Yamaha XSR 700 and Ducati Scrambler retro bikes in comparison

Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle and Yamaha XSR 700 in comparison test

Beautiful daughters, quick sons

Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle and Yamaha XSR 700 look very similar at first glance: two factory-fitted looks in the lower middle class, two 75 hp, full beard and lumberjack shirt. In fact, the two motorcycles are fundamentally different. Two manufacturers, two philosophies, one consideration.

First of all, let’s take a closer look today. Consider the Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle and Yamaha XSR 700 quite extensively. Let these two retro-modern styled motorcycles work on you in peace and quiet. Do not cheat! Finished? Well. What do you see? Which do you like better? Which of the two would you choose? If you went for the tidy, air-cooled, timelessly chic Scrambler Ducati, then you’d be in the majority.

Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle and Yamaha XSR 700 in comparison test

Beautiful daughters, quick sons

Scrambler Full Throttle hit the nail on the head like that. Damn hard to stink against it. Not only, but especially for Yamaha’s “Faster Son”, the fast son of the Yamaha XSR 700.

Similarity to the Ahnin XS 650?

After all, Yamaha was the first Japanese manufacturer to recognize the market potential of reinterpreting classics ex works and delivering them. But apart from the fact that the marketing chatter about the legacy of the fast sons comes along as much as the alleged resemblance to the Ahnin XS 650 – the Yamaha XSR 700 looks simple and simple. Your base, the MT-07, can do many things exceptionally well, no question about it. There is only one thing that is not necessarily part of it: to provide a clean, tidy base for a stylish retro-naked. The water cooler stands out too prominently, too many covers, panels, hoses, cables and pipes – wherever you look.

Not a big deal in itself, but the eye goes with it, especially in a motorcycle category that is also defined to a considerable extent by its appearance. Then we remember that the Yamaha XSR 700 with 75 hp, 68 Nm and just under 190 kilos has almost identical key data as that of the Scrambler. And in terms of price, how was that? 8,400 euros for the very valuable Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle, that’s not that much more than the 7,500 that Yamaha calls for the XSR. This time the matter is already clear before the first meter of driving?

Rossen Gargolov

Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle and Yamaha XSR 700.

So one by one. First of all the hard facts. And this time they are also unusually clear. Because in almost every objectively assessable respect, the XSR 700 waddles the scrambler. Starting with the engine. The MT twin sets the bar pretty high in this class. It is unbelievable how playful and at the same time present the two in a row appears with a 270 degree crank pin offset. The usable speed range extends from almost 2000 tours into the five-digit range, and the 700 is everywhere with music. This is where the obligatory start in the cellar, sinewy middle and wonderful revving until shortly before the end add up. More a pleasantly pulsating run without a hint of annoying vibrations.

Unxcited, smooth throttle response, perfect controllability, smooth clutch, beautiful gearbox – this engine simply does everything right. And that, in contrast to the Ducati, already in compliance with the Euro 4 standard that will soon come into force. Okay, the Duc also has 75 HP in the brochure (and 73 HP in the bill), and the test bench also confirms their presence. But no, these Cavalli really don’t go about it with the same verve as the Yamaha ones. Below the L-Twin doesn’t really want to, and above the two-valve engine lacks the liveliness of the Yamaha. Only the beautifully powerful middle of the 800 and a shorter gear ratio allow the Duc to stay tuned to the XSR in terms of motor. And does this artificially brash throttle response, which rather suggests thirst for action, really have to be? Isn’t that a bit chubby and infantile?

Scrambler starts with additional equipment

Only at first sight. And that’s not only because the Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle with lower handlebars, Termignoni rear silencer and stylishly sewn two-tone seat is not just 8400, but just under 10,000 euros. No, in truth this time it’s a little more complicated.

If you take a closer look at the two machines Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle and Yamaha XSR 700, you have to deal with looks, technology and driving behavior as well as what you actually expect from a motorcycle in general and these neo-retro bikes in particular . That in turn brings you to the question of who you actually are. But at this point that might lead a little too far.

The soft tuning of the XSR 700 fits the concept

The hoses and pumps on the Yamaha engine may not look as fancy as the metal cooling fins and timing belt cover, but the inner workings of the Yamaha XSR 700 are likely to make you forget that. Same with the chassis. Tea Yamaha is tuned to be marginally soft, but that somehow fits the concept. The fork responds very well to the smallest of waves and offers a lot of comfort. At least as long as the gas hand is not digitally on one, then it gets too rocky. The newly launched Pirelli Phantom has astonishing grip and harmonizes perfectly with the chassis. A neutral, balanced, light-footed flying carpet, that’s how wonderful the Yamaha drives after its cannon barrel headlights. Incidentally, the four kilos extra weight of the XSR compared to the MT-07 are at best noticeable when compared with the same. 

The Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle? Tightly sprung, it rumbles dry to hard over everything, especially behind. Speak to? Rather moderate. You can glorify that as earthy and honest, but you don’t have to. In addition, your 18-inch front wheel turns more unwilling, more stubborn, less neutral. The seating position of the Yamaha XSR 700 corresponds roughly to that of a compact naked bike with the handlebars stretched far back, while the Scrambler with its combination of a very low seat, not so low pegs and oversized handlebars make you look very cool, feel for the But she only knows the front wheel from hearsay. What can the Ducati objectively do better than the Yamaha? SECTION. Your anti-lock device is superior to that of the Yamaha with finer control intervals and later, more comprehensible intervention. That’s it. Expressed in top test points it would look like this: 590 for the Scrambler Icon, on the other hand 647 counters for an MT-07. A huge head start. It makes sense that this duel between the sisters would turn out pretty similar. 

