• Powered by Yamaha’s CP2 parallel-twin
  • Lean-sensitive ABS and traction control as standard
  • High-quality parts and finish

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Power: 70 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.7 in / 830 mm)
Weight: Medium (415 lbs / 188 kg)


New £9,499
Used N/A

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
3 out of 5 (3/5)

I was excited when Fantic announced it was adding a Caballero 700 to their retro motorbike range, using the 689cc Yamaha CP2 parallel-twin to create a range-topper to rival the 800cc Ducati Scrambler.

Fantic’s Caballero 500 is a firm MCN favourite, delivering everything you’d want from a light retro single, with torque, agility and charisma, not to mention plenty of neo-retro scrambler style.

The 700 certainly looks the part, with machined-alloy frame plates and top yoke adding a bit of metallic eye-candy, with neat details and quality chassis parts, plus technology that gives it a spec sheet as strong as anything in the class. A TFT dash, lean-sensitive ABS and traction control aren’t a given with bikes in this class, but the Caballero 700 has them all for the sub-£10k price.

Fantic Caballero 700 tested for MCN by Carl Stevens

The formula sounds like a winning one, but I found it to be lacking a little ‘sparkle’ in reality. The Caballero 500 and Ducati Scrambler 800 tick all the boxes on paper, and back that up with a sense of personality that’s obvious inside the first mile. They are engaging and fun, as well as practical and competent in objective terms.

The Yamaha motor is a cracking unit in its intended applications – the MT-07, XSR700, Tracer 7 and Ténéré 700 have all been group test winners in their time – but it doesn’t have the right character for a bike like this, and the spread of power/gearing further serves to make it feel out of place in the Fantic.

The chassis is good in very basic terms, but again it doesn’t serve up the keen, effortless and forgiving ride you’d hope: the Ducati is nimble, unintimidating with good ride quality, but it’ll stand up to a more spirited ride. The Fantic is too firm, slower steering and has 50/50 road-trail tyres that compromise its road manners, but don’t match up to any real off-road potential (as the smaller, lighter and taller Caballeros possess).

Fantic Caballero 700

The Fantic isn’t a bad bike, but it’s entering a class where subjective, emotive feel is just as (or arguably more) important than a bike's raw capabilities. The Caballero doesn’t quite have the perky, playful spirit I'm looking for.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The test bike was delivered with under 100 miles on, so our initial judgement on the chassis is likely to change a little once suspension components are fully bedded-in.

I found the Marzocchi forks and shock to be firm, to the point of harshness when the high-speed compression damping couldn’t respond fast enough to bumps on rural roads where the bike should be at home. This might improve when the bikes reach four-figure mileages, but it’s still notably firmer than other rivals we’ve ridden at similar mileages.

It does give more support when you wind on the power or give the brakes a fistful, and the general lack of pitching, wallowing or bouncing around makes it predictable when you’re trying to keep the corner speed up. It’s unfortunate that this possible upside is negated by standard tyres (Pirelli Scorpion STRs) which sacrifice feel and steering response as well as outright grip on tarmac for the potential to head off-road…

Fantic Caballero 700 right side

But the reality is the Caballero’s chassis is too low-slung (the exhaust and its lovely carbon heat shield in particular placed to take a clobbering with insufficient suspension travel for any kind of meaningful off-road riding, so those tyres won’t see anything rougher than a flat gravel or grass lane, if you have any sense of mechanical sympathy.

Full road tyres, or something like the Ducati’s block-pattern Pirelli MT-60RS OE fitment, would make better use of the Fantic’s sportier feel. It’s a bit confused, neither sporty, relaxed or proficient on dirt.

The brakes are adequate – a single four-piston Brembo monoblock makes up for operating alone by grabbing on a dinner-plate 330mm disc. It’s enough to bury the nose and make the trail rubber howl, with subtle intervention from the ABS system as you get to the limit of grip.

Fantic Caballero 700 Pirelli Scorpion STR Rally tyre


Next up: Reliability
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The Yamaha CP2 engine is a proven lump, part of Fantic’s logic for selecting it (that, and they’re produced for Yamaha by Fantic-owned Motori Minarelli). Fantic has made little in the way of changes – they’ve made their own airbox and exhaust to suit their chassis as well as the scrambler feel and mapped to suit, but the bits spinning or whizzing up and down inside are Yamaha-spec.

Oddly, that’s enough to increase the claimed horsepower and torque by a claimed 2bhp/2lb.ft over the Yamaha MT-07: there is also a small gearing change (lower than the MT-07, but higher-ratio than the Yamaha Ténéré 700), but overall feel is similar.

It’s again good in objective terms – the fuelling is good despite being one of the last ‘big’ bikes with a cable-operated throttle rather than ride-by-wire, it’s flexible, frugal and relaxed at cruising speed (any more than 70mph will be a strain, whether you’re legally able to exceed that or not).

Fantic Caballero 700 CP2 engine

The engine is at its best in the mid-high rpm, which is a little bit incongruous with the bikes attitude, and means you only get the best of the motor if you grab it by the scruff of the neck and pin it through the first three gears, unless you’re prepared to go beyond the limits of comfort. It’s missing that instant gratification of an engine that delivers a hit of torque lower down – namely, singles, or V-twins…

It's well-mannered, and will be easy to manage on greasy surfaces with that flat torque curve, and no snatchiness. The test was dry throughout, and the traction control wasn’t troubled unless it was given sufficient beans to provoke a wheelie, which would then be cleanly (but firmly) arrested by the TC.

I recorded 46mpg, mostly blatting around B-roads with one 30-mile dual carriageway cruise at 70mph or so. I’d expect this to rise considerably once the engine is fully run in, especially when ridden in a less stop/start, firing out of corners style. Though that’s fairly natural territory for a retro scrambler, so if that’s the highest fuel consumption you’ll ever see, that’s pretty good. It’s important to state that our engine rating is relevant only in this context: it isn’t bad, but we feel it’s not as well suited to this application as others.

Fantic Caballero 700 on the road

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
5 out of 5 (5/5)

The Fantic is the best-built bike in class,, no question. It’s not a hand-built bike, but components like the CNC-machined alloy swingarm plates and top-yoke give it a high-quality feel. Paint finishes are good, castings neatly done, and bodywork well fitted.

The attention to detail is impressive, too – most manufacturers will treat items like numberplate illumination lights as functional, parts-bin items, and they’ll be made cheaply and used across multiple models to save money.

The switchgear and mirrors are generic items (the latter have a pivot point just above the attachment points, so they’re really easy to move out of the way for storage or squeezing through tight spots. but everything else is Caballero specific, meaning there’s no obvious scope for visual enhancement. Even the homologation-compliant rear mudguard isn’t offensive and integrates with the bikes styling.

Fantic Caballero 700 tank

Reliability shouldn’t be in question – treated with typical care the CP2 engines are proven to last. Fantic’s record for quality control and reliability is good – the few reported issues on the Caballero 500 are related directly to its engine, so won’t affect the Yamaha-powered 700.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Caballero is too new to comment on insurance costs yet, but there’s nothing to suggest it’ll be more expensive to insure than a Ducati Scrambler: it’s likely to be a relatively small-volume seller simply due to the smaller dealer network, so theft rates are likely to be lower: the more popular the bike, the greater the demand for used spares, and the greater number of unpleasant people who’ll steal bikes to get them…

Running costs should be low – it’s economical, and the pricer major services aren’t due until 24,000 miles. Access to most parts is easy too, so labour costs won’t be excessive. Standard Pirelli tyres are reasonably priced compared to bigger bikes, and there’s only one front brake caliper, so the pad bill is cut by half compared to many bikes…

The Caballero is excellent value for money in material terms – cheaper than its main rival, with equal or better spec and superior detailing.

Fantic Caballero 700 turning left

The aforementioned Ducati Scrambler 800 is an obvious rival, as is the similarly CP2-engined Yamaha XSR700. You might also consider the KTM-powered Husqvarna Svartpilen 701, or - if you're not so bothered about the power output - the Moto Morini Seiemmezzo SCR.


