamaha SXR700 features a two-texture leather vintage style seat unit
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The Yamaha SXR700 features a two-texture leather vintage style seat unit
The vintage style seat has a sculpted XSR700 logo on the back. The round tail light uses modern LED technology
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The vintage style seat has a sculpted XSR700 logo on the back. The round tail light uses modern LED technology
The Yamaha XSR700 uses a link-type Monocross rear suspension
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The Yamaha XSR700 uses a link-type Monocross rear suspension
Dual 282 mm wave disks with 4-pot calipers and ABS as standard
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Dual 282 mm wave disks with 4-pot calipers and ABS as standard
The round digital instrument resembles slightly the relevant part of the Ducati Scrambler
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The round digital instrument resembles slightly the relevant part of the Ducati Scrambler
Pirelli Phantom tires add to the vintage look
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Pirelli Phantom tires add to the vintage look
A short 530 mm swingarm supports the bike's sporty disposition
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A short 530 mm swingarm supports the bike's sporty disposition
The black round headlight was selected to complement the vintage look
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The black round headlight was selected to complement the vintage look
The 689 cc twin with the crossplane 270-degree crank pushes out 74.8 hp (55.8 kW) and 6.9 kg-m (49.9 lb-ft) of torque
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The 689 cc twin with the crossplane 270-degree crank pushes out 74.8 hp (55.8 kW) and 6.9 kg-m (49.9 lb-ft) of torque
An aluminum brace holds the front fender
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An aluminum brace holds the front fender
Black plastic panels hide some "modern" parts of the engine
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Black plastic panels hide some "modern" parts of the engine
The XSR logo sits on the center of the fuel tank
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The XSR logo sits on the center of the fuel tank
Real panels are designed to resemble vintage airbox covers
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Real panels are designed to resemble vintage airbox covers
The Yamaha XSR700 will be available in Forest Green and Garage Metal colors
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The Yamaha XSR700 will be available in Forest Green and Garage Metal colors
The Yamaha XSR700
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The Yamaha XSR700
The Yamaha XSR700
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The Yamaha XSR700
The Yamaha XSR700
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The Yamaha XSR700
The Yamaha XSR700
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The Yamaha XSR700
The Yamaha XSR700
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The Yamaha XSR700
The Yamaha XSR700
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The Yamaha XSR700
The Yamaha XSR700 in Forest Green
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The Yamaha XSR700 in Forest Green
The Yamaha XSR700 in Forest Green
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The Yamaha XSR700 in Forest Green
The Yamaha XSR700 in Forest Green
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The Yamaha XSR700 in Forest Green
The Yamaha XSR700 in Garage Metal
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The Yamaha XSR700 in Garage Metal
The Yamaha XSR700 in Garage Metal
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The Yamaha XSR700 in Garage Metal
The Yamaha XSR700 in Garage Metal
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The Yamaha XSR700 in Garage Metal
The MT-07 (FZ-07) provides the base for the XSR700
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The MT-07 (FZ-07) provides the base for the XSR700

As Yamaha embraces the neo-retro frenzy that has taken over the motorcycle industry, its XSR700is the first model inspired by the Yard Built custom series to go into massproduction. The brand new vintage-styled MT-07 (FZ-07) variant draws influencefrom the Faster Sons concept motorcycle, with its name paying homage to the iconicXS650 twin from the 1970s.

The basisfor the XSR700 is the MT-07 roadster, and in technical terms there isn’t much toseparate the two models. Engine, frame, suspension and brakes are identical, asYamaha understandably relied on a very competent package that has hit the bestsellers’ list in several countries. The 689 cc twin with the crossplane 270-degreecrank pushes out 74.8 hp (55.8 kW) and 68 Nm (49.9 lb-ft) of torque, which is morethan enough for a vigorous ride from the 186 kg (410 lb) motorcycle.

The MT-07 (FZ-07) provides the base for the XSR700
The MT-07 (FZ-07) provides the base for the XSR700

The vintage effect is provided by elements such as the headlight, the aluminum fuel tankand the tail/seat unit. Complemented by scrambler-style handlebars, the resultarguably owes more to Ducati’s Scrambler than the Faster Sons custom thatYamaha states as a source of inspiration.

