YAMAHA XSR700 (2015 - 2021) Review
- Neo-retro styling with MT-07 underpinnings
- Easy, approachable handling
- Popular bike with owners
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£170|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The 2015 Yamaha XSR700 is essentially a styling exercise. That’s not a problem because its base bike, the MT-07, is already a fantastic machine. Yamaha’s restyling has simply broadened the XSR’s appeal and opened it up to a wider audience, namely those who are growing out their beards and getting into the retro scene.
The neo-retro XSR looks refined, it’s classy and handles superbly – and does it all for an extremely attractive price tag. Brilliant.
There's a thriving online community for this bike at the Yamaha XSR700 forums. Why not join up to meet likeminded owners?
In 2020 a new Dynamic White livery was revealed for the XSR700, but it quickly became clear that Yamaha weren't going to update the engine for Euro5, so 2021 was the last year you could buy this bike new.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Build quality is equally good as the standard MT-07, and there were no reliability issues with the MT-07 during its first year on the market.
Yamaha XSR700 owners' reviews on MCN
Our Yamaha XSR700 owners' reviews are glowing: it's clear owners are pleased with their purchase. The only feedback is that the rear shock isn't the best, and should be replaced with an upgraded item. Yamaha themselves will sell you an Ohlins unit, in fact.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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 800.
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.
Twin test: Yamaha XSR700 vs Husqvarna 701 Vitpilen
First published in MCN 01 August 2018 by Jon Urry
As modern retros go, the XSR700 lines up against the Husqvarna 701 Vitpilen so we pit them against one another to find out which one's best.
Jon Urry reports: "These two bikes are located at the polar opposites of the retro world spectrum. Yamaha’s XSR700 is a soft, friendly machine with safe styling that can be used daily with no discomfort but with lots of riding pleasure. Up the pace and its squishy suspension is a major annoyance, but for the vast majority of riding conditions it’s perfectly acceptable and is a lovely machine to ride and enjoy.
"The Husqvarna Vitpilen, on the other hand, lives for that one golden moment of flat-out madness. However, when you aren’t absolutely on the pipe, it’s not an easy machine to live with and has little in the way of creature comforts. With a price tag of nearly £9000, it’s hard to justify owning a machine with such a limited scope, despite how uniquely styled it is."
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.
It's available in Dynamic White and Tech Black, and there are 50 optional extras available via Yamaha's website including Ohlins suspension parts and LED indicators.
|Engine type||liquid-cooled, DOHC, 8v parallel twin|
|Frame type||Tubular steel|
|Fuel capacity||14 litres|
|Front suspension||41mm forks, 130mm travel|
|Rear suspension||monoshock, adjustable preload|
|Front tyre size||120/70 ZR17|
|Rear tyre size||180/55 ZR17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||-|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£170|
|Used price||£5,200 - £9,300|
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||74 bhp|
|Max torque||50 ft-lb|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
Model history & versions
- 2015: Model introduced
- 2021: Final versions of this generation on sale - no Euro5 engine available.
Owners' reviews for the YAMAHA XSR700 (2015 - 2021)
7 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA XSR700 (2015 - 2021) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£170|
Version: 60th Anniversary
Annual servicing cost: £170
Great fun and really easy to ride. Great engine. Just enough power to enjoy an the road.
Softly sprung but quite well balanced. Good for the price.
Really, really great engine. Change the exhaust and it sound good. Fitted the Leo Vince GP dual system.
Purchased new. Initially a problem with the handlebar mounting. Fixed under warranty but Yamaha uk unhelpful. The bike has been 100% reliable since and still brings a smile to my face after 10000 miles
Cheap and easy to service. Mixed riding easy to get 60+ mpg.
Everything you really need. If you want more buy a car!
Buying experience: Purchased from Yamaha dealer in Basingstoke, Hampshire. Good price for previous year's model.
Version: 60th Anniversary
Annual servicing cost: £200
Superb motor, decent chassis for everyday riding, good-looking for a modern 'retro' bike and stonking value. Standard springs are a bit budget and the forks dive like a submarine but if that bothers you it can be fixed quite cheaply. Standard tyres look cool but better, grippier rubber is available. It feels great, like an old-school 250 but with proper power. I usually change bikes after a couple of years, but I think this one's a keeper...
The budget suspension works until things get fast and/or very bumpy, but there are fixes out there. Having said that the softness of the springing gives a decently smooth ride, although the standard seat will have your buttocks begging for mercy after an hour or so - it's worse than a bicycle seat for comfort. The brakes are fine, though ABS seems to kick in on the rear pretty quickly. I find that I enjoy the ride more if I'm kicking back, old-school, not trying to force a pace. May be more to do with my skills than the bike though.
The motor is out of the MT-07 and has been around for a few years now. It is everything a good twin should be, enough power, heaps of torque, smooth without being dull and with that 270 degree crank has a bit of character. Most people hate the exhaust note but I've no problems riding around on a quiet bike - not a subscriber to the 'loud pipes save likes' cobblers. Clutch can be a bit abrupt and the gearbox is OK rather than amazing.
Apart from a couple of furry bolts, radiator pipes and an easily fixed sticky starter switch, this has been a gem. Cleans up well, though we don't go out in the wet if we can help it.
Being a reliable, proven twin servicing costs are not too steep, it doesn't seem to be hard on chains and sprockets or brake pads (although how you ride affects this of course) and insurance for an old giffer like me is cheap. It's economical, around 60-65mpg ridden sensibly.
I don't need loads of gizmos, just ABS for reassurance. The single dial is OK though because of the torquey nature of the engine I hardly ever look at the rev counter bit. I have added a few bits (customising this bike is a big part of the deal) like a screen, rad guards, heated grips, hand guards, hugger etc and will keep adding bits and pieces as I go on.
Buying experience: Excellent - cracking deal from the very good main dealer Tinkler's in Norwich as it was last year's colours; paid £5,500 in 2017.
The engine is the real gem on the xsr700, accompanied by its light weight and flickable characteristics, stick an exhaust system on it and you'll be smiling for miles, the torque is where it is at on the 700 and can be a fun wheelie machine. The suspension and tyres work great up to a point but when riding hard the rider does require more and that's the same for the brakes, I'd go as far as saying they are ok Overall a nice bike, great reliability, would like to see an sp model or something like in the near future
Room for improvement but no problem for the average road rider
Torquey, great soundtrack and reliable
3 years no issues
Abs on the back can come in quickly, would be nice to have an option to let the back slide a little now and again
Annual servicing cost: £150
Great fun for the money
Bit soft but comfortable
Fantastic value for money.
Minimal electrical gadgets so less to go wrong
Annual servicing cost: £190
First bike for 30 years. Perfect for me. Love the look even if comments a bit marmite. Tried a street twin, looks great but heavy and slow for 2k more!
Just loving the ride. Wind blast an issue over 85 but that helps keep the licence. I'm captain slow but it's way more capable than expected. Perfect if returning to bikeing. Easy to ride and faster than litre bikes of 20 years ago.
The best bit. Review's all said it was good and they are right. If you don't think 700 is enough try one. On a public road perfect.
Only 6 months old but no problems so far. Only ridden once in the rain but no sign of rust. Feels well screwed together.
First service steep at 190. Had to take it to a dealer other than the one i bought it at. Long story. Think they would have been cheaper if I'd bought from them.
Needs a rizoma rear brake cylinder (cosmetic) and heated grips. Otherwise has everything you need rather than everything you want. Looks are personal, obviously I love it.
Buying experience: Great deal. Haggle hard. Saved enough to pay for all the gear and some.
Love this bike and would recommend to anyone who wants a fun bike at a reasonable price.
Handling is great, light weight helps, but so chuckable. Only let down by poor rear shock that can get a bit overworked amking it a bit bouncy at times.
Brilliant!! I must be the only one who likes the sound of the twin, nice and torquie and easily fast enough when revved.
Very economical, even when thrashed, would imagine easy high 60's if you rode gently (unlikely to happen)
It's got everything you need in a small display and for a bike like this and at this price.
Buying experience: Dealer bought, Keys Motorcycles Worthing, had to pay retail £6349.00
Version: xsr700 60th anniversary
Annual servicing cost: £150
For what it costs, looks and performs; it's a fantastic bike that always puts a smile on my face and I always want to be riding.
The XSR700 is a nice upright, relaxed riding position that makes for really good commuting and takes away the wrist stain that my old SV game me. The wide and higher bars and great balance and low weight really help me navigate traffic and filtering. On the twisty roads, it's nimble and quick to turn allowing some spirited riding to put a smile on your face. I don't feel quite engaged with the bike/road as much as I did with the SV, almost more relaxed (I think this is largely down to the softer suspension), but I think that adds to the charm of the bike and I certainly don't think I'm any slower than on the SV. Brakes are good and stop confidently. ABS has kicked in a little more than I would expect it to on very few occasions but this hasn't brought me any concern and I feel I can rely on the brakes more if I needed to.
The MT07 based 700cc twin has been well reviewed and loved and I can see why. It is superb, smooth and has bags of torque at a really usable rev band. The bike a joy to use in and around town and also a great blast down the twisty country B roads. Only thing that holds back the 5th star is the standard exhaust note which takes away some character a little, however this can be resolved with aftermarket items, although they are few and expensive (at the time of writing)
I've only done 600 miles but not had any problems with it to date. Seems and feels well built and have nothing to grumble about so far. Gear changes seem a little smoother after it's first service.
A brand new bike with great retro looks (in my opinion) but modern day usability and performance, can commute everyday with ease whilst can hold it's own on a twisty road, brings a smile to your face when your on it and costs less than £7000. I can see why the base vehicle won bike of the year and is so well reviewed. I've only completed 600 miles so far (just carried out the the first service) which cost £150. Tyres tread looks cool but may not be the best cost/performace tyre available. Cost £10-£13 to fill up, I got 140 miles on my usual commute (light town / mainly B roads) to a tank and the dash says I get 58 MPG, much better than the 120miles / £13-£15 fill up that the SV650 did.
Come with ABS as standard and the cool digital dash gives good information. Speed, Gears, Rev and fuel are the constant information wilst odometer, trip A/B, instant MPG, avg. MPG, coolant temp, ambient air temp and clock are all cycle-able. I would rather the clock was and maybe the water temp was part of the constant information but the 'retro - design' dash doesn't have the real-estate space for this. There are no riding modes or traction control, which I would have liked, but for the cost of the bike I can't really complain (and probably wouldn't need or use that much) I wasn't offered standard fitment heated grips, however I have heard rumours that these are available. there are optional extra's to customise the bike your way but these seemed expensive and more looks based than functional. I didn't see them, but the pannier bag, tank bag or 'tool' bag didn't seem like I could put a lot in them.
Buying experience: Bought brand new form a dealer. It was advertised at £6536 but I added a screen and crash bungs so I ended up paying £6800 after a few of the 'other costs' were added