The XSR is an incredibly easy to handle machine, thanks mainly to its lightweight, smooth engine and predictable throttle response. Not once did the XSR surprise me with anything unexpected. Part of its brilliance is the way it’s rewarding for both newbies and experienced riders alike. Its posh four-piston monobloc brake calipers do a commendable job of stopping in a hurry and, unlike the MT-07, the XSR comes with ABS as standard. The rest of the rolling chassis is the same, using the same basic non-adjustable suspension up front, and preload adjustable rear. Even though the suspension carries a slightly budget feel and is relatively soft, it doesn’t detract from the machine’s impeccable road handling.
The MT-07 has been praised for its wide spread of power and easy-to-use torque, and the same credit has to be heaped onto the XSR. The twin’s peak output of 74bhp is more than enough for the switchbacks, while its impressively strong midrange is ideal for processing the mountain turns.
Build quality is equally good as the standard MT-07, and there were no relaibility issues with the MT-07 during its first year on the market
The new XSR700 is priced at £6249, £500 more than the ABS-equipped MT-07. Even at that price it’s still excellent value for money. The price tag is competitive and £1000 cheaper than its main rival, the Ducati Scrambler. The question is whether or not customers think the bike is £500 cooler than the MT. With an array of optional extras, an easily modifiable base bike, sweet finishing touches like logos on the seat, tank and casings, an all-day comfy riding position and an incredibly engaging motor – it’s certainly close.
Unlike the standard MT-07, ABS comes as standard on the XSR. Other than that the XSR is a pretty basic machine, in keeping with the retro style of the bike