Availablein Forest Green and Garage Metal colors, it will go on sale in November,apparently after a proper presentation at EICMA in Milan, Italy. The XSR700will be escorted by a substantial catalogue of model specific accessories aswell as a dedicated clothing line. The only thing that remains to be disclosedis the price tag. In Europe the MT-07 costs in the range of €6,000 to €6,500(US$6,500-7,000) depending on the country, and goes for $7,000 in the US. If the XSR700 attracts a similar price tag, it would make fora pretty attractive value-for-money bike.

The Yamaha XSR700
The Yamaha XSR700

The modernclassic scene has boomed in the last few years, encouraged by thephenomenal success Triumph has enjoyed with its Bonneville series. Individual custombuilders have flooded the global market, offering a huge variety of builds rangingfrom rejuvenated old motorcycles to modern models obscured behind retro designs.

Severalmainstream manufacturers have also jumped in for a slice of the pie. Honda came up withthe CB1100 classic roadster and BMW invested on the R NineT, yet itwas Ducati that hit the jackpot with the already iconic Scrambler. TheItalians report a 22 percent sales hike for the first half of 2015, with almosta third of this achieved single-handedly by the Scrambler – 9,000 units by Junefor a motorcycle that hit the markets in March! Can they produce them fastenough?

Yamaha is acting upon what appears to be a carefully designed strategy. For several years it has been marketing the Yard Built custom series as a collection of one-offmotorcycles by renowned custom shops from all over the world. All these customsare based on the Sport Heritage lineup, spearheaded by the mental V-Max and alsoincluding the XJR1300, XV950 and the SR400.

A few days ago Yamaha announced acompetition for its European dealers to create their own customs based on the aboveSport Heritage models, using only official after-market parts and accessories. Laterin the year, the same competition will open up to the public. Sounds like a veryclever way to form a bond with customers, create a lot of publicity and market theaccessories’ range all at the same time.

The Faster Sons custom by Shinya Kimura inspired the Yamaha XSR700
The Faster Sons custom by Shinya Kimura inspired the Yamaha XSR700

The FasterSons custom project is a Yard Built spin-off series, not necessarily restrictedto specific models. Yamaha uses this concept to sponsor fashionable events likethe Wheels and Waves in Biaritz, France in June, headlining with a parade ofYard Built customs and the public debut of the first Faster Sons custom, a ShinyaKimura café racer take on the MT-07. The XSR700 unveiling came less than amonth later. We should expect more such models from Yamaha in the near future.

Thecompetition is definitely planning several more modern classics. Triumph isabout to reveal a new liquid-cooled 1,100 cc Bonneville engine and is rumoredto use it in at least three different models: a classic roadster, a scramblerand a bobber. Some of these have already been photographed during testing. BMWwill almost certainly present a scrambler version of the R NineT, while Suzuki issaid to have a Gladius-based scrambler on the way.

Is this goingbackwards or, as Yamaha eloquently put it in the video presentation below, born tomorrow?

Source: Yamaha

Yamaha XSR700 - Born tomorrow

5 comments
Dan English
Being a relatively old rider and a recent Ducati Scrambler buyer I can say that while I am glad others are excited about the style the Ducati in my opinion is a much better looking example of what a Scrambler should be. I like the Yamaha's reliability but there is so much I am not willing to give up for that style. Just think the Ducati is a more attractive option.
Buck H
Sounds like the Harley Street 750 competition that just wrapped up. They had some interesting results as well.
Martin Hone
I guess when you start off with something basicly, well, ugly, then you open up a whole world of styling and after-market options. The best looking bike in the video is that green 1970 XS-1, despite that small dent in its fuel tank... Maybe I'm biased. I regret ever selling my drum-braked gold XS-1
RurhRurh
Dan, the Ducati is an appealing bike. And it's not surprising you defend your purchase. But the XSR700 will drop in at around $7-8,000, versus your $10-11,000 expenditure. In my book, with comparatively excellent design, the Yamaha absolutely kills the Ducati for me.
eddiewallace
It indeed looks great but I still prefer Ducati for the scrambler look. I am still looking forward to see how Yamaha fares up with this one though!