2018 Yamaha XSR700 | First Look Review

2018 Yamaha XSR700
The new-for-2018 Yamaha XSR700 blends the new and old. It’s based on the modern FZ-07 platform with 689cc Crossplane Concept parallel twin and has styling influenced by Yamaha XS motorcycles from the ’60s to ’80s.

On the opening day of the American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) in Columbus, Ohio, Yamaha announced a new addition to its 2018 Sport Heritage lineup, the XSR700. Like the XSR900 introduced for 2016 and based on the 847cc in-line triple-powered FZ-09 naked sportbike, the XSR700 is based on the 689cc parallel-twin-powered FZ-07.

Read our 2016 Yamaha XSR900 review

Read our 2015 Yamaha FZ-07 review

2018 Yamaha XSR700 headlight
One of the 2018 Yamaha XSR700’s nods to the past is the round headlight.

A chip off the old block, the XSR700 combines neo-retro styling, a frisky Crossplane Concept 270-degree-crank engine, light weight and sporty geometry, which should make for an exciting, back-to-the-future ride. It features a steel frame, a 6-speed transmission with chain final drive, 5.1 inches of front/rear suspension travel (the only adjustment is rear preload), triple disc brakes with standard ABS, an LCD instrument panel and a 3.7-gallon fuel tank.

Read our 2017 Yamaha FZ-09 review

2018 Yamaha XSR700 engine
The liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 689cc Crossplane Concept parallel twin makes a claimed 50 lb-ft of torque.

A higher, wider handlebar and slightly taller seat give the XSR a more upright seating position than the FZ-07, and it should offer decent leg room. Claimed wet weight is a sprightly 410 pounds.

2018 Yamaha XSR700 cockpit
The 2018 Yamaha XSR700 has a taller, wider handlebar and all-LCD meter.

Both the XSR900 and XSR700 draw styling influence from Yamaha’s classic “XS” series of motorcycles produced from the late ‘60s through the 1980s. From the round headlight to the shape of the tank to the stepped seat, exposed aluminum details and Pirelli Phantom Sportcomp tires, the XSRs blend elements of the past and the present. Removable aluminum tank panels and a wide range of accessories will make customization as easy as 1-2-3.

2018 Yamaha XSR700 aluminum tank panels
The Yamaha XSR700’s aluminum tank panels are removable for easy customization.

The 2018 Yamaha XSR700 will be available in Matte Gray/Aluminum or Raspberry Metallic for $8,499, with bikes arriving in dealerships in October.



  1. You folks are missing the point here. You have 100 other “new” bikes over the last 17 years that all look the same. This one is different for a reason, like it or not, agree or not. It’s aimed at a specific audience and I’m in the front row. Good job Yamaha. It’s about time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Pun INTENDED!

  2. Yeh, it is a bit of a hot mess from the tank down(water-cooling doesn’t require any cool-looking fins) but, dang! At least it doesn’t have a tank that shoves up against your guts and other tender parts. And the seat, finally, a real seat not some vestigial vinyl overlay that gives you no hope for comfort. Can’t wait for the full road test.

  3. It’s just an FZ except the designers have totally missed the mark where Triumph is absolutely slaying it. This is just as pathetic an attempt to sell us a “cafe” bike as Ducati’s attempt with the Scrambler Cafe. Those two things literally do not go together at all!

  4. Stunning bike in red. Can’t stand triumphs Bonneville, stuck in the past, same for woeful hd. This is a modern bike, no need for the retro tag, great engine, riding position, brakes, and it is light (take note hd and taiumph).
    Loads of haters who don’t like the looks have forgotten what a bike is for. Saaaaaaad! It is the millennium falcon on wheels!!

  5. Got some news for a bunch of you. No one, no how, can or even tries to please every one. Obviously Yamaha has done the demographics and they’ll sell a bunch of these. I’ve owned an FZ07, an FZ09, and now a Bolt. In the spring the Bolt is going to be retired (at least from me) and right now I’d put my own money on one of these. The FZ07 was a great bike but I thought the FZ09 would be better. It was faster and more powerful but I can’t say it was better. The Bolt is OK but at 540 lbs. it’s a bit too heavy for my taste and I really ride sport bikes most of the time. Time to get back to basics and check this thing out. Looks like a real nice bike to me. #34 to anyone who cares to ask how many bikes I’ve owned. At 5’6″, 145 lbs, and 67 years old I think I’m qualified more than most about mid sized bikes

  6. I’d like to see an updated version of the ’78 XSEleven. Keep the same basic look, no extra plastic, basic instrumentation(speedometer, tach and odometer and trip meter), square headlight even. Fix the slop in the shaft drive, better shocks on the rear, better front forks(larger diameter, adjustable), better seat and last of all, DON’T TOUCH THE ENGINE. Keep the price down around to 10k, they’d have a winner. I bought mine back in Japan in ’78 through the Navy Exchange at Yokosuka Navy Base. Paid a little bit less than MSRP at the time, about $2300 give or take 50 bucks.

  7. I like this in the raspberry and silver. As an elder rider, the vintage touch is pleasing to me. I would prefer dual exhausts in the 60’s style, even if in stainless steel rather than chrome. Less black out, as in wheels and front forks, swing arm, would be even better. Alloy tone engine components would be an improvement, as well. I plan to trade in my 2016 FJ-09 with Yamaha endorsed Yoshimura exhaust for the red XSR700. Perhaps it needs an Akrapovic exhaust to recognize it is a 270/90 degree twin.

  8. I’m an XS2 fan. I bought from the grandfather of a guy who bought it new and went into the Air Force and he decided to be a lifer and told grandpa to sell it to someone he thought would take good care of it. I got the lead from a guy who sold me a genuine Medium Riser FE aluminum intake. When the grandpa saw it he said he loved Ford FE engines and I told him I was building a 410 .030 over, about 413 ci. and he went back and found a 427 solid cam for a 2×4 427 with a box of lifters with all of the lifters in order. I asked him how much and he said nothing just use them, and I did!
    But that’s another story. I said I heard he had a 72 XS2. He smiled I think because I used the right nomenclature. He motioned me back to the corner and we carefully pulled up on a cover over a red stock XS2. I was like wow all there, except the mufflers were the bullets that were straight through. I asked him the story and he told me, then respectfully asked what would be a fair price, and he said it needs servicing, $ 300. I couldn’t get the money out quick enough. He had a ramp and we got it up the ramp and I held on while he got it on the center stand. Just fitting the tail gate. Shut it and he was in the house getting the signed title. He got all kinds of stuff to service it with. I got it home and backed up to a spot in the yard I was able to back it off and into the garage. My wife and I were just married, and her eyes lit up and she asked if it ran ? I said I never asked but I ll get it running.. She laughed and said she knew I would! That was the beginning, and I love them both. I got it running really well but I had to sell it . I got $1000 for it. My wife is still here. I wish they would make a real XS3 with a 270 cross plane as they call it vertical twin with the vintage livery and an 880 cc engine. Yamaha are you listening now?


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