2018 Yamaha XSR700 Review | Retro-Modern Motorcycle
With a retro style that is firmly established in today’s motorcycle market, Yamaha has hoped to fan the flames of motorcycling between generations with its Sport Heritage line.
The XSR series machines take care of the sportiest side of the world’s 2018 Sport Heritage lineup, and this year we get the crucial middleweight offering: the 2018 Yamaha XSR700.
The Sport Heritage line is the way in which Yamaha honors the past of companies, through the style cues of the past that have become an integral part of the brand image, and uses its modern machines as a solid foundation, creating a similar experience, with an alternative look that could appeal to a wider audience. variety of riders without sacrificing performance.
Now that the 2018 Yamaha XSR700 has landed on American soil, we’ve had our first chance to get acquainted with Yamaha’s latest retro riding. We hit the streets of San Diego and then turned our attention to the winding Sunrise Highway in the nearby Cleveland National Forest. Here are the essential basic facts.
1. The Yamaha MT-07 cleans very well. Don’t take it as a hit, but when it comes to style, the XSR700 wins hands down. Beneath all that pomp and circumstance is the MT-07 (formally the FZ-07 in North America) that we all know and appreciate since its introduction in 2013.
2. The XSR700 combines the new with the old. Much of the design inspiration for the XSR line comes from the original Yamaha XS series, which was first seen on showroom floors in the 1960s and discontinued in the 1980s. Looks like the round headlight, fuel tank shape, and round taillight (now LED for the 21st century) encourage that vintage look without going in a flashy direction. In fact, this is downright classy.
3. With a new design, the XSR700 incorporates a new ergonomics. In many ways, we can think of the XSR700 as the fashion-conscious sibling of the MT-07, or rather the sibling that really has a romantic hit. Of course, all of that can be attributed to personality. While the XSR shares much of its components with the MT-07, it’s taller, wider, has a backward-sloping handlebar, and a nearly half-inch taller saddle. This encourages a properly upright riding position. Those aspects create a slightly different driving experience on the XSR700, one that isn’t shy about going sporty. However, it is still comfortable and makes for a more accommodating cabin.
4. Ah, the 689cc Crossplane Concept engine, how much we love you. Returning to the fold is Yamaha’s sturdy parallel calf which delivers an impressive blow with a flick of the wrist. The heart of the XSR700 is a more than capable accomplice when zipping through the streets in traffic or taking off into the canyons, allowing riders to utilize the full rev range without a single hiccup. Quick throttle response will make the most of the great low and mid-range power delivered in a delightfully manageable manner. It’s a quality that less experienced riders will appreciate as they will be able to feel comfortable with the engine at any rpm, while advanced riders are sure to enjoy.
5. Middleweight motorcycles need to be agile, and the 2018 Yamaha XSR700 doesn’t disappoint. What a midweight sports bike lacks in power, it has to make up for in handling. That has been a strong point of the MT / XSR platform since its introduction. The XSR’s short 55-inch wheelbase and 25-degree stress-free rake will allow you to navigate through traffic with ease while allowing for a great deal of stability at higher speeds. It only takes a subtle hint to get the XSR700 pointing in the right direction, another quality less experienced riders will embrace.
6. The conventional 41mm fork and horizontally mounted shock are not new, but received an overhaul. While still on the sporty but smooth side of things, Yamaha engineers increased the spring speed and rebound damping at the fork a bit. The spring rate of the shock absorber was increased by approximately ten percent, while the damping in both directions increased by a third. That means Yamaha is listening to the market’s desire for a firmer suspension. As for adjustability, it will only have preload at the rear.
7. Price-oriented suspension makes the …