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2020 Yamaha XSR700 Preview

Motorcyclist logo Motorcyclist 11/5/2019 By Tyler Greenblatt
a motorcycle parked on the side of a building: The 2020 Yamaha XSR700 recalls the character of the classic XS model Yamahas but packs all the tech today’s riders want.© Yamaha The 2020 Yamaha XSR700 recalls the character of the classic XS model Yamahas but packs all the tech today’s riders want.

Yamaha announced the return of its XSR700 in its Sport Heritage family of motorcycles for the 2020 model year. Sport Heritage models follow Yamaha's "Faster Sons" design philosophy that blends classic styling with modern powertrain and chassis technology for a sport-standard bike with performance and character.

a close up of a motorcycle: A 689cc inline-twin sits at the heart of the XSR700 as a stressed member of the frame.© Yamaha A 689cc inline-twin sits at the heart of the XSR700 as a stressed member of the frame.

The XSR700 draws power from a 689cc inline-twin engine reminiscent of Yamaha's classic XS motorcycles. Retro bodywork, stepped two-up seat, and vintage-style lighting provide the character of yesterday's motorcycles with today's tech features like electronic fuel injection, ABS braking, modern suspension, and LCD instrumentation. The 2020 XSR700 is available in a new Radical White/Rapid Red paint scheme and lists at $8,499. Read our full ride review on the first US-spec XSR700 in 2018 here.

a man riding a motorcycle down a dirt road: A 41mm conventional front end with 5.1 inches of travel and 3.5 inches of trail makes for a nimble wheelbase that’s over an inch shorter than the XSR900.© Yamaha A 41mm conventional front end with 5.1 inches of travel and 3.5 inches of trail makes for a nimble wheelbase that’s over an inch shorter than the XSR900.

While its looks may be derived from the past, the XSR700 is all modern when it comes to technology. Its liquid-cooled twin was built with low- and midrange torque in mind and tuned for a linear throttle response. The cylinders are shifted slightly forward compared to the center of the crankshaft to reduce drag during each compression stroke thereby improving efficiency. Overall smoothness is also improved with a geared counterbalancer mounted on the front of the engine.

a man riding a motorcycle down a dirt road: Pirelli Sportcomp tires provide plenty of traction while helping keep the vintage theme alive.© Yamaha Pirelli Sportcomp tires provide plenty of traction while helping keep the vintage theme alive.

Weight savings and confident handling were top priorities for engineers of the XSR700, with a diamond-type high-tensile-strength steel frame providing balance and rigidity while holding the engine as a stressed chassis member. The XSR700 sports an even 5.1 inches of travel in both its front conventional fork and rear monoshock, while the rear shock also provides preload adjustability. ABS braking comes standard to prevent locking up the ZR-rated Pirelli Phantom Sportcomp tires.

a motorcycle parked on the side of a building: The XSR700 shares the same gold-colored lightweight aluminum 10-spoke wheels as the XSR900.© Yamaha The XSR700 shares the same gold-colored lightweight aluminum 10-spoke wheels as the XSR900.

The XSR700 features a new round LCD panel gauge with digital tachometer, speedometer, eco mode indicator, ambient and coolant temperature, fuel gauge, and trip computer functions. Instant and average fuel consumption and a fuel reserve meter add to the traditional tripmeter functions. Riders looking for the XSR700 will have to wait until February of 2020.

a man riding a motorcycle down a street: A classic headlight bucket with ears and mounted turn signals is reminiscent of nearly all vintage metric motorcycles.

A classic headlight bucket with ears and mounted turn signals is reminiscent of nearly all vintage metric motorcycles.
© Yamaha
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