All Reviews – XSR700 Review: Yamaha is riding the neo retro wave – An MT-07 in the air of the (good old) time

XSR700 test: Yamaha surfs the neo retro wave

All Reviews - XSR700 Review: Yamaha is riding the neo retro wave - An MT-07 in the air of the (good old) time

Born from the collaboration between the designers of Yamaha Motor Europe and Shinya Kimura, Japanese preparer very involved in the Yamaha Yard Built project, the XSR700 brings a neo retro touch to the MT range. MNC was in Sardinia for his trial.

An MT-07 in the air of the (good old) days

Like fashion stylists, major motorcycle designers are increasingly sought after by manufacturers. Their artistic sensitivity and their ability to break free from stereotypical aesthetic codes is undoubtedly one of the keys to standing out from the ambient classicism..

Yamaha XSR700: availability, colors and prices

  • Availability: December 17, 2015 in the

  • Colors: "Forrest" green or "Garage Metal" gray

  • Price: 7 699 €

Shun Miyazawa (product manager at Yamaha Motor Europe) understood this perfectly by launching the projects in turn. Projects which have made it possible to multiply the achievements based on motorcycles from the Yamaha Sport Heritage range:,,, and now .

For the latter, designed on the CP2 platform of the, Shun Miyazawa has once again approached his Japanese idol Shinya Kimura, inventor of the "Zero-style" within Zero Engineering, created in Japan in 1992, then from Chabott Engineering, created in California in 2006.

Kimura San’s credo: "back to basics", which perfectly sums up his point of view and the philosophy he initiated this summer by designing his XSR700 "Faster Son". A philosophy to which Tatsuo Yamamoto, project manager of YMRE Italy, and Jun Tamura, chief designer in charge of the realization of the XSR700 on behalf of GK Design Europe, a company that has been designing Yamaha motorcycles for 60 years, have visibly subscribed..

On this XSR 700 basis, many projects should see the light of day, such as the very inspired "Super 7" by German designer JvB-moto (Jens Vom Brauck), also presented on the occasion of this press launch to demonstrate, if necessary , the great potential for customization of the XSR 700. Note that the XSR700 is assembled in France in the Yamaha / MBK factory in Saint-Quentin (02), which makes one more reason to take a close look…

With the MT-07, Yamaha had struck a blow by putting on the market a particularly well-born motorcycle, easy to access, cut for the city and the suburbs, playful, powerful and moreover offered at a very attractive price. Customers were not mistaken, the MT-07 immediately monopolizing the list of registrations, with 5,691 units at the end of 2014 and 3,750 units at the end of September 2015 (read our).

From MT-07 to XSR

To believe the Japanese engineers, converting this road-star into an XSR700 required long hours of thought, powerful in the past of the brand and being inspired in particular by the design of the Yamaha XS 650 of 1970, SR 400 of 1978 or SRX 600 from 1985.

Thus, the riding position has been revised, with the adoption of a wider handlebar (740 mm instead of 661.2 and a saddle raised to 815 mm (+10 mm). The frame structure integrating the engine as a carrier element does not change, except for the rear loop which has been slightly shortened and made removable to offer more possibilities for customization. The cast aluminum swing arm, with perforated left part, is retained.

The main contribution is at the level of the fuel tank, whose internal steel part is covered with sides and an aluminum upper plate, elements that give the XSR700 its special look. Aluminum that is also found on the front fender, more conventional, as well as on the sides with a perforated plate.

The headlight of the MT-07 is for its part replaced by an oblong and round model, just like the rear LED light. A superb two-seater in one piece with two-tone materials makes its appearance, thicker and more comfortable than that of the MT-07. The mirrors are also new.

The on-board instrumentation was changed in favor of a nice round and compact digital dial, less readable than that of the MT-07 but nevertheless provided with all the useful information (tachometer, tachometer, gear indicator engaged, level of ‘gasoline, instant and average consumption, odometer, 2 trips, water and outside air temperature, clock). The coded key remains in place, the switch still being housed on the other side of the handlebars.

As on the MT-07, there are 10-spoke alloy rims and ABS braking as standard, with two 282 mm "wave" discs and 4-piston caliper opposed to the front. The appearance of reflectors at the bottom of the fork indicates in passing that the XSR700 complies with Euro 4 emission standards and its various constraints..

Finally, the original MT-07 motorcycle tires are replaced by more vintage-looking ones, which in no way detract from their modernism or their performance, thanks to a dual-compound structure offering good grip in the dry and the wet … as we have been able to verify in Sardinia !

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