4 out of 5 (4/5)

The simplistic image belies a bike with plenty of features and modern touches. As well as the rider aids mentioned earlier, the small circular TFT dash also offers Bluetooth phone connectivity to make it easier to control calls and media, if you use a headset in your helmet.

Fantic doesn’t offer any kind of accessories for the 700 yet: we’d expect them to offer luggage options, cosmetic upgrades as well as performance exhausts, lowering kits and other mechanical improvements in the longer run, as they already do for the 500 models.

Fantic Caballero 700 dash


Engine size 689cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 8v, parallel-twin, CP2
Frame type Tubular steel
Fuel capacity 13 litres
Seat height 830mm
Bike weight 188kg
Front suspension Marzocchi 45mm USD fork, non-adjustable
Rear suspension Single Marzocchi rear shock preload adjustment
Front brake 1 x 330mm discs with Brembo four-piston radial caliper
Rear brake 240mm single disc with two-piston caliper
Front tyre size 110/80 x 19
Rear tyre size 150/70 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 46 mpg
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost -
New price £9,499
Used price -
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 70 bhp
Max torque 51.5 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 131 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2023; Fantic Caballero 700 introduced

Other versions

A great option for riders wanting keenly-priced Scrambler for predominantly town/sub-60mph riding, the 250 offered good finish and specification  for little more than many Japanese 125s.

Liquid-cooled 500 single is an MCN favourite, making 40bhp more fun than you’d imagine. A great town, country lane and even light green-lane bike.

Owners' reviews for the FANTIC CABALLERO 700 SCRAMBLER (2023 - on)

3 owners have reviewed their FANTIC CABALLERO 700 SCRAMBLER (2023 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your FANTIC CABALLERO 700 SCRAMBLER (2023 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Engine: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Equipment: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
4 out of 5
05 February 2024 by David S

Year: 2023

The aesthetics are just right and delivered in high quality finishes and materials save for the disappointing switches. Otherwise it’s a beautiful bike with a great soundtrack from the high mounted twin silencers. Gear selection particularly on downshift can occasionally be iffy but otherwise the brakes, engine performance and handling are spot on.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

The bike is at its best around B roads. Such fun to ride, with sharp handling and very good brakes. And its appealing appearance and relative rarity always draw favourable comments when it’s parked alongside other makes. It feels really good to own it.

Engine 4 out of 5

The power delivery is very smooth. The bike is vibration free.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

A failed rear wheel bearing after 1000 miles has been the only blemish. In all other respects the build quality of the bike is superb.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5

The retro design speedo and tft display is great. Unfortunately there are no accessories currently available for the bike. I would have liked to have had the option to fit saddlebags for weekends away.

5 out of 5
25 August 2023 by Martin Gaudion

Year: 2023

MCN are wide of the mark. The Cabby 700 is a fabulous bike,with top notch build quality, a great engine and lovely neutral handling.It’s also very light.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 A owners view of the Fantic 700 Scrambler
14 August 2023 by Michael Green

Version: 700

Year: 2023

I feel I have to right a wrong that MCN committed in there review. They are the ONLY people that don’t like this bike. I think this is a fabulous bike & I believe it will be a good all rounder. Also capable of so touring to boot👍

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

I have only had this bike a couple of weeks, so still running it & no off-roading. But it feels very light & handles very well. Brakes are very good. Seat is a little hard but not been two up yet.

Engine 5 out of 5

One of the main reasons why I bought this bike is knowing that it had the Yamaha mt/xsr 700 engine in. My main bike was the Yamaha xsr700 & loving that bike I didn’t think I could go wrong with the Fantic with the same engine & Yamaha reliability.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

They do need to address the tank panel fitting.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

The Yamaha engine is very good on fuel & just completed 160 miles on one tank.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Three ride modes & ABS & traction control.

Buying experience: Because this bike is a very new model & low on number coming in to the country. It was not possible to negotiate.

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