Yamaha SCR 950 test


V2, 942 cm3, 54 hp, 81 Nm, 252 kilos, € 9,999

A scrambler made on the basis of the XV 950 customs

Free your chains! Yes, refuse conformism, finally become yourself, no longer take the same paved roads as all the other sheep and follow the path, even slightly marked, which will reveal the real you who are in you. If this introduction appeals to you, watch the official presentation video of the Yamaha SCR 950 and you will see what becomes of this tied and arrogant frame after a ride in an SCR 950, it should appeal to you..

Besides, life is made of cycles, so do fashions and soon we will come back to trousers, acrylic undershirts and mussel hairstyles. That, moreover, is creepy, but you have to accept fate. Because the scrambler, ultimately, it’s nothing new, if you think about it, it is with a scrambler that Steeve McQueen escaped in the Great Escape, see the scope of the message: with the scrambler, we have the guy cool and sexy icon, Steevie, who refuses alienation, while without scrambling, the handsome Steevie would have transformed into Papa Schultz who watched over his stalag, with a little good nature, but without great ambition. Of course, extrapolation is daring, but the myths often have a reach that is beyond us: the Scrambler is freedom, period..

Nonetheless, the scrambler is, according to Yamaha, the new trend in the world of customization and that’s good news, but it’s still going back a long way. The Japanese firm which has built up a full range of "heritage sport" machines could not therefore miss this new fashion, even if the design of the Scrambler was made by drawing generously from a bank of organs: those of XV 950 R and XV 950 Racer. Hence this SCR 950, which comes at the right time since "neo-retro" machines represent more than 10% of 611,000 motorcycles sold in Europe and that this trend is on the rise..

Yamaha SCR 950 review


As has been said, the XV 950 have largely served as organ donors: hence a feeling of familiarity when examining this SCR 950, especially in the engine and frame part. Around, it is indeed different with more typical proportions, even if the curvatures of the frame at the front and at the base of the engine, always seem a little curious..

The SCR 950 draws heavily from the XV950R

The SCR 950 is available in black, but also in red and white, a livery which, subjective opinion, suits him better to the complexion, by gently recalling the aesthetic codes of the XT 500, for example, iconic motorcycle from Yamaha and emblem of ‘a time when the freedom to ride was established as a way of life. In our today’s sterile world, the SCR 950 would be wrong to deprive itself of this kind of references..

Compared to the donor base, the SCR did not miss its shot: volumes have changed in considerable proportions and this high legged and tall machine gives off a certain call for adventure. This is the goal.

Gusseted fork and studded tires support the 'off-road' side aesthetically

Speaking of research, in addition to the first feeling, rather positive, we then look into the details and we see that this SCR 950 has not been totally zealous in terms of finish, especially in the integration of the electrical harness. or in the dashboard, sexy like an early ’90s plastic arcade game, even if the essentials are almost there, including two trips, a fuel indicator and a clock. But no tachometer: at the same time and we will talk about it later, the characteristics of this engine mean that it is driven rather on torque and by ear.

The twin-cylinder delivers 55 horsepower

In the saddle

830 mm: obviously, this excludes the shortest on legs, but it is characteristic of all the machines having nothing of vocation "all terrain". Why quotes? We will come back to this later. In the meantime, the saddle is quite flat and well dug at the level of the crotch, also the SCR 950 wants to be quite democratic. As the tank is quite narrow, the warm-up remains rather intuitive; despite everything, we note that the engine resulting from customs retains particularities: prominent air filter on the right, rear cylinder slightly eccentric to the left. Becoming one with the machine is not easy.

The seat is raised to 830 mm

Another atavism of customs: finding the ignition key is an IQ test. Some colleagues (a bit of charity prevents me from quoting them) would have been rejected. The key is located at the front of the steering column, right side: you are right, there is nothing ergonomic or intuitive.

Once on board, we cannot say that we are overwhelmed with decisions to be made: the levers are not adjustable and we do not have any of these modern gadgets, like level of traction control or engine maps. Here, nothing but the usual XV950 series dashboard, consisting of a square digital window in a big round plastic assembly. We have the essentials and we manage to do without a tachometer. Despite everything, the "select" button on the right stalk allows you to scroll through the information: two trips and a clock. Contact: the V2 comes to life in a full, muffled and not jerky sound.

The Yamaha SCR 950's speedometer remains minimalist

In the city

She has some show-off attire, this SCR 950 and we can imagine that she will spend a lot of time in town. However, it blows hot and cold there. Good points: smooth controls and a flexible engine, able to resume on a trickle of gas at 50 km / h in fourth and start again on large boulevards without hiccups or dragging himself, with a response to the well-calibrated handle. Bad points: a wide handlebars (830 mm) and mirrors at the level of those of the cars. There is also a bad turning radius (fault with stops on the lower triple trees, which would benefit from being filed because there is room around). We also plague against the footrests which are located just vertically to the legs: during maneuvers, we therefore stumble against these rather protruding lugs. Finally, there is no practical aspect: for the anti-theft device, remember to stick it around your neck..

And, when you think about it, it’s both a shame and a little unexpected, because here is typically the kind of machine, by its look and its softness of use, that one would take pleasure to use intensively in an urban environment..

Its wide handlebars and turning radius do not make it the best ally in town

On highways and main roads

There are not many highways in the far south of Sardinia, location of this test. What we can say is that the 55 horsepower V2 is obviously not a thunderbolt, but that it extends the stride suitably and that it is able to fulfill the mission. However, the typical ergonomics, with this tall and wide handlebars, means that exceeding 110 km / h already puts more pressure on the shoulders. For the go-fast, therefore more logically plan an FJR 1300.

We weren’t really able to test big curves at high speed, but we still have a mixed feeling of overall chassis rigidity, linked to a previous test of the XV 950 Racer. we’ll do better next time.

The SCR's lack of protection does not call for high speeds

On departmental

We repeat to ourselves: sorry, but it’s so true. The departmental is the favorite place for these machines. And there, the Scrambler reveals another personality: despite its heavy weight, its geometry and rather modest tire dimensions give it exceptional agility. Going from pif to paf, never one has the impression of being on a machine of more than 250 kilos. Thanks to the large handlebars and especially to the cruiser-like V2, whose center of gravity is at the very bottom, at the level of the crankshaft. In fact, on a small winding road, the SCR 950 is just a treat to take, easy, obvious, natural: simple pleasures, but intense.

The cycle part is agile

The engine / chassis assembly does not encourage attack, but rather a clean, although possibly fast winding. In fact, agility remains the first quality and being critical of the rest borders on casting error. Given the vocation, the braking is correct and the engine pulls well at all speeds, in addition, in a really nice low hum without ever breaking the ears. All good, that.

The SCR is easy to take along

Obviously, when you look for it, you find it; there is nothing flamboyant about the rear suspension (it has the merit of not being caricatured by not sending inopportune strokes), but above all, the ground clearance is quite limited and by attacking a little bit, we is found resting on the footrests or even on their plates. Admittedly, the contemplative fraction of the clientele may not, if ever, go to this extremity, but by playing a (very) little bit, we get there. Pity.

Better to avoid attacking too much otherwise you will rub quickly

But once again, at a walking pace, this SCR 950 is nothing but happiness. The V2 bends to several uses, allowing the second gear to extend up to more than 90 km / h between two turns, or on the contrary to pass the 5th to 65 km / h and then let yourself be led on the couple..


It can do it: standing on the footrests, we find a fairly natural driving position even if the low engine (air filter, rear cylinder), come to remember the legs. The flexible and progressive V2 is an ally, but we will stay on the rolling path and not too dented. Not that the Bridgestone Trail Wings forfeit: on our test, which took place in the dry, they were up to the task, but on the bumps, the limited damping capacity, the rear shocks which deflect over 110 mm, the transmission belt and the more than 250 kilos all come together to remember you.

Weight limits performance off the road


Classic: front frame buckle from the XV 950, with a different rear section allowing a new flat saddle to be glued and a different trim, with number plates. The rear shocks travel over 110 mm, which is not much for a "scrambler" since, as a reminder, the Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled debates on 200 mm … At the front, the 41 mm diameter fork debates over 135 mm.

The shock absorber of the Yamaha SCR 950

Bridgestone Trail Wing tires are 100/90 x 19 front and 140/80 x 17 rear. They do the job well, even if, with the limited ground clearance, we will not seek their limit of grip. Nevertheless, they offer a rather correct feeling and allow this machine to be shaken without a second thought..


A single disc at the front (298 mm, 2 piston caliper) and the same at the rear. Nothing transcendent in the absolute, but carried out in accordance with its philosophy, one cannot say that the braking of the SCR 950 constitutes its weak point. The front is average, the rear is correct, the ABS is quite sensitive, which was expected.

The SCR is adorned with spoked rims

Comfort and duo

Delicate subject, given the mileage and road conditions. To say that it is comfortable: no. To say that she is uncomfortable: neither. The saddle seems to be well padded, but it lacks the verdict of the long course to have a final opinion on the matter. The rear shocks are bad, yes, but the saddle seems to be able to compensate a bit. For the duo: I climbed briefly behind a colleague with a generous build and I found myself with the taillight embedded in the parting and the legs quite bent. But a passenger jockey and in love will have a completely different feeling. Let us praise the diversity of humanity here !

The saddle of the Yamaha SCR 950

Consumption & autonomy

No consumption tests here, but Yamaha claims 5 l / 100. With 13.2 l in the tank, that’s already 250 km of range, which is correct. During the test of the XV 950 Racer, with identical mechanics, I had observed in real less than 5 l / 100. Yamaha therefore keeps its word…

The tank offers 13.2 liters of fuel for a range of approximately 250 km


Never trust the numbers. Because before the test, I said to myself: 55 horses + 250 kilos = blah. Super blah, even (identical, so, but with a cape). And yet: motorcycle magic, metal can turn into emotion. Try with your washing machine: it’s impossible.

Not that it is either the big kif on the handlebars of SCR 950. But we can nevertheless say that the result exceeds the sum of the parts. Admittedly, it is limited in TT because its weight and its basic suspensions remind you in TT use a nothing serious. Admittedly, the limited ground clearance on the road is a bit frustrating..

The Yamaha SCR 950 taken on the roads

But, riding in 5th gear on a small departmental, between 80 and 110 km / h, something is happening on this machine. A subtle feeling of well-being, which we tend to deny at the beginning, but which, little by little, enters you. We saw a thing, between the engine always present, the precise box, the full sound, the typical ergonomics, but versatile, between this demonic agility and this nice little look. This bike soaks up in you and provided you have the right frame of mind, you realize that in fact, it is cool…

And in our increasingly safe and controlled world, there is something simple and essential about this soothing and relaxing motorcycle design. And so, charming and endearing…

Strong points

  • Nice look
  • Pleasant on a walk
  • Smooth, round and good-sounding motor
  • Ease of driving
  • A certain relaxed and cool vision of the motorcycle

Weak points

  • Dry rear shock
  • Limited TT skills
  • Ground clearance in bends
  • Oddly not ideal in town
  • Heavy weight
  • Finishing details
  • Practical aspects…

The technical sheet of the Yamaha SCR 950

Test conditions

  • Route: 120 km of small roads in the region of Chia in southern Sardinia
  • Motorcycle mileage: 470 km
  • Problem encountered: none in absolute terms, but the opener still dragged itself a little…

Competition: Ducati Scrambler, Triumph Street Scrambler

The video test of the Yamaha SCR 950

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