The worse motorcycle the better neo-retro-naked?

My colleague Schmieder put it in a nutshell: "The Yamaha XSR 700 drives by itself." You couldn’t get more praise. And the Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle? "Whose." The XSR goes better straight ahead, goes around corners better, brakes better, you sit better on it and it costs less. It is the more modern, more functional motorcycle in almost all respects. In short, it drives as smoothly as the Scrambler looks. Only: This is neither a top test nor a comparison test. And why do test and photo riders always jump straight to the scrambler with a free choice of bike? Why do the colleagues ask for the Ducati key towards the end of the day? 

Could the worse motorcycle be the better neo-retro-naked? It may be that this is a bit subjective, but when it comes to the experience value, the cinema in the head, the “smiles per hour”, then the Ducati really does trumps. When asked what was so great about motorcycling, a great thinker once replied: “It’s very simple. There are permanent explosions between your legs. ”Strictly speaking, of course, that’s not true, but you understand what is meant. In any case, the Scrambler celebrates this perceived truth very skilfully. This inimitable, hard Desmo blow, the rumbled, slightly uneven barrel, that has something very special. This engine simply lives, you can feel its long, characterful tradition as a monster propellant with every turn of the crankshaft. Then the sound. The sound pressure that escapes from the Termignoni pot of the Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle is at least as dirty as one of Berlusconi’s bunga-bunga parts. You can find that chubby to embarrassing, but you can’t ignore it. 

Why not be infantile and chubby?

In direct comparison, the twin of the Yamaha XSR 700, in and of itself a nice sounding motor, is acoustically as dutiful and correct as the CEO of Sony when he presents the quarterly figures. Which one can then find dignified and mature or boring. The chassis weaknesses of the Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle, its shirt-sleeved L-Twin, the strange seating position – with the right glasses you can easily forgive it, because it all makes up most of the fun. Yes, you can even let the artificially researched throttle response dazzle you, because it’s just funny.

Why not be infantile and chubby? You can also impress women better on it. Am I really that simple? Sure man, yells the Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle in response and drives itself straight to the heart. But only until you sit back on the Yamaha XSR 700, drive around the Ducati with one hand and watch the scrambler as he has to rearrange himself after every bump.

Rossen Gargolov

Twice conversion optics ex works in the lower middle class, twice 75 hp, full beard and lumberjack shirt.

The Yamaha XSR 700 drives almost exactly as much better as the Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle is more beautiful and livelier – and that’s why there remains a small crisis of meaning at the end of this story. Couldn’t you get both? Could you have a motorcycle that works like the Yamaha and feels like the Ducati? Difficulty because there are good reasons why these motorcycles are the way they are. The scrambler still contains a lot of the genetic makeup of the old two-valve monsters whose technology it inherited. The L-Twin with toothed belt and desmodromic, the tubular space frame, the design elements of the wonderful single-cylinder scrambler from the 1960s – this motorcycle does not take place in a vacuum. Because she rightly looks back on her ancestors and to them, the Scrambler can, yes, must be as sympathetically imperfect as she is.

This backward-looking way of thinking and building, and above all its expression in formal language, is visibly more relaxed in Italy than in Japan. The Yamaha XSR 700 is best where it is an MT-07: modern, functional, contemporary. In the end, these motorcycles are like no other expressions of the Italian and Japanese styles. Once as a beautiful daughter, once as a fast son.

Technical data and measured values


Power on the crankshaft. Measurements on the Dynojet roller test stand 250, corrected according to 95/1 / EG, maximum possible deviation ± 5%

So similar on paper, so different on the road – that goes for the two bikes in general and for their engines in particular. Although both play in the same performance class, the Yamaha XSR 700 is objectively clearly superior in terms of engine despite a displacement of around 100 cubic meters. It accelerates earlier and smoother, turns higher and more freely, and does noticeably more. The Duc is only in the lower middle. It also has a shorter gear ratio, the XSR 700 reaches its top speed in fifth gear. Goal: The Desmo-Twin of the Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle is bursting with character. Not insignificant in this class.


Rossen Gargolov

Beautiful daughter or quick son? Test, give me light! But sometimes even lightning does not bring final enlightenment.

Fulfilled all of the cliches? Clearly, worlds have collided here. Once Italian, extroverted appearance for the eyes and heart – once Japanese, the pursuit of perfection, for the head and for the gas hand. What is better than retro-naked? Take a closer look at the photos in the picture gallery. And then in the mirror.

Price comparison of the Yamaha XSR 700 and Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle

Used Yamaha XSR 700 and Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle in Germany

Regardless of whether you have internalized the Italian or the Japanese way of thinking, everyone is happy about a good price-performance ratio. On the used motorcycle exchange, the Yamaha XSR 700 and the Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle are compared in price comparison: used Yamaha XSR 700 and Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle in Germany

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