Ducati gets it. Honda is getting it. And now Yamaha nails it. This is the XSR700, the retro-modern roadster based on one of the best bikes in Yamaha’s stable.
The XSR cribs the FZ-07 platform, taking the frame and 689cc parallel-twin engine and slathering it in one of the most tasteful blends of old-school style and new-school accouterments this side of the Scrambler.
As a matter of fact, it looks even better than the Duc, with its single round headlamp and matching LED tail lamp, dual-textured seat, lower vents, side panels, and tidy tail.
But the best part might be the lone round gauge, which packs a massive amount of information (fuel level!) into a slick, tiny LCD package.
Yamaha sweated the small stuff – from the design of the rear subframe to the bracket that holds the front fender – and it shows.
Just look at how it packaged the onboard tool kit.
Unlike most parallel twins, the 270-degree crank engine actually has character, and that should be aided by the low-mount exhaust. Output is rated at 73.8 horsepower at 9,000 RPM and 50.2 lb-ft peaking at 6,500 revs. Given the size of the aluminum tank and Yamaha’s claim of 54.7 MPG, 200 miles shouldn’t be hard to hit.
The seat is about a half-inch taller than the FZ at 32.1 inches, and the suspension remains largely unchanged with a 24.5-degree rake up front and 5.1 inches of travel at each end holding up the 10 spoke aluminum wheels.
Dual, four-piston brakes are mounted up front with 282mm rotors, with a 245mm disc at the far, all augmented by ABS as standard.
All in, the XSR has a dry weight of 410 pounds, and when sales begin this November, expect it to be priced maybe a few hundred dollars higher than its FZ-07 stablemate – figure around $7,500 or so – before you start tacking on all the accessories Yamaha will be offering.
More of